Men, beauty & homophobia

There’s a disturbing but unsurprising tendency among men – primarily straight, cisgender men – of extreme reactions to other men’s style choices. This is especially prevalent when men in one way or another uses feminine attributes in their self expression. I read an article in a major Swedish newspaper where a man was making a big deal about men who wear perfume, going so far as to compare their wearing...

Makeup is not a weapon.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Peter Phillips – creative director of Dior beauty – makes the bold claim that makeup is a feminist weapon: “To Philips, it’s not something to hide behind, but a tool that enhances women’s feminine power. “A lipstick, an eyeliner is something a woman can use, and should use, to really put forward her strengths,” continues Philips. “She can totally control how she wants the...

Cool Girl, Where Art Thou?

There’s a lot of buzz around the ‘cool girl’ beauty movement – rumours and legends spread like wildfire about what ‘cool girl’ does and what ‘cool girl’ likes. But who the hell is she anyway?! Googling the term ‘cool girl beauty’ leads me to headlines like “What’s the deal with cool girl beauty?” (That’s what I wanna know!) along with “5 Cool-Girl Beauty Trends for Spring Brides”, “Top 5 Picks...

Cinematic Cosmetics: The Fifth Element by Luc Besson

Possibly one of my favourite movies to date, The Fifth Element is a sci-fi cult classic with a seriously strong aesthetic. Full of amazing costumes (by Jean-Paul Gaultier, no less) and meticulously developed environments, I could easily pick apart every facet of its visual qualities because there’s just so much material. That would be a long text, so let’s just talk about makeup. What makes The Fifth Element so appealing...

Chocolate is good, but makeup is carb free!

Photo: SKØN Magazine There’s an undeniable link between cosmetics and food. Going through my own collection, I find items shaped like, named after and scented like food – primarily sweets and fruits. I have a lip gloss that looks like a cupcake, and nearly every lip product I own smells like vanilla or toffee. The NYX Butter Glosses, which I’ve mentioned before, smell like the caramel syrup you put on ice cream,...

Advertising, Beauty, and the New Woman

Whether you’re discussing the American “Flapper”, the French “Garconne”, the Japanese “Moga” or the German “Neue Frau”, the new woman of the 1920s has become a fixed, international symbol of her time. With her bobbed hair, heavily made-up face and slim figure, the new woman met your gaze from the magazine covers, print ads, movie posters and satire drawings of any major city. The most conspicuous and – in the...

On Love & Labour

Let’s take a serious moment. Today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday with plenty of controversy attached to it. How can a celebration of love be controversial? Isn’t love a universally pure, good thing? Well, I want to say yes. But also no. Love can be as draining as it can be energizing. It can be productive or destructive. And unfortunately, the type of love we celebrate most – especially for...

The publicity and privacy of applying your lipstick

As a chronic over-sleeper, I do my makeup on the bus. More or less every day, I squint into a tiny pocket mirror and apply my eyeliner and brow pencil and so on under the watchful eyes of my co-commuters. Aside from the fact that it’s kind of tricky and it’s taken me a long time to even be able to apply makeup on a bus ride full of bumps...

Limited editions and the illusion of rarity

This time of year is rife with “holiday” beauty launches. Aside from the ubiquitous celebrity perfume gift sets, it seems like the fall-winter season is the event of the year for makeup. You have everything from holiday palettes to bizarre christmas tree ornaments with mini beauty products inside to advent calendars stuffed with shower gels and body butters. To say the least, it’s overwhelming to the point of exhaustion. And...

Beauty Ritual as Coping Mechanism

I don’t necessarily hide the fact that I’m mentally ill. I don’t always talk about it, but that’s because it’s not always relevant. But today it is. I have a stubborn case of depression, with some ptsd and anxiety and dissociation sprinkled in for a bit of spice. I have good days and bad days, and lately, they’ve all been bad. I cry a lot. Over anything from dirty dishes...