Quick Friday fun: Spring critters

In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday, I thought I'd round up some truly adorable springtime animal-themed makeup.  Bunnies and chicks and lambs, oh my!  Some of these were limited edition, but it's still fun seeing what was out there. 

  Easter beauty

  1. Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss bar
  2. Pupa Non-Conventional Zoo set (ca. 2007)
  3. Bunny lip balm
  4. Deborah Milano Icon palette (these came in so many animals - there are ducks, cats, owls, pigs, seals, elephants, turtles, bears, butterflies...even a moose!
  5. Oh K Bunny Sponge (not actually shaped like a bunny but the packaging is adorable!)
  6. Pupa Pretty Bunny palette (limited edition for holiday 2013)
  7. Peeps flavored lip gloss
  8. Beyond lipsticks - We've seen Paul & Joe's cat-shaped lipsticks but these took the cake for me...I so wish I was able to get my hands on them!  Alas, Beyond released these in 2012 and while I've scoured Ebay I don't think I'll be getting my hands on these.  Beyond apparently has a hard anti-animal-testing stance and created these lipsticks to help raise money for some endangered species:  harp seals, pink dolphins, otters, flying squirrels, and pandas.  Not exactly Easter-themed but I just had to include them!
  9. Lawna cotton swabs - I think these are a prototype and not available for sale, but so cute.
  10. The Creme blending sponge set - I love that they have names!  You get Penny the Pig, Charlie the Chick and Boogie the Bunny.  Like the Oh K sponge they're not shaped like the actual animal but they're precious nevertheless.

Besides Philosophy's Sugar Chick shower gel that I may be hoarding, another Easter-y item I love is this Etude House Bunny Nail set.  How much fun is that rabbit-shaped confetti?!

Etude House Bunny Nail

Etude House Bunny Nail

Etude House Bunny Nail

Have a nice Easter!  And if you don't celebrate I hope you at least have some candy.  :)






MM Spring 2017 exhibition

Makeup Museum spring 2017 exhibition

Welcome to the Makeup Museum's spring 2017 exhibition!  As you may know, for the past few months I've been hopelessly under the spell of anything holographic/iridescent/prismatic, and I think this morphed into an obsession with all the colors of the rainbow.  (Or it could be Desus and Mero's nightly rainbow feature seeping into my subconscious.) Duochrome makeup is obviously different than rainbow makeup - I see the former as having color-shifting principles, while the latter is vibrant yet static - but I'd argue that they're all on the same...spectrum. (Sorry, couldn't resist).  What I mean is that merely colorful makeup is different than holographic, but they share similar qualities.  Generally speaking, I was inspired by the broader notion of color play and the endless possibilities a variety of colors can provide.  I've always loved vividly colorful makeup because as we'll see, over the years it's become synonymous with fun and self-expression, which is basically my makeup credo.  From 6-hued rainbow highlighters and a set of primary colors to create unique shades to more subtle gradient palettes and sheer lipsticks, makeup that encompasses the whole spectrum allows for a great amount of experimentation.  Even color correctors offer the opportunity to play.  I wanted this exhibition to express the joy and creativity that a wide range of colors can bring, especially when viewed as a collective whole such as a rainbow.

Makeup Museum spring 2017 exhibition

While I could have probably could have done an entire rainbow-themed exhibition, there were some new, non-rainbowy releases that were simply too good not to include, plus I thought they added a nice balance to all the color.   Also, did you notice the labels?  I got the idea to make them a gradient rather than all one shade, but my husband, super smarty pants that he is, chose the exact colors and how to arrange them.  I think this is the first exhibition where I had to determine where everything was going prior to printing the labels.  Usually I just print them out and figure out placement of the objects later since I can always move the labels around, but this time I had decide on placement first since moving things would mess up the gradation effect.

Makeup Museum spring 2017 exhibition

Makeup Museum spring 2017 exhibition

Let's take a closer peek, shall we?

Top shelves, left to right.

I spotted this 1970 Yardley set on ebay and knew it would be perfect.

Yardley Mixis Finger Mix

The box isn't in the best shape but aren't the graphics so cool?!

Yardley Mixis Finger Mix Eye Shadows

I love that the insert encourages you to have fun and experiment.  It's a stark contrast to actual ad for the product, which, underneath its seemingly feminist veneer, is horrifically ageist.

Yardley Mixis Finger Mix Eye Shadows

I tried cleaning up the tubes but I scrubbed too hard on the yellow one, which resulted in a few cracks.  I forget these things are over 40 years old and that plastic doesn't necessarily remain durable for that amount of time.

Yardley Mixis Finger Mix Eye Shadows

The similarity between the eye makeup for Dior's spring 2017 collection campaign and an ad from 1973 is striking.

Dior spring 2017 makeup

Makeup Museum exhibition labels

Dior spring 2017 makeup

Dior vintage ad and 2017 palette

1973 Dior ad

1973 Dior ad

Dior spring 2017 makeup

My heart skipped a beat when I saw that Addiction would be featuring the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint on their compacts this spring.  Af Klint's work really spoke to me and I'm so happy Addiction helped spread the word about her.

Addiction makeup spring 2017

Addiction makeup spring 2017

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Second row, left to right.

These lipsticks are so delectable!

Kailijumei flower lipsticks

I know it's just a fake flower with highlighter dusted on top, but it still makes me swoon.

Lancome spring 2017 rose highlighter

Lancome spring 2017 rose highlighter

Still haven't figured out a name for this little lady.

LM Ladurée 5th anniversary powder box

Makeup Museum exhibition label

If you remember that popular video that was making the rounds a little while ago, it showed a Charles of the Ritz powder bar.

Charles of the Ritz custom face powder

Charles of the Ritz custom face powder

1963 Charles of the Ritz ad

If I ever display this again I'll update the label.  Turns out Charles of the Ritz tried to bring back the service in August of 1988, but I don't think it stuck around long.  Perhaps they couldn't compete with the likes of Prescriptives, who was by that point leading the way in custom blending?  (Sidenote:  I'm tickled at how the article is written by Linda Wells, who was just 2 years shy of launching what would become the world's best-known beauty magazine, and how it also cites Bobbi Brown and refers to her as simply a "makeup artist."  Little did they know that Bobbi's own line would be taking the makeup world by storm in another 3 years.)

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Third row, left to right.

I'm not sure why Guerlain used a rainbow for this spring's campaign and not for their summer 2015 Rainbow Pearls, but they look good together.

Guerlain Meteorites

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Paul & Joe:

Paul & Joe spring 2017 makeup

Paul & Joe spring 2017 makeup

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Shiseido 7 Color Powders Centennial set (well, part of it):

Shiseido rainbow powders

Shiseido rainbow powders

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Burberry Silk and Bloom palette:

Burberry spring 2017 blush

Burberry spring 2017 blush

Burberry spring 2017 blush

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Bottom row, left to right.

Rainbow highlighters...I just received word that the original was re-stocked so I will have to purchase it.  :)

Rainbow highlighters

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Loubichrome nail polishes:

Loubichrome nail polish trio

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Interestingly, when I working on the label I came across a Vogue interview with Julie Verhoeven that was published after I had posted about these makeup sets.  She clarified that Jacobs had specifically requested to revisit the imagery on the 2002 Louis Vuitton collection, so it wasn't a random decision to go with that style.  As for the frog motif, which I am completely smitten with, it was most likely a nod to Jacobs' fondness for the animal (another recent interview with Verhoeven tipped me off.)

Marc Jacobs spring 2017 makeup set

Makeup Museum exhibition label

Ah!  I was so excited when this set popped up on ebay I could hardly contain myself.  This is probably the best representation of late '60s/early '70s beauty.  It doesn't have the insert but overall it's in great condition.  I don't know whether this particular set is specifically the pastel version mentioned in the ad (which is a printout of an original from 1973 - forgot to put that on the label, oops) or the regular non-pastel crayons, but I was overjoyed to finally get one into the Museum's collection.

Mary Quant crayon set

Mary Quant crayon set

Mary Quant crayon set

Mary Quant crayon set

Makeup Museum exhibition label

In doing a little background research for this exhibition I came across some interesting things.  I couldn't possibly pull together a comprehensive history of colorful/rainbow-inspired makeup, but here's a quick look back on some of the highlights.  While color correcting powders existed early on in the modern beauty industry, it seems as though the more colorful side of makeup wasn't popularized until the early '60s.  Ads for collections featuring a robust range of vibrant shades included words like "fun", "play" and "experiment", thereby associating color variety with happiness and creativity.

1960 Cutex ad(image from

This was the earliest ad I could find that mentions a "rainbow" of shades.

1961 Max Factor ad(image from

This 1967 ad not only depicts a spectrum of color, it encourages the wearer to create different looks by adding varying amounts of water to the pigments.  I'm assuming you could adjust the opacity this way.

1967 Max Factor ad
(image from

While I love the Yardley Mixis set and the classic Mary Quant crayons, I think this brand is my favorite representation of late '60s beauty, at least in terms of advertising (you can see more here).  It's so crazy and psychedelic...looking at this makes me want to dance around in a field with flowers in my hair, LOL.  Sadly I was unable to track down any original makeup or ads from this line, which I believe was exclusive to Woolworth's in the UK.

1968 Baby Doll Cosmetics ad
(image from

The demand for color didn't end with the '60s, as evidenced by these early '70s Yardley and Dior ads.

Yardley rainbow eyes ad, ca. 1970

1972 Dior ad

1973 Dior ad
(images from

Once again, a variety of colors is linked to self-expression and fun.

1975 Maybelline ad(image from

Dior kept the color game strong in the '80s.  (There was a 1981 Elizabeth Arden collection entitled Rainbows, but it didn't really offer much of a shade range).

1986 Dior ad(image from 

More recently, rainbow-inspired beauty has had its moments.  The models at Peter Som's spring 2013 runway show sported pastel rainbow eye shadow, while later that year, Sephora's holiday collection brush set featured iridescent rainbow handles.  For summer 2015 MAC released a collection with basically the same finish on the packaging, and come November, Smashbox's collaboration with artist Yago Hortal offered an eye-popping array of shades.  I'd argue that 2016 was the tipping point for the rainbow beauty craze, with fashion designers leading the way.  These runway looks helped set the stage for the likes of ColourPop's rainbow collection and Urban Decay's Full Spectrum palette, both released last year, along with MAC's Liptensity collection, which brought a whole new dimension to color perception.  While it wasn't a rainbow-themed collection per se, Liptensity's "tetrachromatic" formulation ushered in a new way of thinking about and playing with makeup pigments in much the same way rainbow makeup did.

Makeup at Alexis Mabille and Manish Arora, spring 2016
(images from and

Fendi spring 2016(image from

Betsey Johnson spring 2016(images from and

It doesn't look like rainbow makeup is going anywhere soon, as evidenced by the stunning looks Pat McGrath created for Maison Margiela's fall 2017 show, along with products like MAC's Colour Rocker lipsticks and Kat Von D's Pastel Goth palette.  Even Sephora's typography got a rainbow makeover.  (While the gradient rainbow style was used more to convey holographic makeup/highlighters, it represents exactly what I meant earlier - rainbow makeup and holographic makeup may be distant cousins, but they definitely belong to the same family).

Maison Margiela fall 2017(images from

Sephora rainbow(image from

Then there are these magazine features from the March 2017 issues.  (Yes, I still tear out magazine pages.  Yes, I'm aware there's Pinterest and that we live in a digital world.)

Nylon magazine, March 2017

Nylon magazine, March 2017

Marie Claire magazine, March 2017

That was long!  Phew, I'm tired.  Actually I'm not, since looking at a bunch of different colors together energizes me.  As a matter of fact, I tend to get a little overstimulated, which is why I do most of my makeup shopping online - in-store browsing at all those colors displayed on the counters is very bad for my wallet. 

Update, 4/3/2020: I realized I never addressed rainbow makeup as it pertains to the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to rainbow makeup's role as a way for people to explore more colorful cosmetic options, it also functions as an important extension of the rainbow symbolism created by and for the community over 40 years ago. One questionable trend, however, has been the rise of companies slapping rainbow packaging on some of their regular line items in order to "celebrate" (co-opt?) Pride month.  By and large, it’s a positive development as the products raise visibility for LGBTQIA+ rights and most of them donate the sale proceeds from these items to various charities. They also call attention to makeup’s significance for the LGBTQIA+ movement, both past and present. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like a shameless cash grab with the main focus being the product instead of meaningful action or change. If you’re on the market for new makeup and want to feel good knowing that your purchase helps a marginalized population, go for it – no one should be embarrassed to buy them. I personally cannot get enough of rainbow packaging and purchased several items just for the colorful designs on the boxes. But the motivations of some of these companies are questionable, i.e. are they really committed to the cause or just once a year when they put rainbows on their packaging and call it a day? One thing is for certain though: although the Museum is committed to LGBTQIA+ rights year round, I look forward to the rainbow looks Pride month brings (and obviously I think people should feel free to wear rainbow makeup year round as well.) Pride looks exemplify the raison d’etre of rainbow makeup by demonstrating the joy playing with color can bring and the freedom to wear it.

NYC Pride parade makeup, 2018

NYC Pride parade makeup, 2018

NYC Pride parade makeup, 2018
(images from

I hope you enjoyed the exhibition and that you'll play with color this season, either by wearing shades so bright they hurt your eyes or simply giving color correctors a go (and everything in between).  Just have fun!

It's 5 o'clock somewhere: boozy makeup packaging

I remember thinking how cute and novel these wine bottle-shaped lipsticks were when they were making a sensation back in the fall.  (I do have one on the way but the package somehow keeps getting delayed so here's a stock photo for now.)  I'm not a wine person - gives me a horrible headache - but I do appreciate adorable makeup packaging so this gets a thumbs-up from me.  I mean on the one hand I'm not fond of wine once again being associated with a clichéd feminine stereotype (all ladies love wine, shopping, chocolate and shoes, amirite?), but on the other hand, this lipstick is just too cute.

Chateau Labiotte wine lipstick
(image from

Turns out, this isn't the first time lipstick has been designed to resemble booze.  I was positively tickled when, during one of my customary Friday night vintage makeup searches on Etsy (I lead a very exciting life, I know), I came across this miniature lipstick cleverly packaged as a whiskey bottle.

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

It really is mini!

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick

I'd never heard of Carstairs before, but apparently from roughly the '40s through the '60s they did a good amount of advertising for their White Seal whiskey, which is still sold today.  In addition to the lipsticks, they offered mini screwdrivers and toothpicks, along with seal clock figurines and the usual print advertising.  According to one (no longer active) ebay listing, the lipstick bottles started being produced around 1944 and other listings say they're from the '50s, so I guess they were used as promotional items for a few decades.  Here's a photo of one in Madeleine Marsh's excellent book, which also dates it to the '50s. 

Carstairs miniature whiskey bottle lipstick in Compacts and Cosmetics by Madeleine Marsh

I'm guessing that for the most part, the lipsticks were provided to bars and liquor stores and given away as a small gift-with-purchase, as there are quite a few full boxes of them floating around. I would have bought this one in a heartbeat because how cute would it have been to display it alongside a whole Chateau Labiotte set?

Vintage Carstairs whiskey lipstick set

Chateau Labiotte set(images from and

But the individual lipsticks are obviously a lot cheaper and I have many things I want to purchase for the summer exhibition, so I had to pass for now. ;)  As for the lipstick itself, a company called Christy Cosmetics, Inc. was responsible for producing it.  I couldn't find much information about it online, other than it was a New York-based company and was also the manufacturer of a line called Diana Deering (who was an entirely fictional character, or, as the patent puts it, "fanciful".)

Christy Cosmetics ad, 1944(image from

Diana Deering ad, 1944

Diana Deering/Christy Cosmetics patent(image from

I'm sure there's information about Christy out there somewhere, but as usual I lack the time and other resources to do proper research, i.e., looking beyond Google.  If anyone knows anything about their relationship with Carstairs and how they were chosen to produce their promo items I'd love to hear it.

Uh-oh, we have a situation here.  Once again a certain little Sailor is up to no good.  "It's just my size!" 

Bottoms up!

I better go get this wrapped up and into storage before he smears it all over his face in attempt to "drink" the non-existent whiskey.  In any case, Happy St. Patrick's Day and I hope these lipsticks have inspired you to let your hair down and enjoy some adult beverages tonight!

Friday Fun: Staff picks with Ice Lodge Babos and Ugly Yeti

To help soothe and distract myself from the horrific political unpleasantness today brings, I'm doing another round of staff picks.*  While I strongly prefer summer to winter, some Museum employees are definitely the opposite. 

Makeup Museum winter staff picks

Makeup Museum winter staff picks

Ugly Yeti, Ice Bat and both Ice Lodge Babos went through my personal stash and the Museum's collection to select their top picks, which include: the 2016 Maquillage Snow Beauty compact, Dior Voile de Neige powder, Lipstick Queen Ice Queen lipstick, Stila Adventurous in Aspen palette and Winter Blues trio, Bourjois Rendezvous a Paris Blanc Diaphane, and Chantecaille's Glacier trio.  While Ugly Yeti was partial to that last one, he has decided that KB Shimmer's Yeti or Not polish is now his favorite item.  All of these little guys also love the Guerlain Météorites Perles de Neiges, but I couldn't put that out since I was afraid they'd try to eat it (again).

Makeup Museum winter staff picks

Here are some additional usual, these are by no means a comprehensive list of all the snowy, frosty inspired beauty products out there, just some of what caught their fancy. 

Frosty beauty products

  1. Sephora Early Frost eyeshadow (see also their Let It Snow shadow and Ice Ice Baby eyeliner)
  2. OPI Alpine Snow nail polish
  3. Urban Decay eyeshadow in Frostbite (which also comes in a nail polish and was briefly brought back as a lipstick)
  4. NYX Prismatic eyeshadow in Frostbite
  5. Marc Jacobs Beauty nail polish in White Snow
  6. Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow in Ice
  7. Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream eyeshadow in Snow
  8. Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Ice Queen
  9. Stila Stay All Day eyeliner in Snow
  10. Deborah Lippmann Ice Princess nail polish set
  11. Essence eyeshadow in Snowflake
  12. Jouer Lip Topper in Frostbite (this is on its way to me - can't wait!)

The plushies were also intrigued by winter-inspired skincare, especially the cooling products - those help them stay at their desired chilly body temperatures.  Brisk!

Frosty chilly skincare

  1. La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Transforming Cream
  2. DiorSnow Brightening Illuminating sunscreen
  3. Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On for Eyes
  4. Milk Makeup Cooling Water
  5. Natura Bisse Diamond Ice Lift Mask
  6. Arcona Magic Dry Ice Hydrating Gel
  7. Snow Magic Sheet Mask
  8. Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray

I encouraged the little scamps to look for other frosty, snowy beauty products with cute packaging.  More recent finds include BeYu's Mountain Glam collection from winter 2015...

Beyu Mountain Glam collection

Essence's Winter Wonderful (holiday 2015) and Ice Ice Baby (spring 2014) collections:

Essence Winter Wonderful collection

Essence Ice Ice Baby collection(images from

And MAC's appropriately named Glitter and Ice collection from 2011.

MAC Glitter and Ice, 2011(image from

They were pretty fascinated so they wanted search further back into beauty history and ended up finding some really cool stuff!

Dubarry foundation ad, 1930s
(image from

Revlon Fire and Ice ad, 1952
(image from 

Revlon Cherries in the Snow ad, 1952
(image from

Revlon Snow Peach ad, 1956

They had a good laugh at this commercial.

Then they were trying to figure out how to rescue the poor man trapped in the ice cube...until I explained to them it's just an ad and the man isn't really in there.  Their little pea brains didn't quite get it though.

Cutex Coral Ice ad, 1957
(image from

Here's DuBarry totally ripping off Revlon.

Dubarry Snowball of Fire ad, 1959(image from

The '60s seriously couldn't get any frostier.

Tussy Hot Ice ad, 1964(image from 

Cutex Frosted Ice ad, 1969
(image from 

Bonne Bell ad, 1969
(image from

Finally, the plushies also appreciated these snowy vintage compacts.  The black Stratton one is my favorite.

Vintage snowflake compact

Stratton snowflake compacts
(images from pinterest and etsy)

The plushies and I hope you enjoyed this little round up of wintry products.  Which of these is calling to you? 

*Just a reminder that you can also check out the holiday/winter exhibition and previous exhibitions too...apparently lots of museums are into the idea of distraction via art today, offering free admission and special programming.  Glad to know I was in step with other museums!

Friday fun: This egg is not sunny side up

Back in the early fall I saw some beauty items with a very strange-looking character pop up on Instagram.  He looked kind of cute though and I was immediately intrigued.  I made a mental note to show the husband later because, well, I just had a gut feeling he'd like him too.  But later that very same morning the husband sent me an interview with the designer for this Japanese character and asked if I had heard of it.  It's proof of how well we know each other - we just had a feeling we'd both be smitten with this little egg, who has taken the world by storm since his introduction in 2013 by Sanrio (the company responsible for Hello Kitty).   Without further ado, please watch the very short video below for an introduction to Gudetama, a.k.a. the lazy egg!


I don't know if Gudetama is entirely lazy; there seems to be some depression, apathy, slight existential (eggsistential?) angst and general malaise mixed in with the laziness.  In other words, this egg is me.





Gudetama was the runner-up in a contest at Sanrio to devise a food-themed character.1  The designer who created him2, Eimi "Amy" Nagashima, had joined Sanrio just a year prior.  In an interview with AIGA (the very same interview the husband sent me that fateful morning), she tells the story of how Gudetama came into existence. "I was eating a raw egg on rice at home one morning and thought to myself that the egg was kind of cute, but entirely unmotivated and indifferent as well.  Eggs are phenomenal! The taste, lustre, nutritional value, and countless ways they can be prepared make eggs great, but for me, eggs that are relegated to the fate of being eaten also seemed despairing.  They seem entirely absent from any effort or energy, almost as if they were sick of the competitive world around them.  The personality I was imagining seemed to me to parallel people in modern society who despair amid economic hard times and who are talented but don’t feel like throwing themselves into anything...I try to reflect images of the people of modern society that I see in the news. I also draw on the so-called “Yutori” generation of people that have graduated from a good university but in economically challenging times, so feel hopeless and just cannot be bothered to make an effort...I never dreamed that Gudetama would become so loved and pervasive. When it debuted, I wondered if it might end up a flash in the pan."

Indeed, the winner of the in-house Sanrio contest, a slice of salmon named Kirimi-chan, is not nearly as popular as Gudetama in terms of social media following or the number of products he's appeared on:  Gudetama has made his way onto 1,700 items, including two very extensive collections with Korean beauty brand Holika Holika.  Before we dive into the massive amount of items I purchased from these collections, let's continue to egg-splore (sorry, can't help it) Gudetama's appeal.


To Westerners, the idea of an anthropomorphic egg seems entirely bizarre, but in Japan, it's rather normal. Explains Manami Okazaki, a journalist who published a book on kawaii culture, “Japan has a long history of making food aesthetic, and merging food presentation and art...given that kawaii is one of the most prominent contemporary movements and resonates with most youth in Japan, it isn’t much of a surprise that food merged with kawaii design."  As for the sad personality, it's also not unexpected. Matt Alt, co-founder of pop culture translation company Alt-Japan says, "Many Japanese mascots will express emotions that Western mascots would not. In the West, mascots are used almost exclusively to cheer people up. In Japan, they’re often used to get a point across or act as mediators in situations where you wouldn’t want to express yourself directly...Mascots serve as blameless mediators and tension breakers of conflict in Japan. So a mascot that isn’t happy? That’s very familiar to the Japanese."  And while some argue that Gudetama represents the somewhat repressed nature of Japanese society, Alt disagrees:  "It’s true that Japanese society values considering the needs and thoughts of others. Especially in public. But that doesn’t mean Japanese people are incapable of articulating themselves.  I would say using mascots such as Gudetama is a more nuanced way of expressing oneself than simply verbalizing an emotion or typing it out. This is exactly the reason Japan is the country that invented emoji — those little blips and icons used to spice up a conversation by injecting an emotional quotient.  I don’t think you can look at Gudetama — or any mascot or emoji — and say they’re the product of an emotionally stunted civilization. They’re the product of a society that has found alternate and interesting methods to express itself."  Finally, while Gudetama's popularity in the West may seem odd at first, it's also not that big of a surprise, according to this article:  "Gudetama is also considered part of a new kawaii subculture called kimo-kawaii, or gross-cute, which is resonating more with underground youth culture than the sweetie-pie characters of yore...In the West, where weird for the sake of weird is a well-established marketing technique, kimo-kawaii characters are a natural fit. The U.S., especially, has a longstanding love of characters with bad attitudes..."  I also think Gudetama particularly resonates with depressed people, of which there are over 15 million in the U.S. (including yours truly).  Also, I love the fact that he uses bacon as a blanket!!  Or mushrooms/tofu as pillows, unsuccessfully.

Anyway, after watching nearly every Gudetama video I could find I picked out some (okay, too many) things from the Holika Holika collections.  The first collection, called Lazy & Easy, debuted in May, and the second was a holiday one called Lazy & Joy.  There was just so much variety - Gudetama appeared in so many different permutations that I simply couldn't narrow it down much.

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika Lazy Joy collection

I love the outer packaging...look at the bacon tape!!

Gudetama x Holika Holika

The inserts were also ridiculously adorable.

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika BB cushion cases

Gudetama x Holika Holika BB cushion cases

Gudetama x Holika Holika lip tints

Gudetama x Holika Holika skincare

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika

Gudetama x Holika Holika Tiramisu eyeshadow

Gudetama x Holika Holika blush

Gudetama x Holika Holika nail stickers

Gudetama x Holika Holika nail stickers

I must admit that I have a bit of an obsession with Gudetama's butt (and I'm not the only one).  Seriously, how cute is that little tuchus? 

Gudetama x Holika Holika

This is not accidental, either.  Gudetama's creator says of the animations, "Mostly we want [them] to be something easily relatable, and also place importance on Gudetama’s jiggly bottom...I get really obsessed with making the lines for its bottom."


Ouch! You added too much spice!


My favorite Gudetama butt moment, LOL.


While I did get so much that Museum storage is overflowing, I'm still hunting for the dry shampoo...the hair just cracks me up!

So, a very simple summary: I love Gudetama and am very happy he appeared on beauty products.  The husband adores him too and so we added a Gudetama plushie to join our menagerie - he's settling in rather well, since our plushies are definitely on the lazy side. 

What do you think?  Had you heard of Gudetama prior to the Holika Holika collection?


1While I love Gudetama with all my heart, I am dismayed that Soygeisha, a block of tofu that wears makeup, wasn't closer to winning.
2Nagashima says that the character is "devoid of gender", but for an easier time with pronouns I'm referring to Gudetama as a "he", which is the usual way he's described.

Friday fun (and fright): Halloween roundup

It's almost Halloween, so in keeping with the spirit I thought I'd share some sweet and spooky items I've come across.  Hopefully you'll enjoy this mix of vintage and new makeup ephemera.  However, I must warn that if you're a plushie aficionado like me, you may not be able to sleep after seeing some very bizarre vintage stuffed animals.

We'll start with the good stuff.  I've loved this vintage Pum-kin Rouge since I spotted it at the IPBA website a while back, and a recent Instagram post by the Glamourologist jogged my memory.   Pum-kin Rouge, a blush that was meant to be flattering on all complexions, was first introduced in 1922 by the Owl Drug Company.  In an effort to stay competitive with ever-popular French-sounding brands, in 1925 Owl Drug began marketing Pum-kin Rouge under the Darnée Perfumer name.  You can read the entire Owl Drug story, which is divided into two parts, over at the excellent Collecting Vintage Compacts blog. 

Pum-kin Rouge tin(image from

Even more rare than the round Pum-kin Rouge tin is this octagonal compact with a different pumpkin design, which appeared around 1928.  You can barely make it out in the photo below, but if you look closely you can see a woman's profile in the middle of the pumpkin.  So cool!

Pum-kin Rouge compact(image from

In terms of contemporary pieces, I admired these Halloween-themed highlighters from Etsy seller Bitter Lace Beauty.  (You may recall that this is the same company responsible for the rainbow highlighter frenzy.)  I didn't purchase them because I'm not sure how much I really want to branch into indie companies in terms of collecting for the Museum, but they're pretty cute.

Bitter Lace Beauty Halloween highlighters

Bitter Lace Beauty Halloween highlighters(images from

There were also these adorable coffin packages containing highlighters and glitter eye shadows from ColourPop.  Alas, they were only available to one lucky winner of a Halloween giveaway, not for sale to the public.  It's a shame, I would have snapped these up in a minute.

ColourPop Halloween giveaway sets

ColourPop Halloween giveaway sets(images from and

Now we're moving on to the very strange and scary items I found, all of which are vintage.  You may want to get some towels to sit on in case you soil yourself.  Okay, maybe they're not that bad but I have to say, if I found any of these at a vintage shop or flea market I'd hightail it out of there real fast.

First up is this super weird lip-shaped box.  It's listed as a powder box on Ebay, but it looks more like a trinket box rather than something cosmetic.  Still, since it's lip-shaped maybe it was intended for makeup.  So while I'm not certain of its original purpose, I do know that it really freaks me out.  This isn't comical like Charlotte Tilbury's new Pocket Pout (which honestly reminds me of those goofy novelty wax lips and/or Mrs. Potato Head), it's just creepy as hell.

Vintage lip-shaped powder box
(images from

I nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw this pop up in my Ebay search for vintage compacts.  Do you know who this character is? (I didn't but thought he was absolutely the most horrifying thing I've ever seen on a compact).

Vintage Charlie McCarthy compact
(image from

If you said Charlie McCarthy, the doll companion of '30s-'40s-era ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, you are correct.  If you said "Why the hell is some terrifying dummy on a makeup compact?", that's also an acceptable response.  It's actually a pretty remarkable likeness, which makes it all the scarier.  *shudder*

Charlie McCarthy(image from

Also disturbing is that the asking price of another one I found is $199.95.  I'm sorry, but who would pay that amount to have this evil thing staring back at you?

I saved the most frightening items for last* - hopefully they won't leave you with nightmares.  If violence against plushies upsets you, don't finish reading! 

Searching for vintage compacts on Rubylane, I came across this little monkey.  He's got kind of a scary face that reminds me of the original cover for Stephen King's Skeleton Crew.  But whatever, he's makeup-related so it's probably okay, right?

Vintage Schuco monkey

And then I saw the next photo.

Vintage Schuco monkey(images from

My approximate reactions (bonus points if you can name the horror movies these are from):




Apparently there was a German toy company named Schuco that produced these abominations in the 1930s (insert Nazi joke here.) These are stuffed animals that one essentially mutilated to reach the makeup hidden inside.  They came in a variety of colors and critters, with a powder compact shoved in the tummy and a lipstick in the neck.  :(

Vintage Schuco monkey
(image from

Vintage Schuco bear
(image from

If the sadist makeup-user preferred, they could also tear the shell off a turtle or gut a dog, cat or duck.  Their faces look so unhappy to me, what with their downturned mouths and lifeless eyes - could it be because their innards had to get brutally ripped apart every time someone wanted to powder their nose?

Vintage Schuco dog and turtle

Vintage Schuco duck and cat

Of course, you could always choose to "only" yank the head off to access your favorite perfume rather than both decapitation and disembowelment.

Vintage Schuco monkey - perfume
(images from

I don't know, maybe it's because I have an unnatural affection for plushies, but these upset me to my core.  I really can't tolerate seeing their little bodies split apart like this, not even for makeup.  It's just wrong!  Plushies should not be dismembered for any reason.  As with the Charlie McCarthy compact, I'm also astonished at the prices.  Granted, these stuffed animals are somewhat unique and Schuco is well-known enough to fetch a nice sum, but $300??  This is one of those pieces where I know, rationally, that it would be an important item to have in the Museum's collection, but my heart says absolutely not.

Anyway, if you're not scarred for life please tell me which of the fun picks you liked most and which of the scary ones most haunted you.


*I did come across this gun-shaped compact, but ultimately decided not to include it as I realized my post was turning into a political rant.

3,2, 1...Blast-off! Staff picks with Space Babo and Dr. McCoy (a.k.a. Dr. McCookie)

MAC's Star Trek collection may be old news by now, but I know certain Museum staff members are still quite enamored by it.  The collection also got me thinking about other space-inspired beauty products, which staff members promptly decided to "explore" themselves.  And by that I mean they made a mess.

Space Babo and Dr. McCoy

Space Babo and Dr. McCoy

In addition to the 2014 Clé de Peau holiday palette, Guerlain Météorites, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild palette, here are some close-up shots of the other galactic goodies they got themselves into.

They insisted on me buying a bunch of the MAC Star Trek collection for the Museum.  Look at those faces...I couldn't say no!

MAC Star Trek collection

MAC Star Trek - Set to Stun, Khaaannn! and Warp Speed Ahead lipglass

MAC Strange New Worlds

MAC Star Trek - Midnight Eyeshadow

MAC Star Trek lipsticks

MAC Star Trek - Skin of Evil and Enterprise nail polishes

They were also fascinated by these NYX Cosmic Metal Lip Creams.

NYX Cosmic Metals - Electromagnetic, Comet's Tail, Celestial Star, Dark Nebula, Galactic

NYX Cosmic Metals - Electromagnetic, Comet's Tail, Celestial Star, Dark Nebula, Galactic

What other out-0f-this-world beauty products do these scamps recommend?  Let's take a look.

Space-inspired makeup

  1.  BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic palette
  2.  Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Meteore
  3.  Chantecaille Galactic Lip Shine in Polaris
  4.  Urban Decay Moondust Palette (see also their Moondust powder and cream eye shadows)
  5.  Anna Sui Lipstick V
  6.  Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette
  7.  Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow in Galaxy
  8.  Melt lipstick in Space Cake (love this shade!)
  9.  Givenchy Le Prisme Superstellar Eye Shadow Palette

Don't forget hair, skin and bath and body products.  :)

Space-inspired beauty

  1. Mugler Alien Divine fragrance
  2. 111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream (I'm not actually recommending an $1,100 face cream, but the Babsters wanted to include it since they thought it was so fancy.)
  3. R & Co Outer Space hairspray
  4. Andrea Garland Rocket Girl lip balm
  5. GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment
  6. Sunday Riley Martian Toner (see also U.F.O. Face Oil and Luna Sleeping Night Oil)
  7. Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb (see also Aliens and Monsters soap)

All of these products are to say nothing of the tons of space-inspired items that have gone before.  Off the top of my head I remember the Cover Girl Star Wars collection, Too-Faced The Future Lovers palette and Galaxy Baked Eyeshadows, Chanel Cosmic and Ciel de Nuit nail polishes and of course Essie Starry Starry Night.  There are also the always-popular galaxy manicures and makeup, plus the Museum's own celestial-themed holiday 2014 exhibition. But I figured photos of these would be overkill, plus Museum staff was very keen on sharing more vintage pieces.  Space Babo and Dr. McCoy dug up a couple of really cool ads.

Max Factor ad - 1950(image from

Tussy ad, 1969
(image from

Finally, I knew Kigu had a flying saucer compact (and something I'd love to splurge on eventually - they go for quite a bit of money) but my little space cadets found that the company actually put out an entire line of these U.F.O.-shaped compacts between 1951 and 1961.  They were originally only available in plain gold tone, but in 1956 Kigu began offering them with a beautiful blue starry background.

Kigu flying saucer compact

Kigu flying saucer compact

Kigu flying saucer compact

This one is probably the most sought after - it's also a music box and debuted in 1957. 

Kigu flying saucer compact

This bejeweled one came out in 1958.

Kigu flying saucer compact(images from and

So what do you think?  What out of this world beauty products are your favorites?  Space Babo and Dr. McCookie are all ears, as am I.  :)

Paul & Joe fall collection, part 1

It's my opinion that any time a company does a cartoon-themed collection meant for adults, they have to be careful not to veer into kiddie territory.  It's tricky when collaborating with, say, the likes of Disney, and sometimes it goes a bit juvenile.  But other times brands pull it off well, and Paul & Joe has consistently been able to elevate themes and characters we usually associate with childhood.  This is the case with their latest collection, which features Looney Tunes favorites Tweety and Sylvester along with infamous cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry.  While I'm not the biggest fan of either of these - I wasn't really into Looney Tunes as a kid, and if Tom and Jerry were on before school I'd watch them on occasion but definitely wasn't obsessed - I still thought the collection was Museum-worthy because Paul & Joe did another great job making such things seem perfectly acceptable for a grown-up to own.  :)

Paul & Joe Warner Bros. collab - Looney Tunes/Tom and Jerry

Set against Paul & Joe's signature chrysanthemums, Tweety and Sylvester appear a little more refined than how we're used to seeing them while still engaging in their usual hijinks.

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Paul & Joe Looney Tunes compact

Tom and Jerry also partake in their typical shenanigans (Tom luring Jerry with a chunk of cheese), but are also depicted, appropriately enough, playing with makeup. 

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry compact

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry compact

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry lipstick case

I love this little detail on the lipstick cap.

Paul & Joe Tom and Jerry lipstick case

The Looney Tunes makeup collection isn't completely out of left field, as it's basically an extension of the Warner Bros. collab from Paul & Joe's Sister line.

Paul & Joe Sister - Tom and Jerry(images from

The Looney Tunes collection was even more extensive and included characters other than Sylvester and Tweety.

Paul & Joe Sister - Looney Tunes

Paul & Joe Sister - Looney Tunes

At first glance I thought the print on this dress was the same as the one on the compact, but if you look closely you can see Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.

Paul & Joe Sister Looney Tunes dress

There was also a men's capsule Looney Tunes collection.

Paul & Joe men's Looney Tunes collection
(images from

Anyway, my only complaint was that none of the Tom and Jerry scenes featured the fancy white cat.  From what I remember watching as a kid, there was this super glam lady cat that Tom had a crush on.  I don't think she had a name but I loved her!  I think my obsession with long eyelashes was influenced in part from this very chic kitty. 

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat(image from

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat

This image of her doing her nails, for example, would have been perfect.

Tom and Jerry - fancy white cat
(image from

What do you think?  Did you pick up anything from this collection?

Friday Fun: MAC's trolling us all

Initially I was confused as to why MAC chose troll dolls as a collection theme.  Yes, a resurgence of all things '90s is upon us, but it still seemed strange to resurrect the troll doll fad.  It only made sense when I got wind of the new Trolls movie, which releases this November.

Naturally I love how obnoxiously bright the packaging is.

MAC Good Luck Trolls collection

The image on the boxes is the signature crazy troll hair.

MAC Good Luck Trolls box

I don't think I've ever seen makeup with a troll silhouette imprinted!

MAC Good Luck Trolls powder

Glitter caps!

MAC Good Luck Trolls collection

Now for a little history.  The original troll doll was created by a Danish woodcutter named Thomas Dam in 1959.  Too poor to afford a Christmas gift for his daughter, he carved her a troll figure out of wood instead.  Pretty soon the doll was the talk of the town, and the Dam Things company began producing trolls made of plastic in the early '60s under the name Good Luck Trolls.  In the U.S. the troll doll craze hit peak popularity from 1963-65 and came around again in the '90s.  Being the '90s buff that I am, I felt the need to do a little more research on the renewed interest in trolls.  I found a very useful entry on the topic here - while no longer active, this blog is great for anyone needing a dose of '90s nostalgia.  While regular trolls were popular, there were also dolls known as Treasure Trolls that sported jewels in their bellybuttons, and you would rub the belly gem for good luck.  You might remember the billikens I looked at earlier this year - one would rub their bellies for good luck, and one of the compacts I included showed a billiken with a jewel in his navel.  So maybe the Treasure Trolls were drawing on this tradition?  In any case, I just had to include these early '90s commercials for the Treasure Trolls. 



I was hoping to find more about why trolls experienced such a renaissance in the '90s.  Alas, I didn't turn up much.  This article seems to think it was the general '90s obsession with anything retro, but that's about all I found.

Anyway, as a collector I was also curious to see if there were any folks out there who had amazing troll stashes, or even museums. Behold, the Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio!  Run by Sherry Groom, the museum boasts a Guinness World Record collection consisting of over 10,000 troll dolls, figurines and other troll memorabilia. It's the largest troll collection in the whole world.

The Troll Hole(image from

Troll Hole Museum(image from

And up until recently, there was a Troll Museum in New York City's Lower East Side.  The collection is considerably smaller; however, it was home to possibly the most diverse collection of trolls, including a very rare two-headed troll from the '60s.  Unfortunately proprietor/artist Jen Miller, better known as Reverend Jen, was evicted earlier this summer.  Due to health issues she was unable to work and pay the rent.  It breaks my heart to think of her collection, so lovingly amassed over 20 years, to be sold or given away.  Not only that, since the museum was actually her apartment (tours were given by appointment only) she has nowhere to live now.

Troll museum, NYC(image from

Troll Museum - two-headed troll

While the Troll Hole may be much bigger, I definitely gravitate more towards Reverend Jen's collection.  We seem to be kindred spirits in our approach to having museums in our homes, and also our "Board of Directors" - she clearly has a sense of humor about it the way I do with my museum staff.

Troll Museum Board of Directors(images from

I do hope Reverend Jen is able to get back on her feet.  If nothing else, I wish I had known she was getting thrown out of her apartment - maybe I could have at least stored part of her collection somewhere until she was able to find another home.

Getting back to MAC, I thought it was well done.  If I was going to design a troll doll-themed collection this is what I would have come up with.  Yes, it's a little juvenile but still loads of fun for those of us who remember the troll fad. 

What do you think of the collection?  And do you own any troll dolls?


Friday Fun: Totally cute is an understatement

Care to guess why I bought Too-Faced's Totally Cute palette in a matter of seconds after seeing it online?  Two words:  mermaid stickers!!  I'll get to those and the artist who created them in a second, but right now let's take a look at the actual palette.

Too Faced Totally Cute palette

Obviously I didn't put any stickers on mine. #collectible

Too Faced Totally Cute palette

Too Faced Totally Cute palette

I liked the guide almost as much as I liked the stickers.

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Does anyone else think the drawing of Too-Faced founder Jerrod Blandino looks a little like Hermey from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?  He just needs his hair in the opposite direction and a little elf hat. 

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

I spy a mermaid!

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

Now for the even cuter part.  The palette comes with 2 sheets of kitschy stickers that I don't think I'll ever tire of.

Too-Faced Totally Cute stickers

Too Faced Totally Cute palette guide

But if you order from Too Faced's website directly, they will add a bonus sheet of stickers!  I didn't know this, however, and placed my order at Sephora.  I nearly cried when the sheet with the mermaid stickers wasn't there, as I had seen it at various other blogs and couldn't figure out why it wasn't included.  So I headed over to the Too Faced site and realized this sheet is exclusive to them.  So naturally I had to order it and then returned the other palette to Sephora.  Because MERMAIDS!!

Too Faced Totally Cute bonus stickers

So now let's take a look at the work of Humberto Cruz, a.k.a. iscreamcolour, the 32 year-old San Diego-based artist behind these adorable illustrations.  After graduating in 2007 from the Art Institute of California in San Diego, Cruz worked at a grocery store to make ends meet.  His luck changed for the better after joining Instagram and getting the attention of major fashion designers like Jeremy Scott.  With over 26,000 (!) followers now, his prospects are definitely looking up.

Cruz has done some great editorial pieces for the likes of Nylon - I was so excited when I opened this month's issue to see his work.

Iscreamcolour - Nylon July 2016

And some wonderful illustrations for V Magazine, showing off the best looks of the week (a feature that no longer seems to exist - not sure why).  The constantly fluctuating nature of fashion, particularly in cities known for being on the cutting-edge of trends, captures Cruz's imagination.  He remarks in an interview, "It’s always changing every season. I just like the way people express themselves with clothes. Here in San Diego we don’t get to wear those things, interesting things. It’s not New York or Paris."

Iscreamcolour - Cara

Iscreamcolour - Katy Perry

Iscreamcolour - Rhianna

While these are a lot of fun, his Instagram is pure gold.  Cruz clearly shares my affinity for mermaids and cites Disney's The Little Mermaid as a favorite subject to draw when he was young.  "As a kid I was always into different characters, the Little Mermaid...I would watch the movie and pause it to draw the characters and specific scenes."

Iscreamcolour - Merboy

Iscreamcolour - mermaid and octopus

Nearly died when I saw these punk mermaids - two of my favorite things, together at last!!

Iscreamcolour - punk mermaids

Like me, he also seems to have a taste for '90s pop culture.  Since he was just a kid in the '90s, it makes sense that he includes motifs like troll dolls ("I collected them as a child and I’ve started buying them again on eBay," he says) in his illustrations, but I also love his representations of the decade's icons in general. 

Iscreamcolour - Drew Barrymore

I remember Lil Kim's 1999 VMAs outfit like it was yesterday!

Iscreamcolour - Lil Kim

Iscreamcolour - '90s supermodels

Iscreamcolour - Spice Girls

Iscreamcolour - Spice Girls

Iscreamcolour - 'N Sync

Iscreamcolour - Cher

Iscreamcolour - Romy and Michelle

Sometimes mermaids and the '90s collide, as in these '90s era photos of Leonardo DiCaprio sporting a mermaid tail.

Iscreamcolour - Leonardo DiCaprio
(all images from @iscreamcolour)

As for Cruz's fascination with stickers, he maintains that they serve as a perfect backdrop to his celebrity illustrations.  "I’ve always collected [stickers], and had them in a box. I wasn’t inspired for a few years after I was finished with school. I’m drawing celebrities, thinking what should I do with the backgrounds? Should I use my stickers? Are they going to stay there in the box forever? It’s better to look at them in a drawing," he says.  

I feel as though Cruz and I are kindred spirits - we love collecting, mermaids, and anything from the '90s.  The mark of a good collaboration is when you can tell it's a particular artist's work, but slightly modified to fit the brand they're working with.  In this case Cruz was right on the money.  Not only did he use his signature cute symbols like troll dolls and and anthropomorphic food, he incorporated other motifs so that the stickers specifically captured the playful essence of this palette and of Too-Faced as a brand.  Both the fun side of makeup in general (blue lipstick, "I wake up for makeup") and Too-Faced (images of the company's other products, a caricature of Blandino and his dog Clover, etc.) were well-represented.

What do you think?  And did you collect stickers growing up?  I did, among many other things. :)