At first glance you could easily assume that this is a standard beauty tutorial, giving tips on how to achieve the perfect red lip.
It begins with Reshma Bano Quereshi giving away the toothbrush tip, showing how to exfoliate your lips with a gentle brush. She then talks you through her lip liner and the exact MAC lipstick she uses.
Looking into the camera she says, “Looks perfect, right?”
But it’s not long into the 1:07 minute video before you realise you’re watching something much, much bigger.
This 18-year-old was the victim of a vicious acid attack at the hands of her brother-in-law and his friends. And she’s fighting back.
She goes on to say: “You’ll find a red lipstick easily in the market, just like concentrated acid… This is the reason why, every day, a girl becomes a victim of an acid attack.”
After suffering severe disfigurement and blindness in one eye, Reshma decided to join the Make Love Not Scars movement, dedicating her life to campaigning about acid attacks, and shining a spotlight on just how easy it is to get your hands on acid.
Reshma is the face of this poignant video, as well as two more making up a three-part series on YouTube.
Ria Sharma is the founder of the India-based campaign. She realised just how many women across the country were being assaulted, just like Reshma.
Together, they are calling for a total ban on the sale of cleaning fluids that contain acid.
As well as these important videos, which have gone viral, helping to spread the message globally – this lipstick tutorial has so far gained over 380,000 views – Ria has also started a petition, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Acid attacks are illegal in India, but they’re still so frequent that it’s estimated that every single day a woman is disfigured.
Ria says, “When people look at an acid victim, they can’t handle disfigurement. They find them scary, repulsive, and immediately distance themselves from it.”
“We must come together and end this injustice once and for all.”
Join the movement and add your name to the petition.
Make love, not scars.
By Laura Jane Turner