MM summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

I understand that the summer 2018 exhibition themes are, once again, not original or thought-provoking, but they definitely got me dreaming of lazing in a hammock under some palm trees on a tropical island filled with exotic colorful birds.  Flamingos and palm trees as well as a pink and green color scheme appear to be everywhere this year, even more so than in past seasons, and I wanted to celebrate these trends with some of the most summery makeup we've ever seen. Consider 2018 an updated version of the Museum's 2015 jungle/safari themed exhibition, that, astonishingly enough, does not contain a single mermaid!  I'll be sharing all the images that inspired me in a follow-up post, but for now let's feast our eyes on some pretties.

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Makeup Museum summer 2018 exhibition

Top row, left to right.

I'm very intrigued by this vintage Bulgarian face powder box and sample packet.  And while I'm not a fan of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, I think the April Vogue cover made a perfect modern example of advertising's love affair with pretty birds.  (See also these images of Jennifer Lawrence and Liz Taylor, as well as this 1957 Harper's cover.)

Ideal face powder, ca. 1930s

Ideal face powder, ca. 1930s

Vogue April 2018 cover

Exhibition label

I believe this is the first time I've worked in a print by an illustrator in an exhibition.  This print by Kendra Dandy pairs well with some of the pieces from the Charlotte Tilbury/Norman Parkinson collection.  I've been a fan of Kendra's since I discovered her via an Anthropologie collection a few years ago, and I'm still kicking myself about not getting anything from it (especially the flamingo-printed lip balm, which would have been perfect for this exhibition.)  Fortunately she consistently puts out amazing illustrations so I'm at least able to buy those.

Palm trees

Charlotte Tilbury x Norman Parkinson

Sunny Palms print by Kendra Dandy

Exhibition label

Vintage Rex palm tree compact (ca. 1950s) and Woodbury Tropic Tan ad:

Woodbury and Rex

Vintage Rex palm tree compact

Woodbury Tropic Tan ad, 1949

These flamingo-themed Violet Voss and Nomad palettes were a total surprise, which is one of the reasons I had to delay the exhibition launch.  It was worth it though.  :)  I know they look very cramped but I really wanted them on the same shelf since they're both new and by indie brands.

Violet Voss flamingo palette

Nomad Antilles palette

Second row, left to right.

Sephora lipstick case and Paul & Joe Face and Eye Colors:

Paul & Joe / Sephora

Sephora Coconut Grove lipstick

Paul & Joe

Exhibition label

I adore the packaging for this new Japanese line (look at the little flamingo tracks!), but the story behind its creation is interesting too. 

Astalift

Astalift Highlighter

Exhibition label

I love the palm tree pattern of the By Terry palette, it's so elegant.  The ArtDeco items are actually from last fall, but they read more summer to me.  I ordered the Beauty Box Trio and the Blush Couture so the embossing on the blush and design on the outer cases are visible at the same time, but unfortunately they screwed up my order so I'm still waiting for the Beauty Box Trio.

By Terry Sun Designer palette and ArtDeco Beauty of Nature

Art Deco Beauty of Nature Blush Couture

I'm so pleased that Collecting Vintage Compacts and "Cap'n Rexall" (the author of this blog) had the full story on Jonteel.  And when I say full story, I mean they were somehow able to track down every bit of information on this vintage line.  As always, I weep at the fact that I will never come close to this level of research.

Jonteel ad, 1921

Jonteel ad, 1921

Jonteel face powder

Exhibition label

Third row, left to right.

Another print by Kendra Dandy, I just couldn't resist!  Looks right at home next to these Pai Pai and Etude House lipstick cases.

Lash Flamingo print by Kendra Dandy

Lash Flamingo print by Kendra Dandy

Etude House and Pai Pai lipstick cases

Etude House and Pai Pai lipstick cases

Exhibition label

LM Ladurée blush container:

LM Ladurée

Exhibition label

Here's the palm-tastic Urban Decay Beached collection...well, not the whole lineup since there is a bronzer with palm trees on it as well, but I didn't want to invest any more in this collection.

Urban Decay Beached

How cute is this Dorothy Gray ad?!  The Stratton compact is lovely but I also really appreciate the kitschy vibe of the hand-painted souvenir compact.  If I were a tourist in the golden age of compacts I definitely would have gotten one from every destination I visited.

1946 Dorothy Gray ad

Vintage flamingo compacts

Bottom row, left to right.

Wet 'n' Wild Flights of Fancy items and Morphe Babe in Paradise palette:

Wet-n-wild

Exhibition label

Another vintage powder box which admittedly I bought before trying to come up with information on it.  Alas, I wasn't able to find much save for a couple of newspaper ads.  But the design is just too exquisite to pass up.

Zuané powder box

Zuané powder

Zuané powder ad, 1932

Exhibition label

Clarins 2017 and 2018 bronzers:

Clarins bronzers

Exhibition label

Why Paul & Joe is recycling a print from their 2016 spring collection I don't know, but it was a good fit for this year's summer exhibition.

Paul & Joe lip collection

Paul & Joe

Exhibition label

And that concludes the summer 2018 exhibition!  Any favorite items? 

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A lipstick is forever: Tattoo

Around this time 2 years ago I got my first tattoos.  In honor of that momentous occasion, I thought I'd take a look at a vintage brand that featured some truly wild advertising.  I had come across Tattoo years ago, as well as its sister line Savage, and was immediately struck by the images used in their ads and on the products themselves.  I managed to snag two of the ads, as well as the lipstick case and rouge container.  Given their tropical feel I had originally intended on including them in the summer exhibition, but upon closer inspection I decided against it.  Let's see why, shall we?

Sadly I was unable to make out the name of the illustrator who created the imagery on this one.  It's something with an R, but beyond that I'm completely lost.

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1934

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1934

This one is by John LaGatta (1894-1977), and as you can tell by the publication name and spelling of "colour", appeared in a British magazine.

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1938

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1938

Tattoo lipstick

Tattoo lipstick

Tattoo rouge compact

Tattoo rouge compact

As with Po-go Rouge, the compact is teeny compared to today's blushes. 

Tattoo rouge

The puff is imprinted with the same design.

Tattoo rouge puff

There was another compact with "U.S.A." inscribed beneath the Tattoo name.  (Of course, I totally forgot I had this one and ended up with two...I could be wrong, but I don't think the "U.S.A." imprint presents any real significance; I believe it's just a slight change in production.)

Tattoo rouge compact

There was also a difference in the bottoms of the compacts.  The one with U.S.A. on the front doesn't have any inscription on the back.  Again, I don't think there's any real significance to this, just a negligible difference in the manufacturing.

Tattoo rouge compacts

What IS an interesting difference, however, is an alternate design on the lipstick and rouge.  It appears these were sold around the same time as the more commonly seen design.  It may have been a mini version, but I'm not sure.

Tattoo lipstick
(image from pinterest)

Tattoo rouge compact(image from pinterest)

This is the only ad I found in which the alternate design appeared.  It's from 1947, so maybe it only showed up towards the end of Tattoo's reign (the latest newspaper ad for Tattoo was from September 1949).

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1947(image from pinterest)

However, the shade I own is Coral Sea, which was trademarked in 1946.  So maybe this wasn't new packaging after all.

Tattoo lipstick in Coral Sea

Tattoo Coral Sea patent
(image from tsdrapi.uspto.gov)

I also own a Savage powder box, which you might remember from this post and then its later appearance in the 2015 summer exhibition.  I deeply regret including it now.

Vintage Savage blush

Vintage Savage blush

I don't have the complete story of Tattoo/Savage, but thanks to Collecting Vintage Compacts and what I was able to cobble together from old newspaper ads, the lines were introduced in the early 1930s by James Leslie Younghusband, a Canadian military/stunt pilot turned Chicago-based businessman.  Younghusband was the brains behind another "indelible" lipstick line called Kissproof, which he invented in 1923.  Despite its poisonous ingredients, the lipstick was sold until the early 1940s.  I'm not sure why Younghusband felt compelled to develop not one but two "permanent" lipstick brands while Kissproof was still being sold, since I've compared the copy from the Tattoo and Savage ads to the Kissproof ones and all touted them as long-wearing lipsticks that were also comfortable to wear - formula-wise, there doesn't seem to be much difference.  The author of Collecting Vintage Compacts has promised a second installment about Younghusband and the launch of Tattoo and Savage so I'll update this post with additional information, but in the meantime I wanted to share some thoughts and other questions I have about these lines. 

First, I'm not going to dance around the obvious here: there's no way any company could get away with this sort of fetishizing of "exotic" people and cultures today.  The ads and product design certainly are eye-catching - who wouldn't want to wear colors inspired by a tropical paradise? -  but when you look closely and read the ad copy, you realize how racist they are.  Tattoo and Savage represent the pinnacle of white men's fantasies about "native" women's sexuality, which in their minds is completely untamed and animal-like.  By wearing lipstick shades appropriated from these "uncivilized" cultures, white ladies can show off their racy side while still adhering to traditional American/European standards of female decorum.  Take, for example, the copy in this ad.  "From South Sea maidens, whom you know as the most glamorous women on earth, comes the secret of making and keeping lips excitingly lovely and everlastingly youthful.  In that land where romance is really real, you'll naturally find no coated, pasty lips.  Instead, you'll find them gorgeously tattooed!  Not with a needle, but with a sweet, exotic red stain made from the berries of the passion-fruit...Tattoo is the civilized version of this marvelous idea."  Yes, it's so very uncivilized to wear a lip stain made of crushed berries - only cavewomen do that!1

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1935

Savage is even more blatantly racist, highlighting the fact that their colors were inspired by "primitive, savage love".

Savage lipstick ad, 1934

And their reds are "paganly appealing hues that stir the senses...rapturous, primitive reds, each as certainly seductive as a jungle rhythm."  Bonus points for this ad linking "wickedness" to indigenous cultures.

Savage ad, 1935

The Tattoo ads (including the two I own) feature a variety of tan-skinned women catering to pale white women, imagery that dates back at least to the Renaissance and is still used today in an effort to make a scene appear "historically accurate."  You'll  notice that these particular women are depicted in stereotypical garb that existed solely in white people's imaginations, i.e. hula skirts and flower necklaces.  And just to further the idea of their supposedly insatiable lust, they are also shown topless. Women of color are reduced to othered, highly sexualized props whose only purpose is to serve white women.  (Somewhat unrelated, but if you want to take a gander at the lipstick display shown in this ad, you can see it here.  I remember one popped up on ebay a couple years ago with an starting bid of a mere $199.99.)

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1935

Tattoo "Hawaiian" ad, 1935

Tattoo "Hawaiian" ad, 1935

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1937

Tattoo ad, 1936-37

This is another one by LaGatta. 

Tattoo ad, 1937(image from pinterest)

More proof:  the ideal "Tattoo girl" was white and blond.

Tattoo ad, 1936

Savage also threw in a nod to colonization with the use of "conquer". 

Savage ad

Savage "Jungle" ad, 1935

All of this begs the question of what Younghusband was trying to accomplish with these lines.*  Indelible lipstick was all the rage in the '20s and '30s; no doubt Younghusband's company faced stiff competition from the likes of Tangee and others.  Perhaps he felt that this manner of cultural appropriation, i.e. creating what was probably the decade's most risqué and raciest makeup line by portraying the indigenous people of the South Pacific as feral and completely unfettered by "civilized" society's code of conduct, and then offering white women a socially acceptable way to channel that imagined freedom via lipstick, was the best way to stand out in a crowded market.  The ads repeat words like "thrilling", "maddening", and suggests that the color will last through late-night activity.  Sounds very exciting, yes?

Tattoo lipstick ad, 1936-37

Savage Dry Rouge ad, 1935

Savage ad, 1935

Savage lipstick ad, 1934
(all ad images from lantern.mediahist.org unless otherwise noted)

The other possible reason Younghusband looked towards the South Pacific was the rise of tourism to Hawaii and other islands during the 1930s.  As the blog author of Witness to Fashion astutely points out in a post on Tattoo, the increased tourism heralded a cultural love affair with anything tropical.  "Tourism to Hawaii, via luxurious cruise ships, increased in the 1930s. The “white ships” of the Matson Line sailed from San Francisco to Hawaii and the South Seas. Quite a few movies with a tropical setting were made in the thirties, including Mutiny on the Bounty (1935),  The Hurricane (1937) and Her Jungle Love (1938) — both starring queen-of-the-sarong Dorothy Lamour, Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938), and Honolulu (1939). Bing Crosby and his movie Waikiki Wedding (1937) popularized the song 'Sweet Leilani,' written in 1934."  Sounds plausible.

Getting back to my other questions, I'm unclear on the difference between the Tattoo and Savage lines, or why Younghusband would launch both nearly simultaneously.  As I noted previously, there doesn't seem to be an appreciable difference between the two, and they were released at approximately the same time - around 1933 for Tattoo and 1934 for Savage.  Tattoo lasted till about 1949, while the last newspaper ad I found for Savage dates to October 1941.  At first I thought perhaps Savage was a drugstore line, whereas Tattoo was sold only in department stores, since their respective prices were 20 cents and one dollar.  This 1939 Gimbel's ad for Savage, however, kills that theory. 

Savage lipstick newspaper ad, 1939

Finally, and you may be wondering this as well, why on earth did I knowingly purchase such racist items for the Museum and then choose to blog about them?  Unfortunately I can't really answer that myself.  It's not like I wasn't familiar with these lines or thought they were okay and then realized they weren't, which has happened before.  I also like to consider myself at least somewhat conscious about racial and cultural appropriation issues within the beauty industry.  I guess I thought that, distasteful though they are, they're important from a historical perspective.  I wanted to have tangible reminders of what was acceptable back then.  Items like this also help me remember to be a little more mindful when purchasing contemporary pieces.  So while I've made the decision not to feature such items in exhibitions, since it dawned on me that I prefer exhibitions to have more of a celebratory spirit and racist beauty products aren't things I necessarily want to champion, I think a cosmetics museum should have these types of items and open a dialogue about the ugly side of the beauty industry and its history.  My main goal for the Museum is for it to serve as a happy, magical place full of wonderful and beautiful things, but sometimes it's necessary to take a good hard look at some of the problematic issues within the world of cosmetics.

Well, that's enough of my blather, except to say that I'm sorry I don't have more concrete information on these lines - hopefully Collecting Vintage Compacts will shed further light on them.   Thoughts?

1 While I was poking about at newspapers.com I came across an article from 1934 that serves as historical evidence of how indigenous people were viewed by Americans/Europeans in the '30s.  This one tells the tale of one young woman "explorer" (read: colonizer) who attempted to "civilize" the "ferocious Amazonians" in South America by bringing them cosmetics.  I literally can't even with this.

Stevens_Point_Journal_Thu__Jun_7__1934_

2I do really wonder what the hell was wrong with Younghusband.  In the news articles I found, his first wife passed away in 1927, and he went on to remarry 4 different women in the span of 13 years, all of whom accused him of adultery.  The rough timeline is that he divorced the 2nd wife in 1931, married his third in April 1933 and divorced her in 1935.  I'm not sure about the 4th wife, but in November of 1937 he married his fifth.  A 1950 article regarding the divorce of his 5th wife states that he went so far as to "spend thousands of dollars on detectives, photographers, wire tappers and gigolos in attempt to frame [his wife] in an embarrassing position in a Florida hotel so he could gather divorce evidence."  What a psycho.  The same article also claims that during the wedding, Younghusband hit a police reporter in the head after inviting him to cover the wedding.  So yeah, something wasn't right with this guy, and it's not just the rampant racism in his company's lipstick lines.

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Summer 2018 exhibition inspiration

As a quick followup to the summer 2018 exhibition, I wanted to share the images that inspired it.  Obviously this will be a very photo-heavy post without much substance, but what better time to take off our thinking caps and indulge in some tropical eye candy than summer? 

In looking back at the planning process, I have determined that Smashbox's Pinks and Palms palette was the item that planted the seeds for the exhibition.  It was released all the way back in early April, but after I laid eyes on it I couldn't get the vibrant pink and green color scheme out of my head.

Smashbox pinks-palms

From there I started seeing palm trees and flamingos as well as pink and green basically everywhere. In addition to this gorgeous jewelry branding and an amazing photo for a beautiful spread in Harpers Bazaar Thailand, here are a few "moodboards" of sorts composed of images that popped up on my Instagram feed over the past few months.  (Sorry, Pinterest, but with Instagram's "save to collections" feature, I'm afraid I don't need you much anymore.)  In addition to palm trees, monstera leaves are so ubiquitous there was even a whole article about why the motif is everywhere right now

Summer 2018 moodboard
Top row: crikirsten, franzi.fri, marinedequenetain
2nd row: caroline_south, labelsforlunch, violettinder
3rd row:  artdeco, benefit, clarinsusa
Bottom row:  beautyhabit, nailsinc, makeupforeverofficial

Summer 2018 moodboard
Top row: marcbeauty, marinedequenetain, smashboxcosmetics
2nd row: theebouffants (Kendra Dandy), ringconcierge, rodartekaren (co-founder of PaiPai)

3rd row: atomicbooks, lipstickqueen, nailsinc
Bottom row: kikomilano, willnichols, paulandjoe_beaute

summer 2018 moodboard
Top row: audreyestok, diormakeup, thebalm

2nd row: winky_lux, capitalofficial, clarinsusa

Other exotic birds besides flamingos are trending too - parrots, toucans, cockatoos all seem to be popular.  Perhaps it's partially the influence of the New York Historical Society's "Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife" exhibition.  In any case, as I was browsing my usual shopping sites, I came across tons of palm trees and birds.

Summer 2018

  1. Gap pajamas (I totally bought these and I love them!)
  2. Flamingo Tangle Teezer
  3. Palm tree and flamingo garland (see also these napkins)
  4. Nails Inc. Flock You nail polish duo (bought these too, they're so pretty!)
  5. Anthropologie parrot dress
  6. Kate Spade flamingo tote
  7. Anthropologie toucan clutch
  8. J. Crew flamingo tee
  9. Palm tree and flamingo mug
  10. Old Navy pajamas (if the Gap ones weren't doing it for you...they also have palm tree and flamingo prints by themselves)

In terms of what items to include in the exhibition, I was somewhat overwhelmed with the number of pieces - both new and ones the Museum already has - that fit the exhibition theme.  However, I didn't want to repeat too many items from previous summer exhibitions, so off I went in search of new and exciting things.  Below are some items I was mulling over but that didn't make the cut for various reasons (i.e., not available, too expensive, or I just didn't think the design was that special).  I was so sad the Guerlain Sous Les Palmiers bronzer wasn't released in the U.S. in time for the exhibition launch, as I had been planning for that to be one of the stand-out items.  Oh well.  Perhaps I can tuck it away for next year's summer exhibition. ;) 

Summer 2018

  1. Vintage Stratton compact
  2. Benefit Flamingo Fancy bronzer
  3. Laura Geller Island Escape palette
  4. Coastal Scents Jungle Roar palette
  5. Lise Watier Eden bronzer
  6. Streamcream Flamingo moisturizer
  7. ArtDeco Jungle Fever Beauty Box
  8. Guerlain Sous Les Palmiers bronzer
  9. Vintage compact
  10. Vintage Estée Lauder parrot compact
  11. Mark Havana Sol eyeshadow palette

I had also considered printing out the ad for MAC's Flamingo Park collection and putting them with Felicia the Flamingo, but given how I felt about the latter I decided not to include it.  As for MAC, I much prefer original ads to reproductions.

So those were all the things rattling about in my head that inspired the summer exhibition.  Do you like exotic birds and tropical plants as design motifs?  I like them, but not as much as my beloved mermaids - I still can't believe I managed to do a whole summer exhibition without one!


Curator's Corner, June 2018

CC logoWelcome to yet another format of Curator's Corner.  As I noted previously, I don't want to completely abandon this feature, but it's still too hard for me to keep up so I decided to try a "monthly rewind" of sorts.  Here's some notable news from June.

 - Yay!  Sephora is now offering makeup classes especially for trans people.  Perhaps they should start carrying this line?

- An interesting piece at Refinery29 covers the world of beauty treatments and makeup within prison walls.  It's different angle than the Racked article we saw back in January.

- Call it the Fenty effect: more brands are offering at least 40 shades of foundation, including the new Flesh line created by former Allure editor Linda Wells.  The line is getting a lot of buzz, not just for its color range but for the product and shade names that are only appealing if you're a cannibal.  (Apparently the "uncomfortable" names were intentional.)

- More info on the expansion of J-beauty...although I still bristle at it being called a "comeback". 

- Makeup.com had a nice little history of face powder.  I only wish I was writing their makeup history series.

- Ever wonder how your makeup is actually produced?  In addition to animal testing and potentially dangerous ingredients, new light is being shed on the issue of human rights abuses within the beauty industry.  It's a sad topic but one that needs to be addressed and remedied immediately.

- On a lighter note (sort of), check out this gigantic (2,000 lb!) bath bomb.

- I'm not crying, you're crying.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, 20th birthday celebrations are in order for the premiere of Sex and the City as well as The Truman Show.  Meanwhile, Daria is getting a reboot and Stereogum catches up with Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz (don't pretend you don't know all the words to "Mr. Jones"!) Finally, I greatly enjoyed this oral history of one of the funniest shows from the decade, short-lived though it was.

- Speaking of TV, I've been watching probably more than is healthy and looking forward to new shows.  I'm currently obsessed with The Staircase and can't wait for new seasons of The Terror and American Horror Story (especially after 2 incredibly lackluster seasons of the latter.)  However, I am gutted that one of my favorite shows has ended. Desus and Mero will live on via Showtime, but it just won't be the same.

- If you follow me on Twitter you know I've been wrestling with insomnia.  I'm curious about this Sleep Stories app that features Bob Ross, because his show is one remedy I've found that works most of the time.

- On the domestic front, I'm taking advantage of berry season big time.  I made raspberry muffins and a strawberry pie.  I have zero food photography skills but trust me, both were very pretty and quite delicious if I do say so myself. :)

Raspberry muffins

Strawberry pie

And brownies and lime sea salt chocolate chip cookies - no berries involved in either of those, but the cookies are a summery twist on traditional chocolate chips...plus the Babos loved them. (And subsequently landed themselves in a cookie coma.)

Babos with cookie dough

Babos feasting

cookie coma

And that about wraps up June!  Do you have any fun plans for the rest of the summer?

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