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January 2010

Friday fun: go ask Alice

"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimbel in the wabe;
all mimsy were the borogroves
and the momeraths outgrabe."

Oh boy am I excited for the new Alice in Wonderland movie.  But you know what I'm even more excited about?  The awesome cosmetic tie-ins.  Urban Decay released this beauty last week.


To my knowledge, this is the first pop-up palette ever.  I thought it was extremely clever to use this technique for an Alice in Wonderland-themed palette - what better way to celebrate a children's book (well, I think Alice in Wonderland is meant for all ages) than with whimsical pop-up illustrations?  

Excuse my hand, the palette didn't seem to want to stay open!

Whole palette

Here's little Alice, looking up at the caterpillar:


Cute "drink me" bottle:

Drink me

And my favorite detail on this palette:  the caterpillar.  His face seems to convey a hint of grouchiness and superiority, which is exactly how he is in the book and animated Disney movie. 

Whoooo are yoooou?


While the idea of actually using the palette horrifies the Curator, I understand that most of you are normal and are going to be using it for its intended purpose.  So here are the colors in natural light.  I love the little white rabbits sprinkled throughout.

Natural light

And with flash:

Inside flash

I think we're off to an excellent start with the Alice madness.  More Wonderland-based goodies to come.  ;)

Quick news: collecting as a "disease"

Iwan-portrait-3 London art dealer Iwan Wirth had this to say about art collectors coming back to the fore in the midst of the financial crisis:  "Collecting is like a disease - you can only stop when you die."  While I collect makeup and not art (or as I like to argue, it can be considered art!)  I definitely can relate.  Among collectors of all objects there is a sort of compulsion to get as many items as you can and fill in the gaps of your current collection.  And yes, not even a recession can keep many of us from continuing to expand our collections.  Still, I like to refer to collecting as a "hobby" rather than a "disease"!

(image from theartnewspaper.com)

Into the Paul & Joe archives

How cool is this?  As I was poking around the Paul & Joe site I found that they archive all of their collections.  This is extremely valuable for a collector like me since I can see exactly what I'm missing.  Of course, the items aren't available but it is helpful to see what they've come up with in the past.  Some highlights:

Paul joe archives
(images from paul-joe-beaute.com)

What I would give to get my hands on these!  Unfortunately older Paul & Joe stuff is hard to come by - I very rarely see it on E-bay, or anywhere else for that matter.

The latest in luxury from Tweezerman

Hello Dollface posted about these last week, wistfully noting that while they are pretty, they're just not practical for her (and I'm inclined to think not practical for most of us!)  Featuring either clear or black Swarovski crystals (or pink, available only at Harrod's, it seems), these $100 tweezers take plucking to a whole new level.  At least, that's what the marketing department at Tweezerman wants you to believe.

Tweezerman luxe
(images from neimanmarcus.com)

I wonder how much they would enhance the experience of neatening one's brows.  If I had money to burn I'd be all over these just for the sheer novelty of having crystal-encrusted tweezers.  Yes, they're totally frivolous but also fun.  What do you think?

The resort life: MAC and Lilly Pulitzer

I have to say I was a bit surprised to hear that MAC was doing a collection with preppy Palm Beach resort designer Lilly Pulitzer.  MAC's other fashion collaborations have been with designers who are, ahem, much more youth-oriented and cutting-edge (Heatherette, DSquared, Ungaro) so I could see Lilly Pulitzer working with, say, Elizabeth Arden but not so much MAC.  Lest I be accused of ageism (I'm not ageist, I'm an old lady myself!), I will say that I like the blush and eye shadow that was offered in this collection - springy colors and a fun print provide an antidote to the winter blues. 

Here's the Pearlmatte blush, with and without flash in natural light:

 Mac lilly face

And Pearlmatte eyeshadow trio:

Mac lilly eyes

I think these (and the rest of the colors in the collection) are definitely a good reflection of Lilly Pulitzer style.  I like that the eye shadow was in her signature colors, bright pink and green:


As evidenced below, floral patterns abound in Lilly Pulitzer so it's no surprise they were incorporated into the design of the MAC collection.

Lilly prints
(images from lillypulitzer.com)

Personally I find the floral prints to work better on makeup than on clothes.  ;) 

More quick news: I haz good (fake) job?

Curator_large The Wall Street Journal recently listed the 200 best and worst jobs of 2009.  Museum curator came in at no. 51 - no wonder I like pretending to be one so much!  ;)  The study was based on 5 criteria:  environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress.   Oddly enough, my number one career pick (professor) was not on there.  But other academic, humanities-based careers ranked very highly, including Historian (no. 5) and Philosopher (No. 11).   I knew something in academia/art was my calling!

(image from dl.lib.brown.edu/curator

Friday fun: Tarina Tarantino's new line

Jewelry and  hair accessory designer Tarina Tarantino has just launched her own cosmetics line, now available at Sephora.  The jury is still out on the quality of the makeup itself, but here at the Museum I am more interested in discussing the packaging.  It's more or less what I was expecting from her work (I have a really cool pink and yellow plastic skull ring from her that I adore) - extremely girly, full of bows and pearls and pink.  Here's an eyeshadow and blush:

Tt pearls

This so called "Sparkicity shimmer dust" comes in a pink bottle complete with fluffy atomizer - instead of a spritz of scent you'll get a healthy dose of shimmer.  And of course the brushes in the line had to be fuchsia! 

Tt girly
(images from sephora.com)
As you can see from some of her pieces below, the makeup line definitely is in keeping with her style:

Tt pearl bracelet bow

Although I must say part of me would have loved to have seen something a bit less girly and, well, juvenile.  The packaging almost looks like it was meant for a child.  Maybe she could have worked in some of her skulls or spiders to make it a bit more edgy and therefore mature?

Tt pink skull spider
(images from tarinatarantino.com)

While the packaging is cute and fun, it's not Museum-worthy - a little too childish for me  (and this is coming from someone who has Disney, Hello Kitty and Barbie on some of her makeup) and not all that interesting.   Benefit and Too-faced do fun and playful packaging a lot better.  What do you think? 

Urban Decay Show Pony palette

L.A.-based painter/illustrator/clothing designer Kime Buzzelli collaborated with Urban Decay to create this limited-edition palette.   Named for an art and fashion installation space/boutique/gallery in Echo Park (now closed, unfortunately) the palette features Buzzelli's unique watercolor depictions of women.  

Ud show pony
 (images from sephora and urbandecay.com)

So who are these women?  Buzzelli says her work represents "Female desire.  Girls trying to solve the puzzle of love.  Floating ghosts in search of happiness.  Obsession and disaster, Magic moments fueled by fantasy, stains and the evidence of mischief."  Here are some of her pieces:




(images from dreamzzzzzzzzz.blogspot.com)

Much like Natalie Lété for Bourjois, in looking at Buzzelli's work I can't fathom a better artist to do a collection for Urban Decay.  Her women are edgy, brash and seem fearless, while Urban Decay brands itself as "beauty with an edge".   And they wear plenty of makeup!  One final thought - is it a coincidence that Buzzelli says her art is partially about the representation of "female desire" and that there's an exclusive shade in the palette named Snatch?!  Perhaps, perhaps not.

Quick news: ancient eye makeup had health benefits

Egyptian-eye-makeup-3Here's an interesting discovery, brought to you by the Daily Mail.  French scientist Philippe Walter and his team at CNRS tested several samples of eye makeup from the Louvre's collection and confirmed its medicinal properties.  You wouldn't think a lead-based eye liner would be safe, let alone beneficial, but apparently at low doses the lead salts produced a "molecule-nitric oxide" which boosts the immune system.  Neat!

(image from eye-makeup-guide.com)

Another triumph - MM featured at B'more Magazine website

I'm simultaneously incredibly excited and horrified to share this little video at Baltimore Magazine's homepage.  Every month the magazine does a couple of online video features of pieces from the print magazine, and this month the editor chose me!   While it's a bit scary to have lost my anonymity, it's exciting to be up at their website.  I'm quite flattered and grateful to have been selected!  :)

The experience was far more nerve-wracking than the interview and picture for the print magazine, but a lot of fun too.  The camera man came by this past Saturday.  He was here for almost 2 hours!  Yes, 2 hours to get roughly a minute and a half long video!  It was really cool, he had all this fancy equipment and such.  When they first told me they would be shooting a video I was expecting this little handheld camera, but there was  a tripod and lights and everything!  I spent the morning before his arrival scurrying about trying to rearrange the collection so that it was grouped by theme ("fun" packaging in the auxiliary office exhibition space, couture in the hallway, and artist collaborations/Stila girls/Chantecaille in the main exhibition space) as well as trying to make myself look halfway decent - I'm way overdue for a haircut and color, hence the bad flat hair!  I was pretty nervous too so that's why my face looks a tad sweaty/greasy, despite a healthy dose of my beloved Make Up For Ever High-Definition Microfinish powder.  Finally, once again the camera is not kind to my face - it just takes my features and positively warps them!  Those who have seen me in person can attest to the fact that I really don't look that bad in real life.  ;)

Since my super-secret cover is now blown, I figured I'd share the article that appeared in the magazine.  Enjoy.  And please, for the last time, disregard the picture!  (I fear for our wedding photos.)