Beauty Blogosphere 8.3.12

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

From Head...
Saving the day:
 Introducing the world's first natural-hair comic strip, Kinky & Carl E. Stranz.

...To Toe...
Pachyderm pedi: Elephant pedicure video. (Why doesn't someone feed me apples when I get a pedicure?)

...And Everything In Between:

Digital ladies: L'Oréal is launching a program that sounds promising: the L'Oréal Women in Digital Program, which rewards female tech innovators in the beauty industry. Not that I want female tech innovators to be siphoned off by L'Oréal instead of developing programs for broader application, but I definitely don't want techie beauty gadgets developed by people who have never worn the products in question either, you know? (That's probably how we came up with these so-bad-they're-great digital makeovers, after all.)

Avon falling: Avon is at an all-time low, with a 9% revenue fall from last quarter. The new CEO is hinting that major restructuring lies ahead; the question is whether that "restructuring" includes a doubling back on Coty's buyout offer from earlier this year.

Color me impressed: Gorgeous Crayola makeup product design. If half of what we're paying for with cosmetics is marketing, can we at least make them all look this good?

See the pyramids: Virginia Sole-Smith continues to shed light on the world of Mary Kay, this week with a look at the direct sales business as a whole. Are you surprised that it's not a pretty picture?

The ventures: How small east Asian brands are rising thanks to more global attention on major Asian lines like Shiseido. Certainly I'm a sucker for those "beauty goodies from around the world" features that crop up in ladymags every so often; seems I'm not alone. Similarly, India's beauty industry is catching investors' eyes, and for good reason: With low overhead and a steadily growing middle class, startup Indian beauty companies are thriving.

Veggie tales: Women diagnosed with an eating disorder are four times likelier than non-disordered women to be vegetarian. I've stayed away from this on my blog for the most part, because I know there are plenty of positive motivations for being a vegetarian or vegan, and going down this path is sure to invite healthy vegetarians to defend themselves when I have no interest in attacking anyone's actual motivation for being a vegetarian. What I will say is that most—not all, but literally most—women I know who are vegetarians have also had some troubling food patterns, if not a full-blown eating disorder. (Conversely, one of the women whom I perceive as having a wholly healthy relationship with food is a vegan, so.) Vegetarianism is a way of controlling food; eating disorders are all about controlling food. I don't want to delegitimize vegetarianism, but people, we need to be able to talk about this, because as-is vegetarianism is often seen as a way of being "good." Do any of us want to reinforce to people with eating disorders that their patterns are good?

Portlandia: The best and worst American cities for your skin. #1 is Portland, Oregon, which shouldn't add to its superiority complex or anything. (Via Makeup Museum)

Tip of the season: You can't rely on SPF cosmetics to protect you from the sun.

Also, diaper cream: Roundup of embarrassing beauty products people keep in their bags. If only I'd made a bet about not being the only person alive who carries around lip gloss from the '90s!

Darling gal: Big congratulations to Gala Darling—whose take on "radical self-love" somehow manages to be soaring, sincere, grounded, and whimsical all at once—for being named beauty and style editor at I'm pleased to hear this because I'm a big fan of Gala's, but I've had my problems with xoJane, specifically what looked like exploitation of an addict in the supposed name of "honesty." That said, "honesty" of the page-view variety at the site has always been matched at least point for point by emotionally ambivalent pieces that I truly appreciate, often in the form of searing personal essays. I quietly vowed not to link to them because I was saddened by the Cat Marnell situation (and often horrified by Marnell's advice), but every time I'd see a particularly strong piece I'd question my decision. With Gala's announcement, I'm ready to give xoJane another chance. I trust her implicitly and know she'll bring a host of interesting content to the site. More to the point, if she's working for them, they're doing something right, and that something can overcome my initial misgivings. Make us all proud, Ms. Darling!

Heavy lifting: Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith gives a spot-on retort to the people who raise eyebrows at the changes weightlifting causes in a woman's body: "We don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive?" (via Feminist Philosophers)

Special delivery: California beauty boutique robbed via mail slot. (If only Scully and Mulder were on the case...)

Eau de Narcissus: Meet the Hu-Mannequin, a device that funnels your personal scent into a clothing mannequin in order to...get you to buy more clothes? Or something. To be honest, I don't really get it. What I do know is this: 1) I would be very, very curious to know how a synthesized version of my personal scent would smell, and 2) The company is counting on this exact mix of curiosity and narcissism to pull a profit.

Eco-beauty: Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Refillable makeup cartridges, at Sephora, created by a student of industrial design.

Vadge of honor: Congratulations to Miss Atlas, owner of the world's most beautiful vagina.

Stet: Kim Kardashian says her fantasy job—because the occupation of being Kim Kardashian is so, you know, banal—is makeup artist. Meanwhile, Emma Stone, face of Revlon, cites her fantasy job as copy editor. (Girl knows how to par-tay!)

Marilyn's mark: This is basically a press release, but an interesting one: the enduring legacy of Marilyn Monroe's beauty mark. Related: Why doesn't whoever spun "mole" into "beauty mark" take a look at cellulite next? "Dimples of Venus," anyone?

Gamine gaze: In her typically clear-eyed manner, Phoebe asks why we're sometimes eager to conflate body type with personal style. "A woman with an hourglass physique, whatever her bedroom activities or lack thereof, is thought to dress to please men, whereas the more straight-up-and-down have the option of dressing for other women/for themselves." (Should this sound outdated, may I point you toward Debralee Lorenzana, who was fired from Citibank in 2009 for wearing "distracting" clothing—you know, like fitted business suits.)