Curator's corner

Curator's Corner, 11/12/2017

CC logoYou might be wondering at this point why I bother attempting to keep Curator's Corner going, given that I always end up back dating it.  Even though I can never post this recurring feature on time, I still feel the need to continue because it's a good way for me to stay on top of beauty trends and news - it's just easier, in my strange little mind, to keep track of such things this way.  So here are, as usual, some very late links. 

- Here's a belated 11th (!) blog-iversary shout-out to A Touch of Blusher!  May she keep blogging for many more years.

- Bust had a fascinating piece on what Victorian ladies used to keep their hair in place.

- Far be it for me to blame the victim, but I thought it was common knowledge to never, ever, EVER test cosmetics on any part of your face.  Hands and arms only, people. 

- The latest crazy trends making the rounds were brow heart cut-outs, Lacroix beverage-inspired hair color and some rather unappealing and surprisingly realistic-looking pimple nail art.  One trendy item I did like was this mock Stranger Things-inspired palette. I have so many ideas along these lines, I wish I had Photoshop skills to make mock-ups!

- Meanwhile, companies are coming up with even more extreme products such as whiskey-scented deodorant and a KFC-scented bath bomb. I'm eternally grateful the latter is only available in Japan, as it sounds even more gross than the nail polish.

- Like makeup destruction videos, these clips of people cutting up LUSH bubble bars make me upset rather than soothed.

- I can't believe no one thought of this before.

The random:

- As with makeup, we're seeing an awful lot of food novelties - glitter cappuccinos seem to be the new foam art, while Pepsi has introduced a salted caramel flavor as well as a cake flavor, which, like the KFC bath bomb, is Japan-exclusive. 

- This photography/art project seems like a more involved version of one of my favorite Instagram accounts

- In '90s nostalgia, congrats are in order for the "Bee Girl" star of Blind Melon's video for their 1993 hit "No Rain".  But what's even more exciting is that Bikini Kill reunited for the first time in 20 years, something I would have given my eye teeth to see (along with their original performances, of course).

- Pineapple fiend that I am, I'm totally on board with this new holiday decorating trend and plan on adding it to our decor this year. :)

How have you been?  Are you gearing up for the holidays?





Curator's Corner, 10/29/2017

CC logoIt's the final Curator's Corner of October, which means soon the Museum will be in holiday makeup mode - so much good stuff this year!  In the meantime enjoy these links.  

- Bust had a nice little history of lipstick, while Bustle discussed how war shaped makeup usage and trends.  Speaking of trends, there was also a piece on the return of the full-coverage foundation, which I really liked since I'm definitely a full-coverage gal - none of that tinted moisturizer/BB cream BS for me.

- The woman who coined "on fleek" not only had the phrase recognized by Merriam-Webster (online, anyway), she's starting her own beauty line.

- You would think after the most recent Dove advertising disaster other big companies would be more mindful of race, but no.  And they're still oblivious to the fact that women, you know, get older, which you can read more about in a two-part post by Caroline Hirons.

- Is anyone really surprised that this product was a total fraud?  Meanwhile, Allure reveals how fake beauty products make their way to mainstream retailers.

The random:

- As soon as I saw this shirt come down the Dior spring 2018 runway, I knew I had to get my hands on it no matter how ridiculously overpriced because it's the title of my all-time favorite art history essay and I was positively delighted to see it recognized in the world of fashion.  The pioneering feminist art historian who wrote it had an unbelievably powerful influence on the entire discipline.  On a personal note, she was partially responsible for my feminist awakening and completely re-shaped how I look at art.  All of this is a long-winded way of saying, goodbye and thank you, Linda Nochlin.

- On a lighter note, I can't stop laughing at this Instagram account celebrating the most hideous design you can imagine. 

- In '90s nostalgia, a slew of movies ranging from the great to not-so-great turned 20, along with Natalie Imbruglia's hit "Torn".  And after 25 years, are you still "master of your domain?"

- In addition to holiday makeup releases, there's a lot of good TV to binge on.  Besides a new show from the ever-wacky Amy Sedaris, obviously I'll be devouring Season 2 of Stranger Things.  Pop culture junkie that I am, I've been greatly enjoying the roundups of all the '80s references in both the first and second season.  I'm also looking forward to the second season of another great Netflix show the husband discovered about a month ago.  If the trailer doesn't look interesting to you, I have two words to get you to watch:  Talking. Pugs.

How are you?  Any fun Halloween plans?




Curator's Corner, 10/15/2017

CC logoEven later than usual, but here are some links.

- I'm starting the Halloween spookiness early by including this roundup of terrifying beauty treatments.  I had heard of some but not all (lard hair pomade, anyone?)

- We might have scoffed and ridiculed the downright dangerous beauty fads of yore, but this photography series points out the absurdity of some of the devices we use today.  At least they're not toxic/deadly...that we know of.

- Silly brow trends continue to dominate the beauty sphere, including brows in the shape of lightning bolts, ponytails and Nike swooshes.  I believe the craziness has now inspired even more facial hair wackiness like these nostril hair extensions

- Despite the glory that is Fenty makeup, there still aren't many foundation shades readily accessible and affordable for women of color.  And don't get me started on yet another shameful Dove ad.  I'm glad the model in the commercial didn't feel victimized, but changing black skin to white skin via soap is a racist advertising technique that literally dates back to the late 1800s.

- Glad someone finally said it.

- Brilliant!

The random:

- There is much '90s nostalgia to be had.  Belly announces a crowdfunding campaign for a new album, a reunion of the ever-hilarious Kids in the Hall might be in store, and L.A. Confidential celebrated its 20th anniversary.  Meanwhile, an article at the Guardian reflects on why the '90s was the best decade for movies.  But I saved the best milestone for last:  Bikini Kill's self-titled debut album was released 25 years ago on October 9.  I didn't know about them or Riot Grrrl back then, but discovering their music years later was life-changing for me.

- I swear I'm completely in sync with Scandinavian home trends.  I was doing hygge long before I even knew the word for it when the trend exploded last year, and for the past couple of years I've been desperately trying to keep the Museum's collection neat and just try to declutter more generally.  This is not because I'm bothered by my crap sitting around but because I don't want anyone to have to deal with it if I get hit by a bus.  It's less of a fear of death and more of a fear of being a burden on people once I'm gone; I'm enough of a nuisance alive, and I figure trying to clear out all my stuff after I'm dead would be even annoying, so I've been forever trying to come up with a firm plan for the Museum's collection (which would be in addition to my will and 5-page accompanying memo - yes, I am a chronic worrier) but also get rid of as much stuff as possible while I can.  Turns out, pre-death tidying is known as "dostadning" (literally "death cleaning").  KonMari never worked for me, so I'm definitely buying the death cleaning book when it comes out in January...if I'm still alive, of course.

- On a less morbid note, I'm hoping to get up to NYC in December to see this new MoMA show.  Even though I haven't seen it, I can tell you that one of the featured items is considered a makeup classic...but I will save how I know that until my exhibition review.  ;)

What's going on with you?  Are you enjoying fall thus far?

























Curator's Corner, 9/24/2017

CC logoAh, the first Curator's Corner of fall 2017. 

- Racked had an interesting piece on the GWP, although I think they leave out the most obvious reason it still endures: people just love free stuff, even if they're not going to use it.

- Adored this interview with "Mother".  (insert heart-eye emoji here)

- Trending: Bratz doll inspired makeup, flare highlighting, negative space brows and glass skin.  And for a little dose of creepiness (Halloween is coming, after all) check out this, um, hairy manicure

- If that wasn't enough you can take a gander at the world's longest finger nails and longest eyelashes. Thankfully they do not belong to the same person.

- Nothing will ever replace mermaids in terms of my favorite fictional creature-inspired makeup, but I did get a chuckle from Jezebel's competition and eventual winner. 

The random:

- Speaking of mermaids, an octopus "city" was just discovered.  I bet mermaids hang out there a lot...and also take naps with jellyfish.

- On the art front, a museum devoted to street art is opening in Berlin, and YSL is getting not one but two museums.

- Move over #PSL, there's a new fall latte in town.  (I can't wait to try it!)

What's been catching your eye lately?


Curator's Corner, 9/10/2017

CC logoSome long overdue links. 

- Racked had an interesting history of makeup during the Cold War, while this fearless woman painstakingly recreated lip colors based on historical recipes completely by hand.  Neat!

- I'm loving this beautiful eyelash art.  Totally impractical but so pretty to look at. 

- Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Rihanna's new line dropped yesterday to rave reviews and applause for its commitment to diversity - the collection was clearly developed to meet the needs of non-white women, as evidenced by its 40 (!) shades of foundation.  And let's hear it for Cover FX, who just launched their "Nude Is Not Beige" campaign, along with Mented's new glosses.  While these are great leaps forward for an industry that has always left women of color by the wayside, L'Oreal still managed to move backwards...but Rihanna may save the day again

- Speaking of L'Oreal, the founder has quite a sordid history that I wasn't aware of until now. 

- Sorry, Feministing, but I'm with Jezebel regarding this author who claims that makeup is a waste of time.

- Now onto lighter fare!  Brow "trends", if you can even call them that, have really gotten out of control: from foil and braided brows to squiggle brows (which managed to migrate down the face to becoming squiggle lips), people are inventing ever weirder ways to adorn their brows.  Fortunately makeup artist Huda Kattan is here to poke gentle fun at them.

- Other crazes include inner eye strobing and butterfly eyes, both of which I think are quite pretty.  Less so is taco eye makeup, but it's fun nevertheless.  Also, the glitter fad is still going strong. I must say I think people really need to stop putting it into every orifice.  What's next, glitter armpits?  Oh wait...

- I still don't really understand the ASMR concept, which is why these lipstick destruction videos are the exact opposite of soothing to me.

- I'm down for PSL-scented beauty products, but I draw the line at deodorant.  *shudder*

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, we have plenty to celebrate, including the 20th anniversary of Ally McBeal as well as Netflix, along with Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping".  Going back even earlier, Def Comedy Jam will be revived for its 25th anniversary, and Right Said Fred's 1992 hit "I'm Too Sexy" somehow ended up mixed into a new Taylor Swift song.

- Not all the nostalgia is pop culture-related: check out this well-preserved house featuring some quintessential '90s interior design.

- Possibly the only thing that makes me feel older than '90s milestones is aughts milestones.  Can you believe the hashtag turned 10?  (It's taken me about that long to stop referring to it as a pound sign.) 

- This new poster museum sounds pretty cool.  And I wish I could see this exhibition of exquisite Chinese boxes, some of which were used to hold cosmetics.

How are you?  Are you ready for fall?  I miss summer, but I did enjoy my first PSL yesterday.  :)


Curator's Corner, 8/20/2017

CC logoLinkily dinks.

- Nice package...and one, no doubt, that wouldn't raise any copyright issues with another brand.

- Here's a great little read on cosmetic chemist Hazel Bishop and the quest to create a truly long-lasting lipstick.

- As a huge Pat McGrath fan I am beside myself for the release of a new permanent collection.  I'm not happy about summer ending but this is definitely something to look forward to.

- Even as the organic beauty product market thrives, women of color are still being disproportionately exposed to harmful chemicals in beauty products. 

- Speaking of racist beauty standards...seriously?  It's 2017.  And speaking of harmful ingredients, this is your friendly (er, scary) reminder to buy only from authorized retailers.

- Bath bomb makers are getting more creative by the second.

LOL. #truth

The random:

- What are your favorite movies from 20 years ago?  Check out the AV Club's picks if you need a refresher.  In other '90s news, the "trial of the century" is getting a pop-up museum.

- If anyone should have their own official Pantone color, it's Prince.

- Some good art links:  an essay on the women of Dada, a new Yayoi Kusama museum, and in honor of the eclipse, this artist profile

What's new with you?







Curator's Corner, 8/6/2017

CC logoLinks, links, get your links here!

- Loved this history of nail polish over at Racked...and I can't wait for this new book it mentions (I'm currently reading her other one.)  This history of the hair dryer was also interesting.

- Think I'll skip the "lobe strobe", but upside down makeup actually seems reasonable.

- Recent beauty fails involve, of all things, a dead fly and a maxi pad.

- There are swatches, and then there is swatch art.

- A teenage makeup artist revisits the '90s on her eyelids, while The Cut reflects briefly on the decade's popular "butt cut" for men.

- Not sure how I feel about these new Sephora stores.  On the one hand, they're good for anyone who feels overwhelmed or intimidated by the selection and doesn't fully understand their skin and makeup needs.  On the other hand, I feel like it would be super annoying for someone like me, who wants to be left completely alone while shopping - more in-depth services are not what I'm after.

- Also not sure about this debacle.  My gut instinct is to tell the Kardashians to back off, but...their logos aren't really similar? I don't know.

The random:

- So much '90s nostalgia!  ABC's original TGIF lineup returns to Hulu, both Titanic and this one-hit wonder turn 20, and the stars of the I Love the '90s music tour share their thoughts on the decade.  I also came across the history of Good Burger and the rather sad story of the actor in Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" video.

- Nostalgia isn't limited to the '90s, however:  early aughts fashion trends are being revived, and there's going to be an exhibition on pop culture of the 2000s (brought to you by the same folks who launched the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding exhibition). 

- Smithsonian Magazine briefly discusses how sunbathing became a fad in the 1930s...thought it was a nice little follow up to my post on vintage tanning product ads

- Made me smile.

How are you doing?




Curator's Corner, 7/23/2017

CC logoThe bi-weekly link roundup.

- Jane at British Beauty Blogger eloquently shuts down the issue of age discrimination in the beauty industry.

- Makeup artists continue vying to be the next social media star with ever more (literally) colorful ideas, between this teen who paints tiny celebrity portraits and this artist who creates masterpieces from stretch marks and other "flaws".  (We've seen this before but with glitter.)

- If I spent $13K on neck cream and then found out I'd also need a $15,000 machine to accompany it, I'd probably sue too...but then again, for that amount of money you could have surgery or other treatments, which would be way more efficient than a cream anyway.

- Forget suing, I'd KILL anyone who deliberately destroyed my makeup.  Not funny, jerk.

- Also not funny is the fact that Sephora is basically forcing you to use your points.  Meh.

- Not sure what the difference is between 4D and holographic hair, but cereal hair looks like fun.

- Another product for your lady parts has been launched...I wouldn't wear it, but I'm glad to see that at least it's not harmful like wasp nests and glitter.

- Please, let it be true!

The random:

- Dying to see this exhibition at Loyola University in Chicago...stay tuned for a Makeup as Muse post on this artist!  In other art news, have you tried texting SF MoMA?  It's a lot of fun!

- There's been much exciting junk food news, including dark chocolate Twix and and these new Lays flavors.

- On the pop culture front, I'm excited for the return of both Stranger Things and American Horror Story.  How about you?

I hope everyone's having a relaxing and enjoyable summer!



Curator's Corner, 7/9/2017

CC logoLinks...late as usual. 

I'm questioning this study that says the average woman will supposedly spend nearly a quarter million dollars on beauty maintenance during her lifetime.  I don't think my spending will ever come close to that and I invest way more in beauty products and services than the average woman.

- Still, as pretty privilege is a very real thing, maybe it's true women funnel as much cash as the study claims into trying to look good in order to reap the rewards that being attractive brings.  I'm glad this article was written because it always seemed to me that the "beautiful people" have a much easier time in life - turns out it's not my imagination.

- Unless you've been living under a rock you know that NARS (or rather its parent company Shiseido) has decided it will be sold in China, which means it loses its cruelty-free status as China mandates animal testing.  It would be hypocritical of me to boycott NARS and get rid of all their products I have in the collection/my personal stash, but I will say just from a business perspective I don't think this is a wise decision.  The industry is moving away from animal testing, not towards it - any cosmetics company that wants to remain competitive should be cruelty-free and/or vegan.  What's almost as bad is NARS' response (or lack thereof) to the backlash.

- Here's a much happier confluence of animals and makeup to cleanse the palate.

- Macabre though it is, I enjoyed the Smithsonian's history of poisonous makeup.  More fun, recent makeup history includes this round-up of the original home pages for online beauty stores.

- Oh, social media, what trends will you come up with next?  The past couple weeks have given us sushi salmon hair (not sure how this is different than pink champagne or rose gold hair) and ocean hair.  Meanwhile, the 100-layer craze is still making the rounds.  We also have a manicure that goes nicely with the Museum's summer exhibition theme.

- Yet another item to add to the growing list of things not to insert into your lady parts. Seriously, WTF??

- I think this new perfume might be even weirder than the cat belly fragrance we saw in the last installment of Curator's Corner.

- Christmas in July: we got the scoop on Shu's holiday collection!  I didn't play video games much as a kid, but Super Mario was one I definitely remember.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, Lilith Fair celebrated its 20th anniversary and Radiohead's OK Computer also turned 20.  Plus, the triumphant return of '90s beverages continues with Zima.

- Loved this Vice piece highlighting a new documentary on professional mermaids.  In related news, I was watching this recent episode of Viceland's States of Undress where I learned that Thailand is home to the world's highest rate of gender confirmation surgeries.  This fact jogged my memory of reading about a mermaid cafe that had opened there a few weeks ago.  Given the significance of mermaids for trans women, I'm not sure it's a coincidence. Pretty interesting, yes?

- I'm embarrassed to admit I still don't fully understand the concept of a podcast, but this new one sounds awesome.

- Play with your food:  This pizza bikini is not a good idea for me, since I'd eat it and end up naked (although seriously, who the hell is going to pay $10k for that?!)  More my speed are these adorable plushie cakes

What's going on with you?



Curator's Corner, 6/25/2017: hit reset

CC logoWhew.  As you can imagine it's been pretty busy offline, so I'm hoping to hit the proverbial reset button on this little blog and get back to posting more regularly.  In the meantime, here are some links from oh, the past month - I got so far behind, but I think they're still relevant.  :) 

- I lamented on Twitter about the fact that holographic mascara doesn't exist, but I guess these LED eye lashes are the next best thing. 

- A fashion curator explains why some pieces belong in a museum.  I think her arguments apply to a cosmetics museum as well, yes?

- As much as the industry tries to be more culturally/socially aware and inclusive, things like this and this still happen.  Boggles my mind.  Also bummed that two of my favorite blogs have folded.

- When I was in school I worked my ass off to get the highest grades possible so the idea of cheating doesn't sit well with me, but I gotta hand it to this kid for his creativity.

- Fashionista and Racked have some interesting reads on the beauty box subscription trend and the wastefulness of cosmetics packaging, respectively.

- Contrary to popular belief and much to the delight of people like me who love slathering on the makeup, heavy application actually has some skincare benefits.

- The latest wacky beauty products to hit the market include rosé scented deodorant, pizza bath bombs, and perfume that smells like a cat's belly (I guess it's similar to Demeter's Kitten Fur but more specific?)  More questionable and possibly harmful are these "treatments" for your nether regions. #newlow

- More beauty craziness: Instagram fads include lip art using toilet paper or bugs, watermelon makeup, and tons of new hair trends from "Starburst" coloring and confetti hair to marbling.  Finally, using soft drinks for various beauty purposes seems to be the next big thing.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, Alanis Morrisette's hit album Jagged Little Pill is being turned into a musical, Clearly Canadian is back on supermarket shelves, and three hit songs celebrated their 20th birthdays.

- Happy 30th to the gif!  The interwebz wouldn't be the same without them.

- Desperately want to check out this museum in Berlin.  This one, not so much.

- Anyone else watching the new Twin Peaks?  I don't have Showtime but my parents do, so I managed to see the first 3 episodes when I visited them a few weeks ago...but now I'm seriously considering getting a Showtime subscription to continue watching - I'm hooked!

How have you been?