Friday, June 17, 2011

Beauty Blogsophere 6.17.11

The latest beauty news, from head to toe and everything in between.

From Head...
Behind Bare Minerals: Nice profile of mineral-makeup guru Leslie Blodgett. I'd argue that the piece overstates the revolution of mineral makeup (is it really that different than regular makeup? Or am I wearing it wrong?), and the comparisons to Estee Lauder are a little baffling, but it's an interesting read nonetheless.

 Sic McGruff on pedicure bandits!


...To Toe...
Nailed!: What's up with all the pedicure fraud lately? Between the Muncie, Indiana, pedicure bandit and the Great Park Slope Nail Salon Freakout, pedicurists are getting shafted. For shame!

Foot fault: The pedicure that nearly killed Serena Williams.

...And Everything In Between:
Men and beauty purchases: That ever-reliable source of meticulous research, MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, released a study about how grooming products are the #1 item purchased by men online, beating out tech. Forgive me for being a tad skeptical of the research methods here, but clearly something is going on here. Are men buying more body products online because they're embarrassed to be buying bath gel in person?

Beauty sales rising:
Mass products fared somewhat better than prestige cosmetics in Q1, though prestige skin care easily beat gains from mass products. Let's call a victory for those pricey cosmeceuticals, shall we? 

Poker/Face: Estee Lauder facility on Long Island may become casino operated by Shinnecock Nation. 

Lush wants everyone to kiss and makeup.

Lush "Kiss and Tell" event in support of same-sex marriage rights: I am thrilled to see a cosmetics company taking action on an issue that's actually controversial. Once upon a time, breast cancer research was controversial. It's still important, but I tend to view corporations whose "women's issues" begin and end with pink ribboning with skepticism. Like WOW you're really taking a stand, aren't you?! So if you're near a Lush store on June 18, join the protest! Head on over with your partner at 11:38 a.m. local time (U.S.A. and Canada only)—1138 being symbolic of the number of marriage rights that are denied to same-sex couples under current law—and smooch!
 

Social media marketing: How ladybloggers yakking about Secret Clinical Strength proved a success for Procter & Gamble. Yikes!   

Beauty and the veil: Student project from a media literacy class at the American University of Beirut about veiled women and beauty. Things get interesting around 2:40, when we start to hear from Lebanese men and veiled Lebanese women about the signals the veil sends in regards to beauty and desire. Actually, the whole thing is interesting—I've heard so many stories of "...and in the Middle East CURVY women are considered BEAUTIFUL!" that I sometimes fall into the trap of "Orientalizing" body image and beauty concerns. This was a good reminder that not only are American beauty standards being heavily exported, but that each culture will interpret these standards in their own way.

Tila Tequila and root causes of eating disorders: Tila Tequila is (sort of) shedding light on an essential aspect of eating disorders that's often overlooked, especially when discussing their prevalence among professional beauties. "I put pressure on myself to constantly eat, but once I put pressure on myself, that's when eating is no longer a ‘natural’ thing to do for me and ironically becomes the opposite," she said in Radar Online. It gets to the idea of EDs being about control, not thinness, which is essential to an understanding of the disease.


Udderly gorgeous! Moo-tiful! Alert Hugh Heifer! (It's been a long week, okay?)

Cattle contest is so pageant: I'm not particularly into the whole Sexual Politics of Meat angle, though I think it's an interesting-enough discussion. That said, this piece at Der Spiegel about a dairy show, which the magazine terms a beauty pageant for cows, gave me the heebie-jeebies. (THAT said, a personal bit of trivia is that as a young 4-Her I had a flair for beef cattle judging, and I can tell you from personal experience that there is absolutely no wink wink nudge nudge about judging cattle. It is as earnest an activity as you will ever find.) 

Barbie-blaming: The F-Word takes on Greenpeace's campaign against Barbie as responsible for deforestation because of her packaging. "Were Greenpeace to roll out a complementary campaign featuring Action Man or GI Joe being court-martialled for his rampages through the rainforest...it would be an even-handed address....No such campaign exists."

Nail salon history: The contemporary history of the nail salon is the history of the Vietnam war, as shown in this article that traces the growth of Vietnamese-owned nail salons from mass emigration in the 1970s to today. New York might not be representative, but at the salons in my neighborhood, workers tend to be either Asian (usually Chinese or Korean) or Latin American. Given the slowing of Vietnamese immigration and the increase in Latin American immigration, I wouldn't be surprised to see more Latina-owned salons within the decade.

Chewable toothpaste: Effin' brilliant workaround for liquids restrictions on flights.

Shopping style: Sally at Already Pretty asks if you're a lone shopper or a pack shopper. I'm interested in how one's preference might translate to attitudes toward appearance—I always shop alone, and besides just being a solitary sort of person in general, I've wondered before if my need to shop alone has to do with my self-consciousness. It's one thing to be self-conscious, quite another to have someone witness it so up-close. shopping with others but it's because I feel so self-conscious about someone knowing I'm looking at myself.

Facebook fast:
Courtney at Those Graces quit Facebook when she saw her self-perception changing—check out her self-portraits (none of which look phony to me, but which don't) to see what she means. "Instead of being me, I became the image of who I thought I was." Social media can indeed function as a mirror, in other words.

Feminist fashion bloggers on women in the media: Awesome collection of posts on women in the media, all from members of Feminist Fashion Bloggers (and beauty bloggers too!). Historical media criticism, a no-no to ecofeminist representations, tired old tropes, "Hollywood ugly", representations of feminism in the media, depictions of indigenous women (which, as a part Caddo woman who looks white and therefore doesn't get the tiptoe-around I might if looked more Indian, particularly resonated with me). 

Duff!: Remember Duff? She's also a writer, and she now has a column in the New York Daily News—fashion, beauty, and, yes, "aging gracefully," but her spin aims to be fresh, funny, and inclusive. This is a woman who has been included on People's Worst Dressed list, so it'd better be.

5 comments:

  1. I think men are more likely to buy skin stuff online, not necessarily because they are embarrassed (maybe that too), but because it's so convenient. Most men don't like to shop – wild generalisation of course, but it's true enough that retailers take a lot of trouble to ensure men can buy what they need without getting turned off by having to go up three floors, or whatever.

    Also, men probably don't grow up absorbing information about cosmetics in the way we do. So if/when they decide they could use some moisturiser, they might need to do some research, rather than just walking into Boots and picking a jar off the shelf. Which takes them fairly naturally online, and to online retailers.

    At any rate, my own husband gets a large-ish box from Mankind every few months, containing his own fairly elaborate array of Products. I can't imagine him ever buying this stuff in person; he'd see it as a very arduous experience indeed. (Aside: I find men's cosmetics marketing/packaging enormously entertaining. It's all so carefully butchified. Exfoliator? *Scruffing* lotion! And so on.)

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  2. Personally mineral make up completely changed my skin and without meaning to be melodramatic has improved my confidence unbelievably. My acne totally cleared up and I felt so good about myself within a month of making the switch to Inika (I don't work for them, promise!!). So for me, I don't feel they can overstate it at all!

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  3. Woollythinker, good point(s). Certainly the array of products can overwhelm even me, who has been reading about this stuff for my entire adult life, so I imagine that for people (men or women) who haven't had that background they could really use the at-home comfort while they're doing some basic research. And certainly men aren't socialized to enjoy shopping--I don't like clothes shopping, but I can indeed spend far too long in the lotions aisle, and I do derive pleasure from it.

    Roisin, that's fantastic! I didn't know that could be a benefit of using mineral makeup, actually. I wonder if it's because it's natural, or because it's a particular kind of mineral? I'm glad to hear that it's not just some marketing spin.

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