Curator's corner

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?

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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?

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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.  :)

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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

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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?

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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!

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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?

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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?


Curator's Corner, 5/14/2017

CC logoHello and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms!  If you're not a mom I hope you're having a lovely Sunday.  Unfortunately I am not...our living situation has not improved so we continue to actively look for new Museum headquarters, my 3rd chemical peel went badly (resulted in scabby, oozing wounds, which didn't occur with the first 2 peels - no idea what happened this time), and work has really picked up and will be busy till the end of June.  So things might get a little quiet around here since work stress and house hunting = me having no energy/time left to blog.  Anyway, I'll do my best to keep posting.  And to stop complaining.  ;)

- Here's a nice little read on cosmetics and personal hygiene products in ancient Egypt

- It's always surprising to me how little the cosmetics industry is regulated, which is why I was intrigued by this new bill

- And now for the crazy fads from the past 2 weeks:  pizza slice, "shine line" and mother-of-pearl hair are having a moment, brow art continues full speed ahead, and I have to say I'm digging this new eye makeup trend, remarkably impractical though it is.

- Racked highlights the growing population of recovering makeup addicts.  I can't say I'll ever be a part of their group, but it's good to know they're there.  (I was actually aware of the Makeup Rehab reddit previously since the Museum's very first in-person visitor is a member and told me all about it.)

- I've had my issues with Dove's campaigns before, but this is a new level of dumb.  Equally stupid is this new lipstick "hack" - an easier, more accurate way to determine what a lipstick will actually look like on your lips (and for you to see whether it's flattering) is swatching it on your fingertips.  Finally, when will it end??

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, the frontman of one of the decade's most prominent bands finished his Ph.D.  I was also super excited about the new season of Twin Peaks...until I read this article indicating that at least 3 characters aren't coming back.  (Two of these absences are due to the fact that the actors who played them have passed away since the show's original run - so sad!)

- A little art history fun.  Also, if this can get funding, surely my museum can.

- Makeup Museum staff's worst nightmare.

- LOL.

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Curator's Corner, 5/2/2017

CC logoA Curator's Corner on a Tuesday?  Sure, why not.  I'm usually late with this feature anyway and end up backdating it, but this weekend was terrible - I'll spare you my whining but suffice it to say that Museum headquarters may have to move soon - so I'm posting this link roundup even later. I hope you enjoy regardless of its tardiness. :)

- Here's a really interesting piece on makeup hoarding and addiction that identified the difference between a hobby and compulsive buying.  I maintain that while I own much more makeup than the average person, I'm not a hoarder since I keep an inventory, regularly clean out my stash and genuinely enjoy everything I buy.  Right?  Right. #denial

- Racked also had an article on Republic Nail's Frida Kahlo polishes.  I was so pleased to see a shout-out to the Museum's post on the topic, but still kinda wished they had interviewed me since, well really, who has more expertise discussing the intersection of makeup and art?  Oh well.

- As you know I can't get enough of flash-in-the-pan fads.  In the past 2 weeks barbed wire brows have replaced feather brows, geode nails are the new geode highlights, lips take on a marbled look, and for some reason butt glitter has migrated upwards to boob glitter.

- Meanwhile, the unicorn frappuccino mania has spilled over into the beauty sphere, with nails and hair inspired by the limited edition Starbucks drink.  The drink may be gone now but the unicorn beauty craze is still going strong - even guys are getting their unicorn magic on.

- Speaking of guys, just when we thought we had reached peak crazy makeup applicator, one girl put part of her boyfriend's nether regions to cosmetic use.  (Link NSFW, obviously).  It's stunts like these that make me appreciate beauty tutorial parodies all the more.

- Happy (belated) 420.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, I greatly enjoyed the oral histories of both Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and Austin Powers, along with this write-up of one of my favorite Yo La Tengo albums.  All three turned 20.  In related news, I. Am. So. Old.

- I love me some bubbly, but bubbly with glitter is even better.

- More beverage fun: I was initially kind of annoyed about the aforementioned unicorn frappuccino since there was no mermaid frap, but there is!  I really really want one, especially since it sounds like it would be way yummier than the unicorn one (it apparently tasted like Sweet Tarts so I definitely wouldn't have liked it) but I hate the thought of annoying the crap out of the barista

What's been catching your eye?

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