Curator's corner

Curator's Corner, November 2018

CC logoHoliday madness is in full swing around the Museum but before I get on with the rest of the collections, here are November's links.

- Yay, CoverGirl!  Now we just need every other company to get on board.

- I was fortunate enough to visit both Armani's and YSL's NYC pop-up shops around this time last year, so this season I really wish I could get to Chanel's.

- I'm siding with Allure on this new makeup line for kids.  It's not that I don't think children shouldn't enjoy makeup - I just bought some as a Christmas present for my 9 year-old niece (per her request) - but as the article notes, I'm uncomfortable with the marketing and bigger issues that go along with the makeup itself.  The fact that it even has "pretty" in the name is troubling.

- There were lots of "big picture" articles on beauty this month, from Temptalia's Christine pondering the ever-quickening pace of new beauty releases to Nylon's state of the industry in the U.S. Along those lines, while we're making slow progress towards racial inclusivity, we still have a long way to go.

- Glamour has more on the "death" of mascara.  I can honestly say I don't think this product will ever go away unless we genetically engineer everyone to have naturally long, full, dark lashes.  Not everyone has the money and time for extensions or Latisse.  (I use the latter and still feel the need for mascara, as another delightful side effect of aging is that the tips of my lashes aren't as dark as they were.)

- "It’s clear that some Korean women weren’t doing a double-cleanse simply because they wanted to, and that now they’re fighting back."  The Cut has an interesting piece on Escape the Corset, a Korean backlash against ridiculous beauty standards.

Why should your eyes, cheeks and lips have all the fun?  Let your teeth in on some color play.  

The random:

- We have official premiere dates for two of my favorite shows, which is helping me cope with the thought of enduring the cold dark winter days.

- This is a really good idea and I'm wondering how I could implement something similar for the Museum.

- I wasn't the only one who had a big birthday in November.  One of my idols celebrated her 50th!  Her latest venture is pretty amazing (of course) so make sure to check it out. 

How are you?  Are you ready for the holidays?

Curator's Corner, October 2018

CC logoAs you've probably already guessed, there won't be a fall exhibition this year.  However, I'm working away on the Museum's 10-year anniversary exhibition and as well as the holiday one.  ;)  More on those later but in the meantime, here's what was in store around the interwebz in October.

- I was so pleased to be interviewed for and quoted in not one but two beauty-related articles during the month. *pats self on back*

- Talk about inclusive:  Herbal Essences's new shampoo and conditioner packaging features "tactile indentations" for the blind so they can tell the bottles apart.  I think all companies should start including these - and on shower gels too!

- On the not-so inclusive side, I'm glad someone is finally mentioning that the over-30 crowd is being left out.  For all the talk of inclusivity, I'm kind of taken aback (and annoyed) at how many brands continue ignoring us.  With my 40th birthday quickly approaching, I'm more aware of it than ever.

- I wish I could have gone to Sephora's very first beauty festival, Sephoria - it sounded pretty fun!

- The Cut had an interesting series of essays on lipstick.

- I'd like to hear your thoughts on this Bustle article.  As an owner of one of the original Revlon Fire and Ice ads, I must say I have a completely different take on the campaign. 

- We know glitter is bad for the environment, but I had no idea child labor was involved too.  It's very disappointing that something so sparkly and fun is actually quite sad, so we need a solution ASAP.

- As a sort of follow-up to my post about beauty packaging waste, here's the latest development in the fight for more environmentally-friendly products.  Maybe blue beauty can save the mermaids?

- Allure simply loves to name hair color trends after beverages, which apparently doesn't sit well with In Style.  Personally I'm siding with the latter on this.

- Happy Halloween!

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, TV show Charmed and Britney Spears' hit "Baby One More Time" turn 20, along with New Radicals' "You Get What You Give".  However, nostalgia is all well and good until you start messing with classics like 1995's Clueless - seriously, a remake?  As if!

- On the art front, Banksy pulls off what is possibly one of the greatest stunts in art history, only for it to be immediately monetized.  Then again, it's a good alternative if you can't afford a shredded $1.4 million painting.  Also of note:  doctors can now prescribe museum visits - I always knew art was good for your health! - and a statue in Georgia gets a very silly modification.  Normally I shudder upon seeing vandalized art, and I'd be super pissed if someone ever messed with the Museum's collection should it ever be available to the public, but for the life of me I cannot stop laughing at it.  Finally, unlike the Museum of Pizza and Cheat Day Land (will this ridiculous fake "museum" trend never end?!), the Disgusting Food Museum actually seems to have some educational and historical merit, albeit on an unappealing topic.

- Is it bad I'm looking at holiday things the day after Halloween?  Me and the plushies are still in a candy coma, but we're already excited for many more holiday/winter treats.


How was your October?  Are you gearing up for the holiday season?

Curator's Corner, September 2018

CC logoAaaaaaaaand we're back!  Hopefully.  I'm not sure if the domain registration issue I had during almost the whole month of September is completely resolved, but for now the website seems to be functioning.  Of course, it threw off my schedule entirely so I'll do my best to catch up on some fall posts.  First, here's a look back on September.

 - Glamour offers another thoughtful view of the Fenty effect, which no doubt influenced MAC's upping the foundation shade ante to a whopping 60 shades

- "Is it in any way preferable for the term 'anti-ageing' to become taboo while all its apparatus remains intact?" An article at The Guardian points out the beauty industry's hypocrisy in marketing skincare for, ahem, mature women.

- Along those lines, wouldn't it be nice to for brands to regularly show un-Photshopped pictures of products on their models? 

- I'm in total agreement with this author on the sexualization of mascara names.  Unfortunately one of my favorite makeup artists hopped on the bandwagon...but I'll let Mother slide this time.

- I Need This Unicorn shared some vintage Too-Faced items and the history behind them (plus a shout-out to the Museum!)  I so wish I had any items from the '90s and early aughts.  They are surprisingly hard to come by.

- Does this sound, like, super creepy to anyone else? 

- Sad that this is still happening in 2018.  But at least animal testing seems to be on its way out in the U.S.  Let's hope other states follow suit.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, Google and two fairly huge '90s albums turned 20 in September, while one of the most legendary celebrated a quarter-century.  Ditto for the premiere of The X-Files and Dazed and Confused.  I must say while I'm not a fan of the latter - too much bullying for me - I will say that "Wipe that face off your head, bitch!" is one of the most hilarious lines ever.

- Problematic thought it is, as Pulp Fiction remains my favorite movie, this is easily the best thing I've seen online since Decorative Gourd Season (you know it's not fall unless I link to it!) 

- Speaking of liking problematic pop culture, I must confess that me and my sister used to watch Sixteen Candles on repeat - we can still recite it verbatim.  In recent years I've been navigating the guilt I feel over having enjoyed one of the '80s most racist, ableist, rape culture-supporting movies, so I'm grateful to Vox for the timely reminder of just how wrong it is.  #whatwerewethinking

- On the art front, I need to get up to NYC to see these new exhibitions

How are you?  Are you feeling fall yet?  It's still fairly warm here and I'm not happy about the ever-growing lack of daylight, but I have been enjoying some PSLs.  :)

Curator's Corner, August 2018

CC logoAnd so we say goodbye to summer.  Here's the August rewind. 

- I'm delighted that Madam CJ Walker will be getting a Netflix series devoted to her, but recent news shows just how much more work needs to be done in terms of recognizing non-white beauty pioneers as well as ensuring the industry understands the beauty needs of people of color.  Between badly photoshopped swatches and racist YouTubers, non-white people are still being left out and verbally attacked.  As Meli of Wild Beauty thoughtfully points out, there's racism in every industry, but beauty is one where it's especially harmful.

- Speaking of beauty "influencers," I'm sadly not surprised by the dishonest tactics that some of them use, along with the fact that there are companies paying them to do so.

- I'm happy to see that this new all-genders line is eschewing retouching their photos, but like MAC's Nico Panda collection and Crayola, there doesn't appear to be any models over the age of 25.  Hopefully these new (old?) beauty gurus will force makeup companies to acknowledge that women over 40 exist and maybe, you know, regularly use them in their advertising. To my knowledge, only a handful of companies have featured "mature" women, and the campaigns were very short-lived. 

- On a lighter note, I also wouldn't be surprised if Olive Garden did end up releasing a real makeup palette given the rabid enthusiasm for it.

- Chanel is introducing a makeup line for men.  On the one hand I don't believe makeup should be gendered.  On the other hand, I'd love to see more guys wearing it so if this is what it takes, it might not be such a bad thing.  There are even oh-so-manly makeup brushes that may be put into production.  Right now men in China are getting more on board with wearing makeup, so I'm really hoping eventually it'll catch on in the Western hemisphere.

- Good reads:  Amber's excellent history of cult makeup classic Maybelline Great Lash and this interview with makeup artist Linda Cantello.  It was honestly a little strange how close her general outlook to makeup these days is to mine - there was not a single thing she said that I disagreed with. 

- For trends, so-called "cold brew" and "flannel" hair colors, cloud eye makeup and any product with a jelly texture are pretty big right now.

- Remember this guy?  Now he's doing beauty tutorials.  *heart-eye emoji*

The random:

- I was in my '90s glory due to the A.V. Club's epic 1998 series.  Also, Y necklaces have made their triumphant return.  I really thought no one else but me remembered them and was curious to see if they'd make a reappearance along with all other manner of '90s fashion, and here they are!  I must dig through the stuff at my parents' house and see if I have any left.

- In other pop culture news, The Wrap's Emmys edition had some great interviews with Amy Sedaris and Derek Waters, who host a couple of my current favorite shows (and I will always love Amy as Jerri Blank).

- Between Domo Kun, Gudetama and Peko, I'm endlessly fascinated with Japanese mascots.  This Vice article digs deep into their world.

- More on the rise of the Instagram museumMakeup companies are also starting to get in on the action, further proving my point that these are not actually museums but rather a mash-up of eye candy and commercialization.  At least Winky Lux is honest about their new space being a "retail concept" and doesn't try to market it as a museum.

- This new study provides evidence of a theory I've had for years.  After all, I completed a marathon mostly as a way of getting revenge for the horrors I suffered during gym class.

- Still way too hot here for me to get a PSL, but me (and MM staff) are intrigued by these PSL cookie straws

- On a personal note, the husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and a total of 18 years (!) together last week.  Did he pick out the most perfect card or what?

anniversary card

How was the end of your summer?  Are you looking forward to fall?

Curator's Corner, July 2018

CC logoHere's the monthly rewind for July 2018. 

- Allure had an interesting history of Armenia's beauty industry, while Racked has yet another piece on makeup for incarcerated women.

- Lots of somewhat unsurprising industry news but still worth a mention:  fast beauty suffers the same problems as fast fashion; Sephora continues to dominate sales even in more niche categories once cornered by smaller, indie brands; and if companies won't stop animal testing for the animals' sake, they should at least do it to meet consumer demand.  Finally, congrats are in order for Mother, whose company's value has surpassed that of "self-made" (LOL, nope) billionaire Kylie Jenner.

- Despite this report, I highly doubt mascara is going anywhere...especially for those of us who don't have the time/money to regularly splurge on lash extensions or tinting.  This sort of privilege goes hand in hand with the no-makeup trend.  Who needs foundation when your skin is flawless from expensive dermatological treatments?

- On the manicure front, '80s-inspired jelly nails are, like, totally rad.  And if your mom won't let you have press-ons, you can DIY them with clay like this 10 year old.

The random:

- Doesn't get any more '90s than 311 and the Offspring covering each other's songs, or explaining all the lyrics to Barenaked Ladies' 1998 irritating but admittedly catchy hit "One Week".  Plus, make way for a Spice Girls exhibition.

- Ooh, here's another fun way for me to pretend to be a curator besides blogging. 

- If we ever find a house, I will definitely be using this wallpaper in some capacity.

- Bawling.

- As for my summer vacation, unfortunately my annual 3-day trip to the Jersey Shore got rained out so I missed having any beach time, but I did have fun hanging with my parents at their house.  The plushies were very content as my dad always fully stocks cookies and other sweets.

Dessert feast!

Polishing off some brookies and brownies

How did July treat you? 


Curator's Corner, June 2018

CC logoWelcome to yet another format of Curator's Corner.  As I noted previously, I don't want to completely abandon this feature, but it's still too hard for me to keep up so I decided to try a "monthly rewind" of sorts.  Here's some notable news from June.

 - Yay!  Sephora is now offering makeup classes especially for trans people.  Perhaps they should start carrying this line?

- An interesting piece at Refinery29 covers the world of beauty treatments and makeup within prison walls.  It's different angle than the Racked article we saw back in January.

- Call it the Fenty effect: more brands are offering at least 40 shades of foundation, including the new Flesh line created by former Allure editor Linda Wells.  The line is getting a lot of buzz, not just for its color range but for the product and shade names that are only appealing if you're a cannibal.  (Apparently the "uncomfortable" names were intentional.)

- More info on the expansion of J-beauty...although I still bristle at it being called a "comeback". 

- had a nice little history of face powder.  I only wish I was writing their makeup history series.

- Ever wonder how your makeup is actually produced?  In addition to animal testing and potentially dangerous ingredients, new light is being shed on the issue of human rights abuses within the beauty industry.  It's a sad topic but one that needs to be addressed and remedied immediately.

- On a lighter note (sort of), check out this gigantic (2,000 lb!) bath bomb.

- I'm not crying, you're crying.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, 20th birthday celebrations are in order for the premiere of Sex and the City as well as The Truman Show.  Meanwhile, Daria is getting a reboot and Stereogum catches up with Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz (don't pretend you don't know all the words to "Mr. Jones"!) Finally, I greatly enjoyed this oral history of one of the funniest shows from the decade, short-lived though it was.

- Speaking of TV, I've been watching probably more than is healthy and looking forward to new shows.  I'm currently obsessed with The Staircase and can't wait for new seasons of The Terror and American Horror Story (especially after 2 incredibly lackluster seasons of the latter.)  However, I am gutted that one of my favorite shows has ended. Desus and Mero will live on via Showtime, but it just won't be the same.

- If you follow me on Twitter you know I've been wrestling with insomnia.  I'm curious about this Sleep Stories app that features Bob Ross, because his show is one remedy I've found that works most of the time.

- On the domestic front, I'm taking advantage of berry season big time.  I made raspberry muffins and a strawberry pie.  I have zero food photography skills but trust me, both were very pretty and quite delicious if I do say so myself. :)

Raspberry muffins

Strawberry pie

And brownies and lime sea salt chocolate chip cookies - no berries involved in either of those, but the cookies are a summery twist on traditional chocolate the Babos loved them. (And subsequently landed themselves in a cookie coma.)

Babos with cookie dough

Babos feasting

cookie coma

And that about wraps up June!  Do you have any fun plans for the rest of the summer?





Curator's Corner, 5/13/2018

CC logoIt's link time!

- There is no one more deserving to sell her makeup at a world-class museum than Pat McGrath.

- Here's an interesting piece on the rise of the transgender sector within the beauty industry, and another on how millennials are embracing one of the oldest approaches to beauty

- "Green" and "natural" don't mean much when it comes to beauty labels, but fortunately Sephora's new "clean" section makes it easy for consumers to identify products that lack certain potentially harmful ingredients.  In other words, it's now possible for you to go paraben-free without getting a migraine from reading an extensive ingredient list in tiny font.

- These nails are so incredibly unsettling...I much prefer this glitter trend, even though 1. we've seen it before and 2. I'd never partake in it.

- Speaking of glitter, great news!  Soon I'll be able to stop worrying about plastic-based glitter killing all the mermaids and their underwater friends.

- Lady Gaga is the latest music star to come up with her own makeup line.  Will it be as popular as Fenty?

- Meet Usage, a new beauty magazine that seems artsy but not so weird/pretentious as to be inaccessible.  I'm excited to check it out.

The random:

- Thank you, NBC, for rescuing one of my favorite TV shows from cancellation.

- Dying to see this colorful exhibition.

- This Mother's Day, remember that child-free women like me can be maternal too (but it's okay if we're not!)

What's new with you? 



Curator's Corner, 4/29/2018

CC logoSigh.  I know it doesn't seem like it, but I actually schedule my posts 4-6 weeks in advance.  And when I say schedule I don't mean I have a vague idea about what I want to blog about, I have specific days picked out for posts.  Inevitably, no matter how much I plan, my schedule gets off track...which is why my posts have been so massively inconsistent timing-wise.  I can only hope this bothers you less than it bothers me!  I'm aiming to stick to the schedule I have planned through the month of May, but we'll see what happens.  Without further ado, here are some overdue links for April. 

- If I make it to the beach this year I'm definitely taking some glitter sunscreen.  Alas, Racked is a total killjoy about it, but at least one brand offers biodegradable glitter.

- Out:  brow art.  In:  nose art.

- We are inching ever closer to making the beauty industry truly diverse and inclusiveAlmay still needs a lot of work on that, though.

- For years I thought drugstore mainstay NYX was founded in the early '80s, but it was actually established in 1999.  This timeline of the company proved rather eye-opening.

- Not sure which is worse, counterfeit makeup or makeup for kids.  Yikes. 

- Speaking of cosmetics safety, I'm no fan of the Kardashians but if it takes one of them meeting with members of Congress to push for cosmetics regulation, I'm all for it (hypocritical though it may be.)

- Just for fun.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, 1995 film Empire Records is getting the musical treatment, and Nickelodeon is rebooting kid favorite Double Dare.  Meanwhile, some film critics propose that the decade was indeed the best for movies.

- Elsewhere in pop culture, Broad City is coming to a close.  To be honest though, I'm relieved as I thought the past 2 seasons were rather lackluster.

- Every dog has its day...or museum?  At least these are real institutions, unlike the spate of Instagram-friendly museums that keep popping up.  Maybe I'm just jealous and bitter that I still don't have an actual museum, but I have to agree with this piece that these sorts of places cannot be defined as museums.  While I don't have an issue with the overall concept, it's annoying that they call themselves that. Perhaps if I focused solely on entertainment rather than education and history I could finally have my makeup "museum," but I'm not willing to do that.

- Anyway, this mermaid book is at the top of my wishlist!  Also loved this piece on the history of merpeople sightings.

How have you been?  Are you getting excited for warmer weather and longer days? 

Curator's Corner, 4/1/2018

CC logoHappy Easter Fool's!  Let's take a look to see what the interwebz had in store for the past few weeks.

-In what I thought for sure were early April Fool's jokes that turned out to be true, Chanel beauty will now be sold at Ulta, while Einstein Bros. inexplicably released cheese-scented shampoo and bacon-scented conditioner.  Equally confounding is the fact that both items sold out

- The crazy brow trend isn't going anywhere any time soon.  However, Racked points out why we fall for these and explains why they're actually not trends at all.

- In makeup history, the Smithsonian outlines Madam C.J. Walker's philanthropic endeavors, and we finally discover what brow pencil Frida Kahlo wore.

- On why J-Beauty isn't the new K-beauty.

- Certainly a novel use for a hairdryer, but I guess when you shell out that kind of money for a Dyson it should do more than merely dry one's hair, yes?

The random:

- So much '90s nostalgia!  Twentieth birthday wishes are in order for both Dawson's Creek and one of the Curator's favorite movies (read more critics' thoughts here and here).  Meanwhile, '90s-era music is experiencing not so much nostalgia as a resurgence, what with bands like The Breeders, Belly and Superchunk all releasing new albums.

- On the museum front, what's worse than another made-for-Instagram museum?  One that rips off legitimate artists. Sigh.

- No idea how I missed this book - it was just recently brought to my attention via Twitter - but it's now on my wishlist. 

How are you?  Did you have a good Easter/Passover/weekend?







Curator's Corner, 1/21/2018

CC logoWhy yes, I am late with links again.  Sigh.  I'm still not sure of my blog plan right now - I may take that break I mentioned a little earlier than I thought, or I might try to get 1-2 more posts up.  Either way I hope you stick around!

- Reminder: always check your seemingly "new" makeup before you take it out of the store.

- Temptalia had a good piece on why, despite the success of brands like Fenty, beauty companies are still resistant to expanding their shade ranges.  This blogger further explains the latest oversight committed by Tarte as well as their history of racial insensitivity.  It would behoove the company to learn about brands and ranges created with women of color in mind.  Or at least read this ecstatic review of Fenty foundation.

- Can't roll my eyes hard enough at this...reminds me of the makeup kits designed for "ladies" car models.

- I'm all for makeup being used to effect positive social change, but this is ridiculous.


The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, we suddenly lost the lead singer for one of the most influential bands of the decade.  Not all is bad news, however:  Dawson's Creek celebrated its 20th anniversary, and as a member of the class of '96, I'm very interested in this new series.  

- More pop culture excitement: my head nearly exploded with joy upon seeing this little snippet about my favorite band.

Finally, a belated Christmas gift from my mom arrived!  I love it so much.  I had been wanting one for years!

Mermaid blanket!

How are you dealing with winter thus far?  I hate this season so I'm treating myself to lots of homemade hot chocolate and hunkering down with Museum staff under both my new blanket and this furry one