Friday, November 4, 2011

Beauty Blogosphere: 11.4.11

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.

Clockwise from top left: eyeshadow app or police brutality?; the tiny tiny woman who lives inside Beyoncé;
fears of a clown; what did ever happen to Baby Jane?

From Head...
All made up: Meet the man responsible for all those makeover apps. Here's to hoping he wasn't behind the Beyoncé matroyshka effect that serves as the pièce de résistance in writer Lindsay Goldwert's photo collection of makeup apps gone wrong.

...To Toe...
Tootsie: Another reason to show off your pedicure with bare feet: You won't be mistaken for a mama cannibal. (Not that cannibalism would do anyone any good anyway.)

...And Everything In Between:
Land of smiles: Thailand is well-posed in the beauty industry because of its biodiversity and the growth of the call for natural products—it's expecting a 10%-15% increase this year alone. Here's to hoping a beauty boon can help offset some of the damage caused by recent massive flooding.

Avon not calling: Between corruption charges in its Asian arm and tumbling sales, Avon hasn't been doing so hot, and the New York Times questions whether it's time for CEO Andrea Jung to hand over the reins.

Occupy skin cream: A small skin-care line is urging us to "occupy" the beauty industry by supporting small lines started by women "who were fed up with products that didn't work" instead of the Citibanks of the beauty industry like Estee Lauder and Revlon. 

Lipstick philanthropy: The Helena Rubinstein Foundation, after nearly 60 years and $130 million in charitable distribution, is closing its doors.

A peek inside cosmetics law: Apparently product names can takes years to clear, trademark-wise? Wondering how Lancome got the Bureau of Consular Affairs to approve Shimmer Mocha Havana.

Can men handle being ogled? Well, women have been handling it with aplomb for centuries; surely the old boys are up to the challenge?

Apple man: Did Steve Jobs have disordered eating? Certainly his habits point toward yes—an apples-and-carrots diet for weeks on end, for example—but reading about his peculiarities makes me wonder how exactly we defined "disordered eating." Does suffering need to be a component?

"How do you spell 'Ms.'"?: Wonderful oral history of Ms. magazine, collated by the daughter of one of the founders. A personal note: Ms. was the first magazine to issue me a paycheck, making the 23-year-old me just about die when I found myself sitting in a real-life honest-to-God meeting with Gloria Steinem, who is just as awesome as you'd expect her to be. This article, in the same issue of New York, about the feminist blogosphere ain't bad either. Ladybloggers represent!

Boxing day: Speaking of Ms., they're the ones who bring us this piece about the Amateur International Boxing Association recommending its female competitors wear skirts, to distinguish them from the men. I think this is bollocks (though at least it's not the Lingerie Football League, which Fit and Feminist beams her laser focus at this week), but there's also a part of me that thinks the fact that women aren't otherwise distinguishable from men sort of proves that "not bad for a girl" might be on its way out? High hopes, people, high hopes.

East meets west: The communist-era Prague metro is now a "virtual drugstore."

Prague officially the land of the future: Commuters in Zlata Praha can buy shampoo, razors, and other goods at the "virtual drugstore" in certain metro stations by scanning codes with their smartphones; the wares are then delivered to their door by mail.
Skweez me: Karen Duffy reviews shapewear, and isn't afraid to name names. (Spanx may have the highest brand equity, but it's far from the highest quality, it seems.)

Fair fashion: One of the earliest makeup lines for women of color, Fashion Fair, is revamping its image.

Bathroom bounty: British women have £964 million of unused skin care products in their bathrooms. Unsurprisingly, the number of failed products dwindles with age, making me want to act like a 60-year-old and clean my bathroom shelves already.

Equal-opportunity eating disorders: Adios Barbie on the LGBT community and eating disorders: Gay and bisexual men are at increased risk for eating disorders, while lesbian and bisexual women suffer at the same rate as hetero women.

Calling all angels: Beauty Redefined questions Victoria's Secret tagline, "We are redefining what it means to be sought after." I'm not sure which is more upsetting: the possibility that the tagline is wrong because VS is obviously not adding anything new to the conversation, or the possibility that the tagline is right and there's more redefinition to come.

How little is enough? Verging on Serious examines the Minimum Effective Dose—of exercise, of makeup, of blogging, all of which are dear to my heart, and all of which I do just enough of to be able to live my rightfully slothful life.

By the numbers: I'm usually a tad wary of "here's what I weigh" information, though I understand the arguments in favor of transparency, and enjoy My Body Gallery. In any case, the way Already Pretty presents her measurements is done in such a way as to show why the measurements tell us nothing, even when they're all laid out as they are in her post. "This post shows how little you know about someone just by looking at them, and how body stats actually provide scant additional, relevant information.... And even though you’ve now got a whole bunch of details about my body, you still don’t know everything. ... You know the stats, but you don’t know the story." 

About face: The Jaunty Dame follows up her inspirational "photo philosophy" post with photos not just of herself completely bare-faced, but with her Halloween-ish alter ego, reminding us that we all "perform for a live audience nearly every day." Is your costume comfortable?  

Girl army: Virginia questions the underlying message of the potential Army ban on French manicures and ponytails: "So what does it mean when the strongest woman in the US military agrees that displaying overt signs of femininity might impact a female officer's perceived strength as a leader?"

Nose jobbed: Dress With Courage looks at the connection between body dysmorphic disorder and nose jobs. Much of the talk about BDD surrounds the body, but in fact it's a fixation on any part of one's physical presence. Sadly, I'm unsurprised by the findings Elissa expounds upon here—43% of rhinoplasty patients have BDD.


  1. Gee, what will I do with all this fame? =)

    Let's hear it for the Minimum Effective Dose!

    I doubt anyone in boxing is worried about "distinguishing" women from men as much as they're interested in sexing up women's boxing, a la the proposed badminton uniforms Caitlin and this article referenced.

    The last line of Karen Duffy's article is "And remember, outside of every thin woman, there is a fat man trying to get in." It left me speechless.

  2. I'm sorry, my brain short-circuited when I got to the part about you getting to meet Gloria Steinem. Holy crap!

    Also, that link about the possible Army ban on manicures and ponytails is interesting in light of that other research that says women are taken more seriously if they wear make-up. Which is it? Do make-up and cosmetics make us seem weak and frivolous or competent and respectable? Someone help me navigate the world of gender norms, because I can't do it myself!

    P.S. Thanks again for more link love. You are beyond kind. :)

  3. HAHA! You're rightful, slothful existance is MINE TOO!


    Can't wait to read all of these. I always comment first on Friday, cuz I know once I start clicking links I will get lost in the interwebs...

    Thanks for the shoutout MAMA!

  4. CRAP FACTORY. Typed too fast. Sorry. Your. Not You're. Grr.

  5. Rebekah, yeah, the "distinguishing" line doesn't play too well. (Which makes it a nice pair for "...there's a fat may trying to get in." Which makes no sense!)

    Caitlin, I truly just about died when I met her. I took six books with me when I moved to NYC and three of them were hers! In any case, the makeup finding is contradictory. I actually differ from Virginia a bit in this--just knowing how much the military enforces conformity (my father was an Army brat), I really see it as an extension of that and frankly not much more. But the juxtaposition is interesting.

    Cameo, but of course!

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