There were endless, politically burdened, pro-or-con statements made ABOUT masks in 2020. Happily, for people choosing to MAKE a statement with a mask, the options were equally generous. A tightly curated list had the best masks paired with deep hometown love for Oaklanders. From the city boosterism of designs available at Oaklandish to Oakland Museum of California’s lively masks made by Mixed Bag Sewing seamstress and local artisan Joslyn Lacy to the Crucible’s bevy of artists who pivoted from other activities to make masks, customers were able to express civic pride upfront and with style. For sheer beauty, the best masks came from Sonson. The private label fashion brand, helmed by Rashima Sonson, introduced 3-layered woven cotton face coverings with anti-bacterial and anti-viral finishing, adjustable nose bridges, pocket filters for extra protection, matching headband and mask sets, kids masks and more—all arriving in bold, African-Inspired patterns or sophisticated-yet-subtle geometric designs and solid tones.
Of course, masks made it possible to dress up without the lipstick. People who saved money on everyday lip coloration bought from a local pharmacy or big-box store had reason to splurge on GLŌGIRL Cosmetics’ custom line. Founder Tosca Hillman applies her extensive knowledge gained during her years in the makeup industry with a desire to produce cosmetics that reflect the diverse beauty of women “on a global scale.” The results? Soixante Neuf (French for the number 69), a stunning, deep-wine lipstick, or Ciao Bella, a smoldering, orange-nude lipstick. And there are Boss Gloss applications, from Lo Key to Backyard Boogie to Liquid Fudge. Most traditional for a one-color-fits-all application might be the Lip Drip BBQ, a fiery-red liquid lip smacker. GLŌGIRL Cosmetics currently ships from the Bay Area to all 50 states and plans to expand to worldwide distribution. Which means that for those moments when a mask isn’t part of your makeup and for future days when masks are a mere relic of this public health crisis—now is the best time to jump on the GLŌGIRL lip ship and sail. —Lou Fancher