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December 2010

MAC and Marcel Wanders

Accessories-couples-homebttn I didn't think that interior designer Marcel Wanders' collection for MAC was all that interesting until I read this National Post article.  Sure, it was design-y and sleek and more or less what I'd expect, but was there any real thought put into it?  As it turns out, there did indeed seem to be a concept, at least for the colors involved and why Wanders wanted to foray into makeup design.  He was inspired by the works of Vermeer.  

“'I was looking at a painting by Vermeer,” Wanders says. “The colours and the textures and the light, and the women. I thought of Vermeer’s brushes, I thought that he is painting the picture the way that women are painting themselves with makeup. I thought it was a very beautiful idea, and I wanted to explore that.' Though Wanders didn’t design the actual cosmetics, he directed their creation and the M.A.C & Marcel Wanders collection takes colour cues from Vermeer. Powders are pale, like the women in the Flemish master’s paintings; lipsticks are either pearlescent or dark, reflecting both the ladies’ complexions and their charcoal-suffused surroundings. The cases he created are the same dark shade as the background of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. Gesina, Catharina, Gertruyd — he named pieces of the collection after women from Vermeer’s world."

Nicely done.  We have the inspiration of not one but two Dutch artists in this collection!  What really struck me about the collection was that Wanders really knew how to brand it and make these HIS pieces.  It was supposed to be a collaboration with MAC, but I feel like his imprint was much stronger than when MAC teamed up with other designers.  Case in point:  his visage, complete with iconic gold clown nose, on the inner packaging:



Here's the so-called "mystery powder."  The real mystery about this, in my humble opinion, is why a black shiny plastic was chosen for a face compact.  It's just going to get all finger-printy!  Not the smartest move considering this was  conceived by a world-class designer.


Again, the same clown-face imprint on both the puff and the powder itself:



With flash:


Incidentally, the refill powder that came with the compact also has the same imprint.  I was glad MAC didn't cheap out on that.  :)

I didn't really see a lot of influence from his other work in this compact.  The closest thing I found was the "Bonomi" series of bathroom fixtures:

Picture 2

However, the flowery scrollwork is definitely in keeping with his designs:

(images from marcelwanders.com)

Now for the lipstick - I got Catharina.



I love how the shape mimics the legs of many of Wanders' furniture.


New Antiques Low Chair:


Two-Tops table:


Finally, a funny side note:  I was staring at the above table at Wanders' website thinking about how familiar it looked, and not because the table legs look just like the MAC lipsticks.  I felt like I had seen that table a million times.  I asked my designer husband if he knew anything about Marcel Wanders because the table at the website looked so familiar...and he had a good laugh explaining that the reason it looks so familiar is that we OWN said table.

It's in our home office and has been there for years.  It's where I blog, for crying out loud!  How did I not realize it was the same table?!  My descent into senility continues.  :P

Special snowflake: Marchesa for Le Metier de Beaute holiday set

I spotted this beautiful set at Beauty Snob and very nearly forked over $250 just to get my hands on that bejeweled palette.  It could really make my holiday exhibitions even more sparkly and give the Armani Crystal palettes and Dior Night Diamond palette a run for their money!  So. Many. Jewels.

(image from beautysnob.com)

In the end though, my wallet said no.  To see real-life pics from someone brave enough to buy it, check out this blog post.

Curator's Corner, 12/11/2010

Matryoska-ornament-set-main Whew, the holiday season is in full swing!  Can't wait to have some time off.  In the meantime, here are some things that caught my eye this week.

- Scent as an art form exhibit at NYC's Museum of Art and Design.  We're getting closer to seeing makeup packaging as art form!

- And another step closer with this new makeup book.

- These awesome ornaments make me wish I had a full-sized Christmas tree instead of my little 2-foot mini one. 

- Yes, it's freezing out but that's not stopping me from experimenting with delicious holiday ice cream flavors:  eggnog, peppermint and gingerbread.

(image from velocityartanddesign.com)

Reindeer games: Shu holiday 2010

For their 2010 holiday collection, Shu Uemura teamed up with artist Aya Takano to create the Abracadabra Fantasy collection.  According to Shu's website, Takano's inspiration comes from "Japanese manga, science-fiction novels, a hint of eroticism, with a twist of Japonisme."  Looking at the illustrations, I think that's a pretty apt description of her work. 


Miracle cherry blush tint:



Bowwow!  Magic Queen palette. Says the description at Shu's site:  "Feel relaxed, curled up in the magic queen’s cozy home that is redolent with the fresh pine scent of her enormous Christmas tree filled with luxurious décor of silver, gold and bronze."




With flash:


Here's the Reindeer Kiss palette, I think this is my favorite piece in the collection.  "The colors of this palette evoke a frosty winter land covered in crystalline snow that sparkles in the light. frolic in a dreamy winter wonderland where animals and humans play together in the snow.  are you lucky enough to find the reindeer and get a kiss?"




With flash:


Finally, the cleansing oil described thusly: "a fantasy princess rides her magic stallion, their secret rhapsody sealed with a kiss!"  Not sure I get that but it's cute.



Do these illustrations match up with the artist's other work?  Definitely.  Let's look at a couple of pieces by Takano.

Let's Go Into the World (2008), which features a woman wearing antlers much like the girl wearing the reindeer antlers in the Miracle Cherry Blush Tint.

(image from http://english.kaikaikiki.co.jp)

Then we have Mail Mania Mami's Summertime Move with a Rabbit (2005), which depicts a woman with a rabbit on her chest - the relationship between her and the animal has a similar feel to the ones in both the Reindeer Kiss palette and the cleansing oil.

(image from nytimes.com)

One final thought:  I love the way the "a" in Uemura becomes the "a" in Aya on the packaging.  Just a nice little design touch.  :)

Stila is fabulous in Fiji

Here is the last palette (well, the originally intended last) palette in Stila's travel palette series. Stila girl "Ali" journeys to Fiji.



With flash:


Did anyone else find this Amelia Earhart quote to be a little off-putting?  I admire her accomplishments but let's not forget the poor woman died trying to circle the globe solo.   To put this quote on a happy-feeling, travel-inspired palette seems to be in poor taste given Earhart's untimely demise.


Anyway, here's a screenshot of the map:

Fiji map

I found the travel diary to be a little uninspired but it's okay - you can't really say much about lounging on gorgeous beaches all day.  Lucky Ali.  I'd give anything to escape the horrible cold days of winter and set sail for Fiji this time of year!

Couture Monday: D & G gets all jeweled up

Dolce & Gabbana released a rather blingy palette for the 2010 holiday season.  The Lip Jewels compact features 4 shades for lips enclosed in a ruby jewel-shaped case. 


(image from herblog.com)

So, the eternal question for couture-related makeup items:  what does the design of this palette have to do with the fashion?  Apparently Stefano Gabbana wanted a ruby palette "because the ruby ring is so dear to my heart; it represents so many memories."  Additionally, legendary makeup artist and consultant for D & G The Makeup, had this to say:  “The mouth is such a focal point; Stefano, Domenico and I have always believed that drop dead glamour and innermost sensuality comes from an emphasis on the lips...so we really worked hard to come up with the shades that were not just our favorites but every woman’s favorites. The three reds we chose are very luscious, shades I’ve worked with time and again on the runway. I’ve played with them a lot-I’ve mixed them together, used them solo-and have come up with very rich passionate looks. And Nude is so perfect for contrast or a really simple natural look… they’re all just gorgeous… overall stunning.”

So while there is no direct relation between the design of this palette and the actual fashion coming down the runway, at least the makeup colors from this palette were used in the show. 

Anyway, I'm sort of kicking myself for not buying this...when I first saw it I have to say it looked somewhat gaudy and over the top, but now I'm thinking it would have been a really good acquisition for a holiday exhibition.  Sigh.  Another one that got away!

Curator's Corner: "Dear Santa" edition

Dear santa I've been a very naughty extremely good girl this year.  Therefore I am asking dear old St. Nick to bring me some cool new toys to play with.  Here's a smattering of what's on my admittedly long list.

Beautysnob alerted me to Laduree candles - why didn't I know about these sooner?!

This beautiful Cle de Peau palette.

Books on Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp.

These lovely dark chocolate Frye boots (sadly, sold out of my size everywhere online.  But if anyone could pull off a Christmas miracle and find them for me, it's Santa!)

Finally, Lululemon is my latest obsession.  I want pretty much all of their pants and hoodies.  Pricey, yes, but I've come to the realization that having nice things to go to and from the gym with and exercise in will help motivate me to work out more.  At least, that's what I'm hoping!  All I know is, my tattered 8 year-old Target pants and equally ancient ratty gym sweatshirt aren't cutting the mustard anymore.  Time to move on up!

What are you hoping Santa brings you?

Baroque style from Clarins

Clarins snuck up on me this holiday season with a lovely Baroque-inspired palette.  I've talked about the Baroque period before (with MAC's Baroque Boudoir collection) so I will spare my readers of that discussion and get straight to the palette. 


The pattern repeats on the inside.  In natural light:




With flash:



The collection also featured a lipstick and powder with the same design - while pretty, I didn't think it was necessary to have all three pieces for the Museum. 

Quick post: Counting down the days with makeup

I'm in my 30s, but I don't let my old age stop me from enjoying counting down the days till Christmas with one of those advent calendars filled with the bad chocolates.  Naturally this L'Oreal beauty advent calendar caught my eye.  While I wish it were heavier on makeup products rather than fragrance, this is such a cute idea!


(image from the beautybibleblog.com)