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October 2011

Curator's Corner, 10/29/2011

Mum.cc.3pp Happy almost  Halloween!  Are you excited for candy?  I am enjoying a nice quiet weekend in, my favorite kind of weekend.  Here are some links from the week.

- The Beheld has a truly great post on MAC and what they're selling (besides makeup).

- Just in time for Halloween, a Tumblr that discusses the age-old question - Halloween or Williamsburg?

- Phyrra welcomes a guest post on some very frightening historic beauty techniques. 

- Instead of working on the Museum's fall 2011 exhibition today, which was my original plan, I decided to have a pumpkin dessert extravaganza (warming up for Thanksgiving).  I made pumpkin cupcakes with caramel filling and salted caramel buttercream, pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing, and pumpkin ice cream.   All turned out excellently if I do say so myself, although I did manage to burn my arm pretty badly on a cookie sheet.   In lieu of a picture of my charred skin (or the delectable treats, as the light was crappy and I was too tired to take pics)  I give you this instead:


Pretty apt for me.

What are your Halloween weekend plans, if any?

Friday fun: we have a ghost! And a devil!

Oh my!  The Museum is being overrun by some new, Halloween-appropriate plushies.  First we have this little ghost haunting us (technically he is known as Ice Lodge Babo but he looks more like a ghost to me):


And we also acquired a rather devilish looking winged Babo with crazy different colored eyes! 


He is signed by his creator.


Here he is, dreaming of cookies:


So there are my new Museum staff members, just in time for trick-or-treating.  I have to think about what their jobs will be.   :)

MAC and Cindy Sherman

I REALLY wanted to write something intelligent and meaningful and inspired about the recent MAC/Cindy Sherman collaboration.  But since nothing is coming to my feeble brain (or, rather, I feel totally overwhelmed by the task), I will leave you with the promo images instead, plus a link to MoMA's bio of her. 

CindySherman.mac leopard


(images from maccosmetics.com)

Please leave your insights in the comments section!

Into MM storage: John Tremblay for Shu Uemura

I was digging through the Museum archives today for some more things for the Fall exhibition (coming soon, once I can get around to it!) and thought I'd feature these pretty cleansing oils from Shu's 2006 fall collection.  The company teamed up with New York-based artist John Tremblay, who created designs for each bottle based on their particular qualities, meant to interact with the contents of the bottle.   "Shu Uemura brand manager Tina Tinio said, 'This year’s collection is more sophisticated and subtle; to be able to appreciate the design, you have to see how it interacts with the oil.'"  While that statement makes it seem like Tremblay came up with these designs specifically for Shu, but in my opinion, they're essentially the same as his previous work.

We'll start with the Premium and Fresh oils:


The bubbles in the green oil and ovals in the pink oil are very similar to two works by Tremblay, Tourist Trap from 2006:

JT tourist trap
(image from artnet.com)

And Infinity Trial, 2003:

(image from art49.com)

According to this Malaysian news article, for the Premium oil, "The blue ovals representing oxygen found in the water and sky, ascending from the bottom to the top of the green oil bottle, signifying the buoyancy of life and the power of nature while the silver colour used signifies the energy of light reflecting off a shiny surface", while the Fresh oil bottle "features pink and metallic silver concentric ovals inspired by the shape of an air pocket in the bottle when the bottle is tilted on its side. The various sizes and layers of the ovals enable you to play with the bottle to fit the air pockets inside the ovals and to view the ovals on the other side of the bottle through the empty oval, as if gazing into future from a window."  Interesting concept but I'm not sold.  I guess the only thought Tremblay had to put into these particular designs was determining which of his earlier work would be most suitable for each oil.

Here are the Enriched and Regular oils:


The wavy oval on the Enriched bottle is similar to this work (unfortunately the image came from of a catalogue and there was no name or date on the page where it appeared):

(image from ecal.ch)

The Star article says that the Enriched oil "has seductive flow motion emblems in pink and yellow inspired by the flow of oil", and the Classic "features the design of olive and yellow ovals in varying sizes, inspired by the psychedelic 60s. The overlapping ovals expanding from one side to the other create geometric exchange constantly morphing when viewed through the transparent golden oil."

While the designs are rip-offs, somewhat, of Tremblay's earlier work, the way the company spun it such that they seemed to be created just for the qualities of the oils is pretty ingenious.  If nothing else,  some of the proceeds went to RxArt, a charity devoted to arts healing.  And, of course, Shu made me recognize an interesting artist that I probably never would have discovered otherwise. 

Quick post: Thinking pink with Stila

As we all know October is breast cancer awareness month, a.k.a. "Pinktober".  It's this time of year that makeup companies release all manner of pink-themed products, giving some of the proceeds from those items to breast cancer charities and research.  This year Stila has come up with not one but two palettes for the cause.

The first is the Positive and Pretty palette, featuring a Stila girl in a bandage dress.  Now that I think about it, it might  have been a poor choice of outfit for this theme. 

Stila positive pretty
(image from stilacosmetics.com)

The second is the Empowered in Pink palette, which is an Ulta exclusive:

Stila Empowered in Pink
(image from ulta.com)

I'm not really sure why Stila released two BCA palettes.  It's not unusual for a company to sell a few pink  items, but they're different types of products - for example, Clinique released a special edition of their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion that had a miniature picture frame keychain attached to it, along with a set of mini lip glosses.  So I think it's weird for Stila to come up with two of virtually the same thing.   Of course it's for a good cause so at the end of the day that's what's important, but I still think it's odd for them to do this...especially since I think a set of pink lip glazes would have sold better.


Curator's Corner, 10/15/2011

Mum.cc.3pp It's finally starting to feel like fall here, despite 3 straight days of rain this week.  I don't know about you, but around this time of year I get obsessed with baking anything with pumpkin in it.  Along with, of course, drinking Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes.  Here are some links from this mid-autumn week. 

- My only fall decoration involves small pumpkins and gourds, so naturally I found this post on decorating with them hilarious. 

- Some other funny things - two new-to-me blogs:  Anthroparodie and ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS.  Go check 'em out when you want to laugh.

- In the beauty world, Beautifulwithbrains reveals the deadly beauty secret of King of France Henry II's mistress, while Everydaybeauty covers the new makeup book by Besame founder Gabriela Hernandez.  While I'm a little chagrined that it provides a history of makeup, I am mostly okay with it because my makeup book will have a slightly different focus. 

- I'm a little down and bitter today as the Baltimore Running Festival is taking place.  I was supposed to be running the marathon.  :(  Instead, I'm sitting here still upset by the fact that late last year, literally 3 days after I decided I would start training for it, I developed a nasty injury that prevented me from running AT ALL for nearly 9 months.  I'm only just now getting back into running, and thus, I have to completely start from scratch in terms of training.  Come hell or high water, I'll be running the 2012 Baltimore marathon!  Fingers crossed my body cooperates and the injury doesn't flare up too badly again (it's still not even completely healed), and that something else doesn't start hurting.

- What makes me feel better is looking at pictures of Babos or other cute creatures.  And this is possibly the cutest thing I've seen all week, via Pinterest:


Nope, it's not a glass miniature but a real live teeny tiny octopus!!

What have you been up to this week?

Friday fun: Muppets and makeup

Much like the hoopla it caused around the release of Alice in Wonderland, the makeup industry is having a field day in terms of products for the new Muppets movie.  First up is The Balm's Muppet palette:

Muppet palette(image from thebalm.com)

It's pretty cute and I like that they managed to fit most of the Muppets onto one palette, which I'm guessing is no easy feat. 

Next is the Miss Piggy collection for MAC, which will be released in November.  Oh, Kermie!!

(image from racked.com)

The small collection features a liquid eyeliner, flirty false eyelashes and a pink eye shadow:

(image from glamour.com)

Miss Piggy had quite a bit to say about the collection and her beauty regimen.  According to Glamour, in a statement via MAC she said that working with the company to create the collection was very smooth:   "Oh I adore collaboration—especially when everyone is there to listen to what I have to say and do exactly what I tell them to...they did all the work while I did all the talking!"  As for her daily beauty routine, it's very simple: "At home and on the set, my beauty routine is the same. I sit in a chair while a squadron of stylists, manicurists, cosmetologists, hairologists and so forth hover around and make magic. Then, I open my eyes, look in the mirror and voila…perfection! The advantage of doing this on set is that someone else pays for it."  Love it.

That's not all Miss Piggy's been up to, however:  she also helped with the creation of OPI nail polishes coming in November:


There will also be glittery polishes:

(images from disneyeveryday.com)

While I'm not a fan of glitter polishes, I do like the names of these - Rainbow Connection and The Fresh Frog of Bel Air are just too cute!

So what do you think?  Will you be seeing the Muppets movie and/or buying any of these products?


What do Miró and Givenchy's Ombre de Lune have in common?

Givenchy Artistic Director Nicolas Degennes created simple but beautifully designed moon-inspired eye shadow/highlighter palettes for the fall 2011 collection.  According to Sephora, "In his love of the impossible, Nicolas Degennes wanted to create a multipurpose must-have product. The result was the savvy Les Ombres de Lune, an all-in-one highlighter for cheeks, eyes, and complexion that also works as an intense eye shadow...like a celestial muse floodlighting the darkness with its bewitching brightness, the moon embodies the essence of a soft and mysterious beauty, a magnetic aura, in the same vein as Givenchy Couture. Inspired by this sensual night star, the Collection 'Je veux la Lune' invites us to dream the impossible."   I like that the collection name ("I want the moon") is expressed both literally in the moon design and figuratively in the "impossibility" of the product itself - it's difficult to come up with a palette that has both an all-over highlighter and an eye shadow dark enough to create a smoky eye.  Usually multi-purpose products are one neutral shade.

Givenchy lune 1

Givenchy lune 2
(images from harrods.com)

Now, while I'm sure M. Degennes was not looking at Joan Miró's Dog Barking at the Moon (1926) when he came up with these palettes, but the starkness of the moons in these reminds me of it. The way the moon shape stands out from the background looks similar to Miró's work, at least to my eye.

(image from 001galerie.com)

Additionally, one could argue that they're similar in they both express a dream - in Givenchy's case, a dream of "impossibility" and in the Miró, a "dream of escape": "Like many of the works that the artist painted in Paris, this piece registers Miró's memories of his native Catalan landscape, which remained the emotional center and source of his imagery for much of his life. The work's genesis can be found in a preparatory sketch showing the moon rejecting a dog's plaintive yelps with the phrase 'You know, I don't give a damn,' written in Catalan. Although these words were excluded from the finished painting, their meaning is conveyed through the vacant space between the few pictorial elements that compose this stark yet whimsical image of frustrated longing and nocturnal isolation. Against the simple background of the brown earth and black night sky, Miró has painted a colorful dog and moon, and a ladder that stretches across the meandering horizon line and recedes into the sky, perhaps suggesting the dream of escape. This remarkable combination of earthiness, mysticism, and humor marks Miró's successful merging of international artistic preoccupations with an emphatically regional outlook to arrive at his distinctively personal and deeply poetic sensibility."

And, okay, I must admit this is one of my favorite paintings so maybe I was just looking for an excuse to post about it.  :)

Couture Monday: the roar of Dior (and a Museum smackdown!)

As you may have noticed, leopard print, while always a classic, is particularly huge this season (especially for accessories).  So it's appropriate for Dior to have released this beautiful palette as part of their Mitzah Bricard collection, which pays homage to Dior's muse/creative consultant and her love of leopard print.  The collection is available exclusively at Sephora in the U.S., having been released previously in other parts of the world.  You can check out their blog post on it, but here is the background from Dior's website:

"Christian Dior admired his beloved muse, Mitzah Bricard, as much for her refined and distinguished taste as for her mysterious personality that inspired him throughout his career.  Legend has it that Mitzah used to wear a panther print chiffon scarf at her wrist to hide a scar. Fascinated by her elegance, Mr Dior decided to include this magnificent Jungle motif in his collections from 1947 onwards. 'Madame Bricard is one of the rare people for whom elegance is their sole reason for living,' Christian Dior."  Two things I find interesting:  1. is leopard print the same thing as panther? 2.  the whole leopard/panther print that Dior included in his designs was based on this woman's way of concealing a scar.  I wonder if he would have been as intrigued by this print otherwise. 

Here is Mme Bricard.  She is quite stylish, mais non?

(image from dior.com)

Now that we've covered the history behind the collection, let's get on to the most exquisite piece of it, the eye shadow palette.







With flash:


I'm not really sure how or why Dior is coming out with all these very inspired pieces, but I'm loving it! And I must admit this lovely palette in particular was one of the reasons I caved on some beautiful Christian Louboutin leopard-print pumps back in the summer (eek!)  But why stop at shoes?  In in honor of the current craze over leopard print, it's time to have an old-fashioned palette smackdown.  It's gonna be a rumble in the jungle, Makeup Museum style! 

Rumble in the jungle poster

Hopefully you remember the the Dolce and Gabbana Animalier bronzer released earlier this year.  If not, here are some pics.




So looking at those vs. the Dior Mitzah palette, who wins the battle of the leopard print?  Will the history and glamour behind Dior's offering, along with its bigger size, crush D & G?  Or does the Animalier bronzer, with it modern spirit, sex appeal, and shimmer have the edge?  Let me know in the comments!

Curator's Corner, 10/8/11

Mum.cc.3ppHere's this week's round-up.  Maybe I'm feeling especially hungry this week but I was finding a lot of food-related posts to be quite interesting. 

 - Happy Birthday to the tuxedo.  (I'm still looking for a great tux blazer, and one that I can afford instead of the Balmain one I've been drooling over as of late.)  

- Did you know it was National Pizza Month?  Yay!  Pizza is the Curator's favorite food, ever. 

- Hilarious would-be celebrity chef fragrances (in two parts!), brought to you by Eden Eats Everything.

- I think I'd give my right arm to attend this conference.

- The eternal question from Jezebel.com:  Are you a cook or a baker?  Me, definitely a baker.  I can't cook actual food, I'm strictly a dessert maker.

- Lastly, I wanted to share this pic.  After a pretty crappy week I came home to this:


What's better than a gaggle of Babos and a beautiful bouquet of fresh fall flowers to cheer someone up?  I don't know and I don't want to know.  A big thanks to my husband for making me feel better.  :)

Have a great weekend!