Dream Teams: Black Artist edition, part 1
Sneaker pimps: Onitsuka Tiger for Shu Uemura

Curator's Corner, May/June 2020

Curator's cornerI skipped the May roundup for obvious reasons, so I'm doing a mega roundup now.  While things are slowly starting to look "normal" at the Museum, rest assured I'm diligently working on diversifying, well, everything - from the topics I write about and object acquisition to the artists/brands I use for Color Connections.  I always wanted to present a different perspective on makeup and its history, so one phrase that really resonated with me recently is "change the narrative".  I hope to unveil some kind of plan or at least the Museum's current stance in September so I'll be working away on that behind the scenes.

- Some progress on the BLM front:  the Black in Fashion council was formed, both businesses and nonprofit organizations in the industry are participating in Pull Up for Change and the 15% pledge, while also making funding opportunities available for BIPOC entrepreneurs, and Walmart, CVS and Walgreen's will finally stop locking up Black beauty products (although they shouldn't have been doing that in the first place.)  This is all a great start, but only time will tell whether companies will change at the institutional level.  This is definitely something that I was blind to. I always included links about the general lack of representation in the beauty industry, but it never occurred to me to explore WHY this was happening.  After reading and reflecting, it dawned on me that the lack of makeup suitable for the skin tones of BIPOC is just a symptom of a much larger problem. For a company to offer shades to accommodate everyone, there needs to be diversity at the executive level - who do you think is making the decisions about what products to offer and the models that appear in their advertising?  Even if a company has a diversity strategy in place, if it doesn't include hiring BIPOC and other marginalized people for leadership positions, nothing will change.  Anyway, I've made a tiny bit of progress in understanding the big picture...for a while I couldn't the see the forest for the trees, so to speak.  And I'm not giving myself a pat on the back for coming to that realization, I just wanted to point it out because it will be affecting how I run the Museum. 

- Speaking of inclusiveness, new brand 19/99 seeks to "narrow the generational beauty gap" by providing products that work for any age.  I haven't purchased anything yet but I do like seeing the over-40 crowd being well-represented at their website.

 - Let's not forget about Pride!  While I dislike the rainbow-washing some companies participate in, a new study shows that the majority (64%) actually donate the proceeds from their Pride-themed products to LGTBQIA+ charities.  You can also check out some great Pride looks here, and below I have MAC Loves Pride lipsticks illustrated by Justin Teodoro - you might remember him from his collab with Barney's on a Kevyn Aucoin set.

MAC Loves Pride 2020 lipsticks

- So happy for Christine of the legendary blog Temptalia, who landed an interview with Allure magazine.  Congrats!

- The men's cosmetics industry is picking up speed with a new line at CVS and a skincare brand specifically formulated for Black and brown guys, while new (presumably women's) lines are being launched by Kanye West and Idris Elba.

- Vogue, like many of us, is questioning whether the pandemic's effects on our beauty routines will be permanent.

- I guess quarantine is making us all hungry, judging by E.L.F.'s collab with Chipotle and Sinful Colors' Sweet and Salty scented nail polish collection.

- A moment of levity.

The random:

- Some significant personal anniversaries:  twenty years ago this May I graduated from college (summa cum laude, thank you very much) and the husband and I went on our first date.  Also, my favorite band released what would become my all-time favorite album.  I will never forget hearing it for the first time as long as I live - it was like being hit by a bolt of lightning.

- In '90s music nostalgia, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill turned 25 and shoegaze legends Hum released their first album in 22 years (and it's good.)  Meanwhile, Kurt Cobain's guitar - the one he played on the famous 1993 MTV Unplugged performance - sold for $6 million at auction.

- I can't take care of plants, even those that require a minimum of care, but these mermaid-tail succulents are singing their siren song to me.

- Plushies continue to help out during the pandemic.

So...times are still challenging.  How are you holding up? 

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