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September 2016

Quick post: Paul & Joe fall collection, part 2

We're having more fashion fun today!  In addition to the Looney Tunes lineup, Paul & Joe released a regular fall collection.  This year's theme was "a stroll in the park".  Can't say I really see it but the collection does offer a nice array of the usual pretty patterns.

Paul & Joe fall 2016 makeup

Paul & Joe fall 2016 makeup

Paul & Joe fall 2016 makeup

Paul & Joe fall 2016 lipstick cases

Once I saw the bird on the tube of the lipstick refills I had to get a couple, which I normally don't do!

Paul & Joe fall 2016 lipsticks

Just when you thought Paul & Joe couldn't possibly put cats into any other form of makeup, they surprised us with these precious cat-shaped highlighter pieces. 

Paul & Joe fall 2016 highlighters

Beautyhabit.com gave me the usual complimentary bag.  At this rate I could probably do an entire exhibition just of Paul & Joe bags...not that I'm complaining, of course - I love collectible GWPs.

Paul & Joe fall 2016 makeup bag

As with previous offerings, some of the prints appear to be newly designed just for the makeup, and some were borrowed from the latest season's fashion collection. 

Paul & Joe fall 2016

Paul & Joe fall 2016(images from paulandjoe.com)

Oddly enough, the bird print was borrowed from the spring 2015 collection.  Paul & Joe has done this before, however.

Paul & Joe spring 2015(images from vogue.com)

I don't have anything else to add except that Paul & Joe did another nice job with this collection.  The holiday 2016 collection looks equally fun.  :)

What do you think?


Burberry fall 2016 runway palette

Burberry fall 2016 runway palette

Burberry has been on quite a rapidly upward trajectory in terms of their runway palettes - each one seems to be more eye-catching than the last.  So as soon as I got wind of their fall 2016 palette I knew I had to have it as I think it's the prettiest one they've done so far.  Sadly, there doesn't seem to be an additional red and black palette, which many makeup junkies thought there would be based on this photo.  I did a live chat with Burberry and called a store in Soho, and nobody I spoke with had any idea what I was talking about.  Now that the collection has been out for a while, I'm guessing the red and black was just a weird overlay someone decided to stick on there.  Why someone would put a different colored overlay onto such a lovely highlighter is beyond me (and somewhat cruel, leading us beauty addicts to think there would be another palette in different colors) but in any case, the gold is enough by itself.

Burberry fall 2016 runway palette

Burberry fall 2016 runway palette

Burberry fall 2016 runway palette

Burberry fall 2016 runway palette

Once again, the print was borrowed from their most recent collection.  And once again, I was sent on a wild goose chase trying to figure out exactly which print it was.  There were many floral patterns in Burberry's fall collection, but none seemed to be the exact one on the palette.

It wasn't from these...

Burberry fall 2016 dresses

Or these...

Burberry fall 2016 dresses

They were very close but not 100% identical.  Then I found this trench coat and these 2 dresses. 

Burberry fall 2016

So that's where you were hiding!  Here's a detail to you can see it a little better.

Burberry fall 2016 dress detail

In poking around the Burberry site I also found this nail set, which borrows a vintage wallpaper-inspired pattern.

Burberry fall 2016 nail set

And just for funsies, off I went to locate the print within the clothing.  Some of the women's pieces had a wallpaper print but it wasn't the same.

Burberry fall 2016 wallpaper print

Burberry fall 2016 wallpaper print

As with the spring 2016 runway palette, the exact design on the nail set was taken from some of the men's items.  I find it a little odd that there seemed to be different wallpaper prints for the men's and women's lines.

Burberry fall 2016 wallpaper print

Burberry fall 2016 wallpaper print

Burberry fall 2016 wallpaperprint detail

Burberry fall 2016 wallpaper print t-shirt(images from us.burberry.com)

Again, I'm not sure why Burberry utilized a print that appeared only on the men's side for a nail polish set that's ostensibly being marketed to women, but I must say I enjoyed the hunt!  I'm still debating whether to pick up the set for the Museum, since the pattern is pretty and works well as an outer case.  As for the palette, well, it's easily my favorite of the runway palettes Burberry has released thus far.  I really liked the spring 2016 lace edition, but I think this one is a tad more intricate, not to mention shinier - I love the foil-like gleam of the flowers.

What do you think?  Do you plan on picking this one up?

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Curator's Corner, 9/18/2016

CC logoHaving been in survival mode due to work for the past month, I'm hoping to return to some sort of normalcy in terms of this little museum.  In the meantime, here are lots of delightful links to catch up on. :)

- I mentioned this pumpkin spice latte-inspired highlighter and pumpkin spice scented cuticle oil to the husband, who quipped, "What's next?  Pumpkin spice highlights?"  Turns out he was right on the money

- Collecting Vintage Compacts had some thorough (as usual) posts on Jonteel and Vivaudou, while Another Magazine had a great history of Max Factor and a lovely profile of legendary makeup artist Way Bandy.  And speaking of legendary makeup artists, Kevyn Aucoin is getting the documentary treatment.

- The latest and craziest fads trending on social media include helix eyeliner, shoulder and ear makeup, bun-dropping, and body marbling.  Additionally, the 100-layers frenzy rages on, as do contouring parody videos.

- NYFW makeup trends I liked:  cocoa glitter lips and '80s pinkDreadlocks on white folks (without even acknowledging the culture they came from) and porn-inspired makeup, not so much.

The random:

- If I had money to burn, you better believe I'd buy this set in a heartbeat.  Interestingly, Lagerfeld is famous for using Shu Uemura makeup to sketch, so collaborating with a traditional colored pencil brand was a little unexpected.

- In '90s nostalgia, Oasis is also getting a documentary, while Broadly had a good history of The Blair Witch Project.  And sadly, we lost the actor/actress who had small but significant roles in Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer, two of my favorite '90s movies.

- Just added this to my book wishlist.

How have you been?  Are you excited for fall?

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Book Review: Face Value

I read Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women's Lives when I was at the beach over a month ago, devouring it in one sitting.  But it took me forever to write something at least approximating a review.  As you may know, my book reviews often sound like a 4th-grader's book report rather than actual writing, and since I admire Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, author of Face Value so much and have been an ardent fan of her blog for years, I didn't want to do my usual sad review.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and share my thoughts on this book, simple though they are, because I want my readers (all 2 of you) to know how excellent it is.

Face-Value-book

I was so very excited to hear via Autumn's blog that she was writing a whole book!  Naturally I had high hopes, and she exceeded my expectations.  The general aim of Face Value is to gain a better understanding of the role beauty plays in women's everyday lives, something the author achieves through a combination of scholarly research, interviews with a diverse selection of women, and her own insightful analysis of beauty culture.

I was really curious to see how Autumn would handle the perspectives of women who are not white, straight and middle-class, as this would be my chief concern if I were undertaking a book about the relationship between women and beauty.  I should have known she'd be on top of it though - right off the bat, even before the introduction, she included an author's note about her effort to interview women "demographically unlike" herself and identify the commonalities that exist in terms of beauty regardless of their ethnic/racial/class/age/sexual orientation differences.

The first chapter explores how, despite science's best attempts, we are unable to decisively quantify human beauty, and also why we even want to measure it in the first place.  Autumn carefully examines research by evolutionary psychologists, biologists, and other scientists, all of whom try to (unsuccessfully) identify specific features that make someone perceived universally as attractive.  The thigh gap, waist-hip ratio, the pencil test (something I'm guilty of conducting every year on my birthday since I turned 30), facial symmetry - all were invented as supposedly indisputable methods of calculating beauty.  Autumn points out the flaws with most scientific studies and standards for determining beauty and how, on occasion, they even contradict one another.  She concludes that the inability to quantify beauty isn't necessarily a bad thing: "quantifying beauty can alert us to the places where we instinctually challenge beauty norms, revealing to ourselves that allure is more multifaceted than hitting all the right neurons " (p.33).

The second chapter discusses the language we use to describe beauty.  "Cute" has many more connotations that one would initially consider, and "gorgeous", "pretty", "lovely" and "beautiful" all signify different things.  The author details the significance of beauty vocabulary and how we have the power to change our notions of beauty through the descriptors we use.  Chapter 3 was my favorite, as it provided an in-depth analysis of why we wear makeup and the various ways, positive and negative, our decision to wear (or not to) is viewed in society, as well as how makeup fits into the larger notion of beauty.  Autumn gets down to the nitty-gritty by asking the age-old question, "Is makeup quite literally a tool of the patriarchy, or an instrument of women's self-articulation?" (p. 87). There are a multitude of reasons we wear or don't wear makeup, and one is no more or less valid than the others.  She ends the chapter by noting how makeup can be a way of challenging our comfort zones and, by extension, questioning the bigger meaning behind these zones.  And she absolutely hit the nail on the head: posting a picture of my bare-faced self online is unthinkable for me; for my non-makeup-wearing sister, putting on a full face of cosmetics is totally out of her realm.  What do these polar opposite approaches to makeup indicate about our feelings towards our various public and private roles in life?

Chapter 4 covers how notions of beauty shape our romantic relationships and dating. While maintaining the quality of the other chapters, I didn't find it quite as relevant since I'm an old married lady and the thought of dating makes me shudder.  Again though, it's well-written and researched, I simply had a personal preference for other chapters.  Chapter 5 investigates the double-edged sword beauty becomes in relation to other women.  Beauty can be a bonding mechanism and a way to form meaningful friendships.  At the same time, perhaps "beauty chatter" is just another way of enforcing traditional femininity.  Beauty notions can also lead to fierce competition in terms of both self-esteem and men's attention (in the case of straight women, anyway).  However, the conflation of beauty with other desirable traits, i.e., charisma, confidence, sex appeal, etc., or, as Autumn says, "masking life envy as beauty envy", can actually be helpful once one recognizes that it's not beauty they're coveting but some other attribute.  

Chapters 6 and 7 examine the impact of the media's images of women and the influence of social media on self-representation, respectively.  These were my next favorite chapters since I'm always up for a discussion of beauty advertising along with a more general critique of women's magazines, TV, blogs, etc., not to mention that I basically live online and am always thinking about how to best present myself to the world.  Chapter 7 is particularly notable in that it delves into the recent online trend of men requesting feedback on their own, ahem, erotic photos (read: dick pics) in which they turn the male gaze on themselves, and also traces the rise of the male grooming industry and its implications for what we expect of a man's appearance.  Autumn argues that instead of being an equalizer, the surge of products being offered specifically for men is actually harmful for both genders: "we create a separate sort of beauty myth for men...we're giving men the same old scripts.  We're content to shunt the possibilities of 'hope in a jar' into a reservoir of conventional masculinity...in doing that, we shut down one possible route of bettering the lives of women, too." (p. 195-6).

The last chapter studies what the author calls the "therapeutic beauty narrative", or the story of how a woman's relationship with her looks evolves over her lifetime. Specifically, it explores how women (sometimes) arrive at a place of peace with their appearance, as well as how cosmetic companies have seized on the opportunity to exploit the narrative to sell more products.  The book's conclusion explains why the topic of beauty is important and emphasizes that it should be taken seriously.  While we can assume that most of the audience for this book already recognizes this, it doesn't hurt to have a reminder of the tremendous impact it has.

I may be biased, but overall I thought this book was fabulous.  Both eloquent and humorous (I literally LOL'ed at some points), Face Value is a thoughtful approach to beauty and helps us understand our individual relationships to it. I must say it's downright awe-inspiring how Autumn was able to seamlessly intertwine heavy-duty scientific research, interviews with women from various backgrounds and personal anecdotes to create a compelling, cohesive analysis of how beauty affects women's day-to-day lives.  Go and buy it!

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Paul & Joe fall collection, part 1

It's my opinion that any time a company does a cartoon-themed collection meant for adults, they have to be careful not to veer into kiddie territory.  It's tricky when collaborating with, say, the likes of Disney, and sometimes it goes a bit juvenile.  But other times brands pull it off well, and Paul & Joe has consistently been able to elevate themes and characters we usually associate with childhood.  This is the case with their latest collection, which features Looney Tunes favorites Tweety and Sylvester along with infamous cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry.  While I'm not the biggest fan of either of these - I wasn't really into Looney Tunes as a kid, and if Tom and Jerry were on before school I'd watch them on occasion but definitely wasn't obsessed - I still thought the collection was Museum-worthy because Paul & Joe did another great job making such things seem perfectly acceptable for a grown-up to own.  :)

Paul & Joe Warner Bros. collab - Looney Tunes/Tom and Jerry

Set against Paul & Joe's signature chrysanthemums, Tweety and Sylvester appear a little more refined than how we're used to seeing them while still engaging in their usual hijinks.

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Tom and Jerry also partake in their typical shenanigans (Tom luring Jerry with a chunk of cheese), but are also depicted, appropriately enough, playing with makeup. 

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry compact

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry compact

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry lipstick case

I love this little detail on the lipstick cap.

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry lipstick case

The Looney Tunes makeup collection isn't completely out of left field, as it's basically an extension of the Warner Bros. collab from Paul & Joe's Sister line.

Paul & Joe Sister - Tom and Jerry(images from paulandjoe.us)

The Looney Tunes collection was even more extensive and included characters other than Sylvester and Tweety.

Paul & Joe Sister - Looney Tunes

Paul & Joe Sister - Looney Tunes

At first glance I thought the print on this dress was the same as the one on the compact, but if you look closely you can see Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.

Paul & Joe Sister Looney Tunes dress

There was also a men's capsule Looney Tunes collection.

Paul & Joe men's Looney Tunes collection
(images from paulandjoe.us)

Anyway, my only complaint was that none of the Tom and Jerry scenes featured the fancy white cat.  From what I remember watching as a kid, there was this super glam lady cat that Tom had a crush on.  I don't think she had a name but I loved her!  I think my obsession with long eyelashes was influenced in part from this very chic kitty. 

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat(image from dreamsofawardrobe.blogspot.com)

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat

This image of her doing her nails, for example, would have been perfect.

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat
(image from youtube.com)

What do you think?  Did you pick up anything from this collection?