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January 2015

Makeup as Muse follow up: May Sum's work revisited

Last week I noticed a huge spike in blog traffic - nearly 3,000 page views (or, sadly, roughly 14 times the usual amount of daily views).  Clearly the counter must be broken, I thought, there's probably some kind of glitch that's inflating the number.  As it turns out, it was actually correct as one of my posts was linked in one of those silly Buzzfeed lists so that's what was driving all the traffic.  Naturally I perused the list to see where the Makeup Museum was mentioned and saw that one of the items included was new work by May Sum.  You may remember this lipstick sculptor as being the first Makeup as Muse post I did back in 2013.  The Buzzfeed list highlighted some more recent and quite spectacular work of hers that I somehow missed, so I thought I'd talk about her latest makeup-as-art endeavor:  a collaboration with Make Up For Ever.

In the fall of 2014 Make Up For Ever celebrated their 30th anniversary by launching a new range of eye shadows that were showcased at an event at Club Lusitano in Hong Kong.  Five new eye shadow finishes were introduced in the new line and captured in a photoshoot, with each model wearing one of the finishes.  (I have to say I'm fuzzy on the details for this, as the Google translation was awful and I couldn't find any articles in English.)  In addition, May Sum created an "Artist Shadow Wonderland", an exhibition consisting of a more elaborate, forest/floral-themed take on her famous lipstick sculptures.  She also was behind the intricate flower garden sculptures that seem to sprout from the eye shadows themselves.

May Sum - floral lipstick sculptures

May Sum for Make Up For Ever

May Sum eye shadow "forest" for Makeup Forever

These objects in particular were very intriguing.  I'm not 100% sure because as I noted earlier, Google Translate made no sense, but I think the one on the far left is supposed to be a lipstick likeness of Make Up For Ever founder Dany Sanz.  I really have no idea what the others are, but they might be sculptures based on sketches by Sanz. 

May Sum - Make Up For Ever  eye shadows
(images from doublepworkshop.blogspot.com)

Be sure to check out some real-life photos here and here by people who were lucky enough to attend the event and accompanying exhibition.  The sculptures look even more amazing than they do in the stock photos.  And I liked the simple vitrines used to display the objects.  I'm also wondering what happened to the pieces she made, like if they ended up in the Make Up For Ever archives or if they were sold.

So what do you think of May Sum's latest work?  Do you like her Make Up For Ever creations more than her previous lipstick sculptures?  I think it's all amazing and I can't choose one over the other!  All I know is that the Makeup Museum is in desperate need of one of her works.

Curator's Corner, 1/25/2015

CC logoSo much to catch up...still feeling pretty bad but trying to post on occasion. 

- There's been lots of beauty history  floating around in the past few weeks.  The Atlantic brings us a history of hair dye, while Into the Gloss provides a history of blush.  There's also an account of a more contemporary product - Guerlain Meteorites.  Beautylish covers the odd 1920s trend of knee rouge, and going further back in time, XO Vain discusses Victorian-era beauty practices. Finally, I stumbled across Medievalists.net while looking for more blogs to add to Feedly (as if the 1,167 I already follow aren't enough - I'm not exaggerating, that's the actual number) and found this post on makeup in the middle ages

- Now this is a DIY that Makeup Museum staff can get behind.  Then again, they'd probably try to eat my eyelashes.  Behold, "mascara" made from Oreos.  

- Remember that really cool video that showed 100 years of beauty trends in a hot minute?  There's a new one out featuring 100 years of black hair history.

- This invention sounds like an even more nightmarish version of a magnifying mirror, which is certainly not kind to your reflection.  Thank goodness it's still years away from actually being put into production.  I'll take a skinny mirror any day of the week over that - I'd much rather have a mirror lie to me than point out every little thing that's wrong with my appearance.

- I sort of understood the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection, but I don't understand having Ms. Monroe serve as a brand ambassador.  I would think a makeup company would choose someone who is, I don't know, actually alive.  In more positive brand ambassador news, '60s model Twiggy was chosen to be the new face of L'Oreal.

- Meet the latest in skincare technology: the Oku smart tool (sort of like a FitBit for your face).  I'll be curious to see reviews of this, as I'm obviously not shelling out $250 for it unless I know it's useful.

- As much as I love free stuff, I draw the line at dumpster diving for beauty products.  Would you do this?

- Speaking of free stuff, if you're attractive enough there is actually such a thing as a free lunch.  Um, what? 

- Reviews for the week are for Davines.

The random:

- One of the things that's keeping me going right now is the new Sleater-Kinney album, which was available to stream in full at NPR 2 weeks ago and was officially released this past Tuesday.  Of course, the album been getting rave reviews (more here and here, and this is my favorite piece).  I've only listened to it a handful of times (their reunion is making me surprisingly emotional - I literally can't get through the album without bawling) but I can say that just when you thought S-K couldn't get any more fierce, BAM! No Cities to Love proves to be their most intense, ferocious album.  I think All Hands on the Bad One is still my favorite record overall but obviously I'm loving their newest.  Check out a video of some friends singing the title track, along with appearances on Letterman and Conan.  Oh, and Entertainment Weekly talked to them about what they listened to growing up.  I also adored Corin and Carrie's totally accurate and very succinct (only 30 seconds) explanation of Riot Grrrl.  Guess I didn't need to write a 120-page thesis on it.

- In other excellent news, Broad City is back and has been receiving so much love.  Some odes to Abbi and Ilana can be found here and here.  Not only that, but it's already been renewed for a 3rd season, and there are even Broad City emojis on the way.  And as if all the current awesomeness wasn't enough, this happened.  As you can imagine, my head nearly exploded. 

- The issue of forged art is at the forefront of the museum world right now, so it's appropriate that a museum in England played "spot the fake" with visitors, while FIT has an entire exhibition devoted to counterfeit couture.

- Other art stuff includes two reviews of the Alien She exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a way to put your face (or your pet's) on a classic painting, and 10 weird museums around the world, a few of which I hadn't heard of.  There's also a massive #conservationfail involving the gold funerary mask of poor King Tut.  Honestly, they might as well have used duct tape.  SMH.

- Things I cannot wait to eat include these 3 new flavors from Ben and Jerry.  I'm especially curious to see how the Speculoos one compares to Trader Joe's cookie butter ice cream. 

- In '90s nostalgia, here's a video highlighting the most memorable pop culture moments from 1998.  How many do you remember? 

Hope you've been having a good week. 

MM smackdown: Ad Assault!


I meant to get to this back in the fall but it unfortunately fell by the wayside.  A few months ago both Chanel and Dior revamped their permanent lines of eye shadow palettes - Chanel revised new quads and Dior, their 5 Couleurs.  With these new palettes came new advertising campaigns, and I couldn't help but notice the striking similarity between the ads.  (I do wonder whether the timing of Peter Philips's deflection from Chanel to Dior had something to do with the strong resemblance between them.)  Plus there's a good balance between the brands, as they're both couture houses.  So...

Let's get ready to rummmmbbbblllllle!  *ding ding*

In the first corner we have Chanel's ad that appeared in every fashion magazine I subscribe to.  Grandstanding with what is possibly the prettiest quad from the new lineup, Tisse Venitien, Chanel flexes its muscles with an array of rich greens and a shimmery champagne.  (Full disclosure:  I own this quad and love it.)

Chanel ad-2014

In the other corner we've got Dior's answer to Chanel, a postcard I received in the mail.  While this ad wasn't as ubiquitous as Chanel's (and I personally didn't find the colors in the palette they chose to be as appealing as Chanel's) its power lies in a better view of both the nail polish on the hand holding the palette as well as the eye shadows themselves.


Dior delivers another blow to Chanel through pure experience - this ain't Dior's first rodeo!  Check out this ad from their fall 2011 campaign.

Dior fall 2011 ad
(image from talknerdy2me.org)

Dior has clearly perfected the eye shadow palette/nails/reflection imagery.  But Chanel's not completely down just yet.  The "Eyes Redefined" tagline strikes back at Dior's obvious and bland "New 5 Couleurs".  And the dark nail polish Chanel displays is so much more chic than that flat brownish-red Dior has going on.  The two are truly neck and neck - Chanel's color scheme beautifully matches the model's eyes, while Dior's burgundy and gold shades are heavenly on their blue-eyed model.  (Hey, why no model with brown eyes?  Ahem.)

So who wins this Ad Assault?  Will Dior's more subtle campaign and clear view of the new colors triumph over Chanel's seemingly-everywhere advertising and less visible palette?  Or will Chanel's color choice and overall design pummel its rival to a pulp?  Tell me in the comments!

Holiday haul 2014

Late to the party because I was waiting for my Tom Ford Lips & Boys goodies to arrive, but here's what I hauled for the 2014 holiday season.  I went overboard, of course, but not as bad as I usually do.  :P  I got 4 of the Tom Ford lipsticks, Bobbi Brown Black Scotch gel liner and MAC Dark Majesty gel liner, NARS Supervixen gloss and Gabon eye shadow, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk, Nails Inc. Winter Mews (wore this with Essie Luxeffects Set in Stones just on the tips for New Year's and it was so much fun!), and Lippmann Gold Digger. 

I just realized that I forgot to include the bath and body items I picked up, Philosophy Holiday Spice Rack 3 in 1 trio and LUSH Drummers Drumming bubble bars.  Whoops.

Holiday haul 2014

NARS Gabon, MAC Dark Majesty, Bobbi Brown Black Scotch, NARS Supervixen

Tom-Ford Luca, William, Stavros and Wes lipsticks

What new additions to your stash did you make this holiday season?

Group portrait: Dior

(Click to enlarge)

The Makeup Museum - Dior palettes

Top row, left to right:  Mitzah, Impression Cuir, Garden Roses, Swimming Pool, Granville and Milly Garden clutches

Second row, left to right:  Poudrier Dentelle, Flower Blossom, Bonne Etoile, Rose Ballerine, Tailleur Bar, Golden Jungle, Voile de Neige

Third row, left to right:  Anselm Reyle, Garden Pastels, Atlantique, Pink Pompadour, Tailleur Bar (2012 edition), Gold Shock, Perle d'Or powder

Bottom row, left to right:  My Lady, Lady Dior, Les Tablettes de Bastet (Vincent Beaurin), Cristal Boreal pendant, Night Diamond

Curator's Corner, 1/4/2015

CC logoWelcome to the Makeup Museum's first Curator's Corner of 2015!  Actually it's my very first post of the year!  I wish I could say that 2015 is off to a great start, but I can't.  I'm dealing with two chronic, very lengthy and difficult to treat health issues.  They're nothing life-threatening and of course I'm extremely grateful for that, but they're definitely impacting my quality of life, i.e., I just found out the injury I've been struggling with for 7 months is worse than previously thought and my running future is very uncertain.  :(  I'm really at the end of my rope.  Plus I hate the post-holiday winter season - nothing much to look forward to, just a long, dark, cold wait till spring.  So posting might be a little spotty until things improve. 

Now that I've got that update out of the way here are some links.

- XO Vain discusses some of the strangest animal-based ingredients in skincare, while Bust matches up ancient beauty ingredients with their modern-day counterparts.

- Another major cosmetics company gets slapped with a lawsuit allegating racism

- Into the Gloss reviews a new exhibition at MoMA PS1 that imagines Roman busts in color...I love the idea that ancient statues were colorfully painted! 

- Gwyneth Paltrow allegedly spends $20,000 a month on beauty treatments.  As with Jessica Simpson, I'm not sure why the cost of celebrities' beauty regimens is anyone's business...they're paid to look good! 

- Lady Gaga will be the new face of Shiseido this year, and the ad campaign will include her selfies.  I hope the campaign retains at least some of her weirdness.

As for product reviews, I got through some Tom Ford lipsticks.  The rest will be posted next week.  At some point I'll get a review up for the Nude Dip quad as well.

The random:

- Here are some crazy animal-inspired high heels

- So many good points in this piece that celebrates 2014's women in punk.

- Fifteen things you may not have known about Portlandia (but I knew most of them!)

- Meet the very first street style photographer, dating all the way back in 1906.

How's 2015 treating you so far?  Did you make resolutions and if so, what are they?