MM Curator's picks and pans for 2012
Curator's Corner, 12/29/2012

Beauty highlights and trend round-up, 2012

My role as a Makeup Museum Curator isn't limited to collecting objects and organizing exhibitions.  I think another important part of my "job" is to record beauty trends and other items of note in the beauty world.  Year's end is the perfect time to do so, yes? So let's take a look at what was all the rage in 2012.

First, the product trends.  2012 will go down in cosmetics history as the year of the BB (beauty balm) cream.  Seemingly all brands released a version (or several) of these lightweight, skincare-packed foundations.  The second half of the year also saw the rise of CC (color correcting) creams, which are newer and improved versions of their predecessor. 

New skin 2

Nail art was still going strong throughout all of 2012.  Unlike 2011's nail trends, which focused more on color and finish, this year the products on the market were more focused on texture.  Brands provided more of a 3D approach, with textures ranging from velvet to beaded to actual metal, and even miniature people (my favorite).


In terms of color, a combination of neon and nude ruled the spring collections...

Spring 2012

...while dark, vampy oxblood was fall's go-to shade.

Fall 2012 oxblood

On the non-Makeup Museum exhibition front, 2012 was a successful year.  Both Shiseido and Guerlain showcased fantastic exhibitions with historic ads and products, while the Center for History in Indiana unveiled "Gizmos, Corsets and Concoctions:  Our Obsession with Health and Beauty".  There was also a small exhibition devoted to red lipstick in honor of a Helmut Lang-inspired lipcolor created by Lipstick Queen.


2012 was also the year we saw some particularly offensive ads, unfortunately.  MAC led the way with dazed-looking models for the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection and its overly retro Office Hours promo, but Illamasqua truly took the cake with its incredibly racist ad for their holiday collection, which featured a model in blackface. 

Main promo

And as I did last year, I leave you now with the weirdest beauty phenomenon:  bagelheads


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