Friday, April 29, 2011

Beauty Blogosphere 4.29.11

The latest beauty news, from head to toe.

From Head...

Falsies, clearly, are the answer.

Eyelash magic beans recalled: The FDA has issued warnings to three brand owners of eyelash growth products. RapidLash Eyelash Renewal Serum, NeuLash Eyelash Technology, and NeuveauBrow Active Eyebrow Technology were all making claims that went beyond the scope of the Cosmetics Act, promising physiological changes that would classify a product as a drug, not a cosmetic. They also contain unapproved new drugs. A sad, sad day for the sufferers of eyelash hypotrichosis, an ailment pretty much invented by Latisse.

Blushing beauties: A blush indicates that you're trustworthy, indicates research published in Emotion. "Cheeks," my junior high nickname, has been vindicated.

Conditioner, how do I love thee? It's not often that beauty products get their own poem, so Hannah Stephenson's poem "Conditioner" is a particular delight.

...To Toe...
Foot washing: Notorious lady-hater Mel Gibson says he'd give Jodie Foster a pedicure "every day of the week if I could." I sort of like the notion of him playing Mary Magdalene to Jodie-Jesus but this comment still weird me out...

Fish pedicure goes to court: Any day now the Arizona Court of Appeals will rule on the legality of fish pedicures. I don't care what you say, I still want one. 

Random shoe company pair-ups: Which one is weirder: Payless ShoeSource getting into beauty products, or Manolo Blahnik execs getting into designer milk?

Haute Cowture

...And Everything In Between
The perfume you can't smell: As a former Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab addict, I can attest to the transformative power of scent, and this profile of master perfumer Christopher Brosius is a good read. Still, I'll go on record here: If you're trying to make a perfume nobody can smell, you're kind of an asshole.

Nail polish sales expanding: UK nail polish sales have increased at twice the rate of other color cosmetics in the past five years. Increased professional visibility, longer-lasting returns than makeup, and, of course, the classic "little indulgence" in low economic times are all viable theories. Is nail polish a better economic indicator than the "lipstick index"?

Nine weird beauty inventions: Play-Doh perfume, fine. But sleep support for your breasts just seems kooky.

Psychology Today still hates feminism: A ridiculous sexist-apologist Psychology Today story on how people need "to accept the not-so-pretty fact" that some people are better-looking than others. You don't say! ("Here's the TRUTH! Finally!" wrote the friend who initially e-mailed this to me.) Do yourself a favor and don't read that piece without reading Holly's awesome takedown of it.

Standard sizing, please?: Anyone with two X chromosomes knows that clothing sizes are bullshit. So until the fashion industry finally gives up on vanity sizing altogether and comes up with a different system (waist girth? hip girth? even the numbers we have would kind of work if they made any sense), we can all make do with the body-scan technology profiled in this NYTimes article. It's come to a body scan, folks.

The beauty upsell: Great piece at Marie Claire by the always-excellent Virginia Sole-Smith of Beauty Schooled, about how budding aestheticians are groomed in the art of the salon upsell. Click on through and read it: It's rare to see a piece that's remotely critical of the beauty industry in a mainstream women's magazine (beauty ads help keep most mags afloat, even more so than fashion), so this is a win for Marie Claire, its readers, and all beauty consumers.

Korea is the new Delaware: That is, external factors make it a landing spot for people who want cheap, good plastic surgery. Chinese patients make up a third of the Korean plastic surgery market.

Shiseido sales plummet: Down 62% in net profit this quarter, the Japanese company is at least making wise moves, increasing its overseas presence to tap markets that are more stable than the domestic one.

Lauder business strategy: William Lauder, former CEO of Estee Lauder (and grandson of the grande dame herself), talks at Wharton; the edited transcript reveals its dips into masstige while still maintaining authority over customers, and how the company still tries to touch every customer—as Estee did—even if that touch is more technological than it had been previously.

Damn you, Lara Croft!: Study participants endorsed stereotypical gender roles more heavily after watching Angelina Jolie kick butt in Tomb Raider than after watching Kathy Bates kick butt in Primary Colors. So not only is it not enough to be competent and conventionally beautiful, but being both might backfire? Grody gross!

Tina's fail: I love Tina Fey. Love! Do people still say lurve? I lurve her. But she's not above criticism, and sex worker blog Tits and Sass points out that she makes some assumptions about sex workers that aren't kind (and in fact can be nasty; see "stripper bones" reference). 

Men on street harassment: From reading comments, it seems like my conclusion in yesterday's piece about complex reactions to street harassment struck a chord: We're eager to refocus the attention back to the harassers instead of keeping it on ourselves. Luckily, some men feel the same way. Hugo Schwyzer at the Good Men Project and Ben Privot of the Consensual Project give tips on how to responsibly admire a woman without objectifying her. It seems odd that we need guides to these sorts of things, but there you have it.

And, of course, the requisite royal wedding bit: Didn't we fight a war to get away from all this? Still, if you can't resist, here are three feminist-beauty-blog-approved options: 1) A totally non-snarky rundown of why we shouldn't call Kate Middleton a style icon, at Illustrator Claire; 2) What happens when adults fall for princessmania, at Never Say Diet, and 3) Designers at Estee Lauder and Jo Malone are among those who made wedding cakes inspired by today's event


  1. There have been a lot of people that are being more conscious about their appearance, partly because cosmetics have been making it big in the consumer market. Nowadays most people are considering taking up surgery, it’s good to know whether you need to under the knife or to stick with what you have.