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October 2020

Halloween 2020 roundup

It's hard to believe I haven't done a Halloween roundup since 2016, but here we are.  Hopefully this post will compensate for the makeup I missed the past couple of years, as cosmetic companies continue churning out spooky and fun collections.  I would have purchased some for the Museum, but by the time I made up my mind about which ones to add they had sold out and weren't restocked in time to arrive by Halloween.  It says something about the demand when these collections are released in late September and sell out immediately...I think consumers and businesses are feeding off each other, both creating the increased frenzy for Halloween-themed makeup collections.

I'm not the biggest fan of either The Nightmare Before Christmas or Hocus Pocus - I've never even seen the latter - but I will hopefully add them to the Museum's collection as I thought they were cute and culturally significant enough to warrant purchasing.

Revolution Beauty Nightmare Before Christmas collection(image from revolutionbeauty.com)

Coloupop Hocus Pocus collection(image from colourpop.com)

I should probably re-watch Beetlejuice.  As a kid it scared me half to death but obviously as an adult I should be able to handle it, plus it's got a good cast.  This Melt collection would go nicely with Hot Topic's Handbook for the Recently Deceased palette I bought in 2018.

Melt Cosmetics Beetlejuice palette

Melt Cosmetics Beetlejuice collection(images from popsugar.com)

Here's some other miscellaneous Halloween fun released this year.

2020 Halloween makeup

  1. Shroud Cosmetics It's Freakin' Bats palette
  2. Hot Topic Chucky palette
  3. Profusion Here Lies Jester palette
  4. Alien Cosmetics Spooky Glam palette
  5. Kihitsu pumpkin face brush
  6. Milani Halloween edition Ludicrous Lip Gloss in Let's Bone (yes, that's really the name.) 
  7. Peachy Queen Sweet Dreams palette

And now for a couple vintage pieces.  I'm pleased to have added this Glebeas (pronounced glee-bay) to the Museum's spiderweb collection. Even though I hate spiders there are some great objects with spiderweb designs.  You can read the whole history of Glebeas and see some of their other spiderweb packaging over at Collecting Vintage Compacts

Glebeas sample tin, ca. 1925

About three years ago I found a brass version of Volupte's awesome cobweb compact for a very good price in excellent condition and an original ad.  The compact dates to about 1946-1952 and there were many variations, including sterling silver and 14kt gold, along with butterflies and ladybugs that had the misfortune of getting caught in the spider's lair. 

Volupte spiderweb compact

Volupte Web of Gold ad

Interestingly, the spiderweb design was created by Josephine Forrestal, a Vogue writer turned military wife.  According to the patent the compact was originally intended for Paul Flato, for whom she created other compacts, so how it ended up with Volupte I'm not sure.

Josephine Forrestal spiderweb compact patent 121,953
(image from books.google.com)

So while it's small now, I hope the Museum's spiderweb collection continues to grow.  By the way, do you remember the Elegance eyeshadow on the right?

Makeup Museum spiderweb compacts

Some other spooky vintage finds include a celluloid coffin-shaped compact:

Vintage coffin shaped compact
(image from rubylane.com)

Wound filler used in mortuary makeup:

Vintage wound filler - mortician makeup
(image from ebay.com)

And a makeup room in Illinois said to be haunted by the deceased director of the Peoria Players Theater:

Peoria Players Theater - haunted makeup room

I hope you have a fun Halloween!  Are you dressing up?  I am not but the plushies and I will be eating copious amounts of candy, of course.


Beauty profile: Carmen Murphy and Carmen Cosmetics

Carmen Murphy in 1969"To borrow Dr. King's phrase all I had, too, was a dream.  I got into the business mainly because Black women, myself included, had been searching for cosmetics that would look good on them for years.  There just weren't any."
- Carmen Murphy

In an effort to dig into Black makeup history, I came across many pioneering entrepreneurs who filled the much-needed gap for Black cosmetics and hair care that haven't really gotten their due historically.  I'm not sure whether this is appropriate for a white person to do - I still feel as though it's not my story to tell - but as with my article on Tommy Lewis I figured bringing awareness to bits of forgotten history even through a white lens was better than not doing it at all.  If anyone would like to weigh in on how I can do a better job and not whitesplain/whitewash, I am all ears.

So with that caveat in place, let's take a look at Carmen Cosmetics and the savvy businesswoman behind it, Carmen C. Murphy.  Carmen Murphy (née Caver) was born on October 20, 1915 in a small town just outside of Little Rock, AR.  The second oldest of nine children in an impoverished family, she began modeling to support herself.  At the age of 19 she married a pediatrician, Scipio Murphy, and they moved to Detroit.  She studied Home Economics and Business Administration at Wayne University. While much larger than the small Southern town Murphy grew up in, Detroit still lacked high-end beauty services for Black women.  They were excluded from white salons and the few Black salons didn't have the expertise.  "No one knew high fashion.  The beauticians used far too much oil and it took two weeks before [the hair] became nice and soft again," Murphy noted.  In 1946 she purchased a dilapidated three-story Victorian mansion located at 111 Mack Avenue (or 188 Mack Avenue) and spent $50,000 of her own money turning it into a 24-room salon. In November of 1947,  Olivia Clarke, president of the Rose Meta Beauty Products Company and the successful Rose Meta House of Beauty in Harlem, along with Rose Meta founder Rose Morgan and business manager Odessa Trotter, visited Detroit to finalize plans for opening a salon "fashioned" after the original House of Beauty in New York.  On May 30, 1948, the space officially opened as House of Beauty, with Trotter serving as beauty consultant.  However, I'm still confused as to the relationship between Morgan and Murphy and the latter's role in conceiving the House of Beauty.  According to one article, "The business project is the brain-child of Mrs. Murphy, who has had the cooperation of Rose Morgan of the New York House of Beauty...". Could it be that Murphy had the idea of a full-service salon around the same time as Morgan,  discovered the Rose Meta salon and then worked with her to develop a salon in Detroit with the same name, yet the two would be totally independent of each other?  Or did Murphy purchase her building in 1946 with the intent of opening a Rose Meta-style salon from the start? In of the articles regarding the grand opening, it's referred to as the Rose Meta House of Beauty, as if Murphy's enterprise was just another location of the original salon in New York, but Murphy was actually the owner.

In any case, the House of Beauty was intended to provide "tip to toe" beauty services for Black women.  The salon did $76,000 worth of business in its first year, with a staff of 35 serving an average of 200 clients per day, roughly a quarter of whom were white.  House of Beauty's operation was particularly innovative for its use of an "assembly line" service where customers received everything from massages to makeup consultations in a streamlined, orderly yet relaxing fashion.  Quipped Murphy's husband, "Leave my wife alone, and the House of Beauty would be as large as the Ford plant at River Rouge."

House of Beauty feature article, Ebony, 1951

While the salon did well, Murphy was still frustrated by the continuing lack of cosmetics available for deeper skin tones. "Most of us simply would not use any makeup," she said.  Murphy approached every major beauty company, including Avon, Helena Rubinstein and Revlon, only to be rejected.  "They would tell you firmly that they weren't interested, and that if they sold products for N*groes, it might spoil their image in the white community."  But in 1950 the owner of eponymous line Rose Laird offered to help Murphy develop and launch her own line.  "She simply said, "I'll help you'", Murphy recalled.  Laird assigned her chief chemist, Irving Wexler, to create formulas that wouldn't turn ashy or red on Black skin tones and that would actually match the diversity of Black skin.  In 1951 Carmen Cosmetics was officially launched.  Around this time the "Rose Meta" portion of the Detroit House of Beauty name was removed, perhaps due to the new makeup line.  Rose Meta also sold their own line of makeup for Black women in their New York salons and it's uncertain whether they were sold in the Detroit House of Beauty, but it seems that Carmen Cosmetics would be the in-house makeup brand for the salon starting in 1951. Given the partnership with Rose Laird and the new formulas concocted by Wexler, we can assume they were products that were entirely distinct from the Rose Meta line. 

House of Beauty feature article, Ebony, 1951

Murphy began promoting her line outside of Detroit shortly after its launch.  By 1953 Carmen Cosmetics had a foothold in a handful of other states. Again, notice that by 1953 the salon is referred to as Carmen Murphy's House of Beauty rather than Rose Meta.  I'd really love to unravel the mystery of the relationship between the two!

Carmen Murphy - House of Beauty Cosmetics, 1953
House of Beauty Cosmetics booth in Ammon Center for the Pittsburgh Courier Home Service Fair, June 9-11, 1953.
Carmen Murphy - House of Beauty Cosmetics
House of Beauty Cosmetics booth in Ammon Center for the Pittsburgh Courier Home Service Fair, June 9-11, 1953.

(images from collection.cmoa.org)

In early 1957 a more extensive sales campaign for the line was launched through the Student Marketing Institute based in New York.  Roughly 250 salespeople were deployed in 40 major urban markets across 17 states, targeting department and drug stores, Black salons and individual customers.  The theme was "everyday beauty for every smart woman", with window displays depicting "the varied roles played by every busy woman daily."  The items' retail price began at $1.25, competitive for other major cosmetics brands at the time.  Six shades of face makeup were offered along with face powder, mascara, brow pencil, blush and 6 lipstick colors. 

House of Beauty ad, 1957(image from detroitpubliclibrary.org)

In 1963 the salon had outgrown its original space and was moved to the Great Lakes Insurance Building at 8401 Woodard Avenue.  The Small Business Administration denied Murphy a loan despite the success of the original salon, so she and her husband had to use their own savings and borrow on their insurance to open at the new location.  Nevertheless, in April of that year Carmen Cosmetics made its world debut.   This article is useful but cringe-worthy for the use of "oriental" to describe an Asian skin tone; however, at least it doesn't refer to Murphy as the "N*gro Helena Rubinstein", which is how she was referred to in several major articles.  Ugh.  What was part of the success of the Carmen Cosmetics line was that it may have been the first Black-owned line to cater to every skin tone.  The formulas for other Black-owned lines were primarily intended for for Black clientele (and justifiably so), but Murphy wanted to accommodate "every female on the face of the earth."  Sort of a precursor to the "multicultural" beauty campaigns and products of the '90s, yes?

Detroit Free Press, April 6, 1963

Carmen Cosmetics continued using this as a marketing strategy throughout the '60s, at least when dealing with potential sales outlets.

Carmen Cosmetics sales letter, 1967

Carmen Cosmetics sales letter, 1967(image from Wayne University library archives)

In 1966 Rose Laird passed away, and in 1968 Murphy purchased the company for about $175,000 and named Wexler president. Early in the year the salon moved again, this time to 6080 Woodward Avenue to accommodate even more services.  This brief profile from the February 1, 1969 issue from Vogue discusses the salon and highlights Murphy's role as the first Black woman to head a major cosmetics firm.  While other Black beauty pioneers such as Madame C.J. Walker and Annie Turnbo Malone were well-known for their hair care products and services, and there were some Black-founded lines that offered  products for deeper skintones (Rose Morgan's Rose Meta, La Jac, Valmor, and Overton's High Brown powder come to mind) Carmen Murphy was among the first to focus on providing a comprehensive range of cosmetics for Black women, and the first to land significant business partnerships to distribute it.  What's also remarkable is that Murphy's business did not rely as much on direct sales as other companies that courted Black customers did at the time (Fuller, J. R. Watkins, etc.)  The salespeople for Carmen Cosmetics were responsible for getting the line into stores or doing in-store demonstrations, with less emphasis on going door-t0-door to individual clients.  From my understanding, there were no Carmen Cosmetics "dealers" as with Avon and the like.

Carmen Murphy profile in Vogue, Feb 1., 1969(image from archive.vogue.com)

From late 1968 it's unclear what happened next to the business.  By then Murphy had landed a deal with Universal to supply her line to their film studios and was in negotiations with Bristol Myer (producer of Clairol) for international distribution, but it's not specified whether that arrangement went through, since according to an article from January of 1969 she was still considering it along with 2 others from major corporations. By 1971 Carmen Cosmetics was sold in Woolworth's, Kresge and Lamston stores, but an article in October of that year refers to a "big" deal that did not take place because she needed a loan to seal the final agreement, and the SBA again refused a loan.  Murphy laid out how systemic racism prevented Carmen Cosmetics from expanding further.  "Basically, the financial institutions do not want to see us succeed in big business.  They will loan you enough to get you started, usually just enough to get you in trouble.  Being refused by banks has been a blow to me.  I feel that, if you become large, and if you become a real threat on the market, they decide to box you in...white people are trying to prove that we do not have the ability.  Given the opportunity, we will fail.  This is a planned, white, negative approach to help.  We will fail, and this will come back at us for years to come...a white business woman definitely would not encounter this problem.  She would have a line of credit, something we never had."  Referring to the House of Beauty, she concluded:  "My dream has not been fulfilled here." Although this occurred nearly 50 years ago, it demonstrates exactly why we need programs like Juvia's Place and Glossier's grant programs today. The system is still incredibly unjust, bigoted and actively preventing Black entrepreneurs from fulfilling their vision.

In 1974 Murphy retired as the House of Beauty's owner, and there's basically no readily available information regarding what happened to the Carmen Cosmetics line or the salon after that. There was a brief mention in a November 1975 issue of Black Enterprise so we know it was still being sold then, but that was about it.  I contacted 4 organizations in Detroit and no one was able to locate business records for House of Beauty or correspondence for Carmen Murphy.  Nor could anyone find her obituary.  She was still alive in 1995, when she received an award for her founding of H.O.B. Records (House of Beauty Records), but had passed by 2010 which is when a video of her receiving the award was uploaded.  She had two sons, Scipio Jr. who tragically died quite young from polio in 1950, and Robert, an accomplished pianist and music teacher who is also deceased.  Her nephew (her sister's son), Van Cephus, was a jazz musician who sadly died by suicide in 2014.  From the comments on the aforementioned video it looks like there are a couple of surviving relatives, but obviously I don't feel comfortable reaching out to them for any information they might have. 

So as not to end on a complete down note, I want to highlight Murphy's other achievements.  Throughout her career she continued to give back to the Black community.  In 1958 she started H.O.B. Records initially to fund gospel recordings. She then set up a practice room in the salon's basement for up and coming musicians to use. H.O.B. Records quickly became the launchpad for dozens of talented musical groups.

HOB records
(image from fhcmag.blogspot.com)

With the cooperation of the Detroit Board of Education, Murphy also spoke at local schools about proper grooming.  "All the poverty programs usually come to us for beauty and good grooming touches before they finish.  I want young people to take pride in their appearance.  Many haven't had the opportunity to dress properly, to act properly or to wear the right things. I want to teach them to take an interest in themselves and the world around them," she said.  On the one hand, I suspect, sadly, that "properly" and "the right things" are code for white standards of beauty and decorum. On the other, it's wonderful that Murphy was providing underprivileged Black youth with some of the tools that would aid them in advancing their social and economic status.  Along those lines, in late 1969 she began supplying Carmen Cosmetics to American Airlines for use in their Grace and Glamour program, which helped "young girls build confidence through good grooming habits and proper makeup techniques."  The program provided mini flight kits containing Carmen Cosmetics to be used by the girls, which they were permitted to keep.  The Grace and Glamour program doesn't exactly sound like a bastion of feminism, but it's important to keep in mind that there were very few opportunities available for disadvantaged Black girls at the time.  And it seems that at least some of the girls enjoyed the products and the makeup process. 

Jet Magazine, January 8, 1970(image from Jet Magazine)

By 1971, Murphy had served as a volunteer driver for the Red Cross, was a lifetime member of the National Association for N*gro Women and NAACP, a member of the African Art Committee at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the women's auxiliary of the Detroit Symphony, the Booker T. Washington Trade Association, the YWCA and the Detroit Roundtable of Catholics, Jews and Protestants, Inc. 

As there are still many loose ends to tie up regarding Ms. Murphy - namely, any sort of correspondence, business records, or obituary - I'm contemplating the idea of hiring a private researcher to see if they can find any official business records and additional photos, but it's going to depend on their fees.  I saw tons of article "snippets" on Google books and a New York Times article that I was unable to access as well, so there's more information out there.  Also, there are plenty of online articles about Rose Morgan but obviously I'd like to do a really in-depth profile of her and also see if I can find anything about her business relationship with Carmen Murphy. 

Huge thanks to James from Cosmetics and Skin for his assistance with this article! He supplied the 1951 Ebony article and wrote an excellent profile of Rose Laird if you're interested in additional background to the Carmen Cosmetics line...just go through his whole site, it's chock full of thorough and well-researched information.  I also must thank the archivists at the Detroit Historical Society, the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Thoughts?  Feedback?  I'd really like to do more profiles of early Black beauty lines and makeup artists...let me know who you think needs more attention or if I should keep my white mouth shut.

 

Sources:  As with my previous post, I linked throughout to relevant sources and pulled the rest of the story together from various newspaper and magazine articles, so those additional sources are listed below.

Gale Research International, "Who's Who Among Black Americans," 2002, p. 222.

"Cosmetics Firm Uses New, Unique Sales Approach," the New York Age, January 12, 1957.

Valerie Jo Bradley, "Grace and Glamour comes to Langston University Co-Eds," Jet, January 8, 1970, p. 28-31.

"Why Herb Martin Keeps Chugging Along, Just Like...er...uh...Horatio Allen," Detroit Free Press, October 24, 1971.

Mary Ellen Kirby, "Beauty: Skin deep, then some to Carmen Murphy," Detroit News, October 21, 1968.  Article provided by the Charles H. Wright Museum archives.

John L. Dotson, Jr., "Black is beautiful: Carmen Murphy's beauty salons bring cosmetics to N*gro women," Newsweek article featured in the Kenosha News, January 8, 1969.


An exhibition of royal makeup (that you might be able to buy): Princess Hwahyeop

Here's more makeup awesomeness from Korea.  As usual I completely forget what I was looking for when I stumbled across a couple of articles describing the discovery of cosmetic containers in the tomb of an 18th-century princess, but it was so interesting I had to share right away.  Princess Hwahyeop (1733-1752) was the seventh daughter of King Yeongjo, 21st ruler of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910).  Her burial site was discovered 5 years ago and included a variety of cosmetics containers. The containers were already incredibly culturally and historically significant, but researchers noticed there was still some residue in the jars, a very rare find.  This provided clues about the type of makeup and skincare they contained, thereby shedding more light on 18th-century beauty culture.  How exciting!

We'll start at the beginning.*  In August 2015 a farmer living in Namyangju City, about 14 miles north of Seoul, came across a stone box buried in a onion field on her property. The farmer, Kim Jeong-hee, called the Korea Institute of Heritage, which unearthed the box in November that year but was unable to complete the excavation due to a lack of funding. Finally the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) provided support to finish the excavation in December 2016.  The box turned out to contain burial objects for the princess's husband, Shin Gwang-su. From there other items were discovered, including stone tablets identifying the tomb as that of Princess Hwahyeop and, of the course, the jackpot:  a box made of lime cement containing a bronze mirror still in its embroidered pouch, brow ink (!), combs and 12 small porcelain and wooden cosmetic containers. There was also a small black stick that may have been used to apply blush. I wish there was a photo because I can't see applying blush of any kind with a stick, so I'm wondering if it was actually for the brow ink.  The objects were stored in the National Palace Museum of Korea until they could be tested.

Princess Hwahyeop makeup containers

In 2017 the substances found inside the containers were finally went to the lab. The results aligned with our knowledge of women's beauty regimens during the Joseon era. Confucianism was the primary philosophy and promoted natural beauty as ideal beauty, so most women generally adhered to a minimal look with an emphasis on fair, light skin. This meant more effort was put into skincare and less on makeup.  While it wasn't found in the containers, women typically applied miansu, a facial water or essence in today's terminology.  This was followed by myeonyak, a sort of moisturizer/skin protector/primer hybrid made from beeswax and other ingredients such as camellia oil and kelp. After that, face powder and blush would be applied. Traces of beeswax and red pigment made from safflower and cinnabar were found in the containers, so it appears that the princess used moisturizer and blush.  She also used white face powder, as evidenced by lead and talc residue. Lead-based face paint and powder were traditionally used by aristocratic women, while those in lower social strata used a rice-based powder called baekbun.  So it seems that royalty tended to mix non-harmful ingredients with poisonous ones to make for a more effective and long-lasting product, but perhaps they were also trying to find a way to offset the negative effects. One container was found to have crushed ants suspended in acetate.  Kim Hyo-yun, researcher at the National Palace Museum, speculates that “because of their formic acid, ants might have been put in acetate to be used as a skin treatment to treat skin troubles caused by those toxic cosmetics."

Princess Hwahyeop makeup container with ants

Last October the National Palace Museum held a special exhibition displaying the princess's cosmetics, along with a seminar that brought together cosmetic ingredient experts from China, Japan and France.

Princess Hwahyeop and Her Makeup exhibition poster, National Palace Museum, 2019

How beautiful are the containers?  The blue pigment was made with cobalt, which was imported to China from Persia during the Joseon dynasty's rule.  Due to its high cost - it was even more expensive than gold - it was reserved exclusively for use by the royal court.  The motifs included pine trees, dragons, and a variety of flowers such as chrysanthemums, lotuses, azaleas, plum blossoms and peonies.  Also, only one of the jars were made by Bunwon, the official kiln of the Joseon rulers. The others were Jingdezhen ware from China and Arita ware, a type of porcelain from Japan.

Princess Hwahyeop cosmetic container, ca. 1750

Princess Hwahyeop cosmetic container, ca. 1750

Princess Hwahyeop cosmetic container, ca. 1750

I would have given my eye teeth to attend. You can see the conference program here, and there's also this documentary/reenactment that shows researchers discussing their findings when recreating the formulas as well as actors imagining the beauty routines of the royal family and how they contrasted with those in China and Japan. (I think...the description is in English but the video itself is in Korean so I'm not 100% sure.)

But the story doesn't end there.  Last week the National Palace Museum announced that they would be collaborating with Korea National University of Cultural Heritage and local cosmetics manufacturer Cosmax to launch a hand cream, foundation and lip color based on the artifacts found in Princess Hwahyeop's tomb.  The products will be formulated with modern ingredients but will also contain some of the ones found in the containers (safflower, beeswax). And obviously they will omit the poisonous materials, along with the crushed ants. 

Princess Hwahyeop makeup line prototype

The packaging appears to be gorgeous reinterpretations of the original containers.  The prototypes shown here are ceramic, but as porcelain doesn't preserve makeup very well the final packaging will be plastic.  The collection will initially be sold online at the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation website, so presumably the proceeds will support the organization.  Once the COVID situation improves the collection will be sold at duty-free stores and museum gift shops. The line will also be affordable (think drugstore pricing vs. department store) but there are plans to expand into higher end products as well.

Princess Hwahyeop makeup line prototype

Princess Hwayeop "character goods", i.e. dolls, are also in development.

Princess Hwahyeop beauty line dolls

For the most part, I think this is a great idea.  It brings about fresh awareness of makeup history and helps preserve cultural heritage, and the objects themselves are beautiful.  I do think it's a little weird to market a makeup line based on such a tragic figure.  Princess Hwahyeop may have been royalty, but her life didn't sound fun despite her luxurious beauty products.  She was married at the age of 11 and died at 19 from measles. I mean, I know things were different back then but being a child bride and then dying when not even out of one's teens seems quite sad.  I also think it's a little tacky that they trademarked the Princess's full name - the brand is literally called Princess Hwahyeop - but then again, I'm not sure what else you'd call a line whose entire basis is a particular princess. In any case, her burial site was an amazing find for cosmetics history.

What do you think?  Would you buy the Princess Hwahyeop collection if it was readily available?  The line will be released in November and I'm trying to figure out a way to get my hands on it. I have personal shoppers and online buddies who can get me things in 5 countries but not Korea!

 

*In addition to the links provided throughout this post, I cobbled it together from a bunch of different articles online.  Additional sources for info and images:


Curator's Corner, September 2020

Curator's corner logoLinks for September. 

- Any makeup history fan must check out Lisa Eldridge's video showcasing highlights from her amazing collection.

- Estée Lauder will be the first company to send beauty products into space, to the tune of $128,000.  To what end I'm not sure.

- Byrdie had a good summary and history of Black-owned beauty brands, while Allure discusses the deathknell for skin whitening products and why getting rid of them is only the start of the conversation surrounding colorism.  Elle also featured several Black influencers who sounded off on the areas the industry still needs to improve in terms of inclusion and diversity.

- Like these makeup artists, I predict lipstick will make a huge comeback once masks are no longer part of our daily lives.

- I don't know what's more ridiculous - press-on nails to match your phone's pop socket or the fact that someone started a beauty line in Joe Biden's honor. I guess if the latter helps get people to the polls, who am I to complain?

- September 29 was National Coffee Day! Here's most of the Museum's coffee-themed collection. (I couldn't find my Hard Candy caffeine lipstick.) I'm really enjoying Beauty Bakerie, it would be perfect for a revisited Sweet Tooth exhibition.

Makeup Museum coffee collection

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air will have a 30-year reunion on HBO, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar turned 25. You can also enjoy this new column on PJ Harvey.

- This new museum in Amsterdam looks pretty interesting.

- It might be impossible to keep your cute aggression in check upon seeing these Japanese dwarf flying squirrels. Unbelievably adorable.

How did you fare in September?