Last year, editor and writer Christine Pride launched her Race Matters column on the Cup of Jo, offering wise and thoughtful advice on everything from friendship to adoption. Readers regularly asked about her beauty uniform, so this is where Christine reveals the best scrub, her fun hobby and her upcoming novel …
First off, thank you for being our Race Matters columnist.
I LOVE doing the column. It gave me such a meaningful opportunity to talk about important things. I’ve read every comment. I find it very, very enjoyable.
I am so happy. What’s your general beauty philosophy?
If I like a product, I will use it forever. My sister gets samples from Sephora and Birchbox – she has a million one ounce stuff, I wouldn’t know where to start!
Let’s start with skin care.
At night I wash my face with Aveeno Brightening Cleaner. It has just the right amount of peeling. Then I applied the BeautyStat Vitamin C Serum, followed by the BeautyStat Moisturizer. The line was created by a black chemist and it really changed my skin. Then I use the 1-step peeling towels Bluemercury m-61 1-Step a few times a week. I am obsessed with these too. I’ll be using them two nights in a row in front of a large panel or zoom. I see a big difference.
What about makeup?
I use the MAC Studio Fix powder foundation. I’ve never worn a concealer before but someone gave me the Glossier concealer and I started doing it a few years ago and thought, Oh! That’s why people put concealer under their eyes! I use Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm for blush and her highlighter in Topaz.
And for the eyes?
One beauty product that made a huge difference is RevitaLash. It really helped me grow out my eyelashes. And Dior Mascara is my lash game. I’ve tried so many different mascaras, but Dior is the best.
Tell us about your career.
I’ve been an editor at book publishers for 17 years. The last time I was at Simon & Schuster, I edited and published a book by Jo Piazza. We became friends and found we worked well together. While I was still at S&S full-time, we started writing a novel together – we’re not like them.
Can you tell us something about the book?
It is the story of a lifelong friendship between a black woman named Riley and a white woman named Jen. When the novel begins, Riley has just returned to Philly for a job as a news reporter, and Jen is married to a police officer and is pregnant with their first child. Her husband is involved in a shootout with an unarmed black teenager. This event upset their friendship. You have to do a lot of racist math – as many people have done in the last year. You’re a proxy for these conversations, dead ends and understanding, so hopefully this book will give people in book clubs a lot to think about about the race in America right now and its blind spots. And we hope it’s fun too! It’s an emotionally layered celebration of female friendship. It comes out October 5th.
That is exciting.
It’s also a bit like standing naked on a stage. We were dealing with a hot button topic that is not easy to write, read, or talk about – so it’s exciting, but fraught with problems. We are eagerly awaiting the reception.
What was it like writing with a friend?
It was hard! So much more difficult than we expected. From a logistical point of view, we have never lived in the same state at the same time. We worked in Google Docs. It also allows writing styles to be merged and disagreements resolved over what should happen, who those characters are – and a race is added on top of that. We had to go through many difficult moments. It was a good lesson for me because I’m so conflict avoidant and it’s much more direct. It taught me a lot about how to handle these challenging moments. And then they go away! You can hit rough spots and move on. We feel good that we made it.
Do you feel closer now
Yes. We wrote during the pandemic and George Floyd – a lot was at stake for everything. Conflicts can bring you closer; It was a gift for our friendship. In any relationship you have to have a range of human emotions.
I recently saw your Instagram post about getting dressed during the pandemic.
I try to find moments of joy! In all honesty, it was difficult for me to live alone and be single. There was a great play in the New York Times that said, even when you’re not together, the idea of meeting someone on the go – in a restaurant, on a flight – and a little bit of hope every day that your life was going to change could be change and different, was something I definitely missed this year. You don’t have many options to sit in your apartment.
Do you have any hobbies
I’ve always been a person who thinks I should have hobbies! I work a lot? Is reading a hobby when I do it for work? I am also a TV fanatic. I think I’m a better book editor because of all the television I watch. It is important to have the zeitgeist under control.
What books did you love
I read 20 to 30 books a year for pleasure and then all of my work beyond that – it’s a lot of books. Every book I’ve ever published is a favorite, but in terms of beloved books published by others, I’d include: Americanah, Random Family, Just Mercy, The God of Little Things, The Middle Square, Lass take us the long way home and educated. I love stories with emotional texture, a global perspective, and a deep immersion in relationships, culture, and social justice.
How do you take care of your hair
I relax in a Dominican location in Harlem every few months. Relaxing leads to hair loss and breakage. That’s why I try to use products that strengthen and moisturize my hair. When I wear it curly, I take a shower and let it air dry. then I use Ouidad Leave-In Conditioner and Curl Cream and Jane Carter Nourish and Shine for moisture. When I blow it out, I use Redkin Anti-Breakage Leave-In Treatment and Biosilk Moisture Serum. After blowing it out and ironing it flat, I spray it with It’s a 10 Miracle Shine Spray for shine.
Is there anything else you love overall that we haven’t talked about?
I really, really, really enjoy my mental health work. That was a challenge at the beginning of the pandemic. Out of desperation, I got a peleton and I love it so much. I get cravings for the endorphins. I like the crazy intense classes. I want you to yell at me! I want to feel like I’m going to die!
Thank you, Christine! We love you.
PS More women are sharing their beauty uniforms, including a comedian and my beloved Aunt Lulu.
(Top portrait by Christine Han.)