« September 2008 | Main | November 2008 »

October 2008

Friday Fun: Trick or Treat!

As much as I loved dressing up for Halloween as a kid, my favorite part was stuffing myself full of delicious candy, especially chocolate.  So in honor of Halloween and my nostalgia for chocolate Halloween treats, I'm looking at a treat for your lips - on10's Hershey's Milk Chocolate lip balm. 

On10 hersheys

The retro packaging is adorable, and of course I love the dead-on chocolate scent.  While the product has its good points (it's made from organic ingredients and has SPF 15), it's not what I would consider a heavy-duty lip balm.  If your lips are seriously chapped this won't do much, as the texture is thin and it wears off relatively quickly.  But I still think it could come in handy under lipstick, and, come on, it smells like chocolate and has cute packaging.  That's enough for me.  :)

Happy Halloween!

Paul & Joe Holiday 2008 collection

I was really looking forward to Paul & Joe's holiday collection this year, but I was disappointed, at least with the packaging.  The collection includes three new lipsticks, along with a makeup bag containing lipstick and gloss.  

Paul joe holiday 08 (photo from paul-joe-beaute.com)
The bag is adorable, but it recycles a print that was used in the "Flea Market in Paris" collection a few years ago.  I like the shiny gold flower adorning the lipstick tubes (shiny and gold are always great for the holidays!) but in the end, it's just their signature flower, and it's repeated in all 3 lipsticks in the collection.
I guess I'm disappointed because makeup companies usually pull out all the stops for their holiday collections - the season encourages them to come out with their most innovative, sometimes over-the-top packaging and designs, and usually Paul & Joe comes through and delivers some really neat packaging.  Not this year though.  Still, the Curator is a bit relieved as it's one less collection for the Museum to procure, and there are plenty of other interesting items just around the corner!

Couture Monday: Pucci for Guerlain

It's not even winter here yet but today is very cold and dreary, so I thought I'd take a look back at a nice cheery spring collection.  In May of 2007 Guerlain teamed up with Pucci to create a limited edition collection that included lip glosses, powder brush, and eye makeup set along with Guerlain's best-selling Meteorites (for those of you not familiar with this product, it's a face highlighter in the shape of little balls).  The Museum's Advisory Committee voted against buying the entire collection, using the argument that the print was more or less the same on all the items, but unanimously agreed to procuring, at a minimum, the Meteorites.  

Guerlain pucci

And the rest of the collection:

Guerlain Pucci
(photos from neimanmarcus.com)

What impressed me with this collection is the fact that Pucci created an entirely new print just for Guerlain instead of slapping on a design that was used on a previous collection.  According to Fashion Week Daily, the print was first placed on a scarf: "Olivier Échaudemaison, Guerlain's creative director, worked directly with Pucci's image director, Laudomia Pucci to translate the imagery of the scarf into an eight-piece makeup collection...'It's not just about wrapping something in a Pucci print,' said Pucci. 'Our first step was making a scarf, something that would give focus to the entire project. I can't visualize anything without a scarf!'"   The use of color is excellent too - soft aquamarine with pink and fuchsia is perfect for spring.  What's more, the colors and prints echoed, rather than exactly reproduced, the runway looks for Pucci's spring 2007 ready-to-wear line.

Pucci 2007
(photos from style.com)

All in all I think this was a very successful collection in terms of how the makeup truly captured the designer's aesthetic.  I like that a new print was created just for the collection, but not one that had little to do with Pucci's designs.  I'd be curious to see what Pucci could do for other makeup lines!

When perfume meets high art

While my primary focus is the relationship between art and cosmetics, this Vogue article on perfume was too interesting not to post about.  


The magazine reports that Sophie Matisse (yes, she's the granddaughter of the famous Henri Matisse ) has hand-painted a series of new perfumes by Kilian Hennessey.  Several things caught my attention while reading the article:  1.  Matisse actually painted the design on each bottle herself - this is very different from having an artist create a design and having it mechanically reproduced onto thousands of the same product.  2.  There is an actual catalogue of items listing each bottle.  "And just like in an art gallery, each $1,500 flacon will appear in an illustrated catalog at the counter (and online at bykilian.com), tagged with a tiny red dot upon sale." 

Bottles S. Matisse

Each comes with a beautiful box as well:

(all photos from bykilian.com)
This is such a great idea, and I wish that makeup companies would come up with something like this.  The perfume bottles are refillable, and I think a refillable compact would be the logical counterpart.  Of course, the paint would have to be durable enough not to flake off or fade from being thrown into a purse, but I think it could be done...it would be quite literally the intersection of art and cosmetics.

Vibrating mascaras: gimmick or groundbreaking?

Picture 2

So instead of looking at pretty packaging and today, I'll be examining the more technological side of cosmetic design.   Estee Lauder released its Turbo Lash mascara in July, while Lancome has just released its Oscillation mascara.  "Feel the buzz, as the gently vibrating LashSonic Brush™ with micro-pulse bristles works its magic, moving rapidly through lashes...the motion brush keeps lashes clump-free," reads the copy for Turbo Lash.  And according to Lancome, "the actions of the oscillating brush that moves with 7,000 vibrations per minute, organizes and evenly coats the lashes with an ultrafine formula designed specifically for the product."  

Sounds pretty cool, right?  But does this really work better than the usual stable mascara wand or is it just a pricey marketing gimmick?   Despite the hefty price tag I'm itching to try one of these to compare it to its non-moving counterparts to see if it's really superior.   On the other hand I have a feeling this is just another marketing ploy - there are some great mascaras out there already, and I see this as more of a short-lived fad rather than something that will permanently take hold.   

In any case, if anyone has tried these latest marvels of technology, post your comments below! 

(photo from lancome-usa.com)

Friday Fun: Flower Power

No, this isn't yet another post on Cargo's PlantLove line.  I'm talking about Vincent Longo's Flower eye shadow trios.  P222312_heroI'm almost certain the company had released these trios previously, but I can't find any evidence other than this review at Sephora's website (it's on the second page of reviews, the one called "Repromote of an Old Collection".)  If I recall correctly they were sold individually and not in a set.  In any case, I thought they were great then and I still think they're cute now.  The vibrant colors work well with the hippie-looking flower shape.  I'm not sure why the company decided to launch these, as Vincent Longo isn't really known for doing interesting patterns or packaging, but it's always  nice to see a company branch out with design.  The shadows do look like they might be a bit difficult to use - I imagine one's brush would pick up more than one color at a time.   This is not a problem, of course, if you're like me and only want to buy them to look at them! 

(photo from sephora.com)

Stila and CanCam magazine

Stila Japan collaborated with CanCam magazine to create a limited-edition collection in honor of the magazine's 25th anniversary.  It includes a lip glaze, makeup pouch and palette.  The palette and bag feature a Stila girl holding a copy of CanCam magazine.  I especially love the way the girl's gingham skirt becomes the print on the bag, as well as the adorable miniature red pom-poms on the zipper.

Camcam pouch

And here's the palette:

Cancam palette 

Since the palette is a rare item (at least in the U.S.) I've taken a shot of the shadows and blush:


Inside flash cancam

I was curious about the publication itself and found this on Wikipedia:  "Its name derives from 'I Can Campus', because girls who read it are expected to become 'campus leaders'. The magazine was created for these fashion-conscious consumers, and offers the latest information on fashion, makeup, bags, accessories, etc. The magazine is a popular fashion resource to 1st and 2nd year office ladies as well as university students."  This is also Stila's main demographic (although I think the line is great for older women too!) so it makes sense that they teamed up with CanCam. 
I like that Stila is still doing product tie-ins, even though they're in a country outside of the U.S...they need to do more here!

No Manish for the Museum :(

I am sad to report that the Museum will not be getting the Manish Arora items from MAC.  It's especially sad given how excited I was about the collection.  Apparently it was only being sold online and in 3 stores across the U.S., all of which were sold out within minutes of opening (as were stores outside of the U.S.)   I didn't realize it was such an exclusive collection - the reason I didn't order when it first appeared online is because I thought I'd see it in person a few days later at my local MAC store.  Sigh.  At the MAC website some of the items are shown as "coming soon" so maybe there's a chance they will be restocked, but I'm not optimistic.  The collection is selling for double or triple retail prices on E-bay, and I'm not willing to pay that much - not yet anyway!  So for now I will have to be content with looking at pictures of the collection from those lucky few who managed to get their hands on it. 


(photo from thegazz.com)

Update:  I actually managed to order the Pink Manish lip gloss from MAC - it really did go back in stock!  So at least I have one Manish item to call my own without paying an arm and a leg on E-bay. 

Couture Monday: Givenchy's pocket watch lip gloss


I love pocket watches - they have a vintage air about them even if they're not actually antiques.  (Plus my fiance wears one so I guess I'm a bit biased.)  I was pretty happy to see Givenchy breaking the makeup-as-jewelry mold with this "watch" containing a highlighter for lips and cheeks.   I'm not particuarly fond of these pieces as I find them to be relatively useless gimmicks (I have yet to see someone actually accessorizing with these) consisting of fancy silver and gold metal packaging with a lackluster product, but this stands out to me.

Other companies have released wearable makeup items (see pictures below) and they're always the usual jewelry items.  Yves Saint Laurent released a heart-shaped pendant containing two lip glosses for last year's holiday season, while Dior came out with a pendant lip gloss this past summer as well a lip gloss gloss a few years back. 

(photos from sephora, neiman marcus and nordstrom.com)

Givenchy's watch goes beyond the typical accessory, eschewing a charm bracelet or locket for an item usually worn by men, which I believe makes it a bit edgier.   After seeing the product name is "Sweet Dandy" I dug around and discovered that the muse for Dior's fall 2008 collection, the dandy, was the same inspiration for Givenchy's watch.  Creator Nicolas Degennes was taken with the "sophisticated ambiguity of the dandy style...with its mixture of masculine and feminine codes." I could launch into a very long discussion about traditional gender roles and how certain products signify gender, but suffice it to say I think Degennes definitely hit the nail on the head with the watch - it's a perfect blend of male and female  accoutrements.   The item does fall short of relating in any way to the fashion house's fall clothing lineup (the ready-to-wear line by Riccardo Tisci  has a "Latino Gothic" feel, according to the press release), but it is a well-executed realization of Degennes's original concept. 

MAC and Ungaro

I haven't been able to get my hands on Manish Arora which was  officially released today (as a Curator who's no stranger to limited-edition products, I wasn't sure why I thought this wouldn't sell out right away when it was posted at the MAC website two days ago), so I thought I'd catch up on another MAC collection that was released last week.  MAC teamed up with Emmanuel Ungaro to create a limited-edition collection representing designer Esteban Cortazar's vision for his fall 2008 fashions.  "Dreamy, softly impressionistic, reverential...Softly shaded to match the understated mood of the collection" is how the look is described at the MAC website, and I think the promotional picture represents it well, especially when compared to the models' makeup and soft, slightly messy updos at the fall show.

(photo from maccosmetics.com)

Ungaro runway(photos from style.com)

While the colors themselves are definitely wearable and a nice extension of those seen on the runway, the packaging could have used a little oomph.  Repeating the Ungaro logo doesn't seem "understated" to me but rather, well, repetitive and unimaginative.  

Ungaro(photos from maccosmetics.com)

The Museum's Advisory Committee voted unanimously not to accession any of the Ungaro items and instead use the budget towards Manish Arora.  ;)  It's a shame that the packaging wasn't more interesting, but at least the colors were the same as those used to create the fall 2008 Ungaro fashion.  In that sense the collection is a success. 

For a great interview with Cortazar and MAC makeup artist Sharon Dowsett check out this Spoiled Pretty blog post.