Curator's Corner, 12/21/2014
Year-end beauty wrap-up, part 1: Trends for 2014

MM Curator's picks and pans for 2014

In lieu of Curator's Corner today I'm doing my yearly picks and pans, i.e., featuring the design highs and lows for makeup this year (see previous years here and here, and here).  My faves for 2014:

1. Mika Ninagawa for Shu Uemura:

Mika Ninagawa for Shu Uemura, spring 2014

This was the third collaboration between the artist and Shu Uemura.  In my opinion, it was the best of the three.  The fantasy worlds she created were so colorful and crazy you couldn't help but smile when you saw them. 

2. Chanel Dentelle Précieuse:

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse palette

We've seen lace palettes before (most notably in Dolce & Gabbana's Sicilian Lace palette and Dior's spring 2010 collection) but Chanel took the lace cake this year with very intricate Dentelle Précieuse.  Moreover, I was tickled pink that I was able to find the exact pattern used on the palette hiding in the pieces from their spring 2009 collection.

3.  Dolce & Gabbana Collector's Edition powders:

Dolce & Gabbana Collector's Edition highlighter

Dolce & Gabbana Collector's Edition bronzer

The art historian in me positively swooned when I first laid eyes on these.  Yes, the coin design depicting Athena may be grossly inaccurate but it did have some basis in Sicilian/ancient Greek history and also was directly borrowed from D & G's spring 2014 collection, so I really couldn't complain.

And here are ones that I thought missed the mark.  They're all from the spring 2014 collections, which, looking back, I guess I was pretty underwhelmed by overall.

1. Lancôme Rose Ballerine highlighter blush:

Lancôme Rose Ballerine, spring 2014
(image from

Another pink rose from the brand.  Whoop-dee-doo.  I understand the rose is a treasured symbol of Lancôme and while they've done many iterations of the rose over the years, they've also made them visually interesting (see the cubist-esque Coral Flirt blush or the beautifully sparkling Rose Étincelle).  This particular rose design was completely uninspired.  It's a moot point, however, as I don't think this palette ever made it stateside.

2.  Chantecaille Bees palette:

Chantecaille Bee palette, spring 2014

Oh, Chantecaille.  You're better than this! Why do you insist on repeating the same 4-pan design?  Yes, I did buy it but really more to serve as "filler" for the spring exhibition.  Also, this is the third year in a row Chantecaille has appeared on my pans's high time for them to get back in the game.

3. Clarins Opalescence blush:

Clarins Opalescence Blush, spring 2014
(image from

I was initially drawn to Clarins's spring 2014 collection, only to pass on it once I realized I had no clue what the design was supposed to be.  Colorwise it's quite pretty, but I simply have no desire to collect something with a weird abstract pattern without any explanation from the company as to what it represents.

What do you think of my picks and pans this year?  If you have some time to kill, feel free to look through the archives and see if there are any others you would include.

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