Pagonis previously knew e.l.f. Chief Marketing Officer Kory Marchisotto, whose nephew painted the goggles Pagonis competes in. But beyond that, Pagonis said in an interview that she’s a big fan of the brand’s values—and value.
“I feel like everything that e.l.f. stands for, I also stand for,” Pagonis said. For example, its cruelty-free certifications.
“Radar is an important part of my life,” Pagonis said. “We’re partners in crime. We literally do everything together, and so being cruelty-free is something that’s so important to me.”
Pagonis said she also respects the diversity across e.l.f.’s marketing, herself included. “People with disabilities should be able to do makeup, because anyone can. It’s not just about the way that makeup looks. It’s the way it makes you feel.”
Pagonis has been an e.l.f. customer for a long time, she said, in part because “everyone has access to e.l.f.” given its value. “They’re famous on TikTok. They’re famous everywhere, and they’re so important, so I’ve been using them since I was young.”
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Pagonis will be working with e.l.f. to make its products more accessible for people with visual disabilities, though details are still in the works. The brand also is donating $75,000 to one of Pagonis’ favorite causes, “The Hidden Opponent,” a non-profit that raises awareness for student-athlete mental health as part of plans to donate 2% of prior-year profits to drive positive community impact.
But another motivation for Pagnonis is just the opportunity to dispel stereotypes about blind people on a larger stage, she said.
“People get very confused about the concept of how Hollywood makes people perceive disabilities, with blindness,” she said. “I’m trying to break those stereotypes by showing people I can apply makeup myself.”