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September 2011

Quick post: The Help, Stila girl style

Late to the party, as usual, but I thought I'd do a quick post on this anyway.  I'm not really sure how I feel about the fact that Stila released this palette.  Yes, they've done movie tie-ins before (Legally Blonde, Just My Luck, Vanity Fair) but after reading Jill's piece at Feministe on the movie, I don't think Stila should have jumped on the marketing bandwagon with this.  In addition to the Stila website, the palette appeared on HSN website as part of a bunch of The Help product tie-ins.

First, some pics:



With flash:


Quote - they really should have used something from the book or movie...does anyone know if this appeared in either?


Anyway, to get back to the feminist angle on this, Jill says, "I’m not sure what to do with the fact that the Home Shopping Network is featuring a collection inspired by The Help...sure, the American south is very beautiful and there’s no reason to demonize every aspect of it, but the marketing of products inspired by the movie (and events on plantations) works not just because those things are aesthetically pleasing but because there’s a romantic attachment to the Antebellum South. And, well, you can’t divorce that white person nostalgia from slavery and segregation.  So marketing KitchenAid mixers and gumball-sized faux-pearl necklaces as being 'inspired' by a movie about segregation and racialized domestic work strikes me as… clueless, to be generous."  I think this is a really good point and now I feel a bit bad about buying this palette.  Especially since, once again, it's uninspired.  Sigh.

Paul & Joe loves NYC

More charming prints from Paul & Joe for fall 2011.  New York is great inspiration for any makeup collection, I just wish Paul & Joe had been a bit more literal with it.  I think Nathalie Lété did a great job with the Bourjois Paris collection - it would have been great if Paul & Joe had done something similar for New York.  Nevertheless the prints are always pretty!

The theme:  "Manhattan-Autumn 2011 is an entertaining, fast paced urban experience that artfully mingles the high-fashion opulence of uptown with the edgy, alternative spirit of downtown.  Take a turn and see where Eastside meets Westside with a vibrant interpretation of color, texture, structure and design.  Discover why this city never sleeps and explore this metropolis of indulgent delights with Paul & Joe Beaute."

Here's the text for the face and eye powders:  "Inspired from the streets of Manhattan, a place where Sophie Albou loves so much.  Different blocks, different colors, Manhattan is the last place where you can get board [sic].  Two shades can be used alone or mixed together.  Either way you can get a gorgeous look like the night view of the city."

Here they are - 073 (42nd Street), 074 (Empire State), and 075 (Brooklyn Bridge):



With flash:


And because I was such a good customer, spending $50 or more on Paul & Joe, Beautyhabit gave me this adorable little bag:


The same print appeared on a blouse and skirt from the Fall 2011 women's collection:

Blouse skirt
(images from style.com and en.paulandjoe.com)

There is also another part to the collection:  the palettes and face powder.  I didn't purchase any because I wasn't sure they were Museum material, but they have a somewhat interesting look about them.

The palettes have a pattern reminiscent of the famed NYC skyline:

Paul joe manhattan palette

The face powder was apparently "inspired by skyscrapers that soar above Manhattan...the product surface is engraved with an Art Deco design."

Paul joe art deco
(images from beautyhabit.com)

It does indeed look art deco and skyscraper-ish - the curving lines remind me a little of the top of the Chrysler building:

(image from styleture.com)

So, still undecided about whether to get those.  The face powder in particular might look very nice in an exhibition next to Cle de Peau's 2010 holiday vintage palette (which, mind you, I managed to track down last year along with the 2009 one so stay tuned for posts on those around the holidays!) so I am a bit tempted.  We shall see.

In any case, a good effort from Paul & Joe - maybe not as ground-breaking as their cat head lipsticks from last year (or nearly as kooky) but some nice prints and inspiration.

Couture Monday: luck be a Lady Dior

Ah, another beautiful limited edition palette that celebrates Dior fashion.  This one features the iconic Lady Dior bag.

The insert, which gives a little history of the bag (so I don't have to!):




The palette:




I especially love the Dior charm detail on the bag handle:


With flash:



I thought it would be worth noting that the bag in the palette is modeled after a real-life tweed and crocodile Dior bag which made its debut in the spring/summer 2011 collection:

(image from trendfashionstyle.org)

I like that Dior contained the history of the palette in the insert but that the actual bag featured is a recent version - it's old meets new.  I also think they got it "right" this time.  Previously Dior had released another makeup palette inspired by the Lady Dior bag, but in my opinion, it was pretty tacky and uninteresting - an ugly black metal compact key chain thing with lip gloss inside.  At the time it was released I didn't think it was that bad, but after looking at this new Lady Dior palette, it seems amateur!

(image from footluxe.com)

The new Lady Dior palette really ups the ante and is so much more refined, no? 

Stay tuned for more Dior fun with the Mitzah palette.  :)

Curator's Corner: London calling

Mum.cc.3pp For this week's installment of the Curator's Corner, I am going to bore you regale you with tales from my trip to London.  I'm glad to be back on this side of the pond, but it was awesome!!  I love London because you get the feel of a really cool European city but there's no language barrier.  Anywho, here are some highlights.

I'll start with why we ended up there in the first place - the conference.  Here I am on the way there.


Here's the Graduate Centre:


Here I am with the very nice panel moderator who was helping me set up my presentation.  I have to say, the only reason I posted this pic was so you could see my shoes (Nine West Abalene - I thought these high heeled loafers went well with my J.Crew Professor blazer from a couple seasons ago...was trying to look my most professorial!)


Here I am, doin' my thang.  I had no idea that my husband was surreptitiously taking pictures!  He said he wanted to capture me presenting but didn't want to distract me, so he was quite sneaky with that iPhone of his.


Here's the title slide my husband made (he layed out the whole presentation and it looked fantastic!):


Now onto the fun stuff - shopping and FOOD!!  Later that night we went to Yo! Sushi at the top of Harvey Nic's.  It's a super cute conveyer belt sushi place.


Then we celebrated the conference with champagne at the bar at Harvey Nic's (I had the pink champagne):


This is where our hotel was, on Sloane Street - quite nice.


One day we ventured out into Notting Hill, mostly because I wanted to see the biggest London location of my favorite store.


On our last day we visited this private park.  Our hotel supplied the key so we were able to get in and enjoy.




We also visited the V & A museum.  I will not be recapping that because it was honestly the worst museum experience of my life.  Blah. 

Anyway, our last activity of the trip was having tea at the Chesterfield Mayfair hotel:


I got some weird flowering tea - it almost looked like a spider!


A couple other things that may or may not be of interest: 

1.  In addition to the chocolates I got at Harrod's, we also visited the Ladurée there no less than 4 times to get macarons.  I think the reason we went back so many times is that we were trying to stick to small quantities, but we would devour them so quickly we'd end up going back for another fix! I do hope we take a trip to NYC soon so I can check out the first U.S. location of this highly addictive store.

2.  We visited another great chocolate shop, L'Artisan du Chocolat.  I think they and Melt made my favorite chocolates out of all the ones I tried, although William Curley also had some interesting flavors.

3.  A note to London souvenir stores:  please start selling soccer jerseys for kids younger than 10 years old.  I went into at least 5 of these shops and none had a small enough size for my little nephew.  :(

4.  We ate quite a few times at both Pret a Manger and Wagamama, neither of which is readily available in the U.S. for reasons that I cannot fathom.  Both have very tasty inexpensive food but Pret is mainly relegated to NYC at the moment (with only a handful of locations in DC and Chicago) and Wagamama's only 3 U.S. locations are in Boston (rumors of one opening in DC have been going on for years.) In my opinion, these delicious chains should be as ubiquitous as Starbucks.

So that about sums it up.  I want to go back already!

Have you ever visited London?  If so, did you like it and what were your favorite things about it?  And if not, do you want to visit?

Fall 2011 color

In honor of the first day of autumn tomorrow (and the fact that I am wearing Chanel Blue Rebel nail polish) I thought I'd post about this season's "It" color (you can see previous ones here and here.)  Looks like blue is the new black!

Fall 2011 blue trend

Images and where I got 'em, from top left:  Givenchy Les Ombres de Lune promo (ourvanity.com); Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel nail polishes (blog.neimanmarcus.com); Nars Fall 2011 collection promo (narscosmetics.com); Philosophy Blue Raspberry Snowcone shower gel (sephora.com); Dior Blue Tie collection promo (dior.com); Dior Blue Tie palette (dior.com); Shu Novadiva promo (shuuemura-usa.com);   MAC Midnight Blues Fluidline (maccosmetics.com); Estee Lauder Modern Mercury promo (beauty411.net). 

Will you be singing the blues as the temperatures drop?

Shu Nova Diva Prima palette

"The diva has arrived.

Amid silence and darkness,
with a single gesture
her radiance breaks the ice.

Suddenly the stage lightens,
the diva reappears.
The same woman, yet totally different.
Her face is transformed as spotlights shine her from different angles;
coquettish; sweet; sensual; even evil.
She transports the audience to a different time and place...
Novadiva, the modern diva.

The 2011 A/W mode makeup collection reveals the novadiva inside, capturing the light and shadow of every stage for the many roles all women play.  Choose your face.  Choose your role.  The world is your stage."

I like the ideas of acting out different identities through makeup and how different makeup looks can capture the mood of the wearer - seems to be a popular theme this fall (see Tom Pecheaux's Modern Mercury for Estee Lauder), but I'm sort of lost by the use of lace for the Prima palette.

(image from Shu's Facebook page)

Apparently it's a "glossy and modern black custom palette decorated with a delicate pattern of lace - classical and eternal symbol and femininity."  Yes, very feminine, but not really in keeping with the idea of choosing your look or even divas in general.  Still, it's pretty and only $15 (I hadn't realized it's sold empty - I thought it came already filled and thus, a lot more expensive) so I will probably pick it up soon, especially as it does fit within the theme for a special exhibition I'm putting together.  ;)

Couture Monday: Chanel hits Brompton Road (and so did I)

Whew!  I'm back from London (I will recap my trip for this weekend's Curator's Corner) and managed to pick up this little beauty while I was there.  In honor of the launch of Chanel World at Harrod's department store, Chanel created this exclusive palette. 




With flash:



While I don't think it's as inspired as some of their other recent pieces - we've seen the Chanel logo on palettes numerous times and the tweed effect is the same pattern as the Ombres Tissees - I still like that there was something exclusive made for the Harrod's launch.  And it's pink and sparkly, so what's not to like?

That said, I didn't even check out Chanel World.  I basically picked up the palette and made my way to the confectionary to check out some chocolates I had read about at one of my favorite blogs, Domestic Sluttery - the ladies there had a very informative post about the best chocolatiers in London, so naturally I had to get to as many as possible.  Fortunately some of the stores had stands in Harrod's.  I am a makeup addict but also a chocoholic!

Here's Charbonnel & Walker:



And Prestat:

So that's a little taste of my trip.  :)

Curator's Corner, 9/10/2011

Mum.cc.3ppWhat a week.  I don't think I've ever seen so much rain in my life.  I think rain is almost as bad as winter.  But the sun should be out again soon.  In the meantime, here's the weekly roundup.

- These elaborate fake eyelashes are so cool!

- The "living in" features at Design Sponge are always great, but I really loved this Clueless one.

- Given my love of anything even vaguely resembling punk, I fell in love with these tea cups, presented by Domestic Sluttery.

- Lastly, I wanted to mention that I will not be posting this coming week on account of a fairly unexpected trip to London.  I have to admit I'm kinda proud of my little self - I submitted my Masters thesis to a symposium, and it got accepted, so I will be presenting on a panel!  I wasn't expecting it, since a few weeks prior to the acceptance email I received a message stating that it was taking longer than usual to decide who would be accepted as the conference committee was "inundated" with proposals, but mine made it!  :D  Finally, some recognition for my work and my very first academic conference...I certainly hope it's not my last.  I'm off to get some notes together for my presentation, but I will be back blogging again the week of the 19th. 

For now, enjoy this video by Wild Flag.  (Can't wait to see them in October!)


Quick post: C is for crappy

Chantecaille's fall palette is disappointing in terms of design.  If you're just going to do a capital letter, at least make it an interesting font.  This looks like boring old Baskerville.

(image from chantecaille.com)

Normally I don't mind a clean design, but this looks like a business card.  I think debossing letters works best on paper, not makeup.  Oh well.  I'm sure the quality is great, but this is not a museum piece. 

Mega-pixelated: Clarins 3D palette

Clarins released a pretty interesting palette for fall.  At first glance it reminded me of either pixels or a paused game of Tetris, ha.





With flash:




But then I was brushing up on my op art for MAC's upcoming Art of Powder collection and stumbled across an artist named Francois Morellet.  This work (Blue and Red Composition, 1970) jumped out at me right away:

(image from kettererkunst.com)

While it's a work on paper and therefore not in 3D (meaning the little squares are flat and not sticking out as in the palette), the seemingly random scattering of different colored squares is really close to the Clarins piece.  What really made my head almost explode though, is Morellet's work from 1960, Random Distribution of 40,00 Squares using the Odd and Even Numbers of a Telephone Directory:

(image from tate.org.uk)

Morellet explains, "The catalyst for the idea of the painting Random Distribution of 40,000 Squares using the odd and Even Numbers of a Telephone Directory (1960) came about after a conversation with Ellsworth Kelly, who at the time was living in France. He had recently visited Jean Arp’s studio and talked about one of Arp and Sophie Taeuber’s joint collages, Squares Arranged to the Laws of Chance, made in 1917...With Random Distribution, the purpose of my system was to cause a reaction between two colours of equal intensity. I drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 40,000 squares. Then my wife or my sons would read out the numbers from the phone book (except the first repetitive digits), and I would mark each square for an even number while leaving the odd ones blank. The crossed squares were painted blue and the blank ones red. For the 1963 Paris Biennale I made a 3-D version of it that was shown among the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel installations (and re-created it again on different occasions). I wanted to create a dazzling fight between two colours that shared the same luminosity. This balance of colour intensity was hard to adjust because daylight enhances the blue and artificial light boosts the red. I wanted the visitors to have a disturbing experience when they walked into this room – to almost hurt their eyes with the pulsating, flickering balance of two colours. I like that kind of aggression."  

Now, the Clarins palette obviously isn't influenced by this work or anything in particular, but since discovering this artist, I do like pretending the palette is a mini version of a Morellet (with soft pink colors instead of the strong red and blue that formed a "dazzling fight").  Another little piece of art.  :)