Friday, April 5, 2013

Beauty Blogosphere 4.5.13

Since I'm only now beginning to acknowledge the reality that Google Reader is disappearing—it took me six years to deal with Prescriptives discontinuing their concealer pencil, so this is swift for me—I've also taken a good look at my blog feed and have realized it could use a renewal. I love being able to direct you to so many blogs I adore, and I'll keep doing so, but let's reverse the information flow for a bit. What blogs or news sources do you turn to for sharp, insightful takes on beauty, fashion, femininity, feminism, social criticism, or anything else that might be relevant to The Beheld?

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

Spotted on Princess Beatrice.

From Head...
Kale humor:
 Kale fascinator! I don't care if this was an April Fool's joke, I'm in. (Actually, this was a big week for kale, and possibly jokes about kale: The last question on this "do you have orthorexia?" quiz is "Do you enjoy kale?"—because clearly kale cannot be enjoyed unless one has an eating disorder. Atossa floated the idea that it's a joke, which I hope it is, but the rest of the piece is totally straight so I'm not sure. Thoughts?)

...To Toe...
Pedi protection: These look sorta silly, but they could be worse—and for impatient types comme moi, these pedicure protector shells could come in super-handy.

...And Everything In Between:
The house that soap built:
The palatial erstwhile home of James Gamble, creator of Ivory Soap and son of the original Gamble of Procter &, was demolished this week in a suburb of Cincinnati.

Family values: An Avon lady won a suit against the company after her manager told her, "If you wish to have a family life, this is not the job for you"—meaning that she was expected to put in 60 hours a week instead of the 40 she'd been doing when she was promoted to area manager. I've championed Avon and other woman-helmed cosmetics companies before for being family-friendly, so this is particularly aggravating. 

When plaintiffs cry: Prince (as in the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince) has settled a lawsuit with a company that claimed he reneged on their fragrance licensing deal.

Qu'est-ce que c'est?: Add this to the list of ways America's national girl-crush on France manifests itself: L'Oréal is attributing its recent growth to its "Made in France" line.

"Never fool with bacon": Most were amused by Procter & Gamble's April Fool's joke campaign for bacon-flavored Scope. Here are 10 people who weren't. 

Heads-up to all my Greek neo-Nazi followers: Your leader is urging you to boycott Estee Lauder products after the chairman of the board, Ronald Lauder, stated that Greece should ban Golden Dawn, the fast-growing neo-Nazi political party that enjoys a public support rating of 11.5%. If flying the flag of fascism is more important to you than buying as much M.A.C. lip liner as you damn well please—well, I can't stop you, but one of us will have nicely lined lips, and it ain't you, so just think about that, mmmkay?

Sixty-nine percent of Vikings report that ale wenches influence how they style their body hair.

Hair/style: The buried lede on this piece about how the men's personal care sector is recruiting women as spokespeople, presumably because men pretty themselves up to impress women: The new term for manscaping is body hair styling. Styling! I'm picturing love beads and beard braids à la Vikings.

Who took my body wash?: You know how men's grooming products are now suddenly huge? Turns out that what's actually new here is men buying products for men instead of just borrowing from the ladies.

On your toes: Abu Dhabi woman files complaint against a beauty salon she claims burned her toe during a pedicure. "The complainant, who is in her 20s and wears an abaya, says she shows very little of her body in public and should at least be able to show her toes. 'I want to show my toes in public and cannot ... my big toe is still red after all these months.'"

In my skin: Those of you who are in New York should check out the current show at Garis and Hahn gallery on the Lower East Side. "Borderline" is a collection featuring "an intimate examination of skin in different manifestations." Those of you who aren't in New York can read about a beauty editor's take on the show at Beautycism.

Big girl pants: Shock! Awe! Female superheroes in pants!

"This was about me being me": Britt Julious has an excellent piece on what's seen by some (including her) as an overpoliticization of black women's hair—a politicization that forgets that at the root of said politics lies the matter of personal agency. (Her follow-up is worth a read too.)

Geek alert: Get the look: Game of Thrones. (via Venusian Glow)

Gone blue: Begins as a nail polish review of a shade called BSOD—Blue Screen of Death—and ends as a mini-history of computer color graphics cards.

What a waste: This 8-foot-high sculpture made of lipstick tubes raised the Makeup Museum curator's critical eyebrow (and my own too): It's meant to raise consumer awareness of environmental waste. Yay for thinking about the impact of our purchases and all that, but choosing something as gendered as lipstick to use to illustrate the point seems...well, a little lady-blamey, oui? (Although I'd happily jump on a campaign to ban civilian Hummers, and that's pretty damn gendered too, but the environmental impact is also roughly eight gazillion times greater, so.)

Mirror challenge!: I know plenty of you reading this are bloggers, so here's your call to arms: If Kjerstin Gruys went a year without mirrors (and yours truly went a month, twice at that!), surely you can go a day without 'em and write about your experiences, right? More details here.

"Pics or it didn't happen": The rise of the "ugly selfie"—and how it's not necessarily as courageous as it might seem to post them. "More confronting than the intentionally 'ugly' selfie is the unintentionally ugly candid. If I take a picture of myself poking my tongue out, scrunching up my face, or pulling my neck in to create a double chin, it does little to threaten my sense of self or attractiveness. In some respects, it is even less threatening than a conventionally attractive 'selfie,' in which I am declaring, without explicitly saying so, that this is a photo in which I think I look good. .. But in a photo that is taken unawares, in which I am staring blankly at my computer, or standing at an unflattering angle, or just caught making a less-than-flattering expression, there is the suggestion that perhaps that is what I 'really' look like."

Speaking of selfies: Mr. Teacup muses on why we decry the narcissism of self-portraits without dropping the beauty standard that plays into that narcissism in the first place (and in doing so, brings readers to a CBC debate on the topic—which is all well and good and features Sarah Nicole Prickett, who consistently has interesting things to say, but given that so much of the criticism about selfies is directed toward women, I can't help but wonder why she was the only female guest panelist. Picky, I know, but that's me).

Speaking of selfies again: Blisstree's Carrie Murphy has a crankily hilarious post about the tin-ear pitches she gets from plastic surgery PR folks. (One of which involved tips from a plastic surgeon on how to look better in selfies. Presumably at least one of the tips is, Get plastic surgery?)

One less worry: Taking "empowering" beyond a buzzword about beauty and fashion, here's Sally: "We live in a world that frequently evaluates women based on our looks and, if those looks are found to be somehow lacking, dismisses us. ... To help women have one less thing to worry about as they chase their dreams, rise to power, or express their creativity is to help them tap a vast reservoir of potential."


  1. Hey Autumn - what's already in your blog feed? I'm collecting blogs myself at the moment, so we can share!

    1. The main ones I rely on are the ones that I link to all the time--Already Pretty, The Reluctant Femme, What Would Phoebe Do, Britticisms, this cool blog from this chick who didn't look in the mirror for a year... I'm planning on exporting my feed to wherever I go once Google Reader ends for good, and will send you the XML document when I do so!

  2. Man, I sympathize about Reader. I had a hard time even believing that they would chuck a product that was literally the gold standard for its genre. Boo Google.

    I've shifted to feedly, and it's going reasonably well so far. I do like that it lets you scan headlines without necessarily marking them all as read right away.

    Some favorite blogs, in no particular order:

    Already Pretty (of course)
    Ana Mardoll's Ramblings
    Super Kawaii Mama
    Love, Joy, Feminism
    Gala Darling

    1. Awesome, Zadi! I used to read Shakesville and then it fell off my radar, glad for the reminder--and I haven't heard of a couple of these, so I'm excited to visit! And that was the one thing I didn't like about Google Reader, that--ha, I just double-checked and you can indeed mark articles as unread. Well, maybe more people would've used Reader if such features were promoted more, ha! In any case, thank you for the recommendations.

  3. Finish Line Teams Up With Macy's

    Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ:FINL) reported earnings on Friday of 10 cents per Jordan Spizike share. Removing start up costs at Macy's the company earned 20 cents per share, ahead of the 16 cents analysts had been looking for. Revenue increased 10% year over year to $351.1 million and the company continues to guide for a mid single digit increase in earnings in fiscal 2014. The company ended the quarter with 652 stores and sales at stores opened at least one year climbed 2.4% year over year. Much like Nike's (NYSE:NKE) Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Womens earnings the day before the company saw strength in the running and basketball categories. During the quarter the company repurchased 366,000 shares at a cost of $6.8 million and still has 4.6 million shares remaining on the current repurchase plan.

    Finish Line went live at Macy's, Inc, (NYSE:M) during the first quarter and now has 60 Finish Line shops opened at Macy's, with 11 opening this past week. The company remains on track to have 180 Finish Line branded shops at Macy's by the end of the fiscal year. The digital business at Macy's also launched in May with the company saying it is off to a good start. Finish Line Jordan 7 is particularly excited about capturing a female demographic at Macy's that would not normally shop in its stores. The Macy's plan for Finish Line does present risks as the company undertakes such a big project to open the branded shops as the company hopes to ramp Nike Air Max 2010 Mens up openings to 40 to 50 per month. However I believe management has been on track this far and Air Max 90 teaming up with Macy's, on the best retailers around, will only help Finish Line pull this off. Interestingly the company said at malls where the Macy's shops are open sales at the Finish Line stores in the same malls are outperforming the rest of the Finish Line chain. While management did not have an explanation for this it could indicate that being in Macy's is introducing the Finish Line brand to a new group of customers. It could also be implied customers are having a positive experience with Finish Line at Macy's if they are then visiting the Finish Line stores as well.

    Finish Line's long term goal is to reach $2.2 billion in sales within 4 years with Macy's adding $250 to $300 million. This represents a CARG of just over 11%. Furthermore the company hopes to drive EPS growth in the low teens over that time driven by the revenue growth and share buybacks. The company has no debt and cash represents about 20% of the stock price.

    Finish Line appears undervalued compared with some of its peers; it has the lowest PEG ratio and lowest EV/EBITDA ratio in this group but also has the fastest growth rate. When you look at Finish Line compared to its larger rival Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) its valuation appears near equal with Finish Line having a slightly higher Forward P/E and Foot Locker having a slightly higher EV/EBITDA. With Finish Line's higher growth rate and the possibility of Macy's exceeding expectations Finish Line could soon trade at a premium to its peers.

    (click to enlarge)

    From the chart of Finish Line you can see the stock was in a down trend thru the end of last year before finding support and now putting together a nice uptrend over the past two months. The stock appears to have support just about $20 Nike Air Max Humara Mens per share and could be ready to make its next move higher.