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March 2016

MM spring 2016 exhibition

(image from flowersfortheweekend.com)

More flowers for spring.  I know, I know, it's quite predictable.  But there were so many beautiful floral palettes released last year I couldn't help but put them on display, and I figured the best time to do that was in a spring exhibition.  You may also notice my latest obsession is vintage powder boxes, one of which features a pussywillow design and sparked a childhood memory of my mother making an arrangement of forsythia and pussywillows at the start of spring each year.  Hence the image for the exhibition poster.  (I'm also wondering if this floral combination is partially responsible for my love of yellow and grey together.)


Top shelves:

Makeup Museum spring 2016 exhibition

Bottom shelves:

Makeup Museum spring 2016 exhibition

Top row, left to right.

Paul & Joe spring 2016:

Paul & Joe spring 2016 makeup

Paul & Joe spring 2016 makeup

Paul & Joe spring 2016 makeup

Paul & Joe spring 2016 makeup

Tetlow's Pussywillow Powder - I forgot to take a picture of the label, but Collecting Vintage Compacts has a very informative post on the Tetlow company.

Henry Tetlow Pussywillow Powder and ad

Henry Tetlow Pussywillow Powder ad, 1920

Henry Tetlow Pussywillow Powder

Cosme Decorte/Marcel Wanders The Secret Nymph compact:

Cosme Decorte Marcel Wanders The Secret Nymph

I know this was a holiday release and it's not overly floral, but I thought the nymph might get along with some of the others in the exhibition. ;)

Cosme Decorte Marcel Wanders The Secret Nymph

Shu Chinese New Year 2016 cleansing oils...if I had room I would have put the boxes out as well.

Shu Uemura Chinese New Year 2016 cleansing oils

Shu Uemura Chinese New Year 2016 cleansing oils

Second row, left to right.

Shiseido Festive Camellia palette:

Shiseido Festive Camellia palette

Shiseido Festive Camellia palette

Shiseido Festive Camellia palette

Shiseido Festive Camellia palette

Dior spring 2016:

Dior spring 2016 makeup

Fresh Rose Face Mask:

Fresh Rose Face Mask

Fresh Rose Face Mask

RMK Circus Face Color and First Love powder by Helen English (ca. 1920s).  I couldn't find any info on the Helen English company but I thought the little sprite on the case would play well with RMK's circus dancer and also with the Wanders nymph above.

RMK Circus Face Color and vintage First Love powder

Third row, left to right.

La Jaynees powder box...could not resist the pretty colors and butterfly!  Fortunately Collecting Vintage Compacts also had a comprehensive history of Rawleigh's, the company that produced La Jaynees.

La Jaynees vintage powder

La Jaynees vintage powder

La Jaynees vintage powder

Ladurée spring 2016 palette and Lancôme Shimmer Cube palette:

Ladurée and Lancome

Givenchy Magnolia Prisme Libre powder and Couture Edition lipstick case...I tried but couldn't find any pics of the magnolia print in action on the runway, only stock photos.  So I left those out.

Givenchy Magnolia powder and rose lipstick case

Givenchy Magnolia powder and rose lipstick case

Givenchy Magnolia powder and rose lipstick case

Chantecaille Magnolia palette...mine crumbled a bit and I didn't realize it until too late - that's what I get for not checking an object prior to exhibition installation.  Whoops.

Chantecaille magnolia palette

Chantecaille magnolia palette

Bottom row, left to right.

Pola BA Active Flower palette - the artist behind this currently has a show in NYC. 

Pola BA Active Flower collection

Pola BA Active Flower collection

Kao EST coffret:

Kao EST coffret set

Vintage Belcano powder - yet another that Collecting Vintage Compacts had the scoop on!  I thought it was going to be much bigger than it is, which is why it looks a little lonely sitting on the shelf by itself.  I might tinker with the display and add another item so it doesn't seem so lonesome.

vintage Belcano powder, ca. 1929

Vintage Belcano powder, ca. 1929

MAC Guo Pei collection:

MAC Guo Pei

MAC Guo Pei

MAC Guo Pei

So that's spring 2016!  I understand if you're a little underwhelmed, but flowers are always appropriate for spring.  I do have an actual theme for the summer 2016 exhibition, so at least you'll have that to look forward to.  :)


Pop goes the butterfly: Paul & Joe spring 2016

Paul & Joe's spring 2016 collection is sheer prettiness.  This year the company borrowed a page from children's books and created two adorable pop-up palettes.  We've seen these before with Urban Decay and Too-Faced, but Paul & Joe did a great job as well, especially since one of the lipstick cases is tangentially related to children's books (more on that later.)

It doesn't get any springier than this palette - dragonflies, butterflies, flowery vines, fruit, bunnies, and even snails are all portrayed in one extraordinarily idyllic scene.  And of course, cats!

Paul & Joe spring 2016 palette

Paul & Joe spring 2016 palette

Paul & Joe spring 2016 palette

I didn't like the design on this palette as much, but it's still pretty.  That weird tiled-looking background doesn't seem to go with the butterflies.

Paul & Joe spring 2016 palette

Paul & Joe spring 2016 palette

Paul & Joe spring 2016 palette

We all know how much I love free swag.

Paul & Joe spring 2016 bag

And I always appreciate their attention to detail. Even the plastic cover for the eye shadow and blush has a butterfly!

Paul & Joe spring 2016

The palettes are cute and I commend Paul & Joe for doing something a little different, but the lipstick cases are what most intrigued me.

Paul & Joe spring 2016 lipstick cases

I couldn't resist picking up a refill since it has a butterfly on it. 

Paul & Joe spring 2016 lipstick

The butterfly print was borrowed from the line's 2016 resort collection and also appeared in several pieces of Paul & Joe's collaboration with lingerie brand Cosabella.

Paul & Joe resort 2016

Paul & Joe spring 2016(images from vogue.com and paulandjoe.com)

The cat print is from the Paul & Joe Sister spring 2016 collection.

Paul & Joe Sister spring 2016
(image from paulandjoe.com)

But my favorite was the jungle print, which appeared on many pieces in the resort 2016 collection.

Paul & Joe resort 2016

How cute is this romper?!

Paul & Joe spring 2016(images from vogue.com and paulandjoe.com)

I grew even more enamored after reading that it's an original print by illustrator Dahlov Ipcar.  I had never heard of her but she does a lot of children's books and just really beautiful illustrations in general.  She's still working at 98 (a fellow Scorpio, cool) and is actually on Facebook!  Meanwhile, I can't even get my dad to learn how to email and he's significantly younger...anyway, I do find it strange that I wasn't familiar with her work, given my love of reading as a kid and my love of design as an adult, but I'm sure glad I found it now. 

The print borrowed by Paul & Joe is from a 1981 book called Lost and Found: A Hidden Animal Book

Dahlov Ipcar - Lost and Found

I don't want to make this post all about Ipcar because it would take forever, but I do feel the need to share just a few more pieces.  I clearly need this book to put under the Christmas tree since we have kind of a woodland theme going.

Dahlov Ipcar - My Wonderful Christmas Tree

Dahlov Ipcar - My Wonderful Christmas Tree

But I saved my favorite for last.  Mer-farmer!!  That's right, Ipcar illustrated a 1961 book called Deep Sea Farm featuring a very hard-working undersea farmer.  Needless to say, this book (along with the Christmas tree one) is on its way to me.

Dahlov Ipcar - Deep Sea Farm

Dahlov Ipcar - Deep Sea Farm

Dahlov Ipcar Deep Sea Farm(images from pinterest.com)

If you ask me, Ipcar deserves a whole museum retrospective (and a makeup collection!) in addition to a fashion tie-in.  Even though she's had a couple exhibitions, I would love to see an incredibly comprehensive show overflowing with her whimsical illustrations...and I think I might keel over from awesomeness if a makeup company ever put her work on their packaging.  Paul & Joe's lipstick case with Ipcar's print was amazing, but I'm envisioning a much more extensive collection.  If that merman farmer ever showed up on a palette my head might explode.  ;)

Getting back to Paul & Joe, I think they did a nice job with their spring collection.  Yes I still miss the little stories behind each one, but I do enjoy pop-up palettes and thought they tied in well with the fact that the company borrowed a print from a children's book illustrator.  As always, Paul & Joe excels at walking the fine line between playful and juvenile. 

What do you think?


Curator's Corner, 3/20/2015

CC logoHappy spring!!  I was really hoping to get the exhibition up this weekend, but realized 1. I wasn't going to have time and 2. one of the objects I ordered hasn't made it to Museum headquarters yet.  Anyway, here are this week's links.

- The Museum's very own Stila paint can collection was featured at one of my favorite blogs!

- This sheet mask is the stuff of nightmares.

- Apply a full face of makeup while giving birth?  Sure, why not.

- These guys readied their beards for spring, which I'd say was very successful.  These guys tried contouring, which didn't work quite as well.  To be fair, I find contouring to be pretty tricky and have never attempted it so I'd probably be no better.

- Spray-on nail polish is the newest craze.  I want to try it since it seems quicker and easier than regular polish.

- LOL!  I just hope the poor little thing didn't get sick.

The random:

- Vice Broadly gives us an interesting history of how pink became associated with femininity

- Sleater-Kinney's Call the Doctor turned 20.  Yay!

- Desperately wish these feminist art history emojis were real.  In more art history fun, did you know that the Twitter logo is actually 35,000 years old?

What's been going on with you?  Are you excited for spring?




Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea set

I spotted this set at Barney's when I was plotting my order for their gift-with-purchase a while back.  In honor of their new store in Chelsea, Barney's teamed up with the Kevyn Aucoin line to pay tribute to the legendary makeup artist and his old stomping grounds in the Chelsea neighborhood.  While no artist's name was listed in the description of the collection, I knew the design had to be the work of an outside illustrator.


Barneys Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea set

Barneys Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea collection

Barneys Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea collection
(images from barneys.com) 

A quick search yielded the name Justin Teodoro, a New York City-based fashion illustrator.  Born and raised in Canada, Teodoro graduated from the Parsons School of Design and worked for several fashion labels before becoming an independent artist.  Naturally I took a peek at some of his other work. 

Justin Teodoro - Dries van Noten

Justin Teodoro - Chanel fall 2016

Justin Teodoro - Miu Miu fall 2016

Justin Teodoro - Giambattista Valli(images from instagram.com)

What I find most interesting about Teodoro's work is the range of media he (literally) draws from.  Artist self-portraits, TV, movies, street photos of off-duty models - all are fair game for him, and there's no one era he's partial to either.  In his Instagram feed you can see images of Audrey Hepurn and Catherine Deneuve (1960s) to Cyndi Lauper and clips from Pretty in Pink ('80s) to Cindy Crawford and Seinfeld character Elaine Benes ('90s) to photos from Sex in the City ('00s).  He explains, "My tastes are pretty eclectic and range from such high to low things that it’s all a pretty vast collage of ideas.  I try not to shy away from that because that is essentially who I am.  I’m always interested in what I see around me and I want to capture it all through my work."  Fashion photography is particularly influential.  See, for example, Teodoro's take on this 1978 photo by Peter Schlesinger:

Justin Teodoro - Peter Schlesinger(images from vogue.com and instagram.com)

Or this 1992 Vogue cover, shot by Steven Meisel:

Justin Teodoro - 1992 Vogue cover(images from famousfix.com and instagram.com)

Model Trish Goff:

Justin Teodoro - Trish Goff(image from instagram.com)

And more recently, Sandy Liang's fall 2016 collection:

Justin Teodoro - Sandy Liang

I think fashion photography is a key source of inspiration for Teodoro because of how he views his style of illustration: "It really is just wanting to see what I like in front of me on paper.  When I was little I drew cartoon characters so they were on the page in front of me. When I see a cool stylish girl on the street today I want to draw her because I want to create that same image in my own style.  I guess it’s my own form of documentation...To me  the mood and the attitude was always important. Illustration became the stronger part of my design process I guess. It was fun for me to create that world where, yes it was about the clothes, but it was more about the vision and the personality of that character."  He perceives his illustrations to serve the same purpose as fashion photos, i.e. to capture all aspects of a certain moment in time in addition to the clothes.  But it's not simply a blind reproduction of these photos; rather, Teodoro is putting his own illustrative spin on found images.

Getting back to the Barney's collection, I was able to pick out a few photos I believe Teodoro based his illustrations on to depict Kevyn Aucoin.  You can see all of them pretty well on the back of tote bag.  This one appears on the top middle and lower right.

Kevyn Aucoin with Kate Moss
(image from blogher.com) 

This one was the basis for the illustration in the lower left corner of the bag.

Kevyn Aucoin with Linda Evangelista, 1995(image from beautylish.com) 

And this photo was borrowed for the illustration on the top right. 

Kevyn Aucoin at work(image from pinterest.com)

I don't feel compelled to purchase this set for the Museum (and I can't anyway, as it's sold out), but I thought it was a fitting collaboration.  And I enjoy seeing Teodoro's unique take on an enormous variety of fashion influencers and icons and thought he did a good job paying homage to Aucoin.  As a side note, how did I not realize there was an entire exhibition on him in 2014?!  So embarrassing.  I'm also kinda mad no one asked me to contribute my expertise on beauty-themed exhibitions. 

What do you think both of this set and of Teodoro's work?



An alternative to the luck of the Irish

For St. Patrick's Day I originally thought I'd do a quick round-up of vintage compacts adorned with clovers and such.  I was searching for a particular vintage Stratton compact, one that has more traditional lucky symbols, and came across this one instead.  It was so delightfully strange I simply had to shove aside the other compact I was looking for to investigate this one further.

Stratton billiken compact(image from etsy.com)

Here's another from a later date (ca. 1950s).

Stratton billiken compact(image from etsy.com)

If you're all, "WTF am I looking at?", don't worry, I was too.  Apparently the little fella on the front of these compacts is known as a billiken, a symbol of good luck.  Both of the websites that list these compacts for sale point out that the Stratton compacts with a billiken on the front are very rare, and are on page 103 of Mueller's Overview of American Compacts and Vanity Cases.  So off I went to consult my copy.

Laura Mueller book

Laura Mueller book

Laura Mueller book

Okay, so the billiken was created by an art teacher in 1908 and is a lucky figure.  That's a start, but not enough information for me.  So I went searching and found myself down quite a bizarre rabbit hole.  The billiken was created by Florence Pretz in 1908 after it appeared to her in a dream, while she found the name in an 1896 poem called "Mr. Moon: A Song Of The Little People" by Canadian poet Bliss Carman.  The billiken represents "things as they ought to be." Buying a billiken for oneself brought luck, but receiving one as a gift brought even more good fortune.  Pretz explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "I concluded if there is a chance that we shape our own lives, and my clay was mine to fashion as I would, I might as well make an image, which embodied hope and happiness to sort of live up to." 

I found her original design patent at the Virtual Corkscrew Museum (the fact that a corkscrew museum exists is proof that a makeup museum is a completely normal and valid idea, yes?)  Such a weird-looking little creature, what with the pointy head, prominent ears and compact body - not quite human but not animal-like either. 

Billiken patent by Florence Pretz
(image from bullworks.net) 

And here's a sketch.

Billiken sketch
(image from slu.edu)

The billiken's popularity skyrocketed less than a year after the patent was filed and took off as a novelty across the U.S., its likeness appearing on all kinds of ephemera from basic figurines to salt shakers and belt buckles.  St. Louis University even adopted the billiken as their mascot, which they still use today.

Billiken - St. Louis University mascot
(image from stltoday.com)

The craze also spread to Alaska, where billikens were carved from whale bone/teeth or walrus ivory and sold as souvenirs.  They're still made today, of course from different materials.

Billiken carving
(image from liveauctioneers.com)

Billiken carving(image from 1stdibs.com)

Finally, the Royal Order of Jesters, a group belonging to the larger entity of Freemasons, adopted the billiken as their symbol in 1911.  The billikens associated with the Jesters differ from other figures as they're usually wearing crowns.

1924 ROJ paperweight(image from phoenixmasonry.com)

This lapel pin especially makes me think that the billiken on the Stratton compact was related to the Royal Order of Jesters, as the design is nearly identical. 

(image from fratline.net)

And Stratton did make other Freemason-themed compacts.

Stratton Eastern Star compact(image from etsy.com)

Stratton Freemasons compact
(image from ebay.co.uk)

I guess what I'm still trying to figure out is how the billiken ended up on the Stratton compacts.  Were these part of a custom order for the Royal Order of Jesters?  What kind of relationship, if any, did Stratton have with the Freemasons and their associated bodies?  Or did Stratton simply decide to put a billiken on their compacts at several points throughout the early 20th century since the billiken was so wildly popular and appearing on nearly every object one could think of?  I really can't answer any of these with any certainty.  Plus, if the billiken on the Stratton compact is somehow related to the Royal Order of Jesters, it doesn't make a lot of sense to put it on an item primarily used by women.  Near as I can figure, the Royal Order of Jesters is your typical boys' club (with some rather sordid, remarkably misogynist moments throughout their history to boot, though I don't know if can trust the sources I linked to.)  However, according to the British Compact Collectors Society, Freemason compacts were in fact "presented as gifts on Masonic Ladies’ Nights, when wives of Masons were invited for a special dinner."  So maybe the ROJ had similar ladies' nights in the U.S. and these were gifts?

I also found this compact, which just leads to more questions. 

Billiken ROJ compact

Billiken ROJ compact
(images from etsy.com)

Unlike the Stratton billiken compacts, this one is unmistakably related to the Royal Order of Jesters given the initials on the billiken's crown.  No maker is listed but the shape, embossing and the handle are all identical to these enameled compacts.  So I'm wondering if this was just a generic compact and you could have it customized.  In this case, I'm guessing someone belonging to the Royal Order of Jesters had it made and inscribed with the year they were inducted, given the "78" on the billiken's feet.  But again, why a compact?  I can only assume it was a gift, since I don't think women can be members of the ROJ.

Anyway, I don't think I'll ever get to the bottom of how a billiken that looks similar to the one used by the Royal Order of Jesters ended up on a vintage compact, but I'm glad I at least found a very interesting, if not totally weird, piece of history.  And I always welcome learning about benevolent beings such as the billiken, as we could use a little more good luck and positivity in this world.

Had you ever heard of a billiken?  And have you ever dreamed up a totally mythical creature?  I have - a few months ago I dreamed of flying rabbits that were called angel bunnies.  Their wings were not like feathered bird wings but covered in soft white fur, like the rest of their bodies.  They were so cute and fluffy and they only came out at night...I wish they existed, or that I at least had some artistic skill so I could sketch them!  Who knows, maybe if I file a patent for them the way Ms. Pretz did with billikens, they could be the next craze sweeping the U.S. :)


Couture Monday: Dior's Glowing Garden

I won't say this is a total disappointment from Dior, but I also won't lie and say it's inspired.  For their spring 2016 makeup collection Dior was again influenced by the designer's upbringing in Granville and its fabulous gardens.  I picked up the blush and one of the eye shadow palettes.

Dior spring 2016 Glowing Gardens

Dior spring 2016 Glowing Gardens

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Dior spring 2016 blush

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Unfortunately I found the flower print on these compacts had very little to do with Dior's runway collections.  I guess you could say the color palette for the spring ready-to-wear collection is similar, but none of the garments had the same flower print.

Dior spring 2016 ready-to-wear (images from vogue.com)

The print actually most closely resembled the one found on these pieces from the couture collection.

Dior couture spring 2016

I think the palettes would have been more visually appealing if Dior had borrowed one of the prints below.  The one on the right almost looks like little bees - how fun would that have been?

Dior couture spring 2016(images from vogue.com)

I also couldn't tell what kind of flowers are on the palettes.  They look fairly nondescript and generic.  They're not delphiniums, which would have been cool given that the spring 2016 runway was draped in these blooms.  I was thinking perhaps geraniums or maybe phlox.

(images from flowerinfo.org and bloomiq.com)

But they could also be wild roses, which would make sense given the legendary roses at Granville.

Wild roses
(images from 50states.com and photos-for-you.com)

So, these compacts were worth purchasing and will certainly be delightful in a spring exhibition, but definitely not as interesting as some of Dior's previous releases. 



Curator's Corner, 3/13/2016

CC logoI know, I know, two Curator's Corners back to back.  But I will return to regular blogging tomorrow, and the spring exhibition will be here next weekend.  :) In the meantime, here are this week's links.

- Racked examines the not-so-great history of beauty pageants, while Refinery29 presents a fascinating interview with a cosmetic chemist.

- Loved Chanel's quilted eye shadow effect for their fall 2016 show. 

- More beauty mosaics, this time with old nail polish bottles.  Note to self:  feature this in a Makeup as Muse post. ;)

- The latest trends include using a Beautyblender for "hair strobing" and a yet another new contouring technique known as "3D tanning".

- Congrats to the first cohort of women who were accepted into Sephora's Accelerate program - they have lots of innovative ideas!  Now if only someone could solve the environmental damage that's being done by the big personal care companies.

- I breathed a big sigh of relief once I saw who Nars is collaborating with this holiday season - it's not Terry Richardson, which I had feared.

- I disagree with a lot of things in this piece on little girls wearing makeup.

- If I had a cat I would so get him/her Soft Paws!

- Haha.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, the classic Coen brothers film Fargo turns 20, and Garbage announced a new album and tour.

- The title and date for Amy Schumer's book have been announced.  Woot!

- Finally, the husband alerted me to these socks at J. Crew.  I know they're men's socks but I simply had to have them!  Here's big Sailor Babo modeling them.  He was the perfect model as he and the other sailor plushies have seen many a mermaid at sea.

Mermaid socks

How was your week?

Curator's Corner, 3/6/2016

CC logoWho's ready for a super huge mega catch-up edition of Curator's Corner? 

- Latest hair trends include denim hair and funfetti hair.  But if you think those are crazy, check out these fur, pom pom and stone manicures.  I'm team fur nails all the way, since they remind me of plushies.

- In other nail news, some New York salons have been ordered to pay $1.1 million in back wages to workers.

- Refinery29 digs into Sophie Shab's controversial Instagram account.

- Spring isn't even here yet, but New York Fashion Week's tough beauty looks already have me excited for fall.

- At long last, some beauty innovations for women of color:  a new hair care line inspired by Madam C.J. Walker will be launched at Sephora, and the new Cocoa Swatches app shows what makeup shades look like on a variety of skin tones.  We still need a lot of work on diversity within the beauty industry, but these are a step in the right direction.

- On the cosmetic surgery front, butt lifts reigned supreme in 2015, while more men are getting breast reduction surgery.

- There was, unfortunately, some truly scary beauty news these past few weeks - ovarian cancer brought on by talc use and a "beauty parlor stroke", which is not as uncommon as one would think. 

- On a lighter note, which of these are your greatest beauty fears?  And do you remember these "terrifying" early aughts hair trends?

- Two words: bunny spa.

- Awwww!

The random:

- I'm excited for Abbi Jacobson's new book, which will be released in the fall.  Not so excited about this Olsen twins exhibit though. Ugh.

- In '90s nostalgia, Sarah Michelle Gellar has gone brunette to reprise her role from the 1999 film Cruel Intentions, which is getting a TV reboot.  For the early part of the decade, there was this piece on 1991's Silence of the Lambs.

- As much as I love the '90s, there were some good '80s memories to be had.  Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Blue Velvet all celebrated their 30th anniversaries, and Pee Wee is back!  (Also, I'm giving a shout-out to the person who photoshopped him into vintage postcards.)

- I had an idea for a new Tumblr called Bored Men at Sephora, but it looks like this Instagram account beat me to it, albeit on a broader scale. 

- LOL.

Finally, here's a bonus pic of me in Disney World - my mom caught me mid-Tweet.   It was a great trip but totally exhausting.  I think the pink ears go well with the camo jacket, yes?  (Just kidding, I know that combination looks especially ridiculous.)


More pics will be coming soon over at Postcards from Sailor Babo - our little scamp had quite the adventure!

How have you been?