Trends

What's in store for 2017

Part of my duties as a Makeup Museum curator is keeping track of the seemingly hundreds of trends that pop up throughout a given year.  I do sort of track them via Curator's Corner and prefer to do an end-of-year roundup, but I just didn't have it in me for 2016.  Instead, I'm going to play psychic and attempt to predict what's ahead for 2017, or at least what I want to see this year.  I'm hopeful that parody videos are the death knell for contouring, but unfortunately I think my other least favorite trends that were all the rage in 2016 - liquid lipstick and "athleisure" makeup - will be continued throughout 2017.  Because I'm immensely sick of those already, I'm only going to explore the continuing trends I'm actually looking forward to.  ;)

1.  We haven't seen the last of weird lip colors. 

A ton of odd lip colors arrived in 2016, most of which I purchased (and got brave enough to wear in public!)  I don't want to spend too much time reporting on the unconventional lip color trend since I've already covered it and plan to provide an update to my original post in the next few months, but I will say that strange colors are still going strong.  I just hope they're not only in liquid lipstick form, as we're seeing from Kat Von D and Urban Decay.

Urban Decay liquid lipstick
(image from @urbandecay)

2.  2016 = year of the cushion compact; 2017 = year of the primer.

It seemed like every makeup company released a cushion product of some kind last year.  This year primers are the must-get-to-market item.  Primers have been coming and going for years, but 2017 seems to be a whole new era of this humble necessity.  Urban Decay and NARS are both revamping their primer lineup, while Becca and Dior are both releasing new primers as part of their spring collections.  Smashbox is also coming out with new eye primers.

NARS primers
(image from chicprofile.com)

3. Glitter and rainbows will stick around.

Glitter seemingly covered everything in 2016, from jeans and sneakers to grout. (Um, I think I need to re-grout my bathroom, stat.)  But where it really shined was the beauty sphere, where we saw it on eyeshair, and, thanks to the genius of Pat McGrath's Lust 004 kits, the lips.  It even covered the whole face, which you could apply with glittery makeup brushes.  Guessing from Stila's spring 2017 liquid glitter shadows and Jerrod Blandino of Too-Faced dropping hints about a glitter liner, I don't think this trend is going anywhere soon.

Stila Magnificent Metals spring 2017
(image from musingsofamuse.com)

Rainbows also colored our world in 2016, (so many rainbow highlighters!) along with their iridescent and holographic cousins.  So far the trend seems to be continuing with Shiseido's new rainbow face powders (which are actually 100 years old - more about that in an upcoming post), NYX's duo-chrome highlighters and yet another rainbow highlighter.

Shiseido 7 Color Powders Revival Centennial Edition
(image from shiseido.com)

4. Along those lines, mermaids are the new unicorns.

While mermaid blankets, news of the Splash remake and several companies' mermaid-inspired eye shadows all somewhat bolstered support for these magical creatures in 2016, the year primarily belonged to unicorns.  Not one but two companies introduced lip colors named Unicorn Tears, while unicorn brushes and the not-so-appealingly-named Unicorn Snot glitter gel also helped carry the trend (along with the holographic/iridescent/glitter trend), not to mention unicorn horns and eyeliner.  There was even a unicorn cafe (it's not clear whether they served unicorn hot chocolate.) But I'm predicting - okay, I just REALLY want it to happen - that mermaid beauty will take center stage in 2017.  If these brushes are any indication, mermaids will finally have their day in the beauty sun.  Ironically, the company responsible for these is named Unicorn Lashes - obviously the same one that released the aforementioned unicorn brushes.

Mermaid brushes
(image from popsugar.com)

There's also the rainbow highlighter I mentioned above, which for once is named Mermaid and not Unicorn something-or-other.  :)

Lottie London Mermaid highlighter(image from @mylottielondon)

What do you think of these?  Any other predictions?

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Mutual attraction: magnets and beauty

Here's a brief report on an item that's been attracting (sorry, couldn't resist) the attention of cosmetic companies:  the humble magnet. Magnets are already used in fairly basic ways for cosmetics - many brands offer customizable palettes and you can easily DIY your own storage board.  And who could forget the great magnetic nail polish craze of 2011-2012, a fad Lancôme pioneered a few years prior? But in the past year or so beauty is going next level with the use of magnets in makeup and skincare. 

In 2015 SK-II introduced their Magnetic Eye Wand, which, when used in conjunction with their Stempower Eye Cream, "induces a micro-electromagnetic field that further enhances the absorption of ingredients into the skin."  It's a similar concept to Clarisonic's Opal eye brush, except it uses magnetic force instead of a special brush to increase absorption.  I have no idea whether it's actually more effective than just using one's finger to apply, but it's certainly novel.  SK-II might really be onto something, as a slew of facial masks continued the harnessing of magnetic technology this year.  These masks all work the same in that they contain iron particles that can only be removed with a magnet.  They look like a lot of fun, and there is at least some scientific validity to their efficacy: "The process of applying the magnet over the mask creates a low-grade electromagnetic current, which may help rejuvenate the skin while the mask is removed," notes Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.

Magnets also made their way to makeup in 2016.  Pur Minerals introduced their Fully Charged mascara, which contains an "evolutionary positively charged matrix that attracts to each individual lash to strengthen, thicken, lengthen and separate for unparalleled performance."  A few months later, a company called One Two Cosmetics devised the first magnetic false lashes - no fussing with glue! And more recently, MAC dreamed up a magnetized loose eye shadow that not only retains its shape in its container, thereby making it impossible to spill, but also cling to your lids like a cream shadow.  Finally, Armani has their newly released Lip Magnet liquid lipsticks, which, while they don't actually contain magnetized particles, the fact that Armani chose to include "magnet" in the product name is telling.

Magnetic beauty

  1. One Two magnetic false lashes
  2. Milky Dress Black Luster Mask
  3. Seacret M4 Magnetic Mud Mask
  4. Armani Lip Magnet liquid lipstick
  5. Dr. Brandt Magnetight Age Defier Mask
  6. MAC Spellbinder Eyeshadow
  7. Pur Cosmetics Fully Charged Mascara
  8. Lancer Younger Revealing Mask

What do you think?  Have you tried any of these?  I own one of MAC's Spellbinder shadows but have yet to try it on my lids (I did dip my finger into the pot and to my amazement it really did stay the same shape!)


Trending: "active beauty"

I was browsing Sephora online, as I do nearly every day, and spotted a brand called Sweat Cosmetics.  Their tagline is "developed by athletes for active women," and apparently the brand is the brainchild of 5 Olympic athletes.  However, my gut reaction upon seeing this at Sephora was, we're supposed to wear makeup while we work out?  Naming a cosmetics brand Sweat seems to imply that we're expected to look good even while exercising.  While the brand's description insists that "Sweat empowers women and embraces beauty" I can't help but be mildly annoyed.  I couldn't quite put my finger on why and decided to do a little more investigating.  Turns out, makeup designed to be worn during exercise has been trending pretty strongly in the past 5 years or so.  Long-wear, waterproof and sweat-proof makeup are nothing new, of course, but I am intrigued by the recent uptick in brands that produce makeup specifically for working out.  And by intrigued I mean I'm not sure whether this is a step forward or backward for women. 

A few months prior to Sweat's launch, in early 2016 beautybox subscription service Birchbox announced an in-house beauty line called Arrow Cosmetics.  According to this article, Arrow consists of "makeup, skincare and body products that are lightweight, long-wearing and refreshing - designed to enhance natural beauty during (and after) physical activity."  In 2015, British brand Eyeko released their "sport" eye products, a waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and the same year Bobbi Brown introduced her #LONGWEARLIFEPROOF campaign, in which 4 professional female athletes - an Olympic skiier, an Olympic snowboarder, a world record holding base jumper and a professional surfer - used GoPro cameras to record their workouts while wearing the brand's long-wear eye products to demonstrate they could withstand the most extreme activity.  Bobbi Brown's executive director of global communications Alexis Rodiguez told Advertising Age, "[The] idea is if these athletes can use these products and push their limits, it's essentially life-proof for all women."

Going slightly further back, in spring 2013 Tarte collaborated with famed synchronized swimming group Aqualillies to create a truly waterproof makeup line featuring a dizzying array of products that would hold up through hours of swimming.  Later that year Katherine Cosmetics was launched. Founded by Katherine "Annie" Finch, the brand offers a collection called K-sport, a "lifestyle solution-driven collection of compact beauty products designed for active, women-on-the-go, living real life." (Interestingly, from time to time the brand highlights a professional athlete to be their "K-sport girl".  Currently it's a golfer...I'd be curious to see how these K-sport products perform for, say, a marathoner.)  Even as far back as 2005 the notion of makeup made just for exercising in existed with the founding of Rae Cosmetics, a line of mineral cosmetics "specifically created for women with active lifestyles...created to take the heat, like the women who wear it".

Active beauty

  1. Sweat Cosmetics Translucent Mineral Powder
  2. Katherine Cosmetics K-Sport Wow Stick
  3. Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara
  4. Tarte Aqualillies Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette
  5. Rae Cosmetics Face and Body Bronzer
  6. Arrow Cosmetics Cooling Cheek Tint

While not directly falling under the category of active beauty, there has also been a small increase in athletic-themed makeup.  Sonia Kashuk's Knockout face powder from this past spring was embossed with a boxing glove, while Kiko introduced their Beauty Games collection this summer in honor of the summer 2016 Olympics.  And MAC's upcoming It's a Strike collection features a bowling ball-emblazoned highlighter.  Even though these are, at their core, beauty-centered items, I find it interesting that their design is more sports-inspired than we've seen previously.

Sonia Kashuk Knock Out Beauty Skin Glow
(image from musingsofamuse.com)

Kiko Beauty Games collection promo

Kiko Beauty Games bronzer(images from kikocosmetics.com)

MAC It's a Strike Pearlmatte Face Powder(image from chicprofile.com)

Finally, there was also a fairly unique collaboration between Reebok and Face Stockholm.  While the output was sneakers and not beauty products, it's still interesting to see a cosmetics line partnering with an athletic-wear company.

Face Stockholm x Reebok(image from reebok.com)

So what's causing this seemingly newfangled intersection of makeup and physical activity?  One of the factors may be the athleisure trend in fashion.  Beauty and fashion are always closely intertwined, so active beauty may be the cosmetic equivalent of the laid-back yet still tailored clothing one can wear while doing yoga, running errands, or even social occasions.  Notes Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox, about the new Arrow line, "We were inspired by the trend of athleisure in fashion, and felt that the same elements could apply to beauty—high-performance products that help you look your best, without looking like you are trying too hard. It's that effortless, ready-for-anything beauty that so many of us are often looking for...of course we loved that we could pioneer this concept in the beauty category and we worked hard to quickly bring the idea to market. The goal with ARROW is to provide subtle color and practical skincare and body products that make women feel fresh and confident wherever their busy days take them."  And Sweat Cosmetics has partnered with the grand poobah of athleisure, Lululemon, for special promotional events.  Indeed, as more women try to juggle fitness routines in ever-busier schedules, makeup that can transition seamlessly from one situation to another is becoming a staple.  As InStyle points out about the athleisure trend, "The need for everyday comfort, too, plays a role, especially for anyone trying to work fitness into an already overtaxed schedule. Who wants to haul an extra outfit to work?"  Along those lines, most women can't be bothered to switch out their makeup one or more times a day, and active beauty fulfills the demand for makeup expressly made for exercise.  According to a 2012 survey in the UK, 7 out of 10 women apply makeup before going to the gym, while Cosmo and the New York Times have both published guides on the best makeup for physical activity.  While I still say there are plenty of existing products out there that would stand up to hearty workouts, Sweat CEO Courtney Jones Louks insists, "We know first-hand that there have not been products created specifically for women who like to break a sweat.  We wanted to change that."

The second factor may be the increased attention paid to professional women athletes and their personal style.  The focus on elite female athletes is a double-edged sword, however:  while it's great that sports media is spending more air time reporting on women athletes, the other side of the coin is the never-ending commentary on, of course, the women's looks - something male athletes don't have to contend with.  In 2014 NBC skiing analyst Steve Porino received a considerable amount of backlash for his mention of female downhill skiers' makeup during the Sochi Olympics.  The responses were swift and furious; after all, would he have commented on, say, a male skier's hair gel?  And what does makeup have to do with athletic performance?  The two are not mutually exclusive.  Plus, one must keep in mind that while women athletes are getting slightly more media coverage, it's still very little compared to men's, and to make the most of it many feel pressured to wear cosmetics.  Claire Cohen explains in an article for the Telegraph, "The first thing to say, is there can be little doubt that sportswomen are, by and large, wearing more make-up – and are generally more concerned with their appearance – than ever before...with multi-million pound sponsorship deals on the table and high resolution photography uploaded to the internet before the medals have been awarded, it’s little wonder. These women know they have a couple of weeks to become household names, secure media exposure – not to mention funding for their next round of training. After all, less than five percent of air time is dedicated to women in sport – and there isn’t a single woman in the Forbes list of top 50 highest-earning athletes."  What's more, women athletes are penalized for wearing makeup; it's a lose-lose situation.  Wear makeup or else risk being passed over for those ever-important endorsement deals, but if you do wear makeup you're clearly not committed to your sport, or, even worse, your sport isn't a "real" sport.  A sample of Twitter comments regarding makeup-wearing athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics include the following:  "Sorry. But if you want us to take women’s basketball seriously, please lose the heavy makeup while playing. It’s sport. Not fashion." "If women can wear earrings and makeup while playing, I question the legitimacy of the sport... #curling #Olympics2014." And this little gem: "Sorry, if the women are wearing makeup it is not a sport."  The firestorm surrounding women athletes wearing makeup surfaced again in 2015 during the women's World Cup.  For the 2016 Olympics thus far, there's been a more positive view, at least among the competitors themselves who note that they wear makeup mostly for the reason many of us do: self-expression.  So perhaps the active beauty trend is simply another response to the sexism faced by elite women athletes, as it may be perceived as a deliberate attempt to declare, once and for all, that wearing makeup while exerting oneself physically is not only totally acceptable but can even be celebrated.  As this article on the aforementioned Bobbi Brown campaign notes, "[In] giving the athletes an opportunity and platform to share their stories, the campaign also aims to celebrate the idea that female athletes do indeed care about beauty and the role that makeup plays in further boosting their confidence."

I wholeheartedly agree that wearing makeup while exercising can improve confidence and should not be a source of shame. I myself applied tinted moisturizer, tinted lip balm and curled my lashes before a marathon, not because I wanted to look acceptable in photos - I knew it would be sweated off within 15 minutes of crossing the start line - but because I was incredibly nervous and the ritual of makeup application calms me down.  However, I am slightly wary of these newer brands that promote makeup specifically for exercise.  I don't wear a stitch of makeup to hit the gym, and when I got wind of the likes of Sweat, et.al., I thought, wait, is wearing makeup to the gym something I SHOULD be doing?  It's like I almost feel pressured or expected now to wear makeup to the one place I never do. Cosmetics have been created just for this occasion, so presumably there are tons of women now wearing it for their workouts.  Will I look even more disheveled and out of place at the gym now?  Is my entire being somehow wrong for skipping makeup at the gym?  These were the thoughts running through my head when I first laid eyes on Sweat.  Obviously I came to my senses and realized I absolutely don't have to wear makeup while working out - these brands are just providing options for those that do.  But the fact they made me question myself in the first place gave me pause.  (For the record, I don't care if I remain the only person on the planet who is bare-faced while working out - the amount I sweat, coupled with the fact that my face turns a shade of red no amount of foundation or concealer could ever cover, renders makeup completely pointless.)  On the other hand, perhaps these are simply filling a new need for the 21st-century woman, and also demonstrate that one can still embrace their femininity while pushing their physical limits.  As U.S. Olympic runner Shannon Rowbury says, “You can be a strong, athletic, courageous woman and you can wear lipstick...I like being able to be all those things or try to help inspire young women to be all those things. It doesn’t have to be one or the other." 

What do you think of "active beauty"?  Do you wear makeup to work out? 

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Spring 2016 color trend

 

Pink, along with the range of hues in the rose subset, is always a popular choice for spring makeup.  But rose in spring 2016 is set apart from seasons past due to its use on eyes as well as cheeks, lips and nails to create a monochromatic look.   Whether slightly dark and moody (as in MAC's Dusky Rose palette) or sweet and romantic (as seen on the Dior and McQueen runways), rose gets a refresh this season.

Spring 2016 color trend: rose

1.  MAC Dusky Rose Eye Shadow x 9

2.  Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Layer Lipstick

3.  NARS Impassioned blush

4.  Model at Dior spring 2016 ready-to-wear show

5.  Dolce & Gabbana Rosa collection

6.  YSL Face Palette Collector

7.  Clarins Ombre Iridescente in Silver Pink

8.  Model at Alexander McQueen spring 2016 ready-to-wear show

9.  L'Oreal La Vie en Rose collection

Some more pretty looks and tips from the spring issues of my beloved magazines.  #longliveprint

InStyle March 2016

Glamour 2016

What do you think of rose, particularly as an all-over shade?  Personally, brighter pinks are more flattering with my coloring so I'm drawn to those more than rose, but I like it on others.

 


Everybody's eating makeup: A brief history of food-scented cosmetics

A few years back I explored makeup that visually resembled sweets.  But what about makeup that actually smells like desserts and other foods?  Sure, bath and body products and skincare items with foodie aromas have been popular for years, but I found it interesting that color products, i.e. items worn on the face that usually aren't scented at all or with the typical floral/herbal scents, are being made to smell like chocolate and other edible delights.  So let's take a look at when this phenomenon started and where it's headed.

The earliest evidence of flavored/scented makeup that I could find is from the late '1930s.  I'm not sure whether these lipsticks were eventually released for sale or even what brand they were, but here are some happy ladies testing them in the May 1939 issue of Popular Science.

Flavored lipstick 1939(image from blog.modernmechanix.com)

Roughly a decade later Harriet Hubbard Ayer released a clove-flavored lipstick. 

Harriet Hubbard Ayer ad,

It was followed by this mint-rose scented lipstick in 1951.

Harriet Hubbard Ayer ad, 1951
(images from ebay.com)

Slightly less sophisticated but extraordinarily popular among the teenage crowd, fruit-scented lip products really took off in the early '60s.  Cutex claims to be the first company to offer fruit-flavored lipsticks in this 1964 ad.  (You might remember this from my fruity ad round-up.)

1964 Cutex ad(image from buzzfeed.com)

Soon after, in 1971, Yardley jumped on the fruit-scented lipstick bandwagon. I also remembered this one from the fruit ad post.

Yardley ad, 1971

And in 1972, the company expanded the Lip Licks line to include dessert-inspired flavors (you might remember this ad from the Sweet Tooth exhibition.)

Yardley ad, 1972(image from flickr.com)

The foody-scented lip balm craze reached new heights in 1973, when a company named Bonne Bell introduced their Lip Smackers flavored balm.  Starting with just 3 flavors, (strawberry, green apple and lemon), the company debuted their Dr. Pepper-scented balm in 1975, and soon Lip Smackers became a staple for tweens and teens everywhere.  By 2012 the company offered 400 flavors worldwide.  (Bonne Bell was purchased by Markwins in 2015, a company that still produces Lip Smackers today sans the Bonne Bell name).

Bonne Bell ad, 1979(image from oldadvertising.blogspot.com)

Avon wanted in on the action, as evidenced by these dessert-flavored balms that were released throughout the '70s and '80s.  (I'm not sure exactly who these were being marketed to - I imagine it was mostly kids, but maybe some teenagers and adults bought them too.)

Vintage Avon Hershey's Kiss balm

Vintage Avon cookie gloss

Vintage Avon lip pomade
(images from etsy.com)

Thanks in large part to the enormously popular Lip Smackers line, other companies proceeded to try to get a piece of the teenage demographic by cranking out flavored lip products through the '80s. 

Maybelline ad, 1980
(image from liketotally80s.com)

By the early aughts, products like Philosophy's Lip Shines and On 10's vintage-inspired lip balm tins came in more upscale, less teenybopper-esque packaging and at a higher price point to appeal to a more grown-up crowd, but retained a few of the same scents as the inexpensive likes of Bonne Bell.  In 2004 Tinte Cosmetics revived popular flavored balms that were known as "Lip Lickers" and produced by a Minnesota-based company from 1977 through 2002.  In an effort to appeal to older women's nostalgic side, Tinte retained both the original sliding tin packaging and graphics.  The food-scented balm market started to achieve full saturation around this time, especially when a company named Lotta Luv began partnering with big food and beverage companies like Hershey's, Pepsi, and Dairy Queen, along with a variety of other well-known snack, candy, cereal, and chewing gum brands.  Novelty companies offering their own crazy food flavored balms soon sprung up afterwards.  By 2012 one could find balms flavored in foods ranging from Cheetos and beer to pickles and corn dogs

My hypothesis is that since foodie lip balms had officially jumped the shark with all these wacky flavors, coupled with the fact that makeup companies were only including lip balms among their scented cosmetic offerings, makeup brands had to get more creative when it came to adding fragrance to their products.  No longer were clear lip balms enough - it was time to branch out into face and eye products, along with lip products that actually contained color.  Chocolate and other desserts were still the reining favorites.  But items like Stila Lip Glazes and Becca Beach Tints, both of which offered a variety of fruity scents, as well as Benefit's peach-scented Georgia blush, also proved popular.  Some items unintentionally offered a subtle food aroma as a natural byproduct of the ingredients used, such as Bourjois's and Too-Faced's cocoa-powder based bronzers and 100% Pure's fruit-pigmented makeup line. 

Food-scented makeup, '90s and early aughts

  1. Bourjois Bronzing Powder, 2006
  2. Benefit Georgia blush, 2004*
  3. MAC Lip Glass Tastis, 2004*
  4. 100% Pure Fruit-Pigmented Mascara, ca. 2007
  5. Urban Decay XXX Slick in Cocoa, 2004*
  6. Becca Beach Tint, ca. 2006
  7. Benefit SugarBomb blush, 2009
  8. Stila Lip Glaze, ca. 1999
  9. Jane Iredale Chocoholicks lip palette, ca. 2009
  10. Too-Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer, 2009

By 2012, foodie-smelling products were becoming less novel and more expected, but this familiarity among consumers didn't seem to diminish their popularity; even chocolate-scented makeup bags made an appearance.  Additionally, as Asian brands became more visible and available to the Western world, sales of their chocolate-scented products took off as well.

Foody-scented makeup highlights, 2012-2014

  1. DuWop Haute Chocolate Lip Venom, 2014
  2. Too-Faced Chocolate Bar palette, spring 2014
  3. Love Switch Pink Brown mascara, 2012
  4. Holika Holika Dessert Time Lip Balms, 2012
  5. Etude House Chocolate Eyes, spring 2013 (it should look familiar, as it was a key exhibition piece)
  6. Makeup Revolution Death by Chocolate palette, 2014
  7. Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake, 2013
  8. Rimmel Chocolate Sweet Eyes, 2014

Face products weren't the only ones getting the food scent treatment, however.  While scented nail polishes were previously the sole domain of children, nail companies soon seized on the demand among adults for these products.  From Color Club's Pumpkin Spice Latte scented polish to Butter London's berry-scented polish remover, fingernails were now able to join in on the foodie fun.  Whether it was partially Dior's rose-scented polishes from their spring 2012 collection or the influence of Rosalyn Rosenfeld's (played by Jennifer Lawrence) vivid description of a nail polish top coat's odor in the 2013 film American Hustle, scented nail products rose to prominence in the past 5 years.  And the most popular ones smell not "like flowers, but with garbage"; rather, foodie polishes prove to be the best sellers.

Scented nail products

  1. Butter London polish remover trio, 2012 (I REALLY miss those Butter London polish removers - they were the best!!  They smelled great and worked even better.  They had another limited edition set that contained a pina colada-scented remover called Beach Bum, which I loved.)
  2. Ad for Mattese Happy Hour cocktail-scented polishes - if you can't make it out, the scents were Apple Martini, Shirley Temple, Hypnotic, Tequila Sunrise, Cosmopolitan, and Purple Passion.
  3. Ciaté Mint Choc Pot, 2015 (I think the Choc Pots are the reincarnation of Ciaté's previous foray into scented polish removers, which sucked - I wonder if the Choc Pots are any better).
  4. L.A. Colors Melon nail polish remover pads, ca. 2011
  5. Model's Own Sweet Shop Fizzy Cola Bottles, 2014 (the Sweet Shop collection is a follow up to Model's Own popular Fruit Pastel collection released the previous year)
  6. Sally Girl Vanilla scented polish, holiday 2014
  7. Revlon Parfumerie scented polish, 2013
  8. Color Club Pumpkin Spice Latte polish, ca. 2011 (this company has also released holiday-themed scented polishes)

Companies continue the foodie fad today.  Too-Faced is leading the way with a whopping 5 new food-scented products in their spring/summer 2016 lineup.  Japanese brands Lunasol and RMK both offered sweet-scented items in 2015, while Etude House built on their previous dessert-y releases with their Give Me Chocolate spring 2015 collection, a gingerbread cookie scented bronzer in their holiday 2015 collection, and strawberry-scented cream blushes and nail polishes for their spring 2016 collection.  Finally, this spring Physician's Formula gets tropical with a coconut-scented bronzer.

Foody makeup 2015-2016

  1. Etude House Give Me Chocolate collection, spring 2015
  2. Lunasol Selection de Chocolat eyes, fall 2015
  3. Too-Faced Peach palette, spring/summer 2016
  4. Too-Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette, winter/spring 2016
  5. Etude House Berry Delicious Cream Blush, spring 2016
  6. RMK Vintage Sweets collection lip glosses (flavors included Maple Syrup and Butterscotch), spring 2015
  7. Too-Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly palette, spring 2016
  8. Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer, spring 2016
  9. Too-Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette, spring 2015
  10. Lunasol Melty Chocolat lip glosses, fall 2015
  11. Too-Faced Melted Chocolate liquid lipsticks, spring 2016
  12. Etude House Gingerbread Cookie Contour Maker, holiday 2015

So, my questions are why companies are continuing to produce food-scented makeup, why we're buying it, and the significance of these items.  There's the obvious need among makeup brands to offer novel products, plus the desire to capitalize on the success of foodie bath and body lines.  Food-scented makeup is a natural expansion of the dessert-scented beauty product craze.  There's also the tactic of engaging the sense of smell as well as sight (shiny makeup in pretty colors) and touch (texture is key when creating an attractive makeup product - people love dipping their fingers in testers).  Appealing to 3 senses instead of two might make consumers more likely to buy the product.  Why simply wear a buttery-soft, chocolate-colored eye shadow when your lids could also smell like it? 

More generally, I suppose the same basic reasoning behind the allure of dessert-smelling bath and body items applies to cosmetics.  I touched briefly on why women may want to smell like chocolate, cake or other food previously in this post and in the Sweet Tooth exhibition, and there have been plenty of news articles, but the most articulate and comprehensive exploration of the topic comes from Autumn of The Beheld.  Her points regarding dessert-inspired beauty products, such as the negative implications of marketing of sweet-smelling products to grown women and the remarkable appeal they continue to maintain, carry over to food-scented makeup.  She writes, "Foodie beauty products are designed to serve as a panacea for women today: Yes’m, in the world we’ve created you have fewer management opportunities, the state can hold court in your uterus, there’s no law granting paid maternal leave in the most powerful nation on the planet, and you’re eight times more likely to be killed by your spouse than you would be if you were a man, but don’t worry, ladies, there’s chocolate body wash!...[foodie products] do smell good, after all; that’s the whole point. And they trigger something that on its face seems harmless: Part of their appeal lies in how they transport us back to an age when all we needed to be soothed was a cupcake. At the same time, they don’t actually transport us to being that age; they transport us to a simulacrum of it."  Indeed, nostalgia can be a tricky thing to navigate in this context. As with kids-themed cosmetics from brands that primarily sell to adult women, the notion of foodie makeup could be seen as an infantilizing pacifier meant to placate and distract women from serious societal issues. 

Another aspect to consider is the advertising for these products.  Today's foodie makeup isn't advertised the same way as their predecessors, who suggest these products are a good way to snag a guy.  "Could you ask for a newer, cooler way to collect men?" asks the Cutex ad.  "Kiss him in his favorite flavor," says Yardley.  (Side note: the notion of making a guy think of his grandmother while kissing is really bizarre to me, and I'm not the only one.)  "Promise Roger your strawberry kisses," implores Maybelline.  Heck, the product is even named Kissing Potion!

While the insinuation of catching a man isn't present in the vast majority of contemporary makeup ads, the idea is still vaguely floating around when it comes to food-scented items.  A reviewer for Too-Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer titles her review, "Even my boyfriend loves the smell."  And the model for Switch's Pink Brown mascara remarks, "You can feel the chocolate scent from my lushes! [sic]  And I love it when the scent flows as your face getting close to your boyfriend, like when kissing."  (The translation wasn't great but you get the gist.)  The notion of luring a guy with a scrumptious dessert scent certainly isn't unique to makeup, but it's slightly different.  Unlike bath and body products or perfumes, one has to be up close to get a whiff of a flavored balm or cocoa bronzer.

But this fact is also why one could argue that people who wear these items are only doing it for themselves, and that we may be reading too much into these: perhaps they really are just food-scented makeup and nothing more.  Like Autumn, ultimately I don't see anything wrong with enjoying makeup that smells like fruit or chocolate or any other food.  She notes, "[Sometimes] a candy cigar is just a candy cigar...I don’t want to imply that any of us should stop using lemon cookie body souffle or toss out our Lip Smackers—joy can be hard enough to come by plenty of days, and if it comes in a yummy-smelling jar, well, that’s reliable enough for me not to turn my nose up at, eh?"  Speaking from personal experience, I loved Benefit's Georgia - something about having my cheeks smell faintly like peach was incredibly fun - but I can tell you I didn't consider, not for a second, my then boyfriend's (now husband) reaction to how my face smelled.  At the moment I'm tempted by Too-Faced's Peanut Butter and Jelly palette because not only is the smiley pb & j face ridiculously cute, the palette is scented with peanuts.  That is a fragrance I haven't seen in eye shadow before; the sheer novelty of it brings a smile to my face.  I'm not even a palette person, but the idea of inhaling a light peanut aroma while applying eye shadow is the aspect that makes me want to buy it.  I imagine that for most women, it's not about getting close to a significant other, it's about the multi-sensory pleasure you experience when applying these products.  I'd say that given how subtle and ephemeral the scents in foodie makeup are, they're actually intended to be enjoyed at a personal, individual level rather than something to be shared.  As one reviewer for Revlon's Parfumerie nail polish notes, "It's funny because you forget about it, and then I guess I don't realize how many times a day I touch my face, because I keep getting a whiff of it, and each time I'm totally surprised!”  Overall, no matter what makeup companies have in mind when creating these products, I think it's okay to perceive them simply as brief, fleeting pick-me-ups rather than as ways to entrapping a man or treating grown woman like children.  Of course it's a subject worth questioning and we must continue to be mindful of how makeup is marketed, but no one should feel bad for liking chocolate-scented mascara or nail polish that smells like cookies.

What do you think?  Are you down with food-scented makeup?  This very unscientific 2008 poll says that people are fairly evenly divided on the subject, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

*Limited edition/discontinued


Fall 2015 color trend

This year's color trend is reminiscent of last year's in that it's not actually a single color.  However, the similarity ends there, as these metallic textures are the antithesis of "no-makeup" makeup.  The heavy metal trend for fall 2015 sets itself apart from the usual shimmery shades by emphasizing a molten, mirror-like sheen, that to my eye looks like an updated version of '70s disco glam.  Both nails and eyes shine in a variety of metallic hues - cool silver, yellow gold and deep bronze seem to be the most popular options, but rose gold is also having a moment.

Fall 2015 beauty trend - metallics

  1. YSL Metal Clash eye shadow palette
  2. Essie Leggy Legend nail polish
  3. A model at Zac Posen's fall 2015 ready-to-wear show
  4. Elizabeth Arden Golden Opulence collection
  5. Tom Ford Face Focus collection promo
  6. RMK Gold Impression Illuminator
  7. A model at Mara Hoffman's fall 2015 ready-to-wear show
  8. Bobbi Brown Greige nail polish
  9. Laura Mercier Eye Chromes palette
  10. Dior Addict Fluid Shadow in Magnetic

What do you think of the fall 2015 metallics trend?  I think it's really fun and festive, but is not kind to my crepey eyelids and less-than-perfect nails, so I will be doing a more subtle version.


Spring 2015 color trend

While pastels are always huge for spring, I felt there was one shade in particular that stood out this year.  A pale powdery blue seemed to usurp the usual peach, mint and lilac that we see at the start of each warm weather season.

Spring 2015 color trend: baby blue

  1. Butter London nail lacquer in Kip
  2. MAC Cinderella face powder
  3. Rochas spring 2015 beauty look
  4. Paul & Joe eye gloss in Firmament
  5. RMK Vintage Sweets Face Color
  6. Emanuel Ungaro spring 2015 beauty look
  7. Ciaté Eye Chalk in Jump Rope
  8. Guerlain Les Tendres Ecrin 4 Couleurs eye shadow palette
  9. Fendi spring 2015 beauty look

I wasn't really sure if this pale blue was the "it" color of the season until I spotted several other roundups, from runway shows to bags to interior design.   I also saw it featured in several magazines and figured I was on to something.

Marie claire-March 2015

Instyle april 2015

While my focus is on baby blue, it seems that any variation of blue is the season's hottest hue (check out these blue nail polishes, eye shadows, and accessories here and here.)  And the craze for blue will go into summer and fall since many brands included it in their upcoming collections, including Illamasqua, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, and OPI's Venice collection (which features an "icy cool pastel blue").

I still prefer mint green and pinky coral as my go-to spring colors, but I will say that I purchased Butter London Kip and I am smitten.  I always read baby/powder blue as kind of an old-lady color, but in small doses it works.

What do you think?  Are you feeling blue?  


Year-end beauty wrap-up, part 2: Trend predictions for 2015

New Year's Eve is upon us, at least in my neck of the woods, so let's take a hypothetical look ahead to 2015 and see what may be trending.  Now, I have basically no evidence to back me up on what I think will be big in the new year, but it's fun to try to guess anyway. 

First, I think the '90s comeback will continue.  Since 1995 was nearly as big a year culturally as '94 was, it's my theory that 2015 will see plenty of '90s nostalgia. I don't think that it will take the form of marsala-colored everything no matter how much Pantone pushes it, since brown lips were everywhere in 2014. (At least I hope not - brown lipstick is awful on me and I find the dull, wine-brown of Pantone's 2015 color of the year to be really ugly.) Rather, it's my opinion that the other huge '90s trend - frosty eye shadow - may just make its way back to the mainstream. I know pastels are a perennial spring favorite, but I have a feeling that highly shimmery versions will be all the rage (particularly in purple or pink), and we might even see plenty of white shadow* as well, or white liner.  They will be updated with a more modern texture, of course...I don't think we'll see full-on '90s frost either on eyes or lips, but something a little softer that still pays homage to the decade.

Matthew Williamson spring 2015 makeup look
(image from popsugar.com.au)

Second, I think we may see a revolution in sample distribution and how samples are packaged.  Something I didn't mention in my recap of the Makeup in New York show back in September was the enormous amount of sample displays.  I'd say at least 50% of the vendors there specialized solely in sample packaging and repeated the importance of samples to consumers.  Sample tramp that I am, here's hoping they make samples more widely available, and not just in beauty box subscriptions.  And I'm grateful to get free samples from Sephora, Nordstrom, etc., but they're limited - a lot of times a retailer will offer samples of products that I have zero interest in trying.  I wouldn't mind paying a small amount for a sample of a product I really want to test drive.

Third, contouring is shaping up (haha) to be huge.  This trend I actually do have some evidence for, as Sephora, Kat Von D., Becca and Laura Mercier have already announced or released contouring palettes.  We're only going to see more, I think, as the year goes on.

Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring palette
(image from sephora.com)

Finally, something that I don't think will actually take off but desperately hope for anyway is faux piercings.  I fell head over heels for the faux eyebrow rings at Rodarte's spring 2015 show (the painted-on lip rings at Dries Van Noten were fun too).  If you combine these, with, say, the aforementioned frosty pastel eye shadow, I think you'll have the perfect mix of a '90s vibe and a totally modern look, something that's super girly and badass at the same time.

Rodarte spring 2015 - faux brow piercing
(image from style.com)

So that's my last post of the year!  What do you think of my predictions?  Any other trends you think might be huge or any you're hoping to see?

*Circa 1996 I distinctly remember wearing a super frosty white Lancome shadow with an ever so slight pearly pinkish cast called Le Blanc.  I don't think they make it anymore but it was my go-to back then...sometimes I also wore a pale silver they had, Platinum. So. Much. Frost.)


Year-end beauty wrap-up, part 1: Trends for 2014

Well, it's the end of the year, so you know what that means - time to reflect on beauty in 2014 and the big trends.  This is by no means a definitive list; it's just what caught my eye this year.

First, 2014 was all about the eyebrow.  With sales for brow products hitting record highs and women getting brow extensions and donning face merkins, it's clear that we all went a little nuts for full, bushy brows.

The British supermodel who inspired the brow craze, Cara Delevingne
(image from elle.com)

Another major trend was unconventional lip colors, which personally was my favorite trend this year.  (See my post here and a quote from me at the Huffington Post on the topic.) It was slightly leftover from the tail end of 2013, but the trend gained even more traction in 2014, with NYX's Macaron Lippies and Wicked Lippies collections featuring a veritable rainbow of lip colors, and Avon, Milani and Melt all released summer collections with bright aqua, dark blue and grey lip colors, respectively.   Later, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics offered an array of blue lip products in their fall collection, while new budget brand Colourpop debuted with several unusual lip shades, including an emerald and mint green.  Finally, the end of the year saw the Tom Ford Lips & Boys collection of 50 lipsticks that included several oddities, including a pearlescent white and a mauve-grey. There was also Lipstick Queen's Ice Queen, a sheer shimmery white.

NYX Macaron Lippies
(image from nyxcosmetics.com)

Since I love crazy lip colors, it's no surprise I had zero interest in another 2014 trend: the no-makeup look.  So incredibly boring to me!  The minimal approach to cosmetics had fairly benevolent beginnings with the #nomakeupselfie (with the purpose of raising money for charity) in the early part of the year, but then morphed into a trend in its own right by the end of 2014.  The result was a spate of neutral palettes and other products designed to make one look as though they weren't wearing any makeup (the look was supposed to be "you but better"), which frankly I find to be painfully dull.

The "no-makeup" look taken literally at Marc Jacobs spring 2015 ready-to-wear show
(image from style.com)

Finally, the resurgence of the '90s was so huge this year that it deserves its own post, so I will not go into detail now (see my post on why an exhibition on '90s beauty and its comeback was far too daunting a task for me).  However, we did see a real return to '90s beauty in terms of celebrities rocking '90s trends and a plethora of tutorials showing you how to get a modified '90s look.  Additionally, between the release of Urban Decay's Pulp Fiction collection and a nail polish line by the founder of Hard Candy, even new products had a nostalgic feel.

Diane Kruger sporting '90s hair mainstay, the scrunchie
(image from style.com)

Hairwise, we couldn't get enough of the lob (that's beauty speak for the long bob).  It seemed nearly every celebrity ditched their long locks for a shorter, shoulder-skimming cut. We also were fans of temporary hair color, with Kevin Murphy, Rita Hazan, Garnier, Bumble and Bumble, Redken, and L'Oreal all releasing products to sate our demands.

2014 hair trends - the lob and hair makeup
(images from brit.co and lookfantastic.com)

That's all I got for 2014.  Stay tuned for part 2 of the year-end wrap-up, where the Curator will peer into her crystal ball to predict the trends for 2015.  :)  In the meantime, which of these trends were your favorite?  Are there any others you think should be included?


Fall 2014 color trend

What started as a hashtag for charity (#nomakeupselfie) back in March 2014 has now morphed into a full-blown trend.  While it seems that fewer people wearing makeup could have translated to many lost sales, for fall the beauty industry wisely chose to embrace the no-makeup fad by rolling out a slew of "nude" or neutral-colored items for those of us who wouldn't dare post a makeup-less picture on social media.  Of course, the new nude isn't purely the beauty industry's response to an online craze; neutrals and earth tones tend to be perennial autumn favorites.  This fall, however, the feel of these products is less heavy and muddy, with more of a glow to them, than in years past.  This gives them a bit of an oomph so you don't end up looking washed out.

Fall 2014 color trend: neutral

  1. NudeStix Eye Pencil in Burnish
  2. MAC Artificially Wild collection Lip Glasses
  3. Becca Ombre Nudes eye shadow palette
  4. Tom Ford eye shadow quad in Nude Dip
  5. Bobbi Brown Smoky Nudes eye shadow palette
  6. Zoya Naturel Deux collection nail polishes
  7. Urban Decay Naked2 Basics palette
  8. Stila Eyes Are the Window eye shadow palette in Soul
  9. Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipstick #114 (Incense)

Additionally, as evidenced by several magazine spreads I came across, the look is a monochromatic, all-over-nude face (and nails, for that matter) rather than neutral eyes paired with bold lips or smoky eyes with a nude lip shade.

Harper's Bazaar, August 2014:

Harpers-Aug.2014

Harpers-2

Harpers-3

Allure, September 2014

Allure-Sept2014

Allure-2

InStyle, September 2014:

InStyle-Sept.2014

InStyle-2

Instyle-3

InStyle-4

Maybelline ad, September 2014:

Ad-Sept.2014

While I like this on others (Armani's spring 2014 promo in particular made me swoon - it remains the most beautiful glowy nude look I have ever seen), it doesn't appeal to me personally.  The only times I've ever worn a totally neutral face were for job interviews, and I felt rather lifeless and blah, even with a dab of highlighter or shimmer.  Plus, I feel as though my features and coloring lend themselves to shades beyond neutrals - jewel tones are especially flattering - so no matter what products I use whenever I do a neutral look I'm supremely unimpressed with the results.  I tried to replicate the aforementioned Armani spring ad, but it simply didn't look good on me.  Given all the items I have in my stash I doubt it was only a matter of not having the right shades and textures.  But I am intrigued by all these new releases so I may invest in a palette just to give it one more shot and see if I would become a convert to the all-neutral face.

What do you think about this trend?