Friday, June 14, 2013

Beauty Blogosphere 6.14.13

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

Together, we can find a cure for Bitchy Resting Face.

From Head...
It's an epidemic: Do you suffer from Bitchy Resting Face? (Actually, I suffer from Friendly Resting Face. Anyone else?)

...To Toe...
Foot fetish:
Shoes made out of romance novels.

...And Everything In Between:
Model citizens:
This is enormous news in the fashion world: New York state passed a bill that extends child labor protection to models under 18. Hard to believe they didn't enjoy the protections offered to other underage performers—thus, among other things, forcing girls to choose between their careers and finishing high school—but they didn't, until now. Congrats to the dedicated team at Model Alliance, the organization behind the bill.

Ladies first: The wardrobe of China's first lady is scrutinized just as carefully as we do for our own FLOTUS—but for different reasons. The incomes of public officials aren't publicly divulged, leading people to do their own calculations as to their leaders' capital—and Peng Liyuan's impeccable style is leaving her husband vulnerable to charges of corruption.

Big enough for the britches: The CEO of Lululemon stepped down this week, with a terribly un-Lululemon statement: "I am not the culture of Lululemon. Everyone is the culture of Lululemon." (Ayn Rand would be so disappointed!) Who will succeed her is anyone's guess; Forbes predicts Lululemon will make an Estee-Lauder-type move and hire someone with international experience, as the yogawear company has designs on Asia.

Bovine law: The creators of Cleopatra's Enzymatic Milk Lotion, aka raw milk illegally marketed as cosmetics to exploit a legal loophole that allows unpasteurized milk to be sold if it's "not for human consumption," were found guilty of civil contempt.

Click click: Could Amazon take a serious cut into department stores' market shares of high-end brands? It makes sense logically, but I'd be surprised if consumers are as eager to buy fancy makeup online as we are to buy, say, books. Part of what you're paying for with expensive products (actually, most of what you're buying) is the illusion of care and luxury that comes along with the product. Much as I hate being under the scrutiny of cosmetics salesfolk, I also can't see myself feeling as satisfied with an expensive lipstick that comes in a little cardboard box as opposed to when it comes drowning in tissue paper tucked into an elegant little bag.

"You Can Touch My Hair": From what I've read from black women writers, this question begins early in their lives...and never ends. (I'm guessing that even shaving it off doesn't bring relief.) Enter this performance art piece from hair site Un-Ruly in which three black women with varying hair textures held signs reading "You Can Touch My Hair" in public spaces. As Baze Mpinja at Beautycism puts it, "Although I’m sick of the never-ending politicization of black women’s hair...[t]he Un’ruly team has taken something offensive and turned it into a teaching moment."

Eating disorder prevention's newest advocate.

Metal health: At first I was almost amused by the person currently scouting subjects for a documentary on eating disorders: Shawn "Clown" Crahan, percussionist for metal band Slipknot. But the more I think about it, the more metal it really is: I'm constantly saying how we need to remember that EDs don't just haunt young white girls, but part of diversity is subcultural diversity too. You might expect eating disorders to dwell in sorority houses, not metal shows—but they do. Bonus points to Crahan for specifically seeking men to profile.

One word: Know what makes microbead skin care products beady? Plastics. Know what's bad for the environment? Plastics.

Feminist beauty: I'm-a just gonna cosign everything Refinery 29's beauty director Annie Tomlin—whom I first met as an intern at Ms. magazine—says here. It's funny: When each of us first realized that another of our fellow Ms.ers had gone on to work in beauty, we had a laugh at the irony. But as Annie shows, the more you think about it, the more it makes perfect sense.

Want my job?: In other me-me-me career-ish news, budding writers/bloggers who like what I do here should check out this Q&A with me at I Want Her Job, a fantastic site that does in-depth interviews with women in a variety of careers. A side note: I first crossed paths with the founder of I Want Her Job, Brianne Burrowes, when she was a teen contributor to the teen magazine I worked for at my first gig. Her drive stood out to me and I loved to share my burgeoning knowledge with her. We kept in touch over the years—I watched her go from journalism student to Seventeen intern to editor of her alma mater's alumni magazine (when she'd barely graduated herself!) to founder of the wonderfully inspirational I Want Her Job. To see someone I informally mentored make a name for herself in what amounts to a valuable mentorship tool is deeply satisfying. My point here: Mentor, mentor, mentor! And ask to be mentored! Something I began to trust around age 35 is that mentorship doesn't just have to be a matter of established-person-helping-younger-person, nor does it have to be a formal mentorship. I mourned not having had a formal mentor until I started to look around me and realized I had several mentors in various guises.

We're so vain: Yes, yes, the Abercrombie & Fitch dude is a jackass, what with their company's sizing policy. But as Kjerstin Gruys points out, when we respond approvingly to vanity sizing, we're a part of the problem. (Personally, I hate vanity sizing. I'm 5'7", medium-framed, and muscular; if company X sizes me at a "small" I'm just annoyed that I have to go grab another size that's supposed to make me feel all dainty and petite. And if I'm small what are my slender 5'1" friends? Extra-Lilliputian? Criminy.)

Summer breeze: The gentlemanly conductors of a Stockholm commuter train company that has a policy against male employees wearing shorts even in the summer have rebelled by wearing bottoms that are allowed: skirts. (via Shybiker) Related: Why aren't Utilikilts more popular? 

Skin food: As someone who once used a cocoa-cinnamon-cornstarch combo as dry shampoo, I salute XOVain's Lauren for her worthy endeavor of attempting to make a tinted moisturizer with Cetaphil and Ghirardelli.

Pixies plus: There's a hair catch-22 going on: How is a plus-size woman supposed to estimate whether a pixie cut would look good if nobody modeling a pixie cut is plus-sized? Sure, it's easy to say, "Just get the cut you want!" but the fact is, an ill-fitting haircut can sting. But another fact is, with modifications most haircuts work on most people. And that includes pixies and heavy ladies.


  1. I don't usually watch videos but the Bitchy Resting Face one was hilarious. Thanks for the link. Oh, and thanks also for the mention! That story deserves wide circulation.

  2. Thank you for the shout-out, A. I couldn't agree with you more on the importance of a mentor. Thank you for being one of mine.

  3. Friendly resting face is SUCH a problem for me. I get people smiling back at me when I'm walking around pissed off.

  4. Regarding the pixie plus, I know a girl who wanted short hair but as she was overweight all the hairdressers refused to cut her hair that short. One day she was quiet angry and explained the hairdresser that with short or long hair her waist circumference will remain the same. She got her hair cut and never looked back again. At first we were shocked but then we realize that was her best decision! NO short hair for overweight people is like tip #1 on scissors 101 books, but sometimes books are wrong.

  5. Regarding ordering luxury cosmetic products online, Sephora does a pretty good job with this, and Birchbox as well. Even though it comes in a cardboard box and not a fancy little shopping bag, it does usually still have plenty of tissue paper and beautifully designed packaging, not to mention lots of little samples thrown in for good measure. Fun mail, and the comfort of your own house!

  6. I definitely have Bitchy Resting Face; people have told me my whole life that I look mad. For a long time, I tried to cultivate what I thought was an acceptably happy face, but now that I'm closing in on 40, I really could not care less what people think! I love getting older!

  7. Lululemon in Asia? Oh, that's...odd, considering the founder allegedly named the company that because he thought it was funny to picture Japanese tourists saying it.
    Also, I'm puzzled as to why we need microbeads so I'm glad there's pressure to get rid of them. Sugar and salt make much better exfoliators!

  8. The info on China's first lady's wardrobe is readily available in Chinese new sites. She wore the works by a Chinese designer Ma Ke 马可(just like how Michelle Obama picked Jason Wu).

    The reasons Taobao (like a hybrid of eBay+Amazon) blocked such terms is that whenever some Chinese celebrity shows up in an event in certain luxury brand clothes, the sellers on
    Taobao would start counterfeiting the style and tag the clothes as what-name-of-celebrity-wore on such event. They obviously don't want something like that (people making money off a first-lady's image) happen to a high-ranked official's wife...

    I feel a little bad that the American press had to link everything to corruption, just because they couldn't find something on Taobao (they didn't even try searching the phrase on search engines).