« April 2012 | Main | June 2012 »

May 2012

2012 Trend: Meet your match

Matching lip and nail colors seems rather passé, but that didn't stop MAC and Butter London from introducing collections centering on this trend.  MAC's Fashion Sets include nail polish, lipstick and lip gloss all in the same shade, while Butter London came out with lip glosses in the same shades of some of their best-selling nail polishes.  Additionally, Dior's Summer Mix collection provides coordinating shades for nails and lips (rather than out and out matching), and recently Laqa and Co. expanded into lip pencils to go with their pen-form nail polishes.  And it's not just nails and lips that are getting the twin treatment - Benefit will be releasing lip glosses in the same shades as their blushes.

(Click to enlarge)

(Clockwise from top left:  Benefit lip glosses via makeup4all.com, MAC Fashion Sets via spoiltblog, Laqa & Co. gift set, Dior Summer Mix via blog.marionnaud.ch, Butter London Lippy lip gloss and nail polishes via trendfashionstyle.org)

Is this concept really new though?  Perhaps the idea of coordinating your lip and nail colors is, but companies have been building on popular shades for years by releasing the same colors in different items.  Take, for example, NARS, which released lip glosses to match some of the line's blushes in 2010, and more recently, nail polishes based on their glittery "Night Series" eye shadows:

(image from frappelattes.com)

(image from beautyblitz.com)

And of course, there's also Stila's famous Kitten eye shadow, which the company has spun into a multitude of products, including lip gloss, highlighter, cream eye shadow and glitter eye liner  (NARS did the same with their hugely popular Orgasm blush).  So is this really a trend or just a way for companies to make more money without having to invent new colors?  

I am intrigued by the idea of matching lip and nail color - since I was always wary of being too "matchy-matchy" and dated, I've never tried it.  Now that it seems to be having a moment, I may give it a shot. 

What do you think of this trend, and will you be partaking?  And do you like when companies release the same shade in different products?

Curator's Corner: Happy Memorial Day!

CC logoWoohoo!  It's officially summer!  Not crazy about the stifling heat and humidity, but I love having all this daylight.

Here are this week's links.

- I'm so excited for this Georgia O'Keefe-inspired nail polish collection.

- Please, Karl, can't we just agree once and for all that fashion is art

- I think the new Is This Feminist? Tumblr may be funnier than Feminist Ryan Gosling.

- There were two excellent posts over at Museum Unbound:  one discusses what your "museum manifesto" would be; the other explores how getting more involved in your community yields more interest in your museum.

- It's always sad when a museum has to close, but it's even sadder when it's in your town

- Speaking of Baltimore, it's Deathfest this weekend.  Since we live so close to the club where the shows take place, we see a lot of interesting characters walking around.

- Work stuff has been stressing me out A LOT.  I think I need this installed in our living room.

(image from toomuchart.tumblr.com)

How was your week?  And how will you be enjoying the long weekend?

Friday Fun: Pretty by the poolside

Well, today is the last day of the Museum's On the Water week.  But I'm not sad because summer is just getting started!

Today I'm taking a peek at two pool-inspired palettes:  Benefit's Cabana Glama and Too-Faced Summer Eye.

Cabana Glama (love the name!) includes a host of summer essentials encased in a vintage postcard designed palette.

Benefit cabana1

(images from benefitcosmetics.com)

Too-Faced's Summer Eye palette has a mix of pink shells and flowers on the outside, and summery eye shadows set in a swimming pool background on the inside.  The water looks so refreshing!

TF summer eye

TFpool(images from blushingnoir.com)

Both of these make me want to lounge by a big pool at a fancy resort with drinks being brought to me...ah, summer dreaming.  I'm not the only one who likes the idea of cooling off poolside, though.  One of British artist David Hockney's recurring themes is the swimming pool.

A Bigger Splash, 1967 (read about it at the Tate's website):

(image from dailyartfixx.com)

Portrait of Nick Wilder, 1966:


Pool With Two Figures, 1972:

(images from ibiblio.org)

Since I'm short on time and can't discuss these as fully as I'd like, here's a description of Hockney's fascination with the Southern Californian swimming pool from Socialphy:  "He's best known for his iconic swimming pool paintings that were a key part of the pop art era. His obsession with pools stems from the time he spent living in sunny California in the 1960s. He got inspired by the blue sea, sun, sky, young men and luxury. Who wouldn't? But you wouldn't think that paintings of swimming pools would attract so much hype but looking at them, they do have a certain hedonistic charm and appeal. It's the simplicity of them, the inviting aqua-marine water, sunny LA setting and his use of bright colors."

What do you think of these palettes?  And Hockney's swimming pool paintings?   I think all capture the relaxed yet glamourous spirit of summer days by the pool.

Hey, Sailor (Babo)

For the fourth post at the Makeup Museum's On the Water week, I'm bringing you MAC's Hey Sailor collection which was released today (but appeared online last week, so that's how I got my stuff already).  The theme is pretty much identical to that of MAC's 2008 Naughty Nauticals collection:  sexy, vintage pin-up girl-inspired sailor chicks.  But this time around the collection is larger and features limited-edition packaging.

Museum Advisory Committee member Sailor Babo was so, so, SO excited for Hey Sailor and I was too. From the time we saw the first ad...


...to when we got a mailer with the pretty sailor lady...


...we had been eagerly anticipating the release.  It's finally here and I'm loving the navy and white striped packaging just as much as I did when I first laid eyes on it.


I got the highlighter, which has the same stripe design in pastel shades embossed on the powder:




With flash:


I also got eye shadow in Jaunty because the name reminded me of Sailor Babo's oh so jaunty little hat:


Lipsticks in Red Racer (love the contrast of the red against the blue and white of the case) and To Catch a Sailor:



Riviera Life lip gloss:


And the makeup bag set:



And because I was such a good customer, MAC included 3 temporary tattoos.  Aren't they so cute? I think, honestly, the free tattoos were my favorite part of the whole collection.  They will make awesome Museum memorabilia.


However, I'm not sure I'm getting them back from you-know-who.


And like Babo with the the Museum's first giveaway, Sailor Babo confused the highlighting powder and eye shadow with cookies.  Oh dear.


To see Sailor Babo's full exploration of the collection, you can check out my post at Postcards from Sailor Babo.  :)

So what do you think, both of the packaging and the colors?  Did you buy anything or are you planning to?

Quick post: Anchors away!

Argh!  Beauty Addict has done it again, i.e.,  make me want another cute palette from German brand Misslyn that I can't get stateside.  It's a highlighting powder from their summer collection called In the Navy, featuring a shimmery gold anchor against a blue and white striped background.

(image from http://typischich.at)

(image from http://rebecca-desiree.blogspot.com)

Sigh.  At least I could buy MAC's similarly-themed Hey Sailor collection, which I'll be posting about tomorrow - I thought the Misslyn palette today would be a good warmup.  So get ready for some more nautical goodness with MAC...and a very excited Sailor Babo.   ;)

Walking the plank with Anna Sui

You may not know this, but the Curator has quite the affinity for any object with a skull on it or that is shaped like one.  (Hence, why this store is my favorite).  Skulls' morbid nature and appropriation by punk culture speak to me a on a very deep level.  While I don't like skulls and crossbones as much as a plain skull motif, I still appreciate them since they are synonymous with pirate lore, for which I also have a weakness.  And this is why I had no choice but to pick up both of Anna Sui's summer palettes from the pirate-inspired Beach Adventures collection.

The outer box shows a worn scroll (treasure map?) featuring a skull and crossbones flanked by flags. 


The outer case of the palette has a mishmash of motifs - a flag with a small rhinestone on the left and one with a skull and crossbones on the right, with a crown atop a compass design in the middle.  Sui's name and signature roses appear at the bottom.


The palettes themselves have a trio of eye shadows in the shape of coins and a lip gloss with the skull and crossbones design layered on top.  Here's palette no. 1 (Ocean):



With flash:


And No. 2 (Sunset):




With flash:


Looking at these got me wondering how the skull and crossbones became a symbol for pirates.  I didn't think it had much basis in reality - I believed the skull and crossbone flag (along with the wearing of eye patches, having a parrot as a companion, the swilling of rum, saying "aaarrr", etc.) was just something Hollywood dreamed up, or at least made it appear as common knowledge that all pirates flew one.  But I discovered that the skull and crossbones did, in fact, adorn many pirate flags throughout Western history.   The exact origins of the skull and crossbones and its use on pirate flags aren't clear, but the first recorded use of the design on a pirate flag was in 1687.

There were many variations of the skull and crossbones.  I picked out my four favorites (you can read more about each one here).  The one on the upper right was allegedly flown by "Calico Jack" Rackham and was used in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise - I knew it looked familiar!

(images from pirates.hegewisch.net)

I have to admit that reading more about the history forced me to think about pirates as actual people who existed, which almost ruins the fun.  Ever since the aforementioned Pirates of the Caribbean movies were released I perceived pirates as relatively harmless figures who partied a lot.  But this little bit of research reminded me that true pirates were quite nasty and that the Jolly Roger flag was indeed threatening - it was not a symbol to be taken lightly.  Flying the skull and crossbones was a warning to those that may try to resist the pirates' conquest, signaling that the pirates would offer no mercy if those they wanted to capture tried to fight back.  Yikes.

However, I'm not one to let reality intrude too much, so I will continue to enjoy the skull and crossbones in the context of makeup and silly movies.   :) 

What do you think of these palettes?  And do you like pirate paraphernalia?

Couture Monday: Pleated rays from Dior

Welcome to the Makeup Museum's On the Water week!  I'm kicking it off with a water-inspired eye shadow palette from Dior's summer collection.  From their press release:

“'On vacation, you can wear all the colorful and casual clothing that you like, but you must always be elegant,' said Christian Dior. Inspired by the art de vivre of the French Riviera, the Dior Croisette Collection combines the peace of the French countryside with the splendour of Saint Tropez.  These locations have always been a prolific source of inspiration for Christian Dior. From Dior’s first swimsuit collections and seaside fashion creations in the Fifties to the current Cruise Collections, the French Riviera also embodies the brand’s most daring, fresh and colorful lines today.  Between the shimmering turquoise of the Mediterranean Sea and the sparkling gold of the sand, through soft coral and bikini pink, the Croisette reveals all its elegance and optimism in sunny and aquatic-inspired shades. The skin is warmed up and illuminated in a natural glow effect, while the eyes are dressed up with luminescent sunny shades or fresh azure blues. The lips are colorful and subtly sparkling while the nails complete the look with coral and blue shades inspired by the most glamorous emblems of the French Riviera." 

As a side note, I must agree - the colors in this collection are spot-on for creating this look.  For my personal non-Museum stash (i.e., things I actually wear) I picked up Orange Pareo lip gloss, a shimmery sheer orange, and St. Tropez nail polish, a pale aqua.  I'll be pretending I'm a rich jetsetter spending a few weeks on the Riviera whenever I wear them.  :)

Anyway, I got the eye shadow quint in Swimming Pool.  The embossed, sunburst-like pleats mimic those found on Dior dresses.  Swimming Pool is "meant to recall a dive into the Mediterranean".  Well, a pool isn't the same as a sea so I'm not sure why they named it Swimming Pool instead of Mediterranean, but whatever - both are water and that's good enough.




With flash:


While this isn't the most impressive piece from a design standpoint, given how intricate some of Dior's other palettes have been, it definitely is in keeping with Dior's 2012 spring/summer ready-to- wear collection.  Pleats abound in the evening dresses, both short and long:


(images from vogue.it and dior.com)

I'm sure Dior was one of the fashion houses responsible for making pleats one of this summer's hot trends, as evidenced by this round-up in Allure magazine:


This is another one of those Museum items I'm tempted to use - the colors are so fresh and summery. 

What do you think of Dior's summer collection?  And do you do pleats?

Curator's Corner, 5/19/2012

CC logoBusy, busy week!  Work stuff has been killing me!  I'm also slightly distracted because I miss my parents so much - they're on a trip to China and I can't talk to them (only text) since it's so expensive, and I'm not used to that as I talk to at least my mom every day.  :(  (Her texts are hilarious though - I think I might start a Tumblr because they are too funny not to share them with the world).  Anyway, here are some things from around the web this past week.

- The 4th winner of the Shu Uemura Artist Award has been announced.  I hope they'll do a collaboration that has awesome packaging.   

- I'd love to attend this conference!  Or better yet, submit a paper on the cultural meaning of cosmetic items.

- This Wisconsin man got kicked out of an all-you-can-eat restaurant for eating too much.  I shouldn't laugh, but that is literally the plot of one my favorite Simpsons episodes - if you don't know what I'm talking about you must watch this clip.  "That man ate all our shrimp, and two plastic lobsters!"  "'Tis no man, 'tis a remorseless eatin' machine, aaarr!"  I wonder if he went fishing after getting thrown out.

- These vintage Natty Boh beer ads made me smile.

- Amazingly hilarious video of pinning gone mad.

- Finally, I'll leave you with this:


Me too, Art History Major Cat, me too.

Oh, one more thing - this coming week will be what I've dubbed On the Water Week.  It's a precursor to the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day and will celebrate fun summery aqua-related things - swimming pools and sailors and campy pirate stuff!  So stay tuned.

Friday Fun: Happy International Museum Day!

IMD2012posterJust a quick post to say Happy International Museum Day!  This year's theme is "Museums in a Changing World:  New Challenges, New Inspirations", the description for which reads as follows at the IMD website:

"Today, the world is changing faster than ever. New technology delivers new ideas, gigabytes of information, news of an increasingly unstable climate, all shared by social media. Modern museums must compete for an audible voice against the furious pace of this background." (I'll say!)

"Museums in a Changing World is recognition that institutions are faced with interpreting, and existing in, a field that is becoming increasingly fluid. Each may face a unique set of goals, interests and audiences."

It's an interesting theme and something I will be exploring in a future installment of MM Musings.  How does something traditionally so static as a museum keep up with today's breakneck pace? 

It's a topic for another day, but for now, let's celebrate the existence of museums and their contributions to society.  I would be lost without them!

Hittin' the road with Stila (again)

Good Lord, yet ANOTHER travel-themed palette from Stila, this time in collaboration with Nordstrom.  And like a good little Stila girl addict I bought it.  The On the Road palette features a blonde girl with a '60s hippie/folk singer thing going on, complete with floppy hat and guitar.


The inside colors are in rectangle form rather than circles.  (And once you take off the plastic on this section of the palette it can't be replaced, so as a collector I was loathe to remove it).


Not Stila's best effort - we have a location-less Stila girl, no quote on the inside of the palette and a subject (travel) that's been done by the company approximately 3,762,009 times already...but I bought it anyway because there may be a travel-themed exhibition on the horizon.  ;)