Miscellaneous

Makeup Museum ideas for now and the future

As I did back in January of 2016, I feel the need to discuss some ideas I've had rattling about in my head for quite some time.  I could basically copy and paste from that post since I didn't make any progress, but perhaps 2020 is the year I actually start tackling some of the bigger Museum projects I've wanted to pursue for so long.  Or not.  I'm not putting pressure on myself, especially since, as I've noted countless times, the necessary resources - research materials, time and money - are lacking.  The point of this post is to simply get down some ideas so that they can temporarily stop taking up so much room in my head and to possibly start prioritizing them. 

First, let's talk exhibitions. Four years ago I had ideas for 15 of them.  The number hasn't changed, although the topics for some of them have.  Here's what I'm thinking about, along with working titles.  I'll reiterate the disclaimer I had with the Stila girls exhibition:  if/when these are completed, they won't be executed anywhere near how I envisioned, but they will be something to start with.

  1. "Black and Blue:  A History of Punk Makeup" - A subject so near and dear to my heart deserves a solo show.
  2. "Catch the Light:  A History of Glitter Makeup and Beauty" - I think this would be perfect for a holiday exhibition.
  3. "The Medium is the Message:  Makeup as Art" - This will trace how makeup is marketed and conceived of as literal art.  Consider it a comprehensive discussion of this post.
  4. "Wanderlust:  Travel-Inspired Beauty" -  I cannot for the life of me believe how many travel-inspired makeup collections there are.  This exhibition would examine those and discuss the idea of makeup intended for travel.  Who wants to see some vintage train cases?
  5. "Design is a Good Idea:  Innovations in Cosmetics Design and Packaging" -  I'm hoping this would be co-curated with two fashion/design scholars that I met on Instagram.
  6. "Taking Flight:  Makeup as Metamorphosis" -  I'm still a little fuzzy on the details, but I know I want to have a whole section of makeup packaging featuring winged creatures (butterflies, fairies, etc.) and makeup looks inspired by them.  Anchoring the exhibition would be an emphasis on the transformative nature of makeup.
  7. "Gilded Splendor:  A History of Gold Makeup" - Another good holiday exhibition topic. 
  8. "Ancient Allure: Egypt-Inspired Makeup and Beauty" -  While I like this topic, it's necessary to be mindful of the rampant cultural appropriation.
  9. "Just Desserts:  Sweet Tooth Revisited" - Like a rich dessert, this topic is too good not to have another bite of.  I might also expand it to include non-dessert food-themed beauty, and maybe this very talented writer could co-curate with me.
  10. "Aliengelic:  Pat McGrath Retrospective" - Oh, how I'd love to do an exhibition devoted to Pat McGrath, with a stunning catalogue that would double as a coffee table book.  Alternate title instead of Aliengelic:  "The Mother of Modern Makeup".
  11. "By Any Other Name:  The Rose in Makeup and Beauty" - I pitched this idea to the FIT Museum as a small add-on to their upcoming "Ravishing" exhibition.  They weren't interested but I might just do it anyway. 
  12. "From Male Polish to Guyliner:  A History of Men's Makeup" - this will be huge.  Various writers have discussed it previously, but I want to go really in-depth with it.
  13. "She's All That:  Beauty in the '90s" - This is also the subject of the book on '90s beauty I've been wanting to write since at least 2014.  Not a great message in the film She's All That, but I would hope the premise of the exhibition/book will explain why I chose it as a title.  Or I might rework it to something totally different, I don't know.  And while I know I'll run into the same problems I did with trying to launch this exhibition previously, I figured I need to start somewhere.
  14. "From Mods and Hippies to Supervixens and Grrrls:  '60s and '90s Makeup in Dialogue" - In my opinion, cultural developments in both the late '60s and mid-1990s radically changed the beauty industry and gave birth to new ideas about how people view and wear makeup. 
  15. The last one is rather interesting in that it's the first exhibition topic suggested to me by an independent curator.  I don't want to reveal too much since we haven't really talked through it, but I can say it would be incredibly out of the box and involve '80s makeup. 

The husband made a super duper handy graphic of my exhibition ideas. 

Makeup Museum upcoming exhibitions

And now for all the other ideas that I'm going to try to get through on the website in 2020.  Here's another graphic to help wrap my head around what topics I want to tackle this year.  As you can see it gives the general categories and the number of articles in each category.

Makeup Museum upcoming topics list

Some details:

MM Musings (3):  Several huge topics, including the definition of a museum, inclusive museums, and an exploration of the process of a private collection going public.

Makeup as Muse (3):  the next artists on my list are Sylvie Fleury, Rachel Lachowitz and Gina Beavers.

MM Mailbag (2-3):  Too many inquiries to list!  I'm still only at about 50% "solved" rate...good thing I'm not a real detective.  But there were some really interesting questions in the past year or so, including ones about the history of Corn Silk powder and a travel set by Madam C.J. Walker.

Brief histories (4): zodiac-themed beauty, crystal-inspired beauty, makeup setting sprays, and how drag makeup techniques became mainstream and/or co-opted.  Possibly something on colored mascara.

Trends (1):  Makeup brand merchandise and swag.

Topics to revisit (3):  faux freckles, non-traditional lipstick shades, cultural appropriation in cosmetics advertising.

Vintage (5):  Feature on Revlon Futurama lipstick cases, research on a series of Dorothy Gray ads featuring portraits of well-to-do "society" ladies, a roundup of ads depicting women looking at their reflections (sort of a follow-up to my lipstick mirror post), a comparison of Benefit's Glamourette and Platé's Trio-ette compacts, and a history of face powder applicators.

Artist collabs (5):  Only 5 so far but I'm sure there will be more!  Currently I'm trying to catch up on some of last year's releases, including Brecht Evens for Mikimoto, Connor Tingley for NARS, Yoon Hyup for Bobbi Brown, and a staggering amount of Shiseido Gallery compacts and lip balms (there are 12, yes, 12 artists in all so I will have to combine several of them in one post.)  Oh, and I want to start a series on the artists whose work appears on Pat McGrath's packaging.

Book reviews (3):  I want to do at least 3, hopefully more.  On my short list: Red Lipstick:  Ode to a Beauty IconStyle and Status:  Selling Beauty to African-American Women, Viva MAC, and Sacred Luxuries:  Fragrance, Aromatherapy and Cosmetics in Ancient Egypt.  I also have two more tomes that have been sitting on my bookshelf for several years. 

New series (3):  I've been thinking about this for years, ever since I did my fantasy Broad City makeup collection.  This would be a series discussing artists whose work I want to see on makeup packaging, complete with mock-ups.  The reason I haven't done it yet is because I lack the technical skills to make said mock-ups, but hopefully I'll figure out a work-around.

Color Connections (?): I'd love to return to Color Connections.  It's such a fun, albeit time-consuming series.

I'm sure there will be some surprises along the way - I think some guest posts and interviews will make an appearance here.

Finally, my book ideas.  These are not new...I do hope to find some time to start writing all three.  I have outlines and chapters for each but that's about it.  The first one is an alternate title for the '90s exhibition.  The second one you can find a description of in this post.  And the last one, well, I still want to do the damn coffee table book of pretty makeup.  We're going on 14 years that I've been wanting to publish it!

Makeup Museum upcoming book list

So those are all the ideas I have swirling about in my brain at the moment.  They are subject to change as I'm sure I'll think of more but at least I've laid out the current ones.  Please let me know in the comments which exhibitions and topics you want to see first!  And if you'd like to help with any definitely let me know.  Book-writing tips are especially needed. ;)


Curator's picks and pans for 2019

Welcome to the 2019 edition of Curator's Picks and Pans!  It's been a bad year for me and the Museum, but at least there was some great makeup!  And some not so great too but again, they were a welcome distraction. 

First up are my picks, i.e. the items with what I thought had the best concepts and design.

1.  Mikimoto holiday 2019 collection:  I haven't even written about this one yet - I hope to get a post up early in the new year - but as with last year's holiday collection as soon as I laid eyes on it I ordered without batting an eye.  This year Mikimoto partnered with artist/illustrator Brecht Evens, who created even more mermaid-laden and fantastical underwater scenes than last year's collection.

Mikimoto holiday 2019 makeup
(image from mikimoto-cosme.com)

2. Paul and Joe x Doraemon:  I must admit I was totally unfamiliar with Doraemon, a wildly popular manga character from Japan, when I first heard about this collection.  It was a perfect fit for Paul & Joe given the founder's love of cats as well as her penchant for quirky, playful prints and collaborations (see the 2016 Warner Bros. collaboration.)  I hope to write about it sometime in 2020.

Paul & Joe x Doraemon
(image from blog.ulifestyle.com)

3.  Chanel Eiffel Tower Illluminating Powder:  I don't have much to say about this other than it was released in honor of the opening of Chanel's first beauty-only boutique in Paris.  The embossing was so lovely and intricate, and the exclusivity made it impossible for me to resist - it was only available at Chanel boutiques in France and and the French website (I acquired it through ebay).  Plus it's a fabulous piece to have if I ever want to revisit the Museum's fall 2015 Paris/French-themed exhibition.

Chanel Paris highlighter

As the Museum continues to expand its vintage holdings, for the first time I'm including my top vintage acquisitions. 

1.  Stila paint cans:  The picture shows the Museum's entire collection since I was too lazy to weed out exactly which ones I got this year, but back in February I bought 20 rare vintage (okay, maybe not quite vintage yet but very close) paint cans on ebay from a former collector who didn't have room.  I was sad for her but glad I could give them a good home.  Plus they really added something extra to the Stila girl exhibition.

Stila paint cans

2.  Volupté Petite Boudoir:  among my many weaknesses are novelty compacts and palettes.  I had been coveting this adorable vanity-shaped compact for ages, so when I saw one in excellent condition at a great price I pounced. For photography purposes (and because I love miniatures) I purchased some mini makeup items as accessories.

Volupté Petite Boudoir compact

Volupté Petite Boudoir compact

Here's an ad for it from one of my collector's guides, in case you're curious.

Volupté Petit Boudoir compact ad, 1950

3.  Yardley Glimmerick eyeshadow set:  Another I haven't gotten around to sharing, but I was so pleased to get this one in fantastic shape and still with with the insert.  

Yardley Glimmerick paint box

Yardley Glimmerick paint box

And now for the more lackluster releases this year.

1.  Madonna by Too-Faced:  A hugely successful brand collaborating with a pop culture icon seems like a surefire hit, but dear lord was this unimaginative.  I'm truly shocked at how boring this was.  Between the flamboyance of Jerrod Blandino and Madge's propensity to push boundaries, I expected way more not just in packaging but the entire concept.

Madonna by Too-Faced

Madonna by Too-Faced
(images from shop.madonna.com)

2.  Revlon x Mrs. Maisel:  Another squandered opportunity, and much like the Estée Lauder Mad Men collaborations, a good idea but poor execution.  You would think The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel would be a goldmine for inspiration.  Midge worked at the Revlon makeup counter so the brand makes sense, but why the packaging didn't get a fabulous retro/vintage treatment I'll never know. 

Revlon x Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
(image from ew.com)

3.  Guerlain Rouge G Wild Glam case:  Maybe it's sour grapes because I can't afford it, but I wasn't a fan of this one.  It's a cool design, but not $290 cool!  I honestly have no idea what Guerlain was thinking.

Guerlain Rouge G Wild Glam case
(image from neimanmarcus.com)

If I'm going to pay 300 bones for a lipstick case (and I've done it before, embarrassingly enough) it better at least have some sort of handmade element or utilize precious materials.  As far as I can tell, neither of those things came into play here.  It's just plain old rhinestones (not even Swarovski - I mean COME ON) and a silver-toned case, not real silver plating.  And it wasn't handmade by a jeweler, just designed by one.  It does say the rhinestones were "hand-set", but I'm skeptical.  Plus this other rhinestone-encrusted case is within a normal price range, costing a mere $36.  Finally, I'm confused by the snake motif, as it doesn't have any significance for Guerlain that I'm aware of.  It felt like a very uninspired piece overall.

And those are some makeup highlights and lowlights of 2019.  (I was going to do picks and pans for the past decade but immediately got overwhelmed, so I'm keeping it simple.)  What do you think of these choices?  Please visit the archives and let me know!


In crisis mode: a personal update

Icu
If I never see another ICU I will be a happy camper.

I wish I could say I was taking another blog break to tackle some big exciting projects, or because I just needed a little time off, but my absence has been for much sadder reasons.  In the early evening of Monday, March 18, my father suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke.  If you've been following me for a while you know I'm very close to my parents so I'm heartbroken for him as well as my mom, who has been married to him for over 50 years.  While we are incredibly grateful he is still alive (at the time of this writing - I now live in constant fear that something equally horrible or worse will happen), my family and I are devastated at the damage the stroke has done.  My dad as I knew him isn't here right now, and it's uncertain whether he'll be coming back even remotely the same. 

Spring 2019 bmore
I basically missed spring.

My parents live a few hours away, so juggling travel and a full-time job is making things difficult logistically. I have not spent one weekend at home in Baltimore since early March and since I do nearly all blog/social media stuff on the weekends, there's literally no time to dedicate to the Museum right now.  Obviously that's the least of my worries, but I wanted to note the other contributing factors for having to abandon the blog at the moment.

I've always wanted the Museum to be a happy place, so discussing this depressing situation further doesn't seem appropriate. I'm logging off again now, but I hope to be back to Museum business in the next few months, or even weeks - if I can focus enough and manage to take pictures off-site, blogging may be a good distraction.  I also know my dad, internet-illiterate though he is, would want me to keep going. (And of course I'm still buying makeup regularly! I'm at least able to concentrate for the few minutes it takes to place an order.)  Fingers crossed intensive rehab will lead to significant improvement for my dad. 

Father's Day 2017

Thank you in advance for any well wishes and good thoughts/vibes, as we need all the ones we can get! 


Curator's picks and pans for 2018

One of the annual blog traditions I started a while back was gathering my favorite and least favorite releases of the year.  While I neglected to do this for 2017, I'm triumphantly returning to the tradition this year.  Here are my top 3 picks from 2018.  It was hard to choose!

1.  The mermaid-themed goodies illustrator Donald Robertson created for Rodin Olio Lusso took my breath away.  Plus I got a bag customized by the artist himself.

Rodin Olio Lusso x Donald Robertson

2.  I know there was significant backlash to it, but I just loved the MAC Jeremy Scott collection.  So. Much. Nostalgia.

MAC Jeremy Scott

3.  There were so many amazing collections this holiday season, but since I'm forcing myself to choose I'm going with the stunning Shine Classic compacts from Sulwhasoo, which celebrate a part of Korean cultural heritage that nearly went extinct. 

Sulwhasoo holiday 2018

There were a few vintage honorable mentions as well, including some pieces that I've acquired but haven't shared yet (stay tuned!), as well as the plethora of donations the Museum received.  So incredibly thoughtful and generous!

Now for the pans.  Sometimes even brands that have released previous Curator's picks miss the mark.  I guess they can't all be winners, right?

1.  Givenchy African Light highlighter.  Cultural appropriation much?  I found everything from the name to the description ("a gorgeous illuminating powder adorned with African ethnic motifs [that] evokes the color of African deserts, while the light frangipani fragrance reminds of the lush South African gardens") to be fairly problematic. 

Givenchy African Light highlighter
(image from beautyalmanac.com)

2.  I love iridescent packaging, but Shu's spring 2018 Tokyo Spirit collection left me cold.  It was just so uninspired.  The addition of Qee figurines on the lipstick cases did nothing either.

Shu Uemura Tokyo Spirit

Shu Uemura Tokyo Spirit
(images from chicprofile.com)

3.  While I enjoyed Lancôme's spring 2018 collection, the Proenza Schouler collab was a complete snoozefest for me.  It's a shame, as I think they could have done so much more.

Lancome Proenza Schouler
(image from beautyalmanac.com)

Do you agree with these choices?  What were your favorite items this year?  Have a spin through the Museum's archives and Instagram and tell me what you think!


Pre-spring blog break

some ecardHello!  Again, while I don't think anyone is positively dying to know my whereabouts, the compulsive side of me felt the need to officially announce that I'm taking a little break from the blog.  As you know, I'm feeling less than positive about it lately, and I also desperately need time to work on makeup-related things that I can't get to while writing and taking photos.  Namely, I plan on doing a lot of decluttering, re-organizing and inventory updating.  It would also be nice to, you know, enjoy a couple weekends that aren't entirely spent blogging - I'd like to maybe read a book (one that's not for review here), color, bake, spend time with family, etc.  

I'll be back in a few weeks, hopefully feeling refreshed.  In the meantime, please be sure to keep up with me on Instagram and Twitter, and check out the archives if you want something to read.  :)

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Museum/blog update: 2018

Somecard(This will be a long and whiny post.  Feel free to skip it.)

I've been wanting to write this post for a while and I figured what better day than New Year's, a.k.a. the most depressing day of the year.  The Museum plan for 2018 is that there is no plan.  The only thing I intend to do is continue posting up until the Museum's 10-year anniversary in August, when hopefully I will have come to a decision as to whether to keep going or end this sad endeavor.  Both 2017 and 2016 have been a nonstop cycle of Museum-related stress, frustration and rejection.  I haven't shared any of these failures because there have been so many and because I don't want to come across as negative, but I can't hold it in any longer.  I took all the opportunities that were offered to me and undertook my own efforts to try to improve the Museum in terms of research, visibility and organization as well as trying to make it a physical space or at least get an exhibition, all of which ended with the proverbial door getting slammed in my face. 

Social Media
As much as I enjoyed blogging and Instagram, recently they've been killing me.  Whether I'm losing sleep over people unfollowing me, or the fact that I've been on Instagram a year and a half and still haven't reached a measly 1,000 followers, or that it takes me 1-2 hours at a minimum to set up and take a photo I consider decent enough to post, it's been less than fun lately.  A few weeks back in December all I wanted to do was run a 5 mile race and hit up the Charm City Craft Mafia's annual holiday show.  Instead that Saturday was spent taking hundreds of photos for both the blog and Instagram.  I never seem to have time for any of my other hobbies anymore.  This is especially troubling when I see people with, to be blunt, downright shitty photos having thousands of followers.  Ditto for poorly written blogs - I see how many readers they have in Feedly compared to mine (I currently have a whopping 58 readers, down from 59 in early 2017) - and it seems people who can't even spell properly have hundreds of readers.  I might pretend that the blog and Instagram are more for me than anyone else, but if I'm being honest, I'm sick of talking to myself.  It's disheartening to put so much time and effort into both when I get basically nothing in return.  I feel like I'm standing on a table in the middle of a crowded room shouting through a bullhorn and no one hears a damn thing.

Research
I have tried my best to really step up the research on vintage items and make my posts on contemporary items more scholarly and academic.  What I discovered is that: 1. Baltimore's public libraries suck; 2. the library at the university where I work doesn't have anything I need; 3.  Hopkins' library is good for art history but they want $200 a year for access and they don't have the magazine archives I'm after; 4.  The New York Public Library has both Vogue and WWD archives and does allow out-of-state residents to get a library card, but you have to go up there in person to get it and then renew it every 3 months (again, in person).  Despite these obstacles I was all excited until I realized that both of these much-needed resources are only accessible from a branch, i.e., even though I hauled my ass up there to get a card, I can't access those from here.  And both of those require an exorbitant amount of money to subscribe.

IMG_3297
So much for this.

Website/books/exhibitions
Along those lines, I can't upgrade to a proper museum website or publish any of the tons of books I've had rattling around in my head for years, because I am not independently wealthy.  A coffee table book wouldn't require much heavy-duty research, but as it's mostly eye candy I'd need to hire a professional photographer.  Same with digitizing the Museum's collection.  I'd need a pro to take photos and for a professional redesign of the website, it would cost thousands.  Yes, I've actually priced it out - I live with a designer who does this for a living, for god's sake.  As for my own exhibitions, I have so many ideas that go beyond the very basic themes I normally cover.  Forest creatures and rainbows are nice, but not complex like some others I'd love to do if I had access to better resources. 

Other Exhibitions and Museums (or, so many fails I had to number them)
1. In March 2016 the director of a major university library contacted me and asked about starting a real cosmetics museum together.  She'd handle the business end and I'd do all the curating, and I could do it remotely so I wouldn't have to up and move to the small town she was proposing it would be.  She had a lovely old warehouse space picked out and everything, we made tons of plans and I really thought my dream would be a reality.  After several months of emailing and phone calls she proposed visiting me in Baltimore so I could, in her words, "make sure she wasn't an axe murderer" (and obviously she needed to size me up too).  In June 2016 we had a very nice dinner during which we continued discussing plans.  I thought it went well, and then...nothing.  Radio silence for 3 months, at which point I followed up and asked if everything was okay.  She explained that her old house hadn't sold and she needed that cash to buy the space where we were going to put the museum, but that if anything changed she'd let me know.  This was in September 2016.  I have not heard hide nor hair from her since.  So yeah, being - what's the term the kids use these days?  Ghosted? - by this person was truly upsetting, especially since it seemed to have occurred immediately following our in-person meeting.  To this day I still wonder what about me in person was so off-putting that she abandoned the project.

2. I emailed Makeup in New York about whether they'd have an exhibition of vintage beauty items, something I've been going to see the past few years.  I was told that they would not be having one at their 2017 show, so I gathered my courage and boldly offered to help organize/curate one in the future.  This was the response I received. 

Ouch

Am I being too sensitive or was that stone cold?  Why wouldn't you at least entertain the notion of someone with nearly a decade of makeup exhibition experience helping to curate one at an expo?  I realize the exhibitions I organize are just in my home, but give me a gallery space and I'd hit it out of the park.  I'm one of a handful of people on the entire planet who has actively, thoughtfully considered beauty exhibitions and would know what people want to see and how to go about organizing it.  You would think they'd be interested in having my help, but no. 

3.  At least I received a response from them.  Esteé Lauder continues to ignore my requests for information about their archives...but they are more than happy to have "social media influencers" have access to them

phone
Ignoring me for over a year.

4. Finally, there's this exhibition.  Normally I'm thrilled to see other makeup exhibitions, but this one has broken me since it's one I genuinely could have helped with.  I was asked to lend some objects for it, but that's where my involvement ends, and for that I am crushed.  I just can't figure out why, again, someone with nearly a decade of experience planning and executing exhibitions devoted to makeup is brushed off (yes, I offered to assist in any other way besides object-lending capacity and was rejected.  They were very polite about it, at least.)  I know no one is going to hand me an opportunity to guest curate on a silver platter and that people need to take ownership of their exhibitions - I'd never ask to co-curate because I understand it's THEIR exhibition - but it would have been nice to be asked to do a little consultation on what they were planning.  Again, I'm one of the few people on earth who has spent years thinking about how to curate makeup exhibitions.  I'm certainly not saying the grad students organizing this are incapable of curating a great makeup exhibition, as some of them work for well-known galleries so I'm sure it'll be good and I'm definitely going to go see it.  I'm just saying that my insight might have been as helpful as gallery experience.  The other thing that's upsetting is that an exhibition in a physical gallery space is something I've worked so hard to achieve for years, and along comes this one, which was organized in a matter of months.  I bet they had no trouble getting cosmetics companies to reply to them about borrowing objects from their archives or accessing other historical resources.

To sum up, I'm just really tired.  Tired of spending every spare minute and drop of energy on something no one's interested in, tired of being told no, tired of not being taken seriously. Most of all I'm tired of the "you're responsible for your own destiny/happiness" bullshit because it's simply not true.  People don't seem to understand there's a fair amount of luck and connections involved in making dreams a reality.  I have been doing everything humanly possible to improve the blog and make the Museum "real" and have been stonewalled every step of the way, while others (some of whom I think are less deserving) are met with nothing but success due to dumb luck or because of who they know.  It's just history repeating itself; I was shut out of the museum world and academia at a young age, and I had originally conceived of the Museum/blog as outlets to help me deal with my shattered career dreams.  If museums and universities didn't want me then I'd forge my own path and make my own opportunities.  Instead it's the same old thing.

Thank you for reading and apologies for being bitter and entitled, but that's just where I am right now and had to get it off my chest.  I am grateful for the few of you that continue to support the Museum and I hope 2018 has good things in store for you.


Quick post: Halloween beauty roundup

I've noticed that many indie brands are really pulling out all the stops for Halloween in recent years.  Forget special holiday packaging - these companies put their energy into crafting some spooktacular design for Halloween items.  Here are my picks for 2017.

Halloween 2017 makeup

1.  I'm still waiting with bated breath for Unicorn Cosmetics mermaid brush set, but in the meantime they released a pretty awesome set for Halloween.  Not only do these brushes come in a coffin-shaped pouch with bone-shaped zippers, their handles change color.

2.  L.A. Splash has all your favorite classic horror ghouls in their Halloween liquid lipstick collection.

3.  These American Horror Story-inspired palettes aren't new - they were originally released last year, I believe - but they are new to me so I had to give them a shout-out.  (As of today, however, it looks like they're sold out).

4.  The remarkably simple design of Makeup Revolution's Ghost Powder works for both adults and kids...and at that price you can get one for you and another for the little Halloween'ers in your life.  I bet my niece would love this!

5.  With the name Pretty Zombie Cosmetics, makeup inspired by all things spooky isn't just for Halloween, it's the brand's entire raison d'etre.  This year they introduced new colors and packaging for their liquid lipsticks, which appear to be a nod to Beetlejuice.

6.  This one was also released last year, but once again I only found about it now.  In honor of Elvira's 35th anniversary, Lunatick Cosmetics released a coffin-shaped palette complete with pop-up spiderweb and candelabra.  Perfect for any Mistress of the Dark fan.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!  Which one of these was your favorite?

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Curator's picks and pans for 2016

Today, thankfully, is the last day of 2016.  As I like to do every year, I'm taking a look back on the prettiest, most Museum-worthy pieces of the year (along with some not-so-great ones).  Here they are in no particular order.

1.  NARS summer collection was definitely a highlight.  Konstantin Kakanias' illustrations of oh-so-chic ladies lounging at a warm and sunny luxury resort at the French Riviera immediately brought a smile to my face...and made me want to book the next flight to Saint-Tropez. 

Konstantin Kakanias for NARS

2.  These beautiful hand-made gold leaf lipstick cases from Givenchy caught me totally off guard - I was so happy I was able to get my hands on them as they are true Museum pieces.

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto edition

3.  The Dolce & Gabbana Sicilian Bronzer was also difficult to track down and I had a fit when Nordstrom nearly canceled my order, but fortunately they came through.  The image on the bronzer came directly from D & G's spring/summer 2016 collection, which in turn was inspired by "carrettos", traditional Sicilian donkey carts painted in bright colors.

Dolce & Gabbana Sicilian Bronzer

Honorable mentions include Too-Faced's Totally Cute palette (because mermaid stickers) and Chanel Ombres Lamées (so intricate, not to mention gold and shiny!)

Now for the pans. 

1.  You would think that Mara Hoffman's geometric, colorful patterns would work well on cosmetics packaging, but the Sephora collection just left me cold.  I'm not sure why because I like her designs in other contexts, but seeing them on makeup did nothing for me. 

Mara Hoffman for Sephora
(images from sephora.com)

2.  Sonia Rykiel, one of 2016's many casualties, was an extraordinarily talented designer.  It's a shame that none of her style translated to Lancome's fall collection.  These patterns were just so...blah.  A better way of saying that, I guess, is that they simply weren't representative of her aesthetic.  Like some other fashion designer collabs, this was a missed opportunity - Lancome could have done so much more with Rykiel's impressive body of work.  It's particularly surprising given that Rykiel had a successful makeup line in Japan for a number of years, so you would think there would be a little more to this collection.

Sonia Rykiel for Lancome(images from lancome-usa.com)

3.  MAC Vibe Tribe.  I don't want to re-hash this but you can read my rant here.

MAC-vibe-tribe-promo

That wraps it up for 2016, from a collectibles standpoint, anyway...I'm too lazy to write about makeup trends from this year.  :P

What do you think of these?  Are there any not on this list that you think should be?  Take a look in the archives and let me know.  :)


I'm on Instagram

InstagramI don't know why but I felt a compelling urge to join yet another social media platform that 1. I don't understand, and 2.  will never be able to keep up with. (How do millennials keep up with all this social media?!)  I've held off for a while on joining Instagram because of my lack of photography skills.  But then I learned there are such things as filters, so maybe my photos won't be so bad. Plus there are so many great artists and photographers on there, and I found it's a heck of a lot easier to keep up with them if I had an account.  Not to mention how much I adore looking at pretty pictures of makeup, and Instagram seems like the best place to get a quick fix, even more so than Pinterest and blogs. 

Photos of things you will see @makeup_museum:

  • Makeup collectibles I'm too lazy to write a post about here
  • Beauty products I actually use
  • Home decor
  • Art and design
  • Fashion
  • Baltimore and other cities
  • PLUSHIES!
  • Any other things that strike my fancy

I think that about covers it.  I only have 3 photos right now but obviously will be adding more, so stay tuned.  And do you have any tips for me?  I'm still learning the ropes so I'd be grateful for any advice.  :)

 


Blog note: farewell to Couture Monday

Now now, this doesn't mean I won't be writing about the latest couture house releases and other fashion designer collabs with makeup brands, it just means I won't be posting them exclusively on Mondays anymore.  I simply needed more flexibility in my blogging schedule - I already have enough trouble keeping up and trying to do "fun" items on Fridays and vintage items for Throwback Thursdays - so I have made the executive decision to do away with forcing myself to post couture/fashion subjects only on Mondays.  Plus, it's a rather outdated notion to declare certain days to be certain subjects at one's blog...it was very common when I started back in 2008, but outside of a few bloggers I rarely see "themed" days of the week anymore.  So onwards and upwards!  Here's to an easier way of doing things at the Museum. :)