« February 2011 | Main | April 2011 »

March 2011

True blue: MAC Jeanius collection

I wasn't originally going to buy all 4 eye shadows from MAC's Jeanius collection, but convinced myself after realizing I owned jeans in the same colors as the shadows - I can't believe I have white, grey, black and dark blue!  Didn't know I liked jeans that much.  :)

White Jeanius and Diva in Distress:


With flash:


Motorhead and Stovepipe:


With flash:



I was going to do a summary of the history and evolution of jeans as we know them today, but got overwhelmed at the over 22 million Google hits when I typed in "history of denim".  Yikes.  That task is best left to a fashion professor!

Slow and steady: Chantecaille turtle palette

I had been anxiously awaiting the release of this palette.  Like other Chantecaille wildlife-based palettes, 5% of the proceeds go to an organization that helps the animals - in this case, the WIDECAST Organization.


With flash:


I don't really have anything else to say, except that I think turtles are so cute so I was very excited to see them!  I wish Chantecaille would come out with another turtle palette but more like the Protected Paradise palettes or Baleine palettes - an underwater scene complete with baby turtles.  :)

Curator's Corner, 3/26/11

The Curator is getting quite impatient to see some robins.  I've been keeping my eyes peeled all week and nothing!  I've gotten reports of robin sightings in Towson but I haven't seen any myself in Baltimore City.  The forsythias and daffodils have bloomed, it's time for some red birds!  Meh.

Anyway, all my complaining aside I still managed to enjoy some things this week.

- I love anything miniature, so this post at Oh Hello Friend was right up my alley.

- In addition to bacon-scented candles, this 13 year-old makes pizza ones too!  As much as I love foody scents and pizza especially, I don't think I'd want a candle that smells like it.  Still, a cool idea and he seems like a nice kid.  :)

- The Cooper-Hewitt gives us a conflation of fashion and art with their show on Sonia Delaunay's textiles.

- Lucky New Yorkers - they had an entire day devoted to macarons this past Monday.

- On the local front, husband and I really need to get to Camden Yards this year and eat our way through an Orioles game.   Every year we say we're gonna do it and then it gets to be October and we realized we never went.  Well, this year they have new food offerings so we have to make an honest effort!

Snooki_0 - Finally, you know what was even better than watching the rerun of the season finale of Jersey Shore last night while cramming a calzone into my mouth?  Watching the cast of Jersey Shore duke it out on Silent Library, which came on after the rerun.  In my opinion Silent Library is a cross between Jackass and Double Dare, (I'm really showing my age here) topped off with a hilarious faux-serious host.  Husband and I enjoyed it greatly.  :D

(image from unrealityshout.com)

Paul & Joe Parasol

I like that Paul & Joe had an actual painting in mind as the inspiration for their spring 2011 collection.  From their website:  "Paul & Joe Beaute blossoms in spring 2011 with 'Parasol', a fun and decadent collection inspired by 'Woman with a Parasol' and other Impressionist artworks that capture the sensual essence of [an] indulgent spring afternoon.  Drift away under the shadow of a parasol and let your imagination wander, as you gaze at the twirling colors that seem to dance from the cascading sunlight.  Dare to dream with the delectable colors of spring that promise to awaken your soul and stir your senses."

Here is Woman with a Parasol by Monet, 1885:

(image from nga.gov)

But I think this one, with the same title and completed in 1886, is the image Paul & Joe is referencing.

(image from monetalia.com)

I liked that the face and eye colors for this collection came in hexagon boxes meant to mimic a parasol's shape.  Looking back, I'm not sure I didn't buy one...hopefully it will still be available!

Parasol eye shadow
(image from paul-joe-beaute.com)

The lipstick designs are quite pretty; however, I don't think they're overly reminiscent of the painting or even Impressionism in general.  They're fairly typical Paul & Joe designs.

From left to right:  Alfresco (069), Chantilly (070), and Afternoon Delight (071):




The print from Afternoon Delight appeared on this dress:

Paul joe spring 2011 dress
(image from fashionologie.com)

I actually like this print better on the dress than on the lipstick, which is odd considering I don't usually like prints, especially floral ones.   Like many Monets, however, I'm guessing it looks better far away than up close.  ;) 

Overall I loved that Paul & Joe based an entire collection on a painting.  While I wished they would have had more of an Impressionist feel, the lipstick prints displayed the usual delicate prettiness we come to expect from Paul & Joe.  And I loved the literal interpretation of the parasol within the shape of the face and eye colors.  I look forward to the summer collection!

p.s. Because I was such a good customer, b-glowing.com (where I ordered the lipsticks) gave me this little bag as a GWP.  It's got the kitty from the fall 2009 collection:


Yay for free collectibles!

You spin me right round: new rotating mascaras

Volume-Fast-Perfect-mascara If vibrating mascaras were the big beauty tech breakthrough of 2008, spinning mascara wands are the 2011 version.  Bourjois Volume Fast and Perfect Mascara, which will be released in May, features a rotating wand that promises to coat each and every lash to give perfect volume and definition.  You can watch a video of how it works here.


(image from beautyandthedirt.com)





Diorshow360 Meanwhile, Dior introduced a spinning version of the ever popular DiorShow mascara, called DiorShow 360.  This product allegedly "mimics a makeup artist's application technique for a perfect 360-degree lash-styling effect...this mascara features a spinning brush that rotates in both directions to adapt to every need, whether you're left or right-handed or you want to pump up the upper or lower lashes." 

As with vibrating mascaras, I'm skeptical these would actually work better than a traditional non-moving wand.   Still, I think these have more validity than the vibrating ones - I think that the motion could in fact yield better results than a manual wand.  

I remember with the vibrating mascaras the mass fear of poking one's eyes out.   Does a rotating wand present the same threat?  Hard to say.    



(image from sephora.com)


A truly blissful spring palette from Stila

A rare Sunday post for me but I wanted to celebrate the first day of spring with Stila's Garden Bliss set.  So cute and oh so springy!


This Stila girl is so perfectly outfitted for spring - criss-cross sandals (espadrilles?), flowy flowered dress and blooms in her loose, wavy hair:




With flash:


There is also an all-over shimmer powder that I'm still on the fence about buying.  I probably will, as I hate having gaps in my collection.

Happy spring, everyone!

Curator's Corner: happy (almost) spring!

Robin I wish I could say that the pic of the little fella to the left was mine, but alas.  It's officially spring tomorrow and I haven't seen one robin!  Sigh.  It can be 70 degrees and sunny, but unless I see a robin spring isn't really here.  Anyway, here's a roundup of what I was looking at this week.

- An unretouched makeup ad from Makeup Forever was revealed with much fanfare.  However, I'm of the "big deal" school of thought

- Loved this Scoop post comparing Anthropologie ads to Spanish bodegons.  Similar to my posts comparing makeup ads to various works of art.  :)

- Must buy this DVD!

- Anyone else going to see the "Supermoon" tonight?  I think it's pretty cool!

(image from naturesound.com)


Friday fun (?): Child's play

Some recent collections have gotten me wondering about why makeup companies have been doing packaging that would appeal more to little girls than to women (or even teenagers.)   It started with Too-Faced's 2010 holiday collection called Enchanted Wonderland, which included 2 pop-up palettes featuring the girlie trifecta of fairies, flowers and tons of pink. 

Too_faced holiday 2010
(images from talkingmakeup.com and beautifulwithbrains.com)

I have nothing against pop-up palettes - I love Urban Decay's Alice in Wonderland and NYC palettes - but it seems that Too-Faced took it just a step too far by making theirs fairy-themed, or at least, didn't execute it in such a way to make it seem sophisticated the way Urban Decay did.  The palettes look more like something that my 2 year-old niece would be drawn to rather than an adult.

After this collection, I started noticing a spate of odd, "little girl"-type cosmetics.  I've already discussed the packaging for Tarina Tarantino and MAC Wonder Woman, but Sephora has introduced the Hello Kitty line, along with a set of flower-shaped brushes. 

(images from sephora.com and nordstrom.com)

Finally, the new ad campaigns for Illmasqua's Toxic Nature and MAC's Quite Cute collection feature women whose clothing and accessories definitely have little-girl elements to them (butterflies, pigtails and exaggerated tutus for Illmasqua, stuffed animals and bubbles for MAC):

Blonde Wasps_face

Green wig_full body

Not only does MAC present a sort of overgrown tween in the image, it revels in the theme.  According to the ad copy, Quite Cute is "a style ride that combines postage-stamp-sized puppies with pixie swizzle-stick fashion and butterfly kisses for cute boys and even cuter shoes!"  I have a vicious sweet tooth but that's too saccharine even for me!

(images from illmasqua.com and temptalia.com)

Now, I have defended more kiddie-esque makeup and collaborations, such as various Disney, Barbie and Alice in Wonderland collections.  And I love stuffed animals - the entire Museum staff is composed of plushies!  It's okay for grown-ups to take comfort in and enjoy the delights of childhood on occasion.  But I feel as though the line between sweetly childlike and just plain immature needs to be drawn somewhere.   With this kind of packaging and advertising, are companies encouraging the infantilization of women?  Or possibly the sexualization of little girls?  (Tutus aside in the Illmasqua ads, some of the models are wearing fishnets and heels.)  I don't think anyone can say for sure.  I do know that I am slightly confused as to what makes certain ads and packaging that are centered around kid-friendly themes feel more acceptable than others.  Good:  MAC's Hello Kitty line.  Bad:  The regular Hello Kitty line.   Maybe it's simply a matter of personal taste.

What do you think?  Are these designs playfully whimsical or painfully juvenile?  And if the latter, do you think it encourages a societal view of women as children or is it totally harmless?

Mika Ninagawa for Shu, round 2

You might remember that Shu collaborated with photographer Mika Ninagawa for their 2008 holiday collection.  They've paired up again for a smaller collection this spring called Sakura.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the U.S. is getting the stuff with the pretty designs - just the lipsticks.  No fair! 

I can't say much else about the collection except that it would seem plausible that the images on the products are cherry blossoms.  I don't know fore sure since they're only available at the Japanese Shu website and I can't read Japanese. 

UV protectors


(all images from shuuemura.jp)

Le sigh.  I may try to track these down on E-bay!

Stila Live from the Red Carpet palettes

This post would have undoubtedly been more appropriate around the Oscars a few weeks ago, but I just couldn't get to it in time.  Stila collaborated with E! TV to create 4 palettes featuring Stila girl starlets.  I only bought one, although I hope to get all 4 eventually.  Here is the "Breathtaking Beauty" palette.



I also got the Camera Ready Blockbuster palette, which apparently features "the exact beauty arsenal that Pro artists bring with them on red-carpet house calls."  I liked that it folded out.






While I'm disappointed that Stila is continuing their celebrity/red-carpet look themed-palettes (see my post on this), I liked that the paparazzi in the palettes are "real" instead of drawings like the Stila girls.  It was a nice touch - not necessarily ground-breaking, but interesting nevertheless.