This time of year is usually my favourite – the languid heat of August and September, the fresh start of post-holiday returns to school and work and society, the abundance of delicious produce and the fall beauty launches are what I look forward to all year. However, this heat wave is murder – I feel like the embodiment of a damp dishcloth, festering under the blazing sun.

That said, I’ve got an extra fabulous edition of Highlights this time because despite the brain-mashing effects of the unheard of temperatures we’re experiencing, there’s been so much great content to read lately.

Hi, those Hourglass shimmer creme eyeshadows? Gorgeous. Stunning. Yes please.

Skincare is becoming a gateway to careers in chemistry for women. Beloved beauty blogger and chemist Michelle Wong is interviewed! She’s divine. I of course have thoughts about enticing women with cosmetics (that sexist EU ad from a few years back comes to mind) but anything that gets women into STEM is a good thing in my book!

A gay man’s ambivalent relationship with the term “queer”, which has become more or less the ubiquitous umbrella term for LGBT people whether we like it or not. For me, it’s not a term that I identify with personally (It’s become a bit depoliticized, no?) but it doesn’t offend me.

Stop the presses – Netflix is making a series about Madam CJ Walker starring Octavia Spencer!!!

Jia Tolentino has some thoughts about the debate around the Kylie Jenner Forbes cover.

Will body positivity be easier if we charge the words that describe bodies? Here are some suggestions.

Shiseido’s revamped makeup line.

Shiseido offers a first look at the new look and concept of their makeup line. The packaging isn’t my thing – it’s nice but too neutral!  That said, the concept of dividing products by texture feels very modern, and the ad is cool. (trendmood has some more footage.)

This piece on the life and legacy of beauty industry vanguard Kevyn Aucoin touches my heart. I need to see the documentary right now. And re-read Making Faces.

This has nothing to do with beauty, really (though it is beautiful), but this plum and parmesan salad is all I want to eat. I’m gonna try it with apricots.

This insta-famous plastic surgeon has been arrested following a patient’s death. Absolutely horrifying.

Kassia St. Clair takes us through the thinking behind colour names – one of my favourite topics! For instance, have you noticed how common food names are in beauty? I wonder why.

Tiny beauty products, shot by Tom Newton.

Here are some really cute tiny beauty products for you to coo over.

MAC’s new “dazzle” products look fun – very disco-chic!

Speaking of colour, this interview with Lucia Pica by Kathleen Hou is giving me goo-goo eyes. I love the way she thinks about colour!

Did you watch Nanette on Netflix? It’s absurdly good. It has everything I like – art history and making straight people uncomfortable. And Hannah Gadsby. Legend!

Armani is extending their shade range. Finally! And they’re featuring Nyma Tang in the campaign, and we love her.


Naomi Watanabe, the it-girl-est it-girl ever, is collabing on some lipsticks for Shu Uemura and the campaign is brilliant. She balances being funny, cute, sexy and bold like no other.

Here are some really chic, size-inclusive brands to check out. I’m forwarding this post to every buyer in my city.

The Fenty Clara Lionel highlighter is a little bizarre, but also kind of cool. I like the pan design.

ELLE’s article series on trying makes me happy – here’s why it’s actually not a bad thing to be a try-hard instagrammer.

The idea of the Big Deal Birthday seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon, and thank god I don’t have to experience it.

Ad shot by Anton Breuhel for Bonwit Teller, 1932.

Can fashion photography be art? What about advertising?  Art is about context and ambivalence, I think, so my answer is – sometimes.

The way the beauty biz is using the idea of self-care to flog product is… concerning.

This article about the inadequacy of sex toys, the pitfalls of sex positivity, and relationships is outrageously excellent. Bravo.

Pixi’s new Retinol Tonic interests me greatly – I’m actually trying it out right now!

There was a lot of buzz around National Lipstick Day (ugh.) and it turns out Huda Kattan OWNS it. Double ugh.

I don’t do gels or whatever else high-tech, high-maintenance nail artist witchcraft there is, but jelly nails make me consider it. They’re WAY too cool.

Tinted sunscreen is a genius product, and here’s a list of which ones to try for darker skintones.

Can a brand be feminist? NAH. But boy do they keep trying.

Retail death, schmetail death – what are physical shops gonna do to stay afloat? Become cool, that’s what.

Speaking of cool, here’s a roundup of legit cool things by T magazine editors – including unicorns and some seriously chic fragrance.

Wait – if Rihanna says thin brows are cool, do we all have to follow suit?

Inspo: Chic packaging design, as selected by myself and my instagram followers.

The Face Shop x William Edwards
Eudermine by Shiseido
Rodin Olio Lusso Holiday Giftwrap
Ellis Faas Makeup
Serge Lutens Beauty
Kjaer Weis Beauty

5 thoughts on “HIGHLIGHTS #19

  1. Femmefam

    Tbh I’ve only seen brands and the media talk about how Rihanna is their style and beauty guru. It’s just hype.


    1. Saffron

      I disagree! I disagree A LOT!!


  2. Laura

    UGH the butt injection story is giving me the shivers. Some people trust this guy with his endo advice???
    I can’t stand tester sized skincare but I absolutely adore tiny perfume bottles or even the regular plastic or glass (especially glass) vials that have like 3ml of product in them. I could easily pick a few for an aromatherapy kit to alleviate anxiety.
    I’m not too into Chanel tbh but Lucia Pica has a vision and I love what she does with her “creative platform”.
    Had a huge crush on Naomi Watanabe ever since my friend introduced me to the clothing brand Punyus she models for. She’s just too funny & charming. I think the lipstick packaging could be cuter, but the ad is really fun and retro.
    I love the 20’s – 30’s eyebrow look and it’s a smart move since we’ve been so obsessed with thick (natural or not?) eyebrows for such a long time now. I’m not about to start plucking my eyebrows again but it would be so much fun to start seeing even 90’s style eyebrows more.


    1. DJ

      I’m with you on the tiny perfume bottles over the tiny skincare. I have a whole collection of mini perfumes, but what are you even supposed to accomplish with half a squirt of moisturizer or cleanser? How do you know if it works for you if you can only use it once, maybe twice tops before you run out?

      Will say though, that those tiny Herbivore oil vials are actually quite generous. I recently bought the True Blue set and the Lapis oil in it is that same size, but I expect it’ll last quite a while since you only need, like, four drops each time. The Blue Tansy mask was also in quite a large jar – while still being small enough to be cute – for a sample set.


    2. Saffron

      I think Naomi Watanabe actually founded the brand Punyus as well! She’s such a powerhouse.


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