"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

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· Beauty Notebook: Beauté Cosmetics Liqui-Gel Stains
· Culture Notes: Strike A Pose, There's Nothing To It
· Fashion Notes: Talking Heads

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Beauty Notebook: Beauté Cosmetics Liqui-Gel Stains
by Dorothy

I first became aware of Beauté Cosmetics through KarlaSugar's excellent swatch blog, The Next Best Thing To Going Shopping Yourself, where she raved about their lip stains. Beauté is a Canadian brand, although its creative director, Beau Nelson, now resides in New York City. Since its founding it has picked up something of a cult following, but I believe it deserves greater popularity: these are lovely, well-thought-out products, at a price point that's very competitive with other high-end brands. At present Beauté offers only makeup brushes and lip products: theLuminous Volume Gloss, the Weightless Lip Creme (which, although I didn't test it, seems like a similar concept to Chanel's Rouge Allure Laque), and its excellent Liqui-Gel Stains.

Above, Fluoron (which looks orange in the tube, but is not) and Fever.

The Liqui-Gel stains are very light, have a beautiful rose scent, tingle slightly going on, and stay liquid only long enough to blend into the lips. After that, they stay put through eating, drinking, under lip balm...almost anything. These stains will stay on until you exfoliate (or until, like me, you indulge in the bad habit of biting your lips).

Fever, my favourite of the two stains Beauté sent me, is a deep, winey red, a shade like crushed rose petals. On my very warm-toned skin it appears as more of a berry than a pure red, particularly when applied sheerly; as you see in the above photo, even a tiny amount (trust me, it was tiny) applied to my cheeks gave quite an intense flush.

Fluoron, on the other hand, is a bright cool pink, nearly a fuchsia on pale skin like mine. I didn't have the guts to apply it to my cheeks, but Dain tells me that for cool-toned women like her it's easiest to wear as a blush. Because it's a stain, it's a bit more wearable for me than an opaque fuchsia lipstick would be; sheered down, it could be a lovely rosy pink. Still, this is a colour best reserved for women with neutral or cool undertones.

While I think the Liqui-Gel Stains are terrific, I do wish they were available in more colours, especially warm shades. I expect I could wear Neon, the orange shade, fairly successfully, but my heart would skip a beat for a deep brick red.

Stay tuned for reviews of Beauté's lovely brushes and Luminous Volume Gloss.

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5/27/2010 [5]

Culture Notes: Strike A Pose, There's Nothing To It
by The Kindly One

I recently rediscovered this video and was excited to do so. I am a bit of a Sophie Ellis-Bextor fan - her music's okay, her face slays me - and I was as enthralled watching it this time around as the first. This video is stunning, so beautifully shot and framed, at one and the same time evoking both Vogue Italia and, essentially, every single weepy, melodramatic, girly fantasy of love gone wrong. A bit indulgent in its sweeping photography, maybe, but even in that it's divinely overwrought.

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5/24/2010 [2]

Fashion Notes: Talking Heads
by The Kindly One

Despite ragging on J. Crew in last week's post, I found this interview with J. Crew CEO Miller Drexler, Narciso Rodriguez, Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers, and The New York Times's Cathy Horyn interesting and informative, with 90% of my interest being in Drexler and his observations on the business of fashion. Really, in a group featuring Cathy Horyn, Robbie Myers, and Narciso Rodriguez, who would have thought the CEO of J. Crew would be the most interesting person there? That said, his insights on fashion as a business, and a heavily industrial one at that, are what kept me tuned in for forty minutes.

Fantasy vs. reality: in this case, using reality to inform the fantasy of Vogue.

At an hour long, this interview with Vogue's Sally Singer* left me with a lot to think about, not all of it satisfactory. It's clear the audience is not heavily invested in fashion or has any real knowledge of the industry, only of the perception of it. As such, the questions raised are highly judgmental, and Singer ends up speaking to judgmental presumptions as much as to the questions themselves. I'm not sure she's entirely successful on either point. As someone who checks fashion news sites the way some people check baseball scores, I know who she's talking about when she mentions Thakoon. I know the context of the comment that a $700 dress is reasonable. The audience is unfamiliar with these ideas, however, and without providing the proper context for them, I doubt Singer made fashion seem any more accessible, reasonable, or even related in any way to the audience's worldview. That said, it is still interesting to watch, particularly when Singer discusses her own road to Vogue. I was surprised at how normal and down-to-earth Singer is, given the penchant to promote Vogue contributors as somehow otherworldly. It seems Singer is still strongly connected to her younger self's understanding of fashion as fantasy, a sort of playground for identity. I wonder if that's what keeps her from making more compelling points in this interview; she can't step outside of that paradigm well enough to speak "fashion" to the masses.

Finally, for those truly interested in the business of fashion, you may be well pleased to check out this website of the same name. The website features original content focused on business strategies, deals, and international news, and compiles fashion business news from a host of other sites. The website's original content and point of view are what keep me coming back. Extending beyond the typical soundbites from Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada, the website features incisive analyses of business strategies and aggregates behind-the-scenes information and interviews unseen on other sites.

*Sorry-for the life of me, I can't figure out how to embed this video.

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5/04/2010 [0]

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