Beauty Blogosphere 6.3.11

What's going on in the latest beauty news, from head to toe and everything in between. 

From Head...
An oldie but a goodie: A fantastic post from fashion blog Dress a day on why you don't always have to be pretty. "Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female.'" Sing it, sister! (Thanks to Rebekah at Jaunty Dame, who also has a fun "this is the picture I took to the stylist, and this is the haircut I got" post here, for the tipoff.)

Counterfeit beauty: Roughly 85% of cosmetics in Nepal are fakes. They might be sold for cheaper than the real brands, sure—but counterfeit Oil of Olay is a helluva lot likelier to give unwitting consumers a skin rash.

Okay, but sometimes you don't want yellow nails, dig?

To Toe...
DIY beauty: Okay, I'll cover a "product", but only because it's homemade and because switching my pedicure polish from crimson to raspberry did indeed leave me with yellowed nails: Abuela's Yellow Nail Stain Remover.  

...And Everything in Between
"Exercise was my mirror": When blogger Cameo Morningstar was diagnosed with glycogen storage disease a few years ago, she was forced to give up—and, later, scrutinize the motivations behind—her intense workout regimen. Verging on Serious focuses on health, particularly mind-body and the struggle to be as healthy as possible without sliding into obsession; this thoughtful post springs off the control issues that came up in my mirror fast, making the link between the control of the mirror and the control over one's body. "If a mirror is a device one uses to assess and manipulate one’s appearance, then exercise was my mirror." 

Is Facebook a mirror too?: Rob Horning at Marginal Utility suggests that our ability to constantly monitor ourselves through our online presence functions in the same way I was indicating mirrors do for me: "Social-media sites seem to me to be self-consciousness machines."

Clothes shopping without mirrors: Kjerstin Gruys of Mirror Mirror Off the Wall gives it a whirl! Kjerstin, if only we lived on the same coast, we could totally take each other clothes shopping. (I still haven't seen myself in the dresses I bought.) 

We all loved Dove's "Evolution." Why are we still referencing it five years later?

Is knowledge enough?: Social work student Valerie Kusler looks at whether knowing that media images are heavily manipulated can change our perception of them. The answer: sorta. This just means we need more of those counter messages (here's looking at you, Beauty Redefined!)

Enough with the "real women": Tea and Feathers on why applauding body-diverse models by calling them "real" is unhelpful to all of us. (Via Mrs. Bossa)

Sartorialist SERVED: Threadbare's fantastic takedown of The Sartorialist's treatment of service workers, alongside the scrutiny from always excellent Of Another Fashion, will make your eyes roll even farther back into your head as far as the Sartorialist is concerned.   

How racist is the beauty industry?: Um, pretty racist sometimes! Great ads slideshow. I'd argue that skin whitening creams aren't necessarily as racist as they may appear; from women I talked to in Vietnam (which, admittedly, is one country among many), the goal was to look like a woman of leisure, not a white woman. (And sure enough, the compliments random people gave me on the whiteness of my skin decreased exponentially the more tanned I became.) They're still toxic and upsetting, to be sure, and we can't completely extricate race from the equation, but I do think it's more complex than it seems. (Via Beauty Schooled) That said... 

Asian skin development: Estee Lauder is opening an "Asian Innovation Center" in Shanghai to develop products specific to the skin of Chinese and other Asian women. Let's hope it goes beyond whitening, shall we?

More global Estée: New Estee Lauder head of global corporate marketing could be interesting to watch: She's planning on focusing on "global travelers" in megacities, directly anticipating desire instead of following the "customer is boss" approach.

Wow, Darren, way to break type with your female lead opposite Vincent Cassel.

Requiem for a Cologne: I sort of hate Darren Aronofsky (though I did like Black Swan), mainly because Requiem for a Dream was one of the most overwrought, ham-fisted pieces of filmmaking I've ever witnessed. Second only to his commercial for YSL's La Nuit de Homme fragrance, that is! But coming in at two minutes instead of two godforsaking hours makes this totally awesome in its ridiculousness. Vincent Cassel at his sleaziest! (Via Scented Salamander)

Nailed It: Fantastic, well-researched history of nail polish at Beautifully Invisible, focusing on classic red but hitting plenty of intervening trends.

Nurse Jackee: Silly but fun spoof of Nurse Jackie (btw, major girl crush on Merritt Wever!), starring Jackee as a beauty-products-addicted nurse. "Stop primping, start nursing. We're here to save lives," goes her inner monologue after her false eyelashes fall into a patient's spleen.

It might really be all in your head:
I don't know enough about science to comment, but this news about the role of visual processing in body dysmorphia, and this piece on researchers who play with visual processing by making people think they're giants or dwarves (!), seem potentially related. I sort of want to build a center for people with body dysmorphia to go in and lay next to mannequins sized to their bodies and see what happens.

Digital plastic surgery: Beauty Redefined doing what they do, as excellently as ever. This time they examine how we're "Photoshopping ourselves out of existence."