Images provided by the Makeup Museum

Doreen Bloch

UC Berkeley, Class of 2010
Founder, BARE Magazine
Executive Director, Makeup Museum

9 December 2019

The Ancient Greeks created the word ‘kosmētikós’ from the adjective ‘kosméō’ meaning “to order, to arrange, to adorn’. The French evolved this word into the term cosmétique in the sixteenth century, which we recognize today in English as ‘cosmetics.’

Organizing the self, a ritual of self-arrangement and adornment—performed by millions of people every day—is as old as humanity. This ‘self-arrangement’ takes place most often in private moments; we can see ourselves most intimately in front of our mirror at home with a sole-gaze. But, making up can be seen just as easily on crowded train commutes during the morning rush to work, at restaurants after dinner service has ended as a powder compact is drawn elegantly from a purse, or in many an iconic on-screen makeover scene. Cosmetics allow us to paint a portrait for each moment of our day. Quite simply, makeup is fundamental to life.

Deeply understanding this history has significant cultural importance. In being part of the beauty industry for nearly a decade since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2009, I know first-hand how many fascinating stories there are in the cosmetics world. However, these stories have never before been presented in a comprehensive and immersive way.

When I was at UC Berkeley, there was a similar theme to the creation of BARE Magazine in 2007: seeing an opportunity to tell stories that had not yet been uncovered or widely shared. While the campus may have had a reputation for eschewing “frivolities” like fashion or beauty, I saw unique style perspectives all around me in the student body, and I felt so passionately that these aesthetic considerations should be explored and shared.

It is a great honor to have started a magazine that has thrived for more than a decade on a campus that sees so much change. Founding BARE magazine taught me that certain realms – like fashion and beauty – are truly universal and timeless, and that it is possible to bring diverse people together to explore those worlds.

In all of the time that I have spent in the cosmetics industry, it took me almost a decade to see something that is now so obvious: the makeup industry also needs a unifying organization that makes it a mission to educate, inspire and celebrate all things relevant to painting the face and body. Makeup is one of the most essential forms of art that we as humans can experience.

If it wasn’t for BARE magazine, I may never have had the vision, wisdom, or courage to take the next step in creating the Makeup Museum. It is with immense joy that I share that the first-ever Makeup Museum is being created in New York City, debuting its first exhibition in May 2020. If you are as fascinated by makeup and its history as I am, I hope you will be part of this journey!