Beauty Bytes: November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013



Are there cockroaches in your cosmetics? Cockroach farms are a new and lucrative trade for enterprising Chinese businesspeople, who are selling dried “American” roaches for up to $20 a pound. Because cockroaches are so hardy (they even survive nuclear radiation), they are valued in traditional Asian medicine, and research is currently underway to find out if pulverized roaches are useful in treating baldness, AIDS, and cancer (the big three for any miracle cure). But the mention of cosmetic companies using them for their protein content and the cellulose-like substance on their wings has the Internet buzzing. Natural and vegan cosmetics companies are the first to capitalize on the eww factor, but no one has named an actual product that contains the little critters. Los Angeles Times.


Rihanna is in trouble again – this time with fans who say that her latest tattoos are an insult to their culture. Indian bloggers are complaining that by getting “henna-inspired” tattoos on her right hand, she is appropriating, misinterpreting, and forcing a new interpretation of a culturally specific decoration. Madonna may have been the first mega-celebrity to dabble in mehndi, but that was different era – bricolage was a hot word, and appropriation of cultural or religious imagery, while controversial, only fed the flames of fandom. In the era of social media and extreme cultural sensitivity, even the style blogs are criticizing Rihanna’s new ink. The Gloss.


October is over, so we won’t be seeing those annoying pink ribbons everywhere. But breast cancer is a much bigger issue than my dislike of the color pink, especially for those who go through it. Jane Iredale has sponsored Living Beyond Breast Cancer – an organization that provides support for women dealing with the disease – for five years, raising over $250,000 for the cause. They’re now offering the Bright Future Eyeshadow Compact – a Swarovski crystal-accented compact with five mini eyeshadows and attached brush – for $30, and 100% of profits go to the charity. Jane Iredale.


Becca at is also sick of the pink ribbons, but not because she hates the color. Having survived triple negative breast cancer eight years ago, the ribbons take her back to that time, and even trigger survivor guilt. On her site she shares a valuable list of Top Ten Things that will help anyone who finds herself “fighting in the pink trenches of breast cancer”.


Okay, now to the fun stuff! The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York is hosting a two-day symposium on A Queer History of Fashion on November 8 & 9, 2013. The symposium accompanies their museum exhibit and will feature over twenty speakers, including Simon Doonan, Fran Liebowitz, and Dr. Valerie Steele. Admission is free – free! – but early registration has ended. If there is space, you can register the day of the event. Fashion Institute of Technology.



Symmetrical Faces

Symmetrical Faces

In Pictures: What makes a face attractive? Particular facial features go in and out of style across time and cultures (I’ve seen my own naturally full lips go from “play down your flaws” to “how can I fake ones like yours?”), but pretty much everyone likes a symmetrical face. Scientists even do studies on the effect. Di at Symmetrical Faces has collects images for portrait reference, but the effect of the whole page of facial symmetry is mesmerizing. Symmetrical Faces.







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