Fun

Friday fun (or flop?) with Felicia

As soon as I saw this adorable lip balm at various blogs I ordered it immediately from Sephora.  It doesn't really get any cuter than this - a sparkly pink strawberry-scented lip balm in the shape of a flamingo pool float, plus a reference to one of the greatest films of the '90s?!  Yes please. 

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Another precious detail is the flamingo-shaped "F" in Felicia. 

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Our mini Babo loved it and asked if I could fill the bathtub so he could take it for a proper spin.

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Taste Beauty Felicia the Flamingo lip balm

Totally harmless, right?  Alas, this seemingly innocuous lip balm has stirred up controversy: looks like it's another case of cultural appropriation.  If you've spent any time online over the past few years you know that "Bye Felicia" has become a popular meme used to dismiss other interwebz users.  And you may remember how pleased I was to see this phrase take off in numerous other ways, given my love of '90s pop culture and the 1995 film Friday that gave us these two simple words.  The meme was the inspiration for the lip balm, according to Taste Beauty's managing partner Alex Fogelson, who told Women's Wear Daily that Sephora approached them to "collaborate in a really fun, pop-culture-inspired fun and young item."  (Taste Beauty is a relatively new company, having been founded in 2016 by three executives who used to work at Lotta Luv, the brand behind some bizarrely flavored lip balms.)

That seems okay, until you realize that the "Bye Felicia" meme Taste Beauty is referencing with their lip balm may actually be a form of cultural appropriation in and of itself. Let's take a look at the original clip, which, if I'm being honest, still makes me laugh.  (I also love Smokey's "remember it, write it down, take a picture, I don't give a fuck!"  Classic.)

Impeccably delivered, it's a funny line that wasn't even in the script (apparently Ice Cube's son came up with it)...but as it turns out, Felisha is a crackhead.  To a clueless white person such as myself, I thought she was simply an annoying, mooching neighbor.  For "bye Felisha" to take off as a meme, I guess there were other people who accidentally (or perhaps intentionally) overlooked that aspect of Felisha's character.  Or worse, many people using the meme were totally oblivious to the original source.  As this article on white people's inappropriate use of black slang notes, "What’s amazing though is that over the last year [2015] or so, so many white people and non-black people have used [Bye Felicia] (as a sassy dismissal) without actually knowing where it’s from."  Also, the spelling of Felisha's name morphed into "Felicia", I'm assuming to make it more palatable to white people.  As Fayola Perry writes in XPress Magazine, "Cultural appropriation sanitizes and spreads lies about people's culture. It takes away the story of Felisha, the addict who represents and symbolizes so many black and brown women's struggle with drug addiction in that era and makes her a passing internet trend.  This lack of attention to detail can perpetuate racist stereotypes. Someone may think they are paying homage to someone's culture and the person whose culture they're paying homage to is completely offended at the misrepresentation.  Fear not, you can enjoy a great burrito if you are not Latino and do yoga if you're not Indian, but be thoughtful, check your privilege and be considerate of context and history. Everyone has some type of privilege, people of colour appropriate each other's cultures as well. We must all be mindful of our lens, other people's perspectives, the legacy of oppression and try our best to make sure that we are not continuing it. At the very least, know where the appropriated element came from and at the very, very least, spell her name right. It's Felisha, not Felicia."

So while I was overjoyed to see the phrase take off as a meme given how much I love Friday, turns out I should have been aware that it was a form of whitewashing, since it seems that the vast majority of people using it don't know where it originated.  Or in my case, had no clue about the more serious implications of Felisha's character and her dismissal.  In reading more about the history of the film and that scene in particular, I don't think anyone involved with Friday intended the phrase to be perceived as anything other than comic relief, but now I can see how it can be viewed as a microcosm of the bigger issue of black women's needs continually being ignored. 

In turn, if we're arguing that the meme itself is a form of cultural appropriation, then the lip balm is as well, since it's directly referencing the meme and obviously not the original source.  I mean, Felisha didn't wear makeup1, and flamingo-shaped pool floats didn't make an appearance in the film as far as I know - this lip balm really has nothing to do with FridayA succinct reaction comes from this Twitter user:  "It's time for black brands to start monetizing our shit. But we're not corny enough to slap bye Felicia on some lip balm all outta context."  Blogger Aprill Coleman explains further: "Felisha was an accurate representation of black culture in the early 90s on the heels of the crack epidemic. Taste Beauty’s use is completely out of context. Felisha is an African American, crack-addicted character that did not wear makeup, whereas Felicia is a brightly colored flamingo shaped like a pool float. A tiny part of my black American culture was appropriated, reinvented, and packaged into a strawberry scented balm for profit."  Coleman also astutely points out that two of the three Taste Beauty founders are white men, so it's possible that the company, like so many others, wasn't fully aware of the phrase's origins; they just saw the meme and thought an alliterative novelty lip balm with the same name would be marketable.   And if Taste Beauty did know where it came from and still wanted to go ahead with the product despite the potential for offensiveness, perhaps they could have donated a portion of the sales to Angie's Kids. This is a nonprofit founded by Angela Means, the actress who played Felisha, that focuses on health and early childhood development. (Side note:  I would seriously love to get her thoughts on this.  She seems okay with the phrase's popularity but I'm not sure about the lip balm.)

So where does that leave us?  Well, on a personal level I feel like a jerk for buying it and also for not understanding, quite literally for the past 3 years, that the "Bye Felicia" meme was actually white people appropriating yet another piece of black culture - I honestly thought it was a widespread, '90s-nostalgia-fueled, long-overdue tribute to Ice Cube's legendary diss.  As someone who sees herself as a feminist, which means being aware of the struggles of WOC, my ignorance is rather troubling.2  As for the item's inclusion in the Museum's collection, I will likely not display it unless I'm doing a more educational exhibition on cultural appropriation in cosmetics.  In addition to the ads explored in my 2013 post on the topic, sadly there are tons more examples since then that could be provided.

What do you think about all this?  Have you seen Friday and if so, do you find the "bye Felisha" scene funny?

1 Interestingly, the actress who played Felisha cites the makeup artist on set as the one responsible for helping her fully inhabit Felisha's character.  The somewhat haggard look was entirely intentional.  She notes in an interview:  "What was funny was when I got on set the makeup artist looked at me and she was like, ‘O.K.,’ and she kind of went with my look and when we got to the set (“Friday” director) F. Gary Gray looked at me and was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, wait, wait. She’s not a beauty queen.’ I give the makeup artist so much credit for helping me create Felisha...So when I got in the makeup artist’s chair, once Gary said, 'No, she’s a hoodrat,' we went back to the drawing board and I fell asleep. But when I woke up and saw myself, it clicked. It helped me go there."

2 Equally problematic is that I've been rewatching the clip and still think it's hilarious - proof that white privilege is real. I'm able to ignore the broader issue of dismissing black women and perceive "bye Felisha" as comedy.
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Quick Friday fun: Spring critters

In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday, I thought I'd round up some truly adorable springtime animal-themed makeup.  Bunnies and chicks and lambs, oh my!  Some of these were limited edition, but it's still fun seeing what was out there. 

  Easter beauty

  1. Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss bar
  2. Pupa Non-Conventional Zoo set (ca. 2007)
  3. Bunny lip balm
  4. Deborah Milano Icon palette (these came in so many animals - there are ducks, cats, owls, pigs, seals, elephants, turtles, bears, butterflies...even a moose!
  5. Oh K Bunny Sponge (not actually shaped like a bunny but the packaging is adorable!)
  6. Pupa Pretty Bunny palette (limited edition for holiday 2013)
  7. Peeps flavored lip gloss
  8. Beyond lipsticks - We've seen Paul & Joe's cat-shaped lipsticks but these took the cake for me...I so wish I was able to get my hands on them!  Alas, Beyond released these in 2012 and while I've scoured Ebay I don't think I'll be getting my hands on these.  Beyond apparently has a hard anti-animal-testing stance and created these lipsticks to help raise money for some endangered species:  harp seals, pink dolphins, otters, flying squirrels, and pandas.  Not exactly Easter-themed but I just had to include them!
  9. Lawna cotton swabs - I think these are a prototype and not available for sale, but so cute.
  10. The Creme blending sponge set - I love that they have names!  You get Penny the Pig, Charlie the Chick and Boogie the Bunny.  Like the Oh K sponge they're not shaped like the actual animal but they're precious nevertheless.

Besides Philosophy's Sugar Chick shower gel that I may be hoarding, another Easter-y item I love is this Etude House Bunny Nail set.  How much fun is that rabbit-shaped confetti?!

Etude House Bunny Nail

Etude House Bunny Nail

Etude House Bunny Nail

Have a nice Easter!  And if you don't celebrate I hope you at least have some candy.  :)

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It's 5 o'clock somewhere: boozy makeup packaging

I remember thinking how cute and novel these wine bottle-shaped lipsticks were when they were making a sensation back in the fall.  (I do have one on the way but the package somehow keeps getting delayed so here's a stock photo for now.)  I'm not a wine person - gives me a horrible headache - but I do appreciate adorable makeup packaging so this gets a thumbs-up from me.  I mean on the one hand I'm not fond of wine once again being associated with a clichéd feminine stereotype (all ladies love wine, shopping, chocolate and shoes, amirite?), but on the other hand, this lipstick is just too cute.

Chateau Labiotte wine lipstick
(image from beautyboxkorea.com)

Turns out, this isn't the first time lipstick has been designed to resemble booze.  I was positively tickled when, during one of my customary Friday night vintage makeup searches on Etsy (I lead a very exciting life, I know), I came across this miniature lipstick cleverly packaged as a whiskey bottle.

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

It really is mini!

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

I'd never heard of Carstairs before, but apparently from roughly the '40s through the '60s they did a good amount of advertising for their White Seal whiskey, which is still sold today.  In addition to the lipsticks, they offered mini screwdrivers and toothpicks, along with seal clock figurines and the usual print advertising.  According to one (no longer active) ebay listing, the lipstick bottles started being produced around 1944 and other listings say they're from the '50s, so I guess they were used as promotional items for a few decades.  Here's a photo of one in Madeleine Marsh's excellent book, which also dates it to the '50s. 

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick in Compacts and Cosmetics by Madeleine Marsh

I'm guessing that for the most part, the lipsticks were provided to bars and liquor stores and given away as a small gift-with-purchase, as there are quite a few full boxes of them floating around. I would have bought this one in a heartbeat because how cute would it have been to display it alongside a whole Chateau Labiotte set?

Vintage Carstairs whiskey lipstick set

Chateau Labiotte set(images from etsy.com and labiotte.us)

But the individual lipsticks are obviously a lot cheaper and I have many things I want to purchase for the summer exhibition, so I had to pass for now. ;)  As for the lipstick itself, a company called Christy Cosmetics, Inc. was responsible for producing it.  I couldn't find much information about it online, other than it was a New York-based company and was also the manufacturer of a line called Diana Deering (who was an entirely fictional character, or, as the patent puts it, "fanciful".)

Christy Cosmetics ad, 1944(image from what-i-found.blogspot.com)

Diana Deering ad, 1944

Diana Deering/Christy Cosmetics patent(image from tsdrapi.uspto.gov)

I'm sure there's information about Christy out there somewhere, but as usual I lack the time and other resources to do proper research, i.e., looking beyond Google.  If anyone knows anything about their relationship with Carstairs and how they were chosen to produce their promo items I'd love to hear it.

Uh-oh, we have a situation here.  Once again a certain little Sailor is up to no good.  "It's just my size!" 

Bottoms up!

I better go get this wrapped up and into storage before he smears it all over his face in attempt to "drink" the non-existent whiskey.  In any case, Happy St. Patrick's Day and I hope these lipsticks have inspired you to let your hair down and enjoy some adult beverages tonight!


Friday Fun: Staff picks with Ice Lodge Babos and Ugly Yeti

To help soothe and distract myself from the horrific political unpleasantness today brings, I'm doing another round of staff picks.*  While I strongly prefer summer to winter, some Museum employees are definitely the opposite. 

Makeup Museum winter staff picks

Makeup Museum winter staff picks

Ugly Yeti, Ice Bat and both Ice Lodge Babos went through my personal stash and the Museum's collection to select their top picks, which include: the 2016 Maquillage Snow Beauty compact, Dior Voile de Neige powder, Lipstick Queen Ice Queen lipstick, Stila Adventurous in Aspen palette and Winter Blues trio, Bourjois Rendezvous a Paris Blanc Diaphane, and Chantecaille's Glacier trio.  While Ugly Yeti was partial to that last one, he has decided that KB Shimmer's Yeti or Not polish is now his favorite item.  All of these little guys also love the Guerlain Météorites Perles de Neiges, but I couldn't put that out since I was afraid they'd try to eat it (again).

Makeup Museum winter staff picks

Here are some additional recommendations...as usual, these are by no means a comprehensive list of all the snowy, frosty inspired beauty products out there, just some of what caught their fancy. 

Frosty beauty products

  1. Sephora Early Frost eyeshadow (see also their Let It Snow shadow and Ice Ice Baby eyeliner)
  2. OPI Alpine Snow nail polish
  3. Urban Decay eyeshadow in Frostbite (which also comes in a nail polish and was briefly brought back as a lipstick)
  4. NYX Prismatic eyeshadow in Frostbite
  5. Marc Jacobs Beauty nail polish in White Snow
  6. Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow in Ice
  7. Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream eyeshadow in Snow
  8. Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Ice Queen
  9. Stila Stay All Day eyeliner in Snow
  10. Deborah Lippmann Ice Princess nail polish set
  11. Essence eyeshadow in Snowflake
  12. Jouer Lip Topper in Frostbite (this is on its way to me - can't wait!)

The plushies were also intrigued by winter-inspired skincare, especially the cooling products - those help them stay at their desired chilly body temperatures.  Brisk!

Frosty chilly skincare

  1. La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Transforming Cream
  2. DiorSnow Brightening Illuminating sunscreen
  3. Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On for Eyes
  4. Milk Makeup Cooling Water
  5. Natura Bisse Diamond Ice Lift Mask
  6. Arcona Magic Dry Ice Hydrating Gel
  7. Snow Magic Sheet Mask
  8. Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray

I encouraged the little scamps to look for other frosty, snowy beauty products with cute packaging.  More recent finds include BeYu's Mountain Glam collection from winter 2015...

Beyu Mountain Glam collection

Essence's Winter Wonderful (holiday 2015) and Ice Ice Baby (spring 2014) collections:

Essence Winter Wonderful collection

Essence Ice Ice Baby collection(images from chicprofile.com)

And MAC's appropriately named Glitter and Ice collection from 2011.

MAC Glitter and Ice, 2011(image from temptalia.com)

They were pretty fascinated so they wanted search further back into beauty history and ended up finding some really cool stuff!

Dubarry foundation ad, 1930s
(image from pinterest.com)

Revlon Fire and Ice ad, 1952
(image from cosmeticsandskin.com) 

Revlon Cherries in the Snow ad, 1952
(image from katezillablog.wordpress.com)

Revlon Snow Peach ad, 1956

They had a good laugh at this commercial.

Then they were trying to figure out how to rescue the poor man trapped in the ice cube...until I explained to them it's just an ad and the man isn't really in there.  Their little pea brains didn't quite get it though.

Cutex Coral Ice ad, 1957
(image from hollyhocksandtulips.tumblr.com)

Here's DuBarry totally ripping off Revlon.

Dubarry Snowball of Fire ad, 1959(image from pinterest.com)

The '60s seriously couldn't get any frostier.

Tussy Hot Ice ad, 1964(image from pinterest.com) 

Cutex Frosted Ice ad, 1969
(image from vivavintage.tumblr.com) 

Bonne Bell ad, 1969
(image from pinterest.com)

Finally, the plushies also appreciated these snowy vintage compacts.  The black Stratton one is my favorite.

Vintage snowflake compact

Stratton snowflake compacts
(images from pinterest and etsy)

The plushies and I hope you enjoyed this little round up of wintry products.  Which of these is calling to you? 

*Just a reminder that you can also check out the holiday/winter exhibition and previous exhibitions too...apparently lots of museums are into the idea of distraction via art today, offering free admission and special programming.  Glad to know I was in step with other museums!


Friday fun: This egg is not sunny side up

Back in the early fall I saw some beauty items with a very strange-looking character pop up on Instagram.  He looked kind of cute though and I was immediately intrigued.  I made a mental note to show the husband later because, well, I just had a gut feeling he'd like him too.  But later that very same morning the husband sent me an interview with the designer for this Japanese character and asked if I had heard of it.  It's proof of how well we know each other - we just had a feeling we'd both be smitten with this little egg, who has taken the world by storm since his introduction in 2013 by Sanrio (the company responsible for Hello Kitty).   Without further ado, please watch the very short video below for an introduction to Gudetama, a.k.a. the lazy egg!

I don't know if Gudetama is entirely lazy; there seems to be some depression, apathy, slight existential (eggsistential?) angst and general malaise mixed in with the laziness.  In other words, this egg is me.

Gudetama

Gudetama

Gudetama

Gudetama

Gudetama
Gudetama was the runner-up in a contest at Sanrio to devise a food-themed character.1  The designer who created him2, Eimi "Amy" Nagashima, had joined Sanrio just a year prior.  In an interview with AIGA (the very same interview the husband sent me that fateful morning), she tells the story of how Gudetama came into existence. "I was eating a raw egg on rice at home one morning and thought to myself that the egg was kind of cute, but entirely unmotivated and indifferent as well.  Eggs are phenomenal! The taste, lustre, nutritional value, and countless ways they can be prepared make eggs great, but for me, eggs that are relegated to the fate of being eaten also seemed despairing.  They seem entirely absent from any effort or energy, almost as if they were sick of the competitive world around them.  The personality I was imagining seemed to me to parallel people in modern society who despair amid economic hard times and who are talented but don’t feel like throwing themselves into anything...I try to reflect images of the people of modern society that I see in the news. I also draw on the so-called “Yutori” generation of people that have graduated from a good university but in economically challenging times, so feel hopeless and just cannot be bothered to make an effort...I never dreamed that Gudetama would become so loved and pervasive. When it debuted, I wondered if it might end up a flash in the pan."

Indeed, the winner of the in-house Sanrio contest, a slice of salmon named Kirimi-chan, is not nearly as popular as Gudetama in terms of social media following or the number of products he's appeared on:  Gudetama has made his way onto 1,700 items, including two very extensive collections with Korean beauty brand Holika Holika.  Before we dive into the massive amount of items I purchased from these collections, let's continue to egg-splore (sorry, can't help it) Gudetama's appeal.

Gudetama-sleepy

To Westerners, the idea of an anthropomorphic egg seems entirely bizarre, but in Japan, it's rather normal. Explains Manami Okazaki, a journalist who published a book on kawaii culture, “Japan has a long history of making food aesthetic, and merging food presentation and art...given that kawaii is one of the most prominent contemporary movements and resonates with most youth in Japan, it isn’t much of a surprise that food merged with kawaii design."  As for the sad personality, it's also not unexpected. Matt Alt, co-founder of pop culture translation company Alt-Japan says, "Many Japanese mascots will express emotions that Western mascots would not. In the West, mascots are used almost exclusively to cheer people up. In Japan, they’re often used to get a point across or act as mediators in situations where you wouldn’t want to express yourself directly...Mascots serve as blameless mediators and tension breakers of conflict in Japan. So a mascot that isn’t happy? That’s very familiar to the Japanese."  And while some argue that Gudetama represents the somewhat repressed nature of Japanese society, Alt disagrees:  "It’s true that Japanese society values considering the needs and thoughts of others. Especially in public. But that doesn’t mean Japanese people are incapable of articulating themselves.  I would say using mascots such as Gudetama is a more nuanced way of expressing oneself than simply verbalizing an emotion or typing it out. This is exactly the reason Japan is the country that invented emoji — those little blips and icons used to spice up a conversation by injecting an emotional quotient.  I don’t think you can look at Gudetama — or any mascot or emoji — and say they’re the product of an emotionally stunted civilization. They’re the product of a society that has found alternate and interesting methods to express itself."  Finally, while Gudetama's popularity in the West may seem odd at first, it's also not that big of a surprise, according to this article:  "Gudetama is also considered part of a new kawaii subculture called kimo-kawaii, or gross-cute, which is resonating more with underground youth culture than the sweetie-pie characters of yore...In the West, where weird for the sake of weird is a well-established marketing technique, kimo-kawaii characters are a natural fit. The U.S., especially, has a longstanding love of characters with bad attitudes..."  I also think Gudetama particularly resonates with depressed people, of which there are over 15 million in the U.S. (including yours truly).  For example, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to go home before I've even left the house.  My eyes almost popped out of my head with recognition when I saw this clip.  (Side note: I love the fact that he uses bacon as a blanket!!  Or mushrooms/tofu as pillows, unsuccessfully.)

Anyway, after watching nearly every Gudetama video I could find I picked out some (okay, too many) things from the Holika Holika collections.  The first collection, called Lazy & Easy, debuted in May, and the second was a holiday one called Lazy & Joy.  There was just so much variety - Gudetama appeared in so many different permutations that I simply couldn't narrow it down much.

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika Lazy Joy collection

I love the outer packaging...look at the bacon tape!!

Gudetama x Holika Holika

The inserts were also ridiculously adorable.

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika BB cushion cases

Gudetama x Holika Holika BB cushion cases

Gudetama x Holika Holika lip tints

Gudetama x Holika Holika skincare

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika Tiramisu eyeshadow

Gudetama x Holika Holika blush

Gudetama x Holika Holika nail stickers

Gudetama x Holika Holika nail stickers

I must admit that I have a bit of an obsession with Gudetama's butt (and I'm not the only one).  Seriously, how cute is that little tuchus? 

Gudetama x Holika Holika

This is not accidental, either.  Gudetama's creator says of the animations, "Mostly we want [them] to be something easily relatable, and also place importance on Gudetama’s jiggly bottom...I get really obsessed with making the lines for its bottom."

Gudetama

Ouch! You added too much spice!

Gudetama

My favorite Gudetama butt moment, LOL.

Gudetama-little-red-riding-hood

While I did get so much that Museum storage is overflowing, I'm still hunting for the dry shampoo...the hair just cracks me up!

So, a very simple summary: I love Gudetama and am very happy he appeared on beauty products.  The husband adores him too and so we added a Gudetama plushie to join our menagerie - he's settling in rather well, since our plushies are definitely on the lazy side. 

What do you think?  Had you heard of Gudetama prior to the Holika Holika collection?

 

1While I love Gudetama with all my heart, I am dismayed that Soygeisha, a block of tofu that wears makeup, wasn't closer to winning.
2Nagashima says that the character is "devoid of gender", but for an easier time with pronouns I'm referring to Gudetama as a "he", which is the usual way he's described.


Friday fun (and fright): Halloween roundup

It's almost Halloween, so in keeping with the spirit I thought I'd share some sweet and spooky items I've come across.  Hopefully you'll enjoy this mix of vintage and new makeup ephemera.  However, I must warn that if you're a plushie aficionado like me, you may not be able to sleep after seeing some very bizarre vintage stuffed animals.

We'll start with the good stuff.  I've loved this vintage Pum-kin Rouge since I spotted it at the IPBA website a while back, and a recent Instagram post by the Glamourologist jogged my memory.   Pum-kin Rouge, a blush that was meant to be flattering on all complexions, was first introduced in 1922 by the Owl Drug Company.  In an effort to stay competitive with ever-popular French-sounding brands, in 1925 Owl Drug began marketing Pum-kin Rouge under the Darnée Perfumer name.  You can read the entire Owl Drug story, which is divided into two parts, over at the excellent Collecting Vintage Compacts blog. 

Pum-kin Rouge tin(image from worthpoint.com)

Even more rare than the round Pum-kin Rouge tin is this octagonal compact with a different pumpkin design, which appeared around 1928.  You can barely make it out in the photo below, but if you look closely you can see a woman's profile in the middle of the pumpkin.  So cool!

Pum-kin Rouge compact(image from ebay.com)

In terms of contemporary pieces, I admired these Halloween-themed highlighters from Etsy seller Bitter Lace Beauty.  (You may recall that this is the same company responsible for the rainbow highlighter frenzy.)  I didn't purchase them because I'm not sure how much I really want to branch into indie companies in terms of collecting for the Museum, but they're pretty cute.

Bitter Lace Beauty Halloween highlighters

Bitter Lace Beauty Halloween highlighters(images from @bitter.lace.beauty)

There were also these adorable coffin packages containing highlighters and glitter eye shadows from ColourPop.  Alas, they were only available to one lucky winner of a Halloween giveaway, not for sale to the public.  It's a shame, I would have snapped these up in a minute.

ColourPop Halloween giveaway sets

ColourPop Halloween giveaway sets(images from bustle.com and @colourpopcosmetics.com)

Now we're moving on to the very strange and scary items I found, all of which are vintage.  You may want to get some towels to sit on in case you soil yourself.  Okay, maybe they're not that bad but I have to say, if I found any of these at a vintage shop or flea market I'd hightail it out of there real fast.

First up is this super weird lip-shaped box.  It's listed as a powder box on Ebay, but it looks more like a trinket box rather than something cosmetic.  Still, since it's lip-shaped maybe it was intended for makeup.  So while I'm not certain of its original purpose, I do know that it really freaks me out.  This isn't comical like Charlotte Tilbury's new Pocket Pout (which honestly reminds me of those goofy novelty wax lips and/or Mrs. Potato Head), it's just creepy as hell.

Vintage lip-shaped powder box
(images from ebay.com)

I nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw this pop up in my Ebay search for vintage compacts.  Do you know who this character is? (I didn't but thought he was absolutely the most horrifying thing I've ever seen on a compact).

Vintage Charlie McCarthy compact
(image from pinterest.com)

If you said Charlie McCarthy, the doll companion of '30s-'40s-era ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, you are correct.  If you said "Why the hell is some terrifying dummy on a makeup compact?", that's also an acceptable response.  It's actually a pretty remarkable likeness, which makes it all the scarier.  *shudder*

Charlie McCarthy(image from britannica.com)

Also disturbing is that the asking price of another one I found is $199.95.  I'm sorry, but who would pay that amount to have this evil thing staring back at you?

I saved the most frightening items for last* - hopefully they won't leave you with nightmares.  If violence against plushies upsets you, don't finish reading! 

Searching for vintage compacts on Rubylane, I came across this little monkey.  He's got kind of a scary face that reminds me of the original cover for Stephen King's Skeleton Crew.  But whatever, he's makeup-related so it's probably okay, right?

Vintage Schuco monkey

And then I saw the next photo.

Vintage Schuco monkey(images from rubylane.com)

My approximate reactions (bonus points if you can name the horror movies these are from):

Terrified

gif

ack

Apparently there was a German toy company named Schuco that produced these abominations in the 1930s (insert Nazi joke here.) These are stuffed animals that one essentially mutilated to reach the makeup hidden inside.  They came in a variety of colors and critters, with a powder compact shoved in the tummy and a lipstick in the neck.  :(

Vintage Schuco monkey
(image from liveauctioneers.com)

Vintage Schuco bear
(image from pinterest.com)

If the sadist makeup-user preferred, they could also tear the shell off a turtle or gut a dog, cat or duck.  Their faces look so unhappy to me, what with their downturned mouths and lifeless eyes - could it be because their innards had to get brutally ripped apart every time someone wanted to powder their nose?

Vintage Schuco dog and turtle

Vintage Schuco duck and cat

Of course, you could always choose to "only" yank the head off to access your favorite perfume rather than both decapitation and disembowelment.

Vintage Schuco monkey - perfume
(images from liveauctioneers.com)

I don't know, maybe it's because I have an unnatural affection for plushies, but these upset me to my core.  I really can't tolerate seeing their little bodies split apart like this, not even for makeup.  It's just wrong!  Plushies should not be dismembered for any reason.  As with the Charlie McCarthy compact, I'm also astonished at the prices.  Granted, these stuffed animals are somewhat unique and Schuco is well-known enough to fetch a nice sum, but $300??  This is one of those pieces where I know, rationally, that it would be an important item to have in the Museum's collection, but my heart says absolutely not.

Anyway, if you're not scarred for life please tell me which of the fun picks you liked most and which of the scary ones most haunted you.

 

*I did come across this gun-shaped compact, but ultimately decided not to include it as I realized my post was turning into a political rant.


3,2, 1...Blast-off! Staff picks with Space Babo and Dr. McCoy (a.k.a. Dr. McCookie)

MAC's Star Trek collection may be old news by now, but I know certain Museum staff members are still quite enamored by it.  The collection also got me thinking about other space-inspired beauty products, which staff members promptly decided to "explore" themselves.  And by that I mean they made a mess.

Space Babo and Dr. McCoy

Space Babo and Dr. McCoy

In addition to the 2014 Clé de Peau holiday palette, Guerlain Météorites, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild palette, here are some close-up shots of the other galactic goodies they got themselves into.

They insisted on me buying a bunch of the MAC Star Trek collection for the Museum.  Look at those faces...I couldn't say no!

MAC Star Trek collection

MAC Star Trek - Set to Stun, Khaaannn! and Warp Speed Ahead lipglass

MAC Strange New Worlds

MAC Star Trek - Midnight Eyeshadow

MAC Star Trek lipsticks

MAC Star Trek - Skin of Evil and Enterprise nail polishes

They were also fascinated by these NYX Cosmic Metal Lip Creams.

NYX Cosmic Metals - Electromagnetic, Comet's Tail, Celestial Star, Dark Nebula, Galactic

NYX Cosmic Metals - Electromagnetic, Comet's Tail, Celestial Star, Dark Nebula, Galactic

What other out-0f-this-world beauty products do these scamps recommend?  Let's take a look.

Space-inspired makeup

  1.  BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic palette
  2.  Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Meteore
  3.  Chantecaille Galactic Lip Shine in Polaris
  4.  Urban Decay Moondust Palette (see also their Moondust powder and cream eye shadows)
  5.  Anna Sui Lipstick V
  6.  Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette
  7.  Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow in Galaxy
  8.  Melt lipstick in Space Cake (love this shade!)
  9.  Givenchy Le Prisme Superstellar Eye Shadow Palette

Don't forget hair, skin and bath and body products.  :)

Space-inspired beauty

  1. Mugler Alien Divine fragrance
  2. 111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream (I'm not actually recommending an $1,100 face cream, but the Babsters wanted to include it since they thought it was so fancy.)
  3. R & Co Outer Space hairspray
  4. Andrea Garland Rocket Girl lip balm
  5. GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment
  6. Sunday Riley Martian Toner (see also U.F.O. Face Oil and Luna Sleeping Night Oil)
  7. Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb (see also Aliens and Monsters soap)

All of these products are to say nothing of the tons of space-inspired items that have gone before.  Off the top of my head I remember the Cover Girl Star Wars collection, Too-Faced The Future Lovers palette and Galaxy Baked Eyeshadows, Chanel Cosmic and Ciel de Nuit nail polishes and of course Essie Starry Starry Night.  There are also the always-popular galaxy manicures and makeup, plus the Museum's own celestial-themed holiday 2014 exhibition. But I figured photos of these would be overkill, plus Museum staff was very keen on sharing more vintage pieces.  Space Babo and Dr. McCoy dug up a couple of really cool ads.

Max Factor ad - 1950(image from library.duke.edu)

Tussy ad, 1969
(image from sayhellospaceman.blogspot.com)

Finally, I knew Kigu had a flying saucer compact (and something I'd love to splurge on eventually - they go for quite a bit of money) but my little space cadets found that the company actually put out an entire line of these U.F.O.-shaped compacts between 1951 and 1961.  They were originally only available in plain gold tone, but in 1956 Kigu began offering them with a beautiful blue starry background.

Kigu flying saucer compact

Kigu flying saucer compact

Kigu flying saucer compact

This one is probably the most sought after - it's also a music box and debuted in 1957. 

Kigu flying saucer compact

This bejeweled one came out in 1958.

Kigu flying saucer compact(images from vintage-compacts.com and vintagemodes.blogspot.com)

So what do you think?  What out of this world beauty products are your favorites?  Space Babo and Dr. McCookie are all ears, as am I.  :)


Paul & Joe fall collection, part 1

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

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

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

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

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

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry compact

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry compact

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry lipstick case

I love this little detail on the lipstick cap.

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry lipstick case

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

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

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

Paul & Joe Sister - Looney Tunes

Paul & Joe Sister - Looney Tunes

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

Paul & Joe Sister Looney Tunes dress

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

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

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

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

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat

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

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

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


Friday Fun: MAC's trolling us all

Initially I was confused as to why MAC chose troll dolls as a collection theme.  Yes, a resurgence of all things '90s is upon us, but it still seemed strange to resurrect the troll doll fad.  It only made sense when I got wind of the new Trolls movie, which releases this November.

Naturally I love how obnoxiously bright the packaging is.

MAC Good Luck Trolls collection

The image on the boxes is the signature crazy troll hair.

MAC Good Luck Trolls box

I don't think I've ever seen makeup with a troll silhouette imprinted!

MAC Good Luck Trolls powder

Glitter caps!

MAC Good Luck Trolls collection

Now for a little history.  The original troll doll was created by a Danish woodcutter named Thomas Dam in 1959.  Too poor to afford a Christmas gift for his daughter, he carved her a troll figure out of wood instead.  Pretty soon the doll was the talk of the town, and the Dam Things company began producing trolls made of plastic in the early '60s under the name Good Luck Trolls.  In the U.S. the troll doll craze hit peak popularity from 1963-65 and came around again in the '90s.  Being the '90s buff that I am, I felt the need to do a little more research on the renewed interest in trolls.  I found a very useful entry on the topic here - while no longer active, this blog is great for anyone needing a dose of '90s nostalgia.  While regular trolls were popular, there were also dolls known as Treasure Trolls that sported jewels in their bellybuttons, and you would rub the belly gem for good luck.  You might remember the billikens I looked at earlier this year - one would rub their bellies for good luck, and one of the compacts I included showed a billiken with a jewel in his navel.  So maybe the Treasure Trolls were drawing on this tradition?  In any case, I just had to include these early '90s commercials for the Treasure Trolls. 

 

 

I was hoping to find more about why trolls experienced such a renaissance in the '90s.  Alas, I didn't turn up much.  This article seems to think it was the general '90s obsession with anything retro, but that's about all I found.

Anyway, as a collector I was also curious to see if there were any folks out there who had amazing troll stashes, or even museums. Behold, the Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio!  Run by Sherry Groom, the museum boasts a Guinness World Record collection consisting of over 10,000 troll dolls, figurines and other troll memorabilia. It's the largest troll collection in the whole world.

The Troll Hole(image from thetrollhole.com)

Troll Hole Museum(image from roadsideamerica.com)

And up until recently, there was a Troll Museum in New York City's Lower East Side.  The collection is considerably smaller; however, it was home to possibly the most diverse collection of trolls, including a very rare two-headed troll from the '60s.  Unfortunately proprietor/artist Jen Miller, better known as Reverend Jen, was evicted earlier this summer.  Due to health issues she was unable to work and pay the rent.  It breaks my heart to think of her collection, so lovingly amassed over 20 years, to be sold or given away.  Not only that, since the museum was actually her apartment (tours were given by appointment only) she has nowhere to live now.

Troll museum, NYC(image from timeout.com)

Troll Museum - two-headed troll

While the Troll Hole may be much bigger, I definitely gravitate more towards Reverend Jen's collection.  We seem to be kindred spirits in our approach to having museums in our homes, and also our "Board of Directors" - she clearly has a sense of humor about it the way I do with my museum staff.

Troll Museum Board of Directors(images from untappedcities.com)

I do hope Reverend Jen is able to get back on her feet.  If nothing else, I wish I had known she was getting thrown out of her apartment - maybe I could have at least stored part of her collection somewhere until she was able to find another home.

Getting back to MAC, I thought it was well done.  If I was going to design a troll doll-themed collection this is what I would have come up with.  Yes, it's a little juvenile but still loads of fun for those of us who remember the troll fad. 

What do you think of the collection?  And do you own any troll dolls?

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Friday Fun: Totally cute is an understatement

Care to guess why I bought Too-Faced's Totally Cute palette in a matter of seconds after seeing it online?  Two words:  mermaid stickers!!  I'll get to those and the artist who created them in a second, but right now let's take a look at the actual palette.

Too Faced Totally Cute palette

Obviously I didn't put any stickers on mine. #collectible

Too Faced Totally Cute palette

Too Faced Totally Cute palette

I liked the guide almost as much as I liked the stickers.

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Does anyone else think the drawing of Too-Faced founder Jerrod Blandino looks a little like Hermey from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?  He just needs his hair in the opposite direction and a little elf hat. 

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

I spy a mermaid!

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Now for the even cuter part.  The palette comes with 2 sheets of kitschy stickers that I don't think I'll ever tire of.

Too-Faced Totally Cute stickers

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

But if you order from Too Faced's website directly, they will add a bonus sheet of stickers!  I didn't know this, however, and placed my order at Sephora.  I nearly cried when the sheet with the mermaid stickers wasn't there, as I had seen it at various other blogs and couldn't figure out why it wasn't included.  So I headed over to the Too Faced site and realized this sheet is exclusive to them.  So naturally I had to order it and then returned the other palette to Sephora.  Because MERMAIDS!!

Too Faced Totally Cute bonus stickers

So now let's take a look at the work of Humberto Cruz, a.k.a. iscreamcolour, the 32 year-old San Diego-based artist behind these adorable illustrations.  After graduating in 2007 from the Art Institute of California in San Diego, Cruz worked at a grocery store to make ends meet.  His luck changed for the better after joining Instagram and getting the attention of major fashion designers like Jeremy Scott.  With over 26,000 (!) followers now, his prospects are definitely looking up.

Cruz has done some great editorial pieces for the likes of Nylon - I was so excited when I opened this month's issue to see his work.

Iscreamcolour - Nylon July 2016

And some wonderful illustrations for V Magazine, showing off the best looks of the week (a feature that no longer seems to exist - not sure why).  The constantly fluctuating nature of fashion, particularly in cities known for being on the cutting-edge of trends, captures Cruz's imagination.  He remarks in an interview, "It’s always changing every season. I just like the way people express themselves with clothes. Here in San Diego we don’t get to wear those things, interesting things. It’s not New York or Paris."

Iscreamcolour - Cara

Iscreamcolour - Katy Perry

Iscreamcolour - Rhianna

While these are a lot of fun, his Instagram is pure gold.  Cruz clearly shares my affinity for mermaids and cites Disney's The Little Mermaid as a favorite subject to draw when he was young.  "As a kid I was always into different characters, the Little Mermaid...I would watch the movie and pause it to draw the characters and specific scenes."

Iscreamcolour - Merboy

Iscreamcolour - mermaid and octopus

Nearly died when I saw these punk mermaids - two of my favorite things, together at last!!

Iscreamcolour - punk mermaids

Like me, he also seems to have a taste for '90s pop culture.  Since he was just a kid in the '90s, it makes sense that he includes motifs like troll dolls ("I collected them as a child and I’ve started buying them again on eBay," he says) in his illustrations, but I also love his representations of the decade's icons in general. 

Iscreamcolour - Drew Barrymore

I remember Lil Kim's 1999 VMAs outfit like it was yesterday!

Iscreamcolour - Lil Kim

Iscreamcolour - '90s supermodels

Iscreamcolour - Spice Girls

Iscreamcolour - Spice Girls

Iscreamcolour - 'N Sync

Iscreamcolour - Cher

Iscreamcolour - Romy and Michelle

Sometimes mermaids and the '90s collide, as in these '90s era photos of Leonardo DiCaprio sporting a mermaid tail.

Iscreamcolour - Leonardo DiCaprio
(all images from @iscreamcolour)

As for Cruz's fascination with stickers, he maintains that they serve as a perfect backdrop to his celebrity illustrations.  "I’ve always collected [stickers], and had them in a box. I wasn’t inspired for a few years after I was finished with school. I’m drawing celebrities, thinking what should I do with the backgrounds? Should I use my stickers? Are they going to stay there in the box forever? It’s better to look at them in a drawing," he says.  

I feel as though Cruz and I are kindred spirits - we love collecting, mermaids, and anything from the '90s.  The mark of a good collaboration is when you can tell it's a particular artist's work, but slightly modified to fit the brand they're working with.  In this case Cruz was right on the money.  Not only did he use his signature cute symbols like troll dolls and and anthropomorphic food, he incorporated other motifs so that the stickers specifically captured the playful essence of this palette and of Too-Faced as a brand.  Both the fun side of makeup in general (blue lipstick, "I wake up for makeup") and Too-Faced (images of the company's other products, a caricature of Blandino and his dog Clover, etc.) were well-represented.

What do you think?  And did you collect stickers growing up?  I did, among many other things. :)