How Hope Harvard is Bringing Authentic
Beauty Back to the Makeup Industry
While Hope Harvard started her career in the West Wing of the White House, back home her family received devastating news. Her grandmother, the matriarch of their family, had been diagnosed with cancer.
Hope describes her grandmother, lovingly nicknamed GG, as the light of their family. GG instilled a foundation of faith within Hope from the time she was a young girl.
“She was always speaking positivity and the Word of God over me, reminding me I was a child of God,” says Hope.
GG had sparkling blue eyes, a unique trait that only Hope inherited in the family. In fact, Hope’s mother even wrote a poem for GG, titled, My Mother’s Blue Eyes Are Like Butterflies.
Now, Hope was hundreds of miles away while her beloved GG was in the midst of battling cancer. Despite the dire prognosis, the family kept seeing blue butterflies wherever they went, a symbol for their GG, which they saw as signs from God.
One day, on her way to the White House while in the back of an Uber, Hope’s eyes welled up with tears. In her sorrow and grief, she wrestled with God in her heart. The thought of losing her GG was too much. “I could use a little hope right now, God,” she whispered in earnest prayer.
As she looked up, outside her window was a beautiful mural of nothing other than a blue butterfly.
Hope Harvard was born and raised in Powdersville, South Carolina with her brother and two younger sisters. Attending Church was part of family life - especially since her GG always ensured the family got there.
Beauty pageant blood runs deep in Hope’s family, and Hope was no exception. She got her start in pageants when she was only 5-years-old. Despite the negative stereotype of pageant girls, Hope credits her pageant experience with teaching her important life skills, including public speaking, leadership, and community service.
As part of her pageant career, not only did Hope start a long-running service project writing letters to military families, but a spark of entrepreneurship was also ignited. When it came time to pick out her wardrobe for Miss South Carolina Teen, Hope didn’t want her parents to have to foot the bill. After selling some of her previous pageant gowns, Hope bought a spray tanning machine. At 14-years-old, she started charging people for spray tans. Eventually she saved up her earnings to buy her own custom-made wardrobe for the pageant, which she ultimately won.
“I wanted the judges to know that I didn’t just ride in with everything given to me,” says Hope.
Through her journey in pageant life, Hope earned savings money and even college scholarships. But in the end, she chose to go to school in her home state at Clemson University, where she was on the dance team, and had the opportunity to cheer at the National Championship Football game, an experience of a lifetime.
Hope entered college with the goal of going into Broadcast Journalism, a dream she had since she was a little girl. But her plans unexpectedly changed after taking a course in Global Perspectives on Women.
One day, the class discussion turned toward female leadership in South Carolina. Most of the students felt there was a lack of female leaders in their state. But Hope ardently disagreed. She stood up to make her point, citing women like Nikki Haley, who was a mother, a minority and the youngest Governor in America. She left class that day and went straight to her advisor’s office to change her major to political science.
The change in her major led her to getting an internship at the Trump White House, and ultimately a job after college. One of her favorite stories to share is how she got to ride Air Force One with Donald Trump to see Clemson play in the National Championship Game, another once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Hope enjoyed the fast-paced work in the White House, and once again, her GG was a source of inspiration, sharing a quote that touched Hope’s heart:
"Only two defining forces have ever offered to sacrifice their lives for you: Jesus Christ and The American Soldier. One died to save your soul and the other for your freedom."
“I wrote that quote down and put it on my computer screen so I would always remember it," says Hope. "Because that was my why - who I was serving while I was working in the White House."
Even though Hope enjoyed her work at the White House, she was going through difficult times in her personal life. GG ultimately lost her battle with cancer, leaving Hope with a deep sense of loss.
During that time, Covid also hit the country. Stuck alone in her apartment and experiencing grief and uncertainty, Hope started spending time studying scripture and listening to Christian speakers. This beloved quiet time with God became what she called her own “Christian Quarantine Revival.” And that was when her faith truly became the center of her life.
After the 2020 election, Hope was in need of a new job. She applied to different positions in D.C., but she felt an intense uneasiness she couldn’t understand. Despite her degree in political science and a promising start to her career, she had inexplicably lost any desire to work on The Hill.
Looking back, perhaps this was the start of God calling her to something more…
After much prayerful discernment, Hope decided to move back to South Carolina to live with her parents. She easily got a job in the Governor’s office and got out of her lease in D.C. All the pieces seemed to fall into place. Clearly this is where God wanted her.
And yet that restlessness continued.
While Hope enjoyed working with everyone at the Governor’s office, there was something missing. Something kept tugging at her heart. The problem was that she didn’t understand what it meant. She only knew she felt lost and confused.
One night she prayed ardently to God - surely He hadn’t called her to leave a promising career in D.C. to come back home to an unfulfilling job.
“What else is there for me to do?” she prayed. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.
When Hope woke up the next morning, it came to her: A makeup line inspired by women of the Bible.
Immediately the ideas started flowing… purple eyeshadow for Lydia’s purple fabric, red lipstick for Rahab, and pink for Mary, blending white for her purity and red for the blood of Jesus.
Hope knew she had found what God was calling her to do. And she didn’t waste any time getting started. That day, she registered her business. Within one month she selected a manufacturer. And in six months she officially launched Hope Beauty.
When it came time for her to design a logo, there was no question of what it would be: A blue butterfly in homage to her dearest GG.
When asked how she went from White House Staff Member to Beauty Entrepreneur, Hope’s answer is simple: “At the White House, my focus was God, culture and country and that’s the same thing Hope Beauty is doing. I really want Hope Beauty to be something that influences and changes culture, just like what I was doing at the White House. But now I’m influencing women specifically.”
Like so many things in our culture, the beauty industry has a dark side. From objectifying product names to witchcraft lines, the industry has twisted so much of God’s design for beauty. This is part of what drives Hope. She is passionate about bringing authentic beauty back to the makeup industry.
“God is beauty. And he wants us to delight in it and to be the beauty in the ugliness of this world,” says Hope.
She goes on to say, “God does appreciate beauty. He gave us a desire for it. He delights in it. Who would look at the sky or a flower and say God does not appreciate beauty?”
But what about the many Christians who believe makeup leads to vanity?
“Well-intentioned Christians will tell girls it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, only what’s on the inside counts,” says Hope. “But that’s not God’s message to us. It does matter to Him because it’s His physical creation. Our outer beauty brings forth our inner beauty.”
Hope wants her makeup line to embolden women with confidence - not just because of the products, but because of the message behind them.
For example, one of the lessons Hope learned from pageant life was how to deal with insecurity. The secret, she says, is not to focus on what people can give to you. Rather, when you walk into a room, focus on what you can give to others.
When women put on Hope Beauty makeup in the morning, she hopes it will be like putting on the feminine “Armor of God” so each of God’s daughters can set aside their insecurities and confidently share their gifts with the world.
Hope Beauty has been in business since 2021 and they currently offer lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, bronzer and 3-in-1 radiant sticks. But Hope has big plans for her business, including expanding her makeup line and eventually entering into retail stores.
For anyone else considering whether to start a culture-changing business, Hope has this advice: “If God has revealed a gap to you between what society offers and what the Bible teaches, He is calling you to fill that gap.”
To learn more about Hope Beauty and shop their products, visit: hopebeautyusa.com