What’s going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.
Seeing red: Red lipstick increases waitresses’ tips? Headlines say yes (of course! anything to add to the idea that there’s a right way to be a lay-dee), but a closer look at the study shows that the research was conducted in a region where voluntary tipping is unusual, as a service charge is added to bills. So men (not women) were indeed likelier to tip waitresses in red lipstick, but we’re talking about throwing in some extra change, not 30% of the bill. I’d be curious to know how this research would go in areas where there’s no service charge.
Pedicure subcommittee: Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) introduces a bill to temporarily suspend the duty on pedicure (and manicure) sets. I’ll admit this isn’t exactly what I had in mind in thinking that more women in legislative seats would equal better rights for women, but hey! Duty-free…pedicure sets. Vive le 99%?
Taboo you: What do you do if you’re an immigrant whose situation makes salon work the best job option for you—but you come from a culture that considers touching other people’s feet a demeaning taboo?
…And Everything In Between:
Red soled: Christian Louboutin to launch line of beauty products. Actually, he’s not launching it; a company called Batallure that specializes in creating brands for prestige clients is doing it. And I’m not saying anything about Louboutin, but I will gently point out that an anagram for Batallure is “a label rut.”
Playing hard to get: Avon is Lady Mary Crawley to Coty’s Matthew Crawley, as the suitor withdrew a $10.7 billion bid for an Avon takeover. Now if Coty starts courting Wet ‘n’ Wild and then Wet ‘n’ Wild dies of the Spanish flu, I’ll call setup.
Human resource: Estee Lauder is developing training modules to source talent knowledgeable in the Asian market, which is projected to be a major competitor to the behemoth company because of the region’s advances in skin care.
The kids are all right: Teens and tweens are back to buying beauty products full-throttle, in post-recession numbers. WHEW.
Strike a pose: With the recent, tragic death of transgender performer Lorena Xtravaganza, now’s a good time to revisit the importance of Paris Is Burning, (on Hulu!), a fascinating documentary about “ball culture,” a community of black, Latino, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who have “vogue balls” basically dedicated to fabulosity and “realness.”
Double bind: Ability to dress modestly: good. Ability to self-express: good. But is haute hijab fashion winding up backfiring on modern Muslim women?
Ladyblades: Hanna Brooks Olsen at Blisstree (which, btw, continues to impress me more and more each day) raises an eyebrow at gendered pricing, specifically razors and deodorant. (True story: I once worked for a magazine that claimed men’s and women’s razors were different because the razor blades were turned in opposite directions—women’s optimized for leg-shaving and being held with the handle above the blade, men’s optimized for face-shaving and being held with blade above handle. I bought it and didn’t question it for years, until I thought to compare the blades and saw—oops!—it was bullshit.)
Stress cases: Transgender young adults may have a higher eating disorder rate than the general population. And Australian aboriginal people may have a higher rate of binge eating disorder than non-aboriginal Australians, which echoes what I reported on last year about indigenous women in North America. All this is adding up to, Gee, maybe marginalized people are likelier to deal with stress through manipulating their food intake? The media is getting better about not painting EDs as a rich white girl thing, but we can continue to do better.
What you’ve been waiting for: Finally. Finally! Finally someone has invented a machine that emits perfume whenever someone mentions you on the Internet. (via Mimi FrouFrou)
Sweet smell of success: What makes some celebrities “credible” in hawking fragrances, while others launch perfumes that go nowhere? (Also: Jennifer Aniston had a perfume?) My favorite part in here is an expert talking about how a celebrity needs to “look like” they’d wear a fragrance. How does that work, exactly?
The nose knows: Josephine Catapano, the noted perfumer who designed the legendary Youth Dew, died May 14 at age 93. Youth Dew was one of Estee Lauder’s breakthrough products, transforming the company from a growing but modest brand into a landmark beauty stalwart.
Fitspo throwdown: Lexie and Lindsay of Beauty Redefined take the idea of “fitspo” (fitness inspiration) and crush it like a beetle. I mean, if you hate beetles. In any case! It’s awesome.
If a size falls in the forest: More on the Vogue no-models-who-have-eating-disorders business, this time from someone who would really know: Tyra Banks. “[I]f I was just starting to model at age 17 in 2012, I could not have had the career that I did. I would’ve been considered too heavy. In my time, the average model’s size was a four or six. Today you are expected to be a size zero. When I started out, I didn’t know such a size even existed.”
Hot hands: A glimpse into how cosmetics shoplifting rings work.
In the parlor: Robin Boylorn on “beauty parlor politics”: “‘At the shop’ we were sisters, even when we were strangers, because being without a done ‘do was like being naked in public. But between our sing alongs and gossip, no one noticed. The salon was a meeting place, the great equalizer—like church, but without the judgment.” (via Mara)
Triangulation: Can one shop subversively, calling attention to labor issues while perusing the racks of fast fashion? Terri dons a homemade T-shirt bearing questions about labor and fast fashion—”In your factory, are the windows barred? In your factory, are the elevators locked?”
On perspective: I’m excited for Ashe’s new interview series on body image and style. I read a good number of excellent body image blogs, but there’s something about a Q&A that’s particularly revealing, and with a topic like body image, perspective really is everything.