We caught up with the Emmy Award-Winning Producer and Casting Producer for Condé Nast, Cynthia Simpson, to chat about her toddler, morning rituals, and joy. “Playlist Profile” is a music series curated by cool a*s humans doing dope a*s sh*t. Each playlist is created by the human you see.
What do you do for a living? My day-to-day, I interview people for the brands that are under the Condé Nast umbrella for their YouTube channels. I’m also a beauty, makeup, and skin guru. I love makeup. I love skin. I love dark skin. I’m skin first and makeup second, but I love makeup!
How did you get into beauty and skincare? Until I got to college, I was pretty much a tomboy. Because they didn’t make makeup for my skin complexion growing up, I usually just wore lip gloss. I was always into skincare, always making sure my skin was clean and looked good because I didn’t have makeup. Once I graduated college, and makeup brands started creating makeup that looked good on me, that’s when I really started playing with my eye makeup, lip gloss, and lipstick. There was a point in my life when I didn’t think I could wear a red lip. I just thought it was too bright and I was always concerned with how full my lips were. Thinking about it now, it’s crazy that I thought I couldn’t wear a red lip. Once I branched out of that, I just loved playing with makeup and seeing how I can change my look, depending on how I feel and just embracing my features. I love being able to experiment.
Outside of work what are you passionate about? I am a Mommy advocate. I am a true believer in taking care of the Mama first, and then making sure the family is good. If the Mom is happy, then everyone is happy. I am also a twin, so I spend a lot of time with my sister. Basically, I work, I’m a mom and a wife! That’s it. My daughter is about to turn 3 in May. I mean, I guess I’m an artist as well. I do a little drawing. I also like to paint. I do a little bit of writing. I recently wrote an article for Glamour about being a Black mom and how to take care of my toddler’s hair.
What is your morning ritual, since you have a toddler? I wake up, meditate, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and wash my face, and I do a lil’, “Girl, you look good. Hold on, let me see.” Laughing. I wake her up and then we go to the bathroom. I’ll brush my teeth again because she wants to brush her teeth. Then we do a couple smiles in the mirror. Laughing. Really corny! I’ll be like, “Oh, Sophia! You’re so pretty!” The reason why I say that to her is because when I was growing up, I never really heard people tell me I was pretty or “you’re beautiful.” It just wasn’t a thing. I want my daughter to know she’s beautiful. Being a dark-skinned woman, growing up, it was hard. The whole “African booty scratcher” was a real thing for me. So, I never thought I was really pretty. Because of that and the teasing of kids, I think it also made me shy. I’m not a shy person, but when I was growing up, you would catch me in the room and you wouldn’t even know I was there because I just wanted to hide. I felt some type of shame for being dark-skinned. I want my child to know she is beautiful. So, that’s what we do in the mirror. “We’re cute! We’re pretty!” And then we go for a walk in Prospect Park.
Are you high-stress or low-stress? Very low stress, for sure. I am a cool cucumber. I am hardly stressed. Ever. I’m always pretty chipper. This is me on like base-level. So, when I’m really excited, I’m like crazy! Laughing.
What makes you such a joyful human? You know what, I am really happy on a regular basis, but I think it’s mainly because I’m a very optimistic person. I’m always looking at the glass half-full. I love life. When I wake up, I wake up happy because I’m truly excited to be alive! I’m not a morning person, but my daughter has transformed me into a morning person. If I’m up at 7:30, I might as well be doin’ somethin’. I’m going to get my coffee. I’m gonna walk. I’m gonna check in with all my friends. Get on a phone call. I’m always looking for some type of excitement in my day.
What have you been listening to during quarantine? We listen to a lot of stuff. Laughing. We listen to a mixture of kids music. We listen to Black is King, the whole album because [my daughter] loves it! It’s so good! I’ve recently been listening to Jazmine Sullivan. I love Frank Ocean. The first album. I love the Orange album. So good! I listen to a lot of Maxwell, of course. I was obsessed with him for a very long time. But Jazmine Sullivan’s album is so good! Oh, H.E.R.! I love H.E.R. She is killing it!