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Give and Makeup

Give and Makeup is a non-profit initiative whose sole purpose is to get everyday essentials into the hands of women and children who need them the most.

We currently support Refuge and Women’s Aid in the London and Cardiff areas.

We started in October 2010 and run on an outreach basis.

  • Each week two women in the United Kingdom are murdered by a partner or ex-partner.
  • One woman in four experiences domestic violence in their lifetime.
  • The average woman experiences domestic violence 35 times before she calls the police.

How we started: 

Give and Makeup was borne out of an idea for a blog post.

I was going to write a post about essentials…that led to an idea about what your absolute necessities would be…that led to an idea about ‘what if you had NOTHING’…and that led me to this page on the Refuge website.

(Please note – Refuge is a charity that aids women and children escaping domestic violence – it is unrelated to the ongoing refugee crisis.)

My eyes locked on to ‘Medicines and Toiletries’ and I thought of the amount of product I had sitting in my cupboard and felt ashamed. I scrapped the blog post and Give and Makeup started that evening.

The people in need of help are women and their families including female children from newborns to teens and beyond and male children from newborn to approx. aged 10.

What we need:

Clothing. Please ensure clothing is clean and nearly new. We have had some deliveries lately of really old underwear that was also unwashed. If you wouldn’t give it to your best friend, please don’t send it to us. These women need our support and respect, not dirty leftovers that aren’t fit for purpose.

  • underwear – new/nearly new please – and most definitely cleaned
  • bras – see above
  • vests (for the children)
  • pyjamas
  • trousers
  • skirts
  • tights
  • socks
  • shoes
  • coats


  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • nappies
  • tampons
  • sanitary towels
  • baby bathing products
  • shower gel
  • deodorant
  • body lotion
  • makeup – all forms of makeup (no nail polish please)

Whilst we accept everything second hand or new (with the exception of lip glosses and mascara), please do not send really old makeup, or lipsticks that are pretty much used up. If you would be embarrassed to give it to a friend, please do not send it to these women.


  • all suitable toys for children including books, colouring pads and crayons, puzzles, games, DVDs and dolls.
    Absolutely no religious material, imitation guns/weapons or inappropriate films with violent or sexual scenes please.

Where to Send:
Please note: any parcel sent without postage or with ‘insufficient postage’ will no longer be accepted by any of the donation centres. Please understand that funds are tight and we cannot expect Refuge to pay for the postage. Any parcels requiring payment for insufficient postage will either be marked ‘return to sender’ or destroyed in situ by the post office. I am sorry for any inconvenience but the workers at Refuge have recently been picking up the tab from their own pocket and I’m sure you will understand that that cannot continue.



 are accepting donations for women’s shelters via the brilliant here:

Give and MakeUp
Neptune Point
Unit 1 Vanguard Way
CF24 5PG

(Please: do not ask either Escentual to accept your postal charges.
They are doing this for us on a completely voluntary basis and should not incur costs to do so. Perhaps consider donating locally if you cannot afford to post items.)

Some important notes about donating to all areas:

  • Please ensure that parcels are able to be carried by one person.
  • For obvious security reasons, no drop-offs are available at any of the addresses. Postal only please.
  • Please do not send large donations (numerous large boxes) without prior
    arrangement. All of the addresses are first and foremost business addresses.

Your understanding and support is so appreciated. You are changing people’s lives.

How else can you help?:

If you would like to make donations directly to your local shelters you can find more information from Women’s Aid here: How
to donate.

If you would like to raise money for Refuge by selling items on eBay you can do that officially here: Raising money for Refuge.

And to buy ‘parcels’ for Refuge look here.

To donate to Beauty Banks – an initiative set up to provide beauty/toiletry essentials to people using food banks across the UK there is more info here: Beauty Banks

Thank you so much for your support.