Celebrating 15 years!
Top makeup fails (inspired by the Museum of Failure)

Curator's Corner, summer 2023

Curator's cornerIt was a very busy summer indeed! I blinked and it was basically over. Let's try to catch up, shall we?

- Lots of beauty history bits and bobs, including Sephora celebrating its 25th anniversary, Guerlain unveiling a company archive (not available to the public, sigh), an interview with scholar Fabiola Creed for a history of tanning, and a profile of centuries-old brand Santa Maria Novella. I also enjoyed an inside look at the design behind this sunscreen bottle (which, while not makeup, needs to be in the Museum's collection.)

- New beauty books! I mentioned these a while back, but they have finally been released.

Barbiecore and latte makeup were the top trends, along with fruit-themed aesthetics (various "girls" - tomato girl, lemon girl, etc.) Frankly, I've had enough of the same trends repackaged with absurd monikers. Barbiecore and latte makeup are pink and brown/bronze, respectively, and blueberry milk nails are just...baby blue.

- Is CBD beauty really over? And were "weird" lipstick colors ever out of style? (And would it have killed Harper's to link to my article on it?)

- Beauty's ugly side sadly continues with the shuttering of salons by the Taliban. :( Other not-great developments: a rather dystopian collaboration between Microsoft Teams and Maybelline, Tiktok's "aged" filter, and a kerfuffle surrounding the prosthetics used for Bradley Cooper's role as composer Leonard Bernstein. While most agreed the makeup was not offensive in this case - Bernstein's own family gave their blessing - nose putty has fairly anti-Semitic roots. More on that later.

- Fashion designer brands continue unabated. As a fan of Prada's previous beauty line from the early 2000s, I'm particularly curious to see if their 2nd attempt will be more successful.

The random:

- One of the curator's idols announced her upcoming memoir. It's still a year away but I'm looking forward to it.

- In '90s nostalgia, There's Something About Mary, Hello Nasty and the furby all turned 25 this summer. I also watched Muscles and Mayhem on Netflix, a documentary about '90s hit show American Gladiators.

- Another Netflix documentary, this one on professional mermaids, naturally caught my fancy.

- I'm usually not bothered by celebrity deaths, but the passing of Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman, was quite sad for me as his show was a childhood staple (and honestly, even adulthood.) Plus, how fun would a Pee Wee makeup collection have been?

- Another thing I am feeling strangely saddened by was the death of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. I am not alone, apparently.

- At least there were some good exhibitions opening! While I couldn't go to them, "The Offbeat Sari", "Black Venus: Reclaiming Black Women in Visual Culture" and "After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art" all sounded amazing. I did manage to see "The Culture" at the BMA which was excellent. You might recognize this piece:

The Culture exhibition - Basquiat

- Lastly, I did a lot of baking using a bounty of fruit from the farmer's market, which the plushies greatly enjoyed, and picked up a new (and unfortunately expensive) habit of flower arranging.

Strawberry cookies, brownies and pie

Peach pie

Spring flowers

How was your summer?

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