« February 2010 | Main | April 2010 »

March 2010

Shu Egérie spring collection

The Curator is a bit confounded by Shu Uemura's spring 2010 collection called Egérie.  According to their website, égérie is a "rebellious and daring spirit who never loses her sense of elegance and sophistication," while the collection itself is "inspired by the glamour of rock n roll.  Flashy, glimmering shine is complemented with delicate satin sheen finishes to transport you under the spotlight of the captivating rock stage."  Hmm.  To me, pastels and a tougher, rock and roll look just don't go together.  And the design on the packaging really has nothing to do with either - what is it supposed to be?

 Egerie items

Plus, while I adore the idea of a collection based on rocker chic, the ad is something we've seen before.  Here is Shu's promo ad side by side with MAC's Rebel Rock ad from 2005:

Ad comparison
All in all I was a bit underwhelmed.  Hopefully Shu's fall and holiday offerings will be more interesting.  (Although harder to find now, as L'Oreal just announced they will be closing all Shu counters in the U.S.!  We should still be able to buy online at the Shu website, however.)

Couture Monday: YSL mail call

I have to admit I didn't think this was the most interesting palette YSL has come out with, but I thought enough of it to buy it for the Museum.  It's basically the YSL "Y-Mail" bag, which bears the French address of the YSL boutique,  in highlighter form.


Outer case (excuse my grubby paw prints):


The powder, with and without flash:

I like that it came with a little replica of the actual bag, shown here in shiny patent:

Ysl tote

The Y-Mail bags were originally released in spring 2008, so why YSL is coming out with palette inspired by them now is a little strange.  Perhaps they're running out of ideas, since they came out with a Y-Bag inspired palette this past fall.   Still, while the concept isn't all that original, I do like the partial-stamp design in the powder itself.  And since I'm a sucker for anything miniature, I love the little replica bag!

Curator's corner: In like a lion, out like a lamb

Sleaterkinney Well, not quite...while the end of March is supposed to be gentler than the beginning, we've had some nasty weather here, which is sad considering how lovely it was last week.  Oh well.  Been kind of a bad week but there were some bright spots, like these:

- Awesome exhibition of Curious George drawings by Margaret and H.A. Rey at the Jewish Museum in New York.  I've always loved monkeys so Curious George books were among my favorites when I was little.

- Speaking of monkeys, I was browsing watches at Nordstrom when I stumbled across this little guy.  How cute!!

- I was so excited to read this interview with a member of my all-time favorite band.  I nearly hyperventilated when I read they might re-form to come out with a record "sometime in the next five years."  OMG OMG OMG!!!!

- Thought-provoking post on makeup application as gender performance, via Feministing.

- BellaSugar looks at lipgloss rings.  I always find the intersection of makeup and jewelry to be a little gimmicky, but still fun to look at.

What were you digging this week?

What do skulls, butterflies, cameos and bees have in common?

Not much, but these are just a few of the icons Tarina Tarantino has up her sleeve for her new collections.  I covered the regular line previously, but now several limited edition collections have been released.  Here they are with their Sephora descriptions.

The Bibarucci collection:  "Bibarucci was inspired by two of Tarina's Tarantino's favorite fashion icons combining sexy, playful designs from the Disco era, with '60s rock 'n' roll decadence featuring black, gold, and leopard print with Egyptian accents. "


Candy Cameo:  "Taking a colorful inspiration from her grandmother's vintage jewelry box, Tarina's Candy Cameo Collection features neon-colored cameos with glossy hearts and bows, accented with black lacquer beads. Each piece is playful with vibrant colors mixing harmoniously to create a fantastical, yet nostalgic, feel."


Tokyo Hardcore:  "During her first trip to Japan, Tarina found herself immersed in a futuristic culture of cuteness that immediately inspired her to create a collection celebrating the high-tech style in Tokyo, including "Hardcore" fashion, and cosplay (costume play inspired by Japanese Anime). The neon colors represent Tokyo's skyline, which she watched from her room at night."


Victorian Punk:  "Inspired by Gothic style and 70s punk rock, the Victorian Punk Collection references Tarina's love of turn-of- the-century haberdashery and dress. These influences appear in hand-printed, scrimshaw skull cameos surrounded by Swarovski crystals, then layered with charms and pearls. The rich Victorian colors of red, black, and purple combine to create a story of romance and gothic fantasy."


Electric Butterfly:  "Tarina found inspiration for the Electric Butterfly Collection from acid bright, op-art posters from the '60s and Art Nouveau illustrations from the early 1900s. The art from these eras, with their highly stylized images and curvilinear shapes, references the patterns in butterfly wings, accentuated through vibrant, colored-crystal accents."

Picture 2
(images from sephora.com)

So there you have it.  What do you think of these?  And which is your favorite (if you like them!)?  I'm still on the fence...I like fun packaging but these seem more like products meant for little girls rather than women.  However, I do like the theme behind each one, with Victorian Punk being my fave. 

Lancôme O My Rose palette

I wasn't thrilled with the notion of yet another makeup item with a rose on it for spring, but Lancôme's Coral Flirt blush from the O My Rose spring collection stands out from the crowd.  Tell me this doesn't look Cubist!  Here it is with and without flash:

Coral flirt  

Between the pinkish tones and the geometric, angular planes, the minute I saw it I immediately thought of Picasso's landmark Cubist work, Demoiselles d'Avignon from 1907:

(image from moma.org)

Obviously an analysis of this work and Cubism in general is well beyond the scope of my little blog, but if you want a good quick explanation, check out MOMA's gallery label and this blog entry.  In any case, I was pleasantly surprised by this oh-so-artsy take on the traditional rose.  

I also want to share the rather complicated procurement of this piece!  I couldn't find it anywhere - it was sold out completely online and in every store I called, but eventually I found a Macy's that had one left.  It was too far away for me to come pick it up in store so I asked if they could ring me up over the phone and send it to me.  I was told I could only purchase it over the phone with a Macy's charge, and that the cardholder had to call directly (meaning I couldn't just pass along the credit card info).  The only person I know with a Macy's credit card is my mom, so she ended up calling the counter, putting the blush on her charge and having it sent to me.  Whew!  The things I do for the Museum...good thing my mother is so supportive.  Thanks, Mom!

Butterflies in my tummy: Rouge Bunny Rouge

Via Britishbeautyblogger  I came across this gorgeously designed English line.  Each piece in the Rouge Bunny Rouge lineup, from foundations to lip glosses to highlighters, is adorned with a pretty, organically-inspired image:

Glassy gloss

Lip gloss

I think my favorite items are the Double Duty mirrors:  

All of the designs remind me a little of Paul & Joe's delicate chrysanthemum blossom on their packaging - so simple yet very elegant and modern.  Another thing I love about this line is the unusual, if not downright bizarre, theme behind it.  From the website:  "Imagine, if you will, the Garden of Plenty in the grounds of the Princess's Palace.  She goes by the name of Her Royal Highness, Princess Rouge.  Princess Rouge has been having a recurring dream about a magical garden, through which a frolicsome Red Bunny chaperones her.  Wishing to turn her recurring dream of the Enchanted Garden into reality, she calls upon her most talented artists and artisans to recreate for her the ethereal beauty of the magic land...in honour of the Enchanted Garden story, the Order of RBR brings to you a collection that intertwines a Victorian fairytale, with mystery and a whispering sense of danger."  I sense a bit of Alice in Wonderland but with a red rabbit instead of white.  I love how the story is like a children's fairytale but the packaging is definitely more mature.  What do you think?

(images from zuneta.com)

Curator's Corner: happy spring!

Robin  YAY!!!  Spring has officially sprung!  I mean, it really has - the last few days have been sinfully gorgeous, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s and nary a cloud in sight.  And I actually saw robins before today, which was great.  Here are some things to put the "spring" in your step. 

-  I'm not really into floral prints, but H & M's Garden Collection  is so cheery!

- I think the thing I love most about spring is that yummy fruits and veggies come back into season.  Asparagus seems to arrive first at our farmer's market when it re-opens after its winter hiatus.  This is a great recipe for this stalky vegetable.

- Daylight savings time means lots more light, which is awesome, but it also means more of the sun's harmful rays.  I wear sunscreen day in and day out no matter the time of year but in the spring/summer months it's especially important to slather it on.  I love La Roche Posay's Anthelios Ultra-Light Fluide SPF 60 for my oily skin.  

- You can listen to my "spring anthem" which I play every year on March 20, courtesy of the Beatles. 07 Here Comes The Sun

- Finally, check out this pic my husband-to-be took of the monument - don't the trees look pretty?!


I'm happy to have made it through another long winter.  Happy spring!!

(robin image from cm.nhpr.org)

Give me (MAC) liberty or give me death!

Woohoo, it's here!  The long-awaited MAC Liberty of London collection, that is.  I was very excited for this as I adored London when I visited and Liberty was my favorite department store (sorry, Harrod's and Selfridge's!)  Well, let's delve into what I procured for the Museum.

Powder in Shell Pearl:


Blush in Prim and Proper:

Lipsticks in Petals 'n' Peacocks and Ever Hip (with and without flash):

Lipglosses in Frankly Fresh and Perennial High Style (with and without flash):

Eyeshadows in Bough Grey and Give Me Liberty of London:


And in Birds and Berries and Dame's Desire:


I love that the boxes have the Liberty name in gold, and the flower print is contained inside:

Finally, the small makeup bag:

I love the shades in this collection (I'm actually going to use Ever Hip and Frankly Fresh rather than keeping them as collectibles!) but obviously the packaging and concept are my favorite things about it.  Temptalia has a wonderful summary of how the print was created and what the collection's vibe is meant to be.  The print is based on William Morris' "Strawberry Thief" print which goes back to 1883, but was reworked to fit the MAC collection and to make it exclusively theirs.  "James Gager, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for MAC Cosmetics, says, 'I’m particularly proud of the packaging… White [packaging] speaks to a reawakening of everyone’s sensibilities for spring. [It] has a remarkably fresh, springy look to it. Even if you don’t know what Liberty is, you want to own these pieces because they are so unique and special. It’s evident that something original has taken place here in terms of the collaboration.'"  Naturally I had to search for the original Strawberry Thief print, and indeed, the MAC print is definitely a great modern take on it, although they did take the strawberry completely out of the equation:

(image from artsycrafty.com)

More from Temptalia:  "Gager says, 'The inspiration was all Liberty and all London.' Miles Aldridge, photographer, shot the visuals in London, with Charlotte Tilbury, makeup artist, created the look. (Both Aldridge and Tilbury are English!) Gager goes on to say, “The idea was to capture the spirit of the famous Brit wit, bohemian chic girl. Katy England, another famous Brit, styled the shoot. She also designed the outfit worn by the model, using many Liberty prints and turning them into an over-the-top ruffled dress. With the MAC Give Me Liberty of London collection, we aspired to capture the spirit of this dreadfully chic, cool English girl, sitting on a chair, decked out in all the British regalia. She’s a Liberty freak and a MAC addict; she can’t get enough of either brand.'"  I can definitely see their vision in the promo ad:


Anyway, I wish I were able to get my hands on the scarf, but at $95 I thought a better use of Museum funds would be to get lots of items for the same amount!  I also kind of wish MAC came out with a shirt or another non-makeup collectible - Helly Kitty had tons of stuff and Fafi had adorable little dolls and a tee.  But overall I thought they did a great job with this.   What are your thoughts and what, if anything did you buy?  

Don't touch my graffiti: Fafi for MAC

All the latest buzz is focused on MAC's big Liberty of London collection, and I will be posting about that as soon as I finish taking pictures of my massive haul, but for now I thought I'd warm up with another big spring MAC collection - Fafi!  Fafi is a French graffiti artist who collaborated with MAC in 2008 to create makeup featuring her unique drawings of women.  

Here's what I got. 

Fafi Eyes 1:


Quad open:




Here is the blush open:


Lip glosses in Cult Fave and Totally It:


Lipstick in Flash 'n' Dash:


Scarf (which retailed at $15 - a steal compared to the $95 scarf for the Liberty of London collection!)



Fafi shirt

Makeup bags:


And my favorite part of the collection, little figurines of the Fafinettes.  From left to right their names are Monoka, Eriko and Ermine.  I loved that the artist came up with backstories for each of them.  You can read them all here.


Even the shopping bag had a cute "Fafinette" on it:

Fafi bag 1

Fafi bag 2

According to her website, Fafi's work "explores femininity through stereotypes" and her women are "sexy, funny, and occasionally aggressive."  Here is one of her works in situ:

(image from mimifroufrou.com)

For a great review and analysis of Fafi's work as it relates to MAC, check out this blog entry.  While I think MAC is a great line for Fafi's work, I could also see her working for Urban Decay, as both lines are considered edgy and youth-oriented.