This year’s PRIDE may be the biggest one yet.
Because it commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the uprising that took place outside of the Stonewall Inn bar in June 1969. Canonized as a groundbreaking moment for LGBTQ+ rights and visibility, it was the breaking point of a community tired (read: TIRED) of the harassment and brutality from the police. As well as the general discrimination from the public and society towards their homosexuality, and sexual, gender and sartorial fluidity. Even in a city as cavalier and colorful as New York City was in the 1960s, the discrimination was rampant towards LGBTQ+ folk.
To mark fifty years of PRIDE, though the first PRIDE parade actually took place in June 1970, a year after the uprising, the sentiment and act of standing with LGBTQIA folk is larger than ever, and this has transferred over to rainbow banners and signs of support across Lord & Taylor storefront, banks, eateries, apparel (H&M!), and for sure, beauty retail.
This year, the PRIDE theme is something to reckon with. This could have a lot to do with so many beauty YouTubers who are also out as LGBTQ + men, MUAs have become rock stars, fandom for female gay icons, and the rising advent of drag queens who have been crowned as beauty and glam icons in a post-RuPaul’s Drag Race landscape, which is fantastic. This is most reflected through Hank & Henry’s latest liquid lips and the Anastasia Beverly Hills x Alyssa Edwards palette. (Drag queens were contouring long before we bought our kits and desperately attempted to brush on dreams of looking as sculpted as Mario Dedivanovic still has Kim Kardashian West looking. Until then, contouring was really regulated to the runway, the drag and ballroom scene, and lastly, editorial fashion, as Cindy Crawford shared in her beauty how-to book from the 1990s).
This spring, I thought to myself: are PRIDE products well-meaning? Or are they merely capitalizing on a hard-earned movement? As one of my close friends, when we passed by an OGX display in Target, with their conditioners and shampoos clothed in PRIDE colors, commented –and I had to laugh–that “PRIDE is the new pumpkin spice.” (To their credit, OGX is under Johnson & Johnson, and J&J have been in association with Care with Pride since 2011, as noted on the top of the products for PRIDE season). And my concern was lifted when I saw that Isabella of Musings of a Muse did a quick post, also asking the same thing about PRIDE products. (Her bringing it up was fair game, but the comment section was a bit abhorrent for my liking).
While there may be some truth to the beauty industry taking advantage of PRIDE, the brands I’ve seen release these themed products have declared that proceeds from sales will go to LGBTQIA organizations and charities. I know most will and have already responded cynically to the donation claims and promises. But I feel it’s so much better than releasing products with rainbow color stories and thinking that’s enough to show solidarity.
There are three PRIDE 2019 palettes that I’d like to briefly review, and now would also be a terrific time to mention that M.A.C. Cosmetics advocates for the LGBTQ+ year-round as a part of their far-reaching Viva Glam annual campaigns for the M.A.C AIDS Fund. (They too collected a handful of vivids for their 2019 M.A.C. Loves Pride set, and then there’s the Art Library: “It’s Designer” palette). 100% of earnings go towards the initiative.
Celebrating twenty-five years in 2019, the Viva Glam lipstick debuted in 1994 with a super queer ad campaign starring RuPaul. The drag queen icon was complete in a shiny red vinyl bodysuit, matching thigh-high boots, and a huge, high yellow wig. (Read: WE (still) STAN!)
As some of us know, a fan favorite of the Viva Glam legacy was when Lil’ Kim and Mary J. Blige were spokesmodels, giving us overt hip-hop chic and girl power in the name of feel-good charity. (Though these images were sorely missed in M.A.C.’s timeline currently available online). This year, the original Viva Glam 1 is encased in a ruby red glitter tube. Y-A-S.
PRIDE PALETTES for PRIDE 2019
Morphe announced their Live in Color palette right at the turn of May becoming June, with a video ad that starred makeup artists, including Erika LaPearl who paints Cardi B, Lipstick Nick, YouTubers, and Morphe cohorts, including one that dressed up like a drag queen! Delightful and heartwarming as by the end it stated proudly and defiantly, “Because if the world was just one shade, rainbows wouldn’t exist,” (Is that a tear forming in my eye?!), in their Instagram caption, Morphe further shared that 100% of net proceeds would be donated to the Trevor Project. Wow!!! (There goes another tear forming. Fancy candy company Sugarfina declared the same, donating 100% of net proceeds to GLAAD from three of their Rainbow offerings in the month of June). The Trevor Project is an organization that provides crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
Morphe. You’ve got my heartstrings and possibly my wallet once the palette and its matching brushes are released, exclusively in Morphe stores and its website on June 5.
The color scheme itself is nothing new. It’s a standard rainbow outlook, and even recalls bits of the James Charles palette. But the meaning and purpose of its existence make it a standout. #MakeLifeColorful
I first saw Tarte’s “Let It Rain-Bow” palette on TrendMood and thought the swatches were great. Super bright and bold, I pretty much whispered to myself: “Want.” They appeared so rich! As noted on Tarte’s site, the palette is an “Influencer Collab” with Jessie Paege. I hadn’t heard of her until this product. But she is a YouTube creator (with a million subscribers), actress, author, and, as I learned from the Musings of a Muse comment section, identifies as bisexual (which in that same comment, the person behind it had the temerity to proclaim they were none too pleased with Paege being bisexual. Ugh. Exclusionary feminist, are we? HARD PASS).
Tarte also said that the palette is a partnership with one of Paege’s favorite organizations, The Trevor Project. “In celebration of pride, she’s partnered with tarte to bring awareness to important LGBTQ+ issues & support her favorite organizations, like The Trevor Project.“
And thank goodness I did some closer reading, as further down, Tarte confirmed that a corresponding donation of $25k was given to The Trevor Project, to accompany the release of “Let It Rain-Bow.” Super nice and what a relief to know!
Makeup Revolution’s “Spirit of the Pride” palette I saw yesterday when I was at Ulta with said friend I was also with in Target. Like Tarte, I oooohed and ahhhhed. I could feel my hand just about to reach for it and drop right into my Ulta shopping bag. But I knew, I already knew, I had palettes similar to it. The shimmers looked especially gorge and the pan size is generous.
There was no mentioning of LGBTQ+ charities on the store display, but on Makeup Revolution’s Instagram, the brand confirmed that in UK dollars, 25,000 will be donated to The Human Dignity Trust and that the brand will be joining PRIDE parades globally.
The “Spirit of the Pride” is joined by two other PRIDE palettes: a larger, but smaller pan-size eye shadow color story and a cream palette that may remind you of Wet ‘n Wild’s Fantasy Makers cream set that they release in at least three separate stories for Halloween, annually. In America, you can purchase Makeup Revolution at ULTA, and online once you make the switch to the USA flag for USD.
OTHER PALETTES YOU CAN USE FOR PRIDE 2019. BUT PLEASE CONSIDER THIS:
Now as a makeup fiend myself, I’m sure that some of you are going through a “No-Buy,” or attempting a “No-Buy.” So below is a list of palettes you may already have that you can use in commemoration of PRIDE, especially if joining in the festivities and glamming for the historic occasion.
But with that said, I implore that in lieu of purchasing a new PRIDE palette or using a palette akin to one, to donate your time, and money if you can, to your local LGBTQIA charities, and absolutely towards charities and organizations that aide LGBTQIA of marginalized communities such as people of color and the disabled.
Happy PRIDE 2019!
Lorac: Neon Lights
BH Cosmetics: Take Me to Brazil, Take Me to Brazil: Rio Edition, ItsMyRayeRaye
Pinky Rose: Bright Lights
Violet Voss: The Rainbow, Flamingo, or Fruit Sorbet
SEPHORA Pro: Editorial
NYX: Glitter Goals Cream Pro Palette or Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette
Juvia’s Place: The Zulu or The Masquerade
Rude Cosmetics: The Lingerie Collection Naughty Nights
September Rose: Slush
Cover Girl TruNaked: Dazed