Fall/holiday 2018 color trend

We're used to seeing red lips for the fall and holiday seasons - everything from deep crimson to bright, borderline-orange is fair game - but this year it seems the fiery hue has gained significant traction as an eye shadow trend.  Some makeup aficionados consider red eye shadow to be difficult to pull off, especially for pale pasty folks such as myself, as it can go from "cutting-edge runway" to "severe eye infection" very quickly.  However, if anyone can get me to try this seemingly difficult shade, it's Mother (a.k.a. the legendary Pat McGrath.)  I tested out the aptly named Blitz Flame shade from her Mothership V palette and found it was shockingly wearable.  While I suspect it's the prettiest and best quality out of the palettes below, there is no shortage of reds to try this year as seemingly every fall and holiday palette contains a red shade.  Honorable mentions include Charlotte Tilbury Palette of Pops, Viseart Libertine palette and Morphe Your True Selfie palette - I simply couldn't fit them all in one image!

Fall 2018 red

  1. Bobbi Brown Infra-Red palette
  2. Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V Bronze Seduction palette
  3. NARS Provacateur palette
  4. Violet Voss Berry Burst mini palette
  5. Karity Picante palette
  6. Maybelline Soda Pop palette
  7. Huda Beauty Obsessions palette in Ruby
  8. Zoeva Spice of Life palette
  9. Natasha Denona Cranberry palette
  10. Ace Beaute Blossom Passion palette

I can't say I was seeing any red eye shadow on the fall 2018 runways, so I'm not sure what the reason is for the trend. Perhaps it's the influence of the larger cherry/burgundy beauty craze (see Urban Decay's Naked Cherry collection, Maybelline's Burgundy Bar, and my post on burgundy makeup from last fall), or maybe given the success of other reddish-toned colors released previously - again, with Urban Decay leading the way with their Naked Heat palette this summer - it's an expansion on colors that were once viewed as odd choices for eye shadows.  It's similar to how nearly every brand now has non-traditional lip colors.  (Speaking of which, who else wants to see a Black Satin lipstick from Chanel?  I'm wearing the nail polish right now...)

Have you tried or will you be trying red shadow?  It's still not my favorite shade for eyes, but I must say that Pat McGrath, once again, has made a look that I previously thought was off-limits for me totally doable.

Lunar luxury: Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush

This was one of the few acquisitions I actually researched before buying.  Not because I didn't love it at first sight but because I wasn't spending $134 on a single item unless I could get a blog post out of it.  Fortunately Chikuhodo's Moon Rabbit (Tsuki No Usagi) brush gave me something awesome to write about.  The notion of a rabbit on the moon sounds pretty crazy, but as I discovered, the moon rabbit is a fairly big part of culture and history throughout East Asia.  I will be focusing on the Japanese version of the story since Chikuhodo is a Japanese brand. 

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush

Let's admire the stunning gold and silver design on the handle.

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush

I absolutely adore the iridescence of the moon!

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush detail

Here's the brush head.  If you plan on buying it I can assure you it's just as soft as a bunny itself (although it's actually made from squirrel and goat hair.)

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush

The concept of the moon rabbit has its roots in variety of cultures, most notably Chinese, Aztec and other indigenous American ones.  The folklore comes from particular markings that can be seen when the moon is full, which resemble a rabbit using a pestle.  More specifically, "The rabbit's head is formed by the Mare Serenitatis (Sea of Serenity); its ears by the Mare Tranquillitatis, the Mare Fecunditatis and the Mare Nectaris (the seas of Tranquility, Fecundity and Nectar); and the body and legs by the Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Showers) and the Oceanus Procellarum (the Ocean of Storms). A small, puffy bunny tail is formed by the Mare Nubium (the Sea of Clouds)."

Moon rabbit
(image from tvtropes.org)

In East Asia, the tale originated in China and spread to other Asian cultures.  While in China the rabbit represents a moon goddess pounding the "elixir of life", in Japan the rabbit is making mochi (sweet rice cakes).  Here's the Japanese version of the story.  "Many years ago, the Old Man of the Moon decided to visit the Earth. He disguised himself as a beggar and asked Fox (Kitsune), Monkey (Saru), and Rabbit (Usagi) for some food. Monkey climbed a tree and brought him some fruit. Fox went to a stream, caught a fish, and brought it back to him. But Rabbit had nothing to offer him but some grass. So he asked the beggar to build a fire. After the beggar started the fire, Rabbit jumped into it and offered himself as a meal for the beggar to eat.  Quickly the beggar changed back into the Old Man of the Moon and pulled Rabbit from the fire. He said 'You are most kind, Rabbit, but don't do anything to harm yourself. Since you were the kindest of all to me, I'll take you back to the moon to live with me.' The Old Man carried Rabbit in his arms back to the moon and he is still there to this very day exactly where the Old Man left him. Just look at the moon in the night sky and the rabbit is there!"  While no one knows the exact origins of the story, it may be based on a Buddhist fable, or could be a bit of wordplay:  "The rabbit pounding mochi is also a play on words…the word mochitsuki describes the act of pounding mochi, while the word mochizuki refers to the full moon."

In any case, it's a charming tale, and one that's heavily ingrained in Japanese culture.  Images of rabbits frolicking in the light of the full moon are quite common in Japanese art.

Rabbits by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716)
(image from metmuseum.org)

Hares and Autumn Full Moon, attributed to Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770(image from mfa.org)

Moon; White Hare in Snow by Taisosai Hokushu, 1819
(image from metmuseum.org)

Rabbits in Moonlight by Utagawa Hiroshige, ca. 1847-1852(image from mfa.org)

Rabbit in the Moon, unknown artist, 1915
(image from mfa.org)

Rabbits and the Moon by Ohara Koson (Shōson), 1931
(image from ukiyo-e.org)

Rabbits and the moon are also a common scene for home goods - it seems to be particularly popular for noren (Japanese doorway curtains.)

Moon rabbit noren
(image from global.rakuten.com)

Moon rabbit noren
(image from nipponcraft.com)

Moon rabbit noren
(image from 1stdibs.com)

You can find nearly any household product depicting the moon rabbit, from washi tape and towels to kitchen items.

Moon rabbit washi tape and towel
(images from yozocraft and amazon)

Moon rabbit chopsticks and dipping dish
(images from global.rakuten.com and amazon)

Additionally, each fall there are entire festivals throughout Japan to view and celebrate the harvest moon. The moon-viewing, or tsukimi ("tsuki" means moon and "mi" is watch) is held on the 15th day in the evening of the eighth lunar month.  These gatherings date all the way to the 9th century and, like the moon rabbit story itself, were introduced by the Chinese. "The O-tsukimi festival began in the Heian era (794 to 1185). During this period, Japanese aristocrats gather themselves and recite poetry under the light of the full moon. In the Japanese lunisolar calendar, this gathering usually falls on the 8th month. They believed that the 8th month is the best month to look at the moon because the positions of the Earth, sun, and moon further illuminate the night sky. Later on, the event is not only centered on poetry reading. Decorations were made. Japanese pampas grass (susuki) was put into place. Tsukimi ryore, sake, and other food were shared by everyone viewing the moon. People who attend the gathering also begin to thank their moon god and pray for another bountiful harvest. Hence, the O-tsukimi festival tradition as we know it today. Even when the moon is not visible or there is rain, O-tsukimi festival is still being held. The Japanese call it Mugetsu (no moon), or Ugetsu (rain moon)." 

Little moon-shaped dumplings called dango are made especially for the season.  And the pampas grass is so pretty...I'm wondering if the curved lines on the Chikuhodo brush are meant to represent it.  I think they could, given the prominence of stylized grass in the art I included above.  The grass also symbolizes a bountiful harvest and is believed to ward off evil.

Pampas grass (susuki) and dango
(image from facebook)

Chikuhodo Moon Rabbit brush detail

I couldn't resist sharing these fairly elaborate bunny-themed treats.  Needless to say, if I ever make it to Japan, I will have a tough choice whether to go during spring or fall - the former has fantastic cherry blossom festivals but, as I'm learning, the autumn moon-viewing festivals are amazing too!

Moon rabbit egg tart

Moon rabbit cake roll

Moon rabbit sweets

Moon rabbit dessert
(images from soranews24.com) 

In addition to festivals, the moon rabbit story figures prominently in Japanese culture in other ways, most notably in the popular anime Sailor Moon (whose human name is Usagi Tsukino - literally "rabbit of the moon" ) and a rover designed to explore the moon named Hakuto ("white rabbit").  Given all of this I feel fairly embarrassed that I was completely unfamiliar with the moon rabbit story and the festivals and other cultural touchstones associated with it.  But at least Chikuhodo provided a beautiful way for me to become aware. 

What do you think of this brush?  Had you heard of the moon rabbit story before?

Curator's Corner, October 2018

CC logoAs you've probably already guessed, there won't be a fall exhibition this year.  However, I'm working away on the Museum's 10-year anniversary exhibition and as well as the holiday one.  ;)  More on those later but in the meantime, here's what was in store around the interwebz in October.

- I was so pleased to be interviewed for and quoted in not one but two beauty-related articles during the month. *pats self on back*

- Talk about inclusive:  Herbal Essences's new shampoo and conditioner packaging features "tactile indentations" for the blind so they can tell the bottles apart.  I think all companies should start including these - and on shower gels too!

- On the not-so inclusive side, I'm glad someone is finally mentioning that the over-30 crowd is being left out.  For all the talk of inclusivity, I'm kind of taken aback (and annoyed) at how many brands continue ignoring us.  With my 40th birthday quickly approaching, I'm more aware of it than ever.

- I wish I could have gone to Sephora's very first beauty festival, Sephoria - it sounded pretty fun!

- The Cut had an interesting series of essays on lipstick.

- I'd like to hear your thoughts on this Bustle article.  As an owner of one of the original Revlon Fire and Ice ads, I must say I have a completely different take on the campaign. 

- We know glitter is bad for the environment, but I had no idea child labor was involved too.  It's very disappointing that something so sparkly and fun is actually quite sad, so we need a solution ASAP.

- As a sort of follow-up to my post about beauty packaging waste, here's the latest development in the fight for more environmentally-friendly products.  Maybe blue beauty can save the mermaids?

- Allure simply loves to name hair color trends after beverages, which apparently doesn't sit well with In Style.  Personally I'm siding with the latter on this.

- Happy Halloween!

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, TV show Charmed and Britney Spears' hit "Baby One More Time" turn 20, along with New Radicals' "You Get What You Give".  However, nostalgia is all well and good until you start messing with classics like 1995's Clueless - seriously, a remake?  As if!

- On the art front, Banksy pulls off what is possibly one of the greatest stunts in art history, only for it to be immediately monetized.  Then again, it's a good alternative if you can't afford a shredded $1.4 million painting.  Also of note:  doctors can now prescribe museum visits - I always knew art was good for your health! - and a statue in Georgia gets a very silly modification.  Normally I shudder upon seeing vandalized art, and I'd be super pissed if someone ever messed with the Museum's collection should it ever be available to the public, but for the life of me I cannot stop laughing at it.  Finally, unlike the Museum of Pizza and Cheat Day Land (will this ridiculous fake "museum" trend never end?!), the Disgusting Food Museum actually seems to have some educational and historical merit, albeit on an unappealing topic.

- Is it bad I'm looking at holiday things the day after Halloween?  Me and the plushies are still in a candy coma, but we're already excited for many more holiday/winter treats.


How was your October?  Are you gearing up for the holiday season?