L'Oréal just created EpiSkin, lab-grown skin that combats animal testing

  • The cosmetics industry is notorious for testing products on animals.
  • L'Oréal, which has discontinued animal testing unless it’s mandated by law, tests its ingredients and products on lab-made human skin that has become an industry in and of itself.
  • L’Oreal’s dime-sized synthetic human skin product is called EpiSkin, reports CNBC, and the company acquired the technology in 1997.
  • It makes the need to test ingredients on live animals in lab tests obsolete. Read more (5/30/17)

i like makeup a lot but i hate makeup culture and i hate that the cosmetics industry profits off of the insecurities of grls. also i don’t have any solutions for this so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

i quit sephora and now i feel much more comfortable being able to talk about my issues with makeup culture as it has evolved, so here’s a bit of a venting session from me! wall of text ahead!

to start: i think makeup is great, it’s incredibly fun, and i will alway stand by it as an invaluable method of immediate and non-permanent self-modification. it can help a lot of people with self expression and (mostly gender) presentation, and the fact that there are so many people who feel truer to their internal selves with the help of makeup is wonderful. 

BUT, that said, makeup culture itself is awful. i was in cosmetic sales for about 3 years, i’ve been an avid makeup enthusiast for a good decade, and it disheartens me the way people come to view themselves because of makeup culture. before i worked at sephora i was much more optimistic about makeup, and y’all would see me go blue in the face defending it– working in cosmetics shed a LOT of light on the things i would prefer to ignore. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Can you give some information on Jonghyun and his family and growing up? I've always wondered

these are just some bits of information on his childhood / family. he told a lot of predebut stories when blue night radio was still airing which you can read through at the link!


1) he has one sibling: an older sister named sodam. even though it’s hard to find the original quotation she was apparently born in 1988, making her around two years older than jonghyun and around twenty nine. she was born when their mom was twenty one. she’s a well known shinhwa changjo and has a job working within the cosmetics industry, based on a comment jonghyun made a year or two back but that could’ve changed by now.

2) his mom is named lee eun kyung. she was born on march 1st, 1967 making her fifty years old (in international age). she’s a christian (and sodam seems to be as well, though jonghyun is non-religious). jonghyun has mentioned the many jobs that his mom held in the past in order to keep their family above water, including (but not limited to): selling stickers at a stationary shop and being the principal of a daycare center. she went back to university late in life where she studied both women’s and children’s psychology and now works as a psychosocial therapist.

3) his grandmother was a haenyeo which is a female sea diver that works exclusively within or around jeju island. they’re often referred to as mermaids in korea and prided for being independent / highly determined / having iron and strong will, and are representative of the semi-matriarchal structure of family on jeju island.

4) he once said that he has a lot of older female cousins and that, as a child, he’d refer to them as “unnie” rather than “noona”.

5) to give a response about his dad: he’s not really in the picture and, though jonghyun has never confirmed it, it’s very likely that his parents are divorced and have been for awhile now. i once responded to a question about this, but it seems that jonghyun’s relationship with him is either extremely strained or nonexistent. he never mentions him when thanking his family for bringing him up (only his mom and sister). he has never been seen at any shinee or solo related event since debut, etc. any mention of him from jonghyun has been negative, such as: telling a story about how his dad was both against him partaking in a music career and attending a music school, and implying that he was a “bad” guy who dated women far too young for him in regards to his parents’ relationship. so, that’s really all that can be said about him.


1) jonghyun once said that his mom, sister and him used to play harmonica together during their spare time when he was in elementary school.

2) it’s been mentioned on various occasions under different circumstances but he used to practice taekwondo, kendo, etc. during his early childhood. he won a bronze medal in kendo once~.

3) his parents were married in 1994 when his mom was twenty seven, sodam was six and jonghyun was four. jonghyun once mentioned on blue night that, in their wedding video, he can be seen crying throughout the entire ceremony.

4) jonghyun revealed in late 2015 that his family was on welfare at least through his middle school years.

5) jonghyun once mentioned that his sister and him lived with his grandparents (on his mom’s side) for two years.

6) jonghyun once said that he doesn’t like thinking back on his childhood. when he was visiting his childhood home back in 2015 for monthly live connection he was quoted as saying: “i don’t want to think back or reminisce about my childhood memories. i have no good memories as i was in a period of storm and stress while living there”. he also said on the show that he doesn’t like looking at childhood pictures for the same reason, but you can view some baby photos of him here.

7) his “first love” was fellow classmate from his first year of elementary school. he basically followed her around like a puppy and wasn’t sure himself if it could be regarded as a “first love” or not.

8) he briefly wanted to be a police officer as a child. he then wanted to become a korean language teacher or writer before turning to music.

9) jonghyun once said that there was a period during his childhood where he was very sick often and it caused his mom a lot of stress. he’s also said that he used to get hurt quite a bit during elementary and middle school.

10) his parents briefly owned a record store very early on during his childhood.

11) he used to dye his fingernails different colors with his sister by using garden balsam as a child.

12) jonghyun attended an all boy’s middle school and then a christian high school named mount zion where he was part of a band named zion where he played the bass. it was through a performance with this band that sm scouted him to audition for the company (based on his visuals). he transferred from this school after becoming a trainee to attend the prestigious seoul music institute which he dropped out of before graduating. he later went on to receive his ged.

Fascinating Social Experiment: These Millions Of Women Tried Cheap Drugstore Makeup For Their Entire Lives

Every day, we are bombarded with ads telling us that we need top-of-the-line makeup to look beautiful, and anything less is unacceptable. But is this stigma surrounding low-end cosmetics really deserved? These millions of women decided to find out in a totally interesting way: They tried using cheap drugstore makeup for their entire lives.

Wow. What an absolutely incredible social experiment.

Ranging in age from 11 to 63, these millions of women have been walking into their local CVS or Walgreens, selecting some budget eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick straight off the shelves, and using those items as their exclusive sources of makeup. What makes this even more amazing is that unlike most social experiments, which only last a week or so, these millions of women showed complete dedication by being willing to spend their entire adult lives using these non-name-brand foundations and concealers. Incredibly, at no point over the decades that they’ve been illuminating how the cosmetics industry manipulates the way we view ourselves did these brave social experimenters drop more than $100 at Ulta to try out a new look.

Though it’s hard to imagine how anyone would be comfortable using $6 blush for even seven days, the scores upon scores of women went above and beyond, suffering through makeup hauls that didn’t even top out at $35 for years on end to prove a point about society.

While this undertaking already sounds crazy difficult, it gets even more impressive when you think about the many events that these women attended while wearing drugstore makeup. From job interviews to first dates and even weddings, these millions of women never caved and used an Urban Decay Naked eye-shadow palette or a Kylie Jenner lip kit. They simply toughed it out while contouring their faces with cheap drugstore highlighters and even cheaper drugstore beauty blenders, all in the name of a fascinating social experiment.

Simply amazing. To all the women who have been participating in this eye-opening trial, your point is well-made and totally inspiring. Now go treat yourself with a shopping spree at Bloomingdale’s. You’ve earned it!

i feel like the narrative on women and makeup has become so muddled and confused and misguided. there is honestly an industry at this point based on denying that makeup has anything to do with patriarchy in any way, shape or form. despite the obvious fact that, no, the vast majority of men do not wear makeup–and yes, we still consider many of them beautiful without it, and without even thinking about it. 

the beauty industry has become attuned enough to the change in culture and women’s increasing liberation over time that they can no longer get away with marketing all their products as “fixes” for your “flaws.” no, they’ve actually co-opted feminist/activist rhetoric to sell their products to you. this imbues their product with a significance and a weight that, without this language, it simply does not have. sadly a lot of this language is similarly used by makeup blogs/vlogs/instagrams/etc without understanding that the capitalist machine has pushed this nonsense on us for years to dupe us. let’s actually take a look at some modern advertising in the beauty industry:

wow! it’s almost like “having it all” sounds familiar? hm, where have i heard that?

this is just one of dozens of products that compare their makeup to a revolution.

the beauty industry has been steadily using rhetoric to suggest that cosmetics bring women power and the like, such as:

but when all else fails, don’t convince women that beauty products will empower, change, enliven them, or make them assertive. just tell them it’s a part of who they are!

because how could the real you shine through without the help of some new foundation or lipstick?

there is such an absurdity to these slogans and such a sexism to the idea that these products are going to change women’s lives, bring them confidence, give them power or anything else. these products, nine times out of ten, are going to paint women’s faces in order to make them more appealing to the patriarchy.

it’s even gone far enough that women online have recently created a hashtag #thepowerofmakeup (?) to insist that makeup is not due to insecurities or a desire to please boys, but simply a personal choice and pleasure that exists in a vacuum and has nothing to do with anything else ever. this is the extent of the brainwashing. i don’t condemn these women in any way because their lack of understanding is not their fault and is a product of growing up in the society they have. to make myself perfectly clear, i do not condemn any women who wear makeup in any context. however the hashtag creator’s notion that “nowadays…it’s almost a crime to love doing your makeup” is literally baffling. makeup has never been more popular or beloved than it is right now, and the small group of people criticizing its misogynistic origins are nothing compared to the millions of women who feel compelled to spend hundreds every year on these products. it’s incredible to see women who do wear makeup portrayed as the outcasts, while women who don’t wear makeup know that they’ll have a tougher time getting jobs, be consistently assumed tired/upset/having a bad day, and be generally considered less desirable and inadequately feminine on the whole. 

speaking of the growing prominence of youtube channels, instagrams, tumblrs, etcetcetc centered around makeup and makeup products, i want to make a point. can makeup be art? absolutely! can makeup be fun? absolutely! can makeup exist totally separate from male dominant spaces? i’m not positive, but i think it’s possible. however, it is the dominant culture’s obsession with and need for these products which is harmful to women and girls. many will proclaim that, “i like how i look without makeup too!” and “i can still leave the house without it!” but, as someone who once constantly reiterated these phrases, unfortunately i know them to be denials in many many cases. i felt myself, over the years, insisting that i could leave the house without makeup, yet found myself doing that, at most, five times in an entire year. i told myself i liked how i looked without makeup, yet after two days in the house without a drop, i looked in the mirror and felt ugly, dirty, incomplete. and i know i am not alone. sure makeup makes you feel beautiful, but why?

if we want to talk honestly about makeup and the enormous influence it has on women and girls, we have to rid ourselves of patriarchal notions and delusions that makeup “just makes me feel good!” and embrace the idea that we can feel good, all the time, be beautiful, all the time, no matter what we look like, without makeup in any form. our choices do not exist in a vacuum, and there was a reason i cried hysterically to my mother at 13 for not being allowed to wear mascara. all women are beautiful, all the time. it’s okay that women wear makeup. we just need to start examining why we want to, and patriarchy’s role in that “choice.”


I’ve struggled with increasingly severe acne on my cheeks for about a year and a half. Believe me when I say: I tried EVERYTHING. No amount of OTC products, herbal remedies, facials, fruits/veggies/water, expensive Lush products, or “positive vibes” cured my acne; in fact, it just got worse and worse.

I finally got to the dermatologist, where I found out it was due to a hormonal imbalance, and that I wouldn’t have been able to prevent it even if I tried. I’ve had to spend hundreds (if not thousands tbh) of dollars at the dermatologist and had several failed treatments before finally having to start heavy duty, hellish accutane to clear me up. Now, my skin is mostly cleared, save for scarring, but it literally took SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT to get here.

As a society, we have this idea that clearing your skin is easy and anybody who has acne is simply lazy, unhygienic, ugly, and not trying hard enough. I received countless unsolicited comments on my face and recommendations for products that, most of the time, I’d already tried. It was humiliating, to say the least. But it makes sense: we’re constantly fed ads from cosmetic industries telling us that getting clear skin is as easy as using their products. And frankly, it’s bullshit.

So, if you have acne, let me just say this: you’re not gross, you’re not a disgrace to society and you deserve to feel comfortable in your skin, no matter how severe it may be. You’re not a failure just because washing your face and drinking water didn’t work for you like it did for everybody else. It’s okay if you don’t feel 100% confident looking in the mirror or going out in public, you’re still beautiful no matter what. Just remember, you’re not alone and I’m here rooting for you.

Distillation of Essential Oils, Part Two

Hydrosols: A By-product of Distillation

Hydrosols (also known as hydrolats, floral waters, distillates, or “water of _____”) are the by-product or product (depending on the distiller’s purpose) of the distillation process.

Hydrosols are fragrant waters that contain the essence of a plant in a milder, more accessible, and easier to use form than essential oils. They are suitable for all manner of applications for which essential oils are too strong – for example, they are clothing safe, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and pet safe (provided they are the hydrosols of plants that are non-toxic and poisonous to pets, for example, lily hydrosol would be dangerous to cats, but most medical grade essential oils are dangerous to pets due to chemical burn concerns.)

They are quite like essential oils, but are far less concentrated. During distillation, the water-soluble constituents of the aromatic plant and the essence of a plant is released as steam, which condenses into two products – the essential oils, also offered through Haven Craft, and the hydrosols.

Hydrosols also retain a small amount of essential oil. Every liter of hydrosol contains between 0.05 and 0.2 milliliter of dissolved essential oil, depending on the water solubility of the plant’s components and the distillation parameters.

*Please Note: The addition of essential oils to water is not at all the same as true hydrosols, and it is recommended that you read the ingredients label on products to ascertain whether or not you are getting a true hydrosol. When water and essential oils are mixed together with or without a dispersant, this is called a “spritzer” or “aromatic spritzer,” and this product should not be confused with a true hydrosol.

Hydrosols do not need to be shaken before use.


Expression, also referred to as cold pressing, is a method of extraction specific to citrus essential oils, such as tangerine, lemon, bergamot, sweet orange, and lime. In ancient times, expression was done in the form of sponge pressing, accomplished by hand. The zest or rind of the citrus would first be soaked in warm water to make the rind more malleable in the pressing process. A sponge would then be used to press the rind, thus breaking the essential oil cavities. The sponde would then absorb the released essential oil.

Once the sponge was filled, it would then be pressed over a collecting container. The expression would then stand to allow for separation of the essential oil from any released water or juice. The essential oil would then be siphoned off.

A more modern method of extraction, much less labor-intensive, has been termed the “ecuelle a piquer” process. It involves a prodding, pricking, sticking action to release the essential oil.

During the ecuelle a piquer process, the rind of the fruit is placed in a container with spikes that punctures the peel while the device is rotated.

The puncturing of the rind releases essential oils that are then collected in a small area below the container. The end process is the same as above.

The majority of modern expression techniques are accomplished by using machines using centrifugal force. The spinning centrifuge separates the majority of essential oil from the fruit juice and water.

Some aromatherapy and therapeutic oil companies sell both a distilled and an expressed citrus essential oil from the same species. The main differences between a distilled and an expressed citrus essential oil  are their toxicity, volatility, and aroma.

Distilled citrus oils deteriorate more quickly and are considerably more unstable than the expressed oils. Distilled citrus oils are not recommended for aromatherapy use.

The one exception would be for distilled lime essential oil, which is considered to be superior in aroma to its expressed counterpart.

Both the expressed and distilled essential oil of bergamot contains the phototoxic furanocoumarin, bergaptene. The aroma of distilled oil is considered to be of lower quality than the expressed oil.

Expressed lemon oil contains the phototoxic furanocoumarin, bergaptene, where as the distilled lemon oil is considered to be non-phototoxic. And like bergamot, the aroma of the distilled oil is considered to be of lower quality.

Expressed lime oil contains the phototoxic furanocoumarin, bergaptene, whereas the distilled oil is not considered to be phototoxic. The main difference with lime is that the distilled essential oil is considered to have the superior aroma. The distilled lime is considered the superior of the lime oils because it has greater similarity to the natural lime scent.

Extraction Techniques for Absolutes (Extracted Oils) & CO2 Extracts


Flowers were being processed via enfleurage in the Grasse region of Southern France long before the modern method of solvent extraction was in widespread use. In the antique perfume trade of France, many flower scents were extracted via enfleurage.

Enfleurage is now considered an ancient art that is passed down through family lines, from generation to generation.

Enfleurage is a cold-fat extraction process that is based upon the principles that fat possesses a high power of absorption, particularly animal fat. The fat used must be relatively stable against rancidity. It is a method used for flowers that continue developing and giving off their aroma even after harvesting (e.g., jasmine and tuberose).

This technique involves placing the flower petals on a layer of glass that is first spread with a thin layer of fat, called “chassis”. The volatile oil diffuses into the fat, then the fat is collected and the oil is extracted from the fat using alcohol.

Once the alcohol evaporates what is left behind is called the absolute.

Today, Grasse continues to be one of the few areas in the world that continues to employ enfleurage as a method of extraction, although it is rare in the aromatherapy market due to the expense. If one finds a jasmine enfleurage on the market, this would typically be considered an absolute.

Some of the therapeutic grade absolutes (extracted oils) carried by Haven Craft were created using enfleurage.

Solvent Extraction

Some plant material is too fragile to be distilled – the heat will break down the material to unusability long before oils are released – and so an alternative method must be used. Solvent extraction is the use of solvents, such as petroleum ether, methanol, ethanol, or hexane, to extract the odiferous lipophilic material from botanicals.

The solvent will also pull out the chlorophyll and other plant tissue, resulting in a highly colored and thick, viscous extract.

The first product created during solvent extraction is known as a concrete. A concrete is the concentrated extract that contains the waxes and the fats of the botanical material, as well as the odoriferous oils from the plant.

The concrete is then mixed with alcohol, which serves to extract the aromatic principle of the material.

The final product is known as an absolute or as an extracted oil.

Solvent extraction is used for jasmine, tuberose, carnation, gardenia, jonquil, violet leaf, narcissus, mimosa, and other delicate flowers.

Neroli (orange blossom) and rose can be distilled or solvent-extracted.

The name neroli typically implies the essential oil, whereas the name orange blossom is commonly used for the absolute or hydrosol of neroli. The name rose is used to describe either the essential oil or the absolute.

Companies selling essential oils should rightfully clarify whether the product you are purchasing is an essential oil or absolute. This information should be on the label and in the product catalog. It often isn’t, though, so reflect upon the price – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

After the solvent extraction process has been completed, the resulting absolute will have an extremely low concentration of solvent residue, approximately 5 to 10ppm (parts per million). The current European Union standards are for less than 10 parts per million solvent residues in a finished absolute.

This does not interfere in their use as therapeutic oils – some believe it does, but my teacher did not.

It may interfere in their use as medical grade essential oils. Even with such a potentially small residue (less than .0001%), many holistic herbalists disagree with the use of absolutes for individuals with a compromised immune system, due to the potential effect of the residual pesticide.

However, absolutes do have therapeutic value and are often used for psychological purposes and for animals, particularly horses. Many therapists incorporate absolutes, such as rose, jasmine, and tuberose absolutes, as a valuable part of their therapeutic applications of aromatherapy. Ultimately the decision to use absolutes is up to the practitioner and personal preferences.

Absolutes are used extensively in the cosmetic and perfume industries due to their strong aromas – they often smell more like the botanical material than essential oils do.

There are also different grades of absolutes.

The top grade is the uncut, which can be a thick or semisolid substance, making them difficult to work with.

Less expensive grades are diluted with alcohol or a carrier oil, called a “filler”, to make them more user friendly, although often the strength of aroma is slightly diminished.

If the absolute pours very easily and is thin or runny, it has likely been “cut” or “filled”.

Most bath oils and gels, candles, shampoos, toothpaste, fly spray, aromatherapy suppliers, and air fresheners (somewhere around 98 percent), use absolutes rather than medical grade essential oils.

CO2 Hypercritical Extraction

Hypercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is a relatively new process, developed for for the extraction of aromatic products.

CO2 under pressure will turn from a gas into a liquid, which can then be used as an inert liquid solvent.

This liquid solvent is able to diffuse throughout the botanical material, thus extracting its aromatic constituents.

CO2 extracts contain most of the same constituents as their essential oil counterparts, although they can contain some elements not found in essential oils. For instance, the essential oil of ginger (Zingiber officinale) does not contain the bitter principles, however the CO2 extract does. Also, the CO2 extract of frankincense (Boswellia carterii) has immune enhancing and anti-inflammatory activity not found in the essential oil.

CO2 extracts are known for their strong similarity in aroma to the actual plant aroma, sometimes stronger than the abolutes produced from pressure extraction.

Other common CO2 extracts on the market include German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Calendula (Calendula officinalis).

The three main disadvantages for this process are cost, potential pesticide residue, and the lack of information regarding their safety, therapeutic benefits, and medical benefits.

With regard to pesticide residue, carbon dioxide extraction has been demonstrated to concentrate from 7 to 53 times more pesticide residues in the final extract. Therefore, it seems pertinent to only use organic plant material for CO2 extraction.

Perhaps as more CO2 extracts become available and more practitioners use them, further details regarding their applications will become apparent.

Two of the most common essential oils available via CO2 extraction include frankincense and ginger.

Phytonic Process

The Phytonic process is a one of the newest methods of extracting essential oils using non-CFCs (non-chlorofluorocarbons). It is also called Florasol Extraction. The oils produced are called phytols.

The oils are promising and are very close to nature; however, it does use fluoro-hydrocarbons which can be potentially harmful. The process also has some potentially negative environmental effects that need to be addressed.

More research needs to be done into phytol oils and the process itself before Haven Craft will carry phytol oils.

Warm Oil Infusion

It is possible to extract the volatile oils from plants into warm carrier oil by gently macerating the botanical materials and placing them in a carrier oil and slowly bringing that oil up to heat. These are not considered essential oils or absolutes, but they are good for home therapeutic when a great deal of oil is called for, such as in producing a salve or balm to be used all over the body.

Freeze Distillation

There is a method of solvent extraction that can be done at home to obtain a kind of extracted oil. It would not be considered a therapeutic or medical grade essential oil or absolute, but it is considered an alchemic oil and suitable for use in magick.

The process generally uses undenatured ethyl alcohol or very high proof grain alcohol. It does not use rubbing alcohol.

The plant material is macerated in alcohol for some time, then the plant material is strained out. The alcohol is then placed into an environment below the freezing point. The oil will congeal on top of the alcohol, which will not freeze, and can then be extracted. This method is very good for delicate materials that will burn before steam distillation releases the oils, such as jasmine.

Back On Top: Costuming Patti Lupone in “War Paint”, Part I

My post about Roman Holiday earlier this week should give you some idea of the admiration I hold for Catherine Zuber as a costumer and as a designer. This season, she was nominated for a Tony in one of my favorite productions of the year, War Paint. This is a classically structured musical that uses jazzy numbers to tell the story of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, the two fierce rivals who basically invented the modern cosmetics industry. Costuming each of these women required a unique take, and  as such I’m going to devote two posts to the main characters in the musical, one apiece.

The first up (sure to please fellow Patti Lupone fans like @sadgirlz4patti ) is the indomitable Helena Rubinstein, who built an international cosmetics empire in the first half of the 20th century, battling anti-immigrant and anti-semitic sentiment, let alone sexism, to find her slice of American success. For a spitfire personality like her, there was only one choice the casting director could make: the divine Patti Lupone. But costuming one of Broadway’s most famous (or even infamous!) divas is a major challenge, not only because Ms Lupone has (well-deserved) high standards, but because she has a petite figure that demands special consideration by the costumer selected for the production.

Catherine Zuber was clearly inspired by the era during which Madame Rubinstein was most active and in which the musical is set: the 1920s through 1950s or so. As such, there are a number of wardrobe changes, and we can see the evolution of fashion in them. Because this is not a general fashion blog, I’m going to present these images and analyses thematically rather than chronologically; this is about the skill and artistry of Ms Zuber, not necessarily a history of the fashion industry.

The first costume I want to look at is one that has already become an iconic representation of the Rubinstein part in this musical, her purple outfit with matching hat:

The first word that comes to mind when I see this costume is “dramatic,” and with good reason. When dealing with a personality as big as Madame Rubinstein, the costumes have to match–but at the same time, they need to make sense with the actress and the part being played. Here, we see Ms Zuber using a variety of fabrics in order to make a maximum impact, and doing something we didn’t see a lot of in my other reviews: accessorizing! Yes, when dealing with costumery, a lot of attention has to be paid to the accessories, and we’ll look at those shirtly.

This outfit is a kind of skirtsuit when looked at from a distance, designed to look formal but businesslike, and still intended to leave an impression. For that reason, Ms Zuber has used three varied shades of bright purples: one for the body of the jacket, one for the satin blouse underneath, and a third shade for the hat which is close to that of the jacket, but different enough to allow it to be worn with a different colored outfit. The jacket is the most prominent piece of the ensemble, and is designed to stick out. Have a look at this other Playbill with some greater detail:

The jacket has some gold braiding and filigree work, which is a distinction we can draw from Linda Cho’s work in Anastasia. The braiding work is heavier, thicker, and designed to look visually impressive, putting one in mind of curtain ties and grand cords at some luxury hotel, holding back heavy drapery. While elegant in styling, they add some heft to the jacket and allow it to lay flat on Ms Lupone, especially given the jacket appears to be constructed from a rather light fabric; this is not unusual for pieces that are designed to be worn as part of a layered costume, since a heavier fabric would run the risk of the wearer overheating under stage lighting–not a good situation for any performance!

The jacket is unusual to the modern eye, as we can see from the first still: it’s meant to go below the knee, almost in a robe-like fashion. This is not unexpected with Madame Rubinstein’s character; a native of Eastern Europe, she would have preferred something that flowed even once she was an Australian and later American success. But the decoration doesn’t continue below the bust, unlike in some other costumes I’ve reviewed. Is that a feature or a bug?

To my mind, it’s a feature. Ms Zuber wants attention to be directed upwards on Ms Lupone’s body–as I mentioned earlier, she is quite petite, which means that you do not want people to be looking up and down the entire time (especially, as I’ll explain in a future post, when she is next to Christine Ebersole, her co-star for the production). By only accenting the top of the jacket, Ms Zuber keeps the audience’s attention where it belongs: near the actress’ face, while still giving off a wealthy, flashy feeling through the accents. This is furthered by the satin blouse and skirt underneath, which are a simple cut designed to allow the jacket to be the defining article of clothing in this scene.

As promised, however, we have to also look at the accessories. I’ll start at the top, because the hats that Ms Zuber produced are truly par excellence. Millinery (the formal term for hat-making) is a notoriously tricky art, all the more so in a theatre setting. Costumes have to be designed to take some abuse given the number of changes that are gone through in the course of an average show. Hats often suffer the most, so they need to be made to be durable. 

This one is relatively simple, as compared to the one I did a mini-review of earlier. It’s a simple velvet semi-conical cap designed to give Ms Lupone a bit more height on the stage, as well as match the outfit, and looks like something you absolutely could have scene on a fashionista of the Second World War era (as I’ve noted before, I could see this also being in my grandmother’s closet around that time, were she in a position to buy something this fine). The decoration of the hat is simple and understated: a simple gold fanned badge which matches the roping and accenting on the jacket, as well as the brooch on the right shoulder. It’s understated, but I think that it works here. When you costume a presence like Patti Lupone, you need to be cognizant that your costume can’t outshine the star. And here, Ms Zuber has succeeded.

Other outfits worn by the Madame Rubinstein character throughout the musical also display some of Ms Zuber’s eye for color and design. Here is one that is relatively simply colored, but complex in terms of texture and fabric:

Blue and white is a classic combination, and the choice to use an extremely light, almost gray blue to offset the white here is an interesting one. I’m not entirely sold (for once!) that it was the right way to go, but I can see why Ms Zuber made that decision. It blends with the background and scenery in the scene where this costume is featured, so it’s defensible, but I tend to prefer costumes where the accents are just a bit more pronounced. I do see that the under-layer of the dress is also a pale blue, but in this case I think a stronger accent color might have been a better contrast.

The body of the dress, however, is absolutely gorgeous. I’m not entirely sure on the fabric here, but it’s wonderfully light and sheer, with a lacy pattern throughout that puts one in mind, perhaps, of a spider’s web–in a good way. After all, this is a musical about figures who voraciously consumed their competition and built something remarkable. The weblike pattern on the gown itself is done with a delicate touch, which gives it the appearance of expense and quality without being overdone. What I really like is that, from a distance, the detail work would not be instantly apparent; instead, it would appear to help the dress float in air as Ms Lupone moves around, either on the settee or as she entered or exited the scene.

Given how long this post is, I’m going to close it here with some general commentary on the costumes worn by the Helena Rubinstein character, and I’ll do a separate post on the jewelry and the Blue Outfit I teased the other day; I think it’s better to break it up a little bit and give everyone a reason to keep reading!

Overall, costuming a star like Patti Lupone is not an easy task, but Ms Zuber’s choices are almost all perfect from my perspective. She has a happy talent for color matching and mixing as well as a masterful knowledge of color and an ability to balance the figure and stature of the star with her designs. Overall, I have to say that the Tony nomination was extraordinarily well-deserved, and I think that in another year, Ms Zuber would have added another award to her trophy case.

Next up for the blog: Ms Lupone’s jewelry and accessories, including a look at the Blue Hat and outfit in more depth than I was able to give them in my comment earlier in the week.

Watch this space!


Instead of doing my calculus assignment, I decided to spend my night playing around with some brushes and colors in Photoshop, in the effort to make my MC resemble myself/makeup routine/current hair color a tad more. I do more graphic design than digital painting + haven’t sketched faces in ages, so 😬  she still looks too white to be me. But, she does feel slightly more like Chinese Maggie now! 👀

I admit that I scrutinize East Asian portrayal to the point that it can be too extreme. But then I think about all the Whitewashing™ in both western and Asian beauty/cosmetic/entertainment industries, and how it makes Asian people, myself included, feel icky about our natural looks. 

@playchoices does a spectacular job with representation, but there’s always room for improvement. For instance, I would like to see body shape variety and specific ethnic features, rather than just slapping a different skin color onto a caucasian face, which I felt was the case for the Freshman MC here. 

(And of course, not everyone who plays Choices is female! Let’s represent all genders, and not just in Endless Summer.)

I was very happy with the MC customization options in the The Royal Romance. I liked East Asian MC (though she looked strikingly like LoveHacks MC) and of course, the Prince. 😉  It would be cool if we could choose our character/family race for Rules of Engagement, and if the The Royal Romance MC options could be applied to all other books.

Anyways, it’s amazing how Choices can inspire me to pick up the drawing tablet after 2+ years again. 😊  Now, it’s time to stop questioning my racial identity and start my calculus assignment! Too bad Zig isn’t here to offer moral support…😞 

Meli is a friend of Trace, from the other day. She’s a mechanic/salvage worker/occasional smuggler - more on the right side of what passes for the law than Trace is, but not by a lot.

The galaxy’s actually got a pretty strong cosmetic and thereputic augmentation industry, but good reconstructive surgery and lifelike prostheses are both expensive and, honestly, kind of fragile. For every rich hipster who wants neuro-computing interfaces and delicate porcelain hooves, there’s a dozen folks with utilitarian, refurbished and mismatched, or just plain jury-rigged cyborg parts. Meli figures she’ll look into something a little more presentable when she’s ready to retire from the junking business, but that won’t be for a while yet.

In the meantime, it’s not like it’s a professional disadvantage to lean into the “crazy-reckless, crazy-unkillable human” stereotype.

The 1960s and early 1970s, which saw a strong democratic upsurge in the capitalist countries and powerful national liberation movements in the Third World, also witnessed a rejuvenation of the women’s liberation movement. The movement had such an enormous impact throughout the world that the imperialists sought to destroy it through co-option and diversion into acceptable channels. This resulted in large, corporate or state-funded NGOs vehemently attacking socialism, and putting forward a bourgeois form of feminism. The process of co-option culminated in the United Nations officially recognizing 8 March as the International Women’s Day in 1977. Since then, the most bourgeois and reactionary organizations have also come to ‘celebrate’ 8 March, depriving it of its revolutionary content and great history of struggle, through which it originated. This process was further catalysed with the reversal of socialism, first in the Soviet Union, and, later, in China. The first casualty of these reversals was the denial of some of the rights achieved by women under socialism.

Yet, the International Women’s Day continues to live on amongst the oppressed women of the world. The temporary setback of the communist movement and socialism, and the re-assertion of capitalism/imperialism, has hit women hard. Globalizations, and the crass consumerism associated with it, have witnessed the mass commodification of women, on a scale unheard of before. The cosmetic industry, tourism and bourgeois media have degraded the women’s body as never before, without any respect for their individuality. This, coupled with mass poverty, has led to entire populations turning to prostitution as witnessed in East Europe, East Asia, Nepal, etc. Coupled with this, the rise of religious fundamentalism and various sects throughout the world is pushing another section of women back to a status of the Dark Ages. Squeezed between these two extremes, women, today, more than ever before, feel the need for assertion, for self-respect and equality with their male counterparts.
—  “International Women’s Day, Past And Present” by Anuradha Ghandy

i get that asian women are often infantilized in western culture but as a Korean can I just say that what I love about gremlin is the fact that she IS portrayed as a gross gamer whos childish? 

In korea girls are always expected to be cute, demure, pretty and graceful and not much more, like we’ve made some strides towards gender equality but Korea is still a very sexist country (just look at the enormous cosmetic industry aimed to fit women in the same mold in terms of looks). Girls are often told to think about what their future husbands would want, or what men want in terms of looks and behaviour forcing insecurity and maturity beyond their years, so it’s just refreshing to see a character who could so easily been an eye candy tsundere waifu character be turned into a gross gremlin who does what she wants.

I agree that Hana’s character goes beyond just that of a gremlin but why can’t we have both the deeper lore of hana’s character, how she essentially a child soldier who copes with her trauma through humor, and the light hearted gremlin portrayal without putting one or the other down?


Love this video! Exactly why Cocoa Swatches and SKINDEEP exist! #CocoaSwatches #Repost
Model and beauty activist @philomenakwao meets @the_real_iman to discuss black beauty and being overlooked by the mainstream cosmetics industry. Diversity in makeup is key and #IMANCosmetics continues to create and provide products for all women of color.
Watch the full interview on our YouTube or on @i_d’s website. .
#CelebrateYourSkinTone #WOC #Melanin #Makeup #Iman

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i know beauty is fleeting and superficial blah blah the cosmetic industry is a hoax and profits off of the insecurites of women largely women of color BUT i work hard on my skincare/makeup/hair/upkeep of my body weight (my current ideal weight) and I got a lot?? of compliments based those things yesterday and I was so happy :’) 

anonymous asked:

in the universe of solaris, are AHs born with naturally brightly colored/dual toned hair, or is dye/hair dressers readily available to glam up their clients?

Hair dressers are readily available and I like to think they have more updated technology for that stuff. The Solaris universe has a bit of an obsession and a big industry for cosmetic modifications. You’ll notice that a lot of the natural-born characters have bright hair too, like Rilu, Atka, Yrai, etc :)

anonymous asked:

Can't help but wonder what Pap Stroll's hair really looks like. I'm a natural curly q and I just straight up let mine go because of the humidity where I live. She might want to start pushing hair products instead of cloths. That ish gets expensive after a while. Having extensions taken out as the cause of her hair looking thinner is me being nice. If you don't see signs of stress on your skin, you see it on your scalp. Products only hide so much. Been in the cosmetic industry. I would know. - CN

Thanks, CN and I imagine the rumored drug use would have stresses too. Let it breathe, go natural like Nenny put up a picture of WoC that used a hot comb it was a beautiful glossy black. I don’t want to assume why she keeps going for the straight hair think it’s called a fail with the fake hair.