2010 In Review

Posted on Sunday, at • 68 views

Please pardon the gaps...

The site is in mid-migration now (manual migration of over 7,000 entries, so there's a lot to be done.) The entry stubs are created for older content, but for the most part, the actual content isn't there quite yet. I am working on it. Unfortunately I have no ETA. But feel free to link to any page! When the content does get populated, the URL will stay the same.

2010 In Review

Once upon a time, when I was a wee zygote and dinosaurs had only recently gone extinct, the first Christmas decorations would timidly poke their noses out of hiding over Thanksgiving weekend, and the whole aisles of paper, bows, decorations and toys would show up December 1st. Then when I was a pre-teen, everything showed up on Thanksgiving weekend. Then when I was driving, the line of introduction was pushed to mid-November. Now, you can catch the first bits of plastic holly coming out of hiding in late October (and in some places, they'll start coyly hinting at Christmas decorations after Labor Day.) So the first weekend of November is not too soon to do a year-in-review post, is it? No. Onward.

This obviously doesn't cover everything that happened this year. This only covers what made it onto my radar - and while I'm a beauty blogger, I'm not the hardcore omnivore or niche specialist….so I expect that this will be a very rapid skimming of events.

On the GBC front, Tales of Corporate Fuckwittery

OPIdiocy In March 2010, nail polish creator / retailer OPI sued TransDesign and several other etailers for selling their products without proper agreements...or something. The exact charge was "copyright infringement": they were concerned that some of these etailers were selling diverted product. Since the etailers were selling OPI polishes at half retail cost, and that was the only way many folks would buy OPI polishes, folks began rethinking their decision to support the company. In May, OPI began sending legal takedown notices to bloggers for showing promo photos who had, for years, showcased the upcoming OPI collections and whipped beauty bloggers into an anticipatory frenzy. No explanation was offered. No apology was offered. One of their excuses was that other companies would steal their ideas...grimly amusing, when you looked at the OPI Swiss collection versus the China Glaze Vintage Vixen collection. There were five dupes between the two collections, China Glaze had promoted their collections (and sent PR samples) out months before OPI's Swiss collection was more than a list of polish names on a few forums...and OPI is claiming that blogs are a huge leak? Then later in the year, OPI goes up for sale. So all of their bullshit was gussying themselves up for a corporate suitor. "No, look, we're not cheap, really we're not!! All the publicity? All the mentions on blogs? You won't find any company that makes polishes that are as admired as ours!!" Except Zoya, who has more colors than OPI and whose polishes cost less and last longer; or China Glaze, whose polishes can also be used as nail stamping polishes and regular nail colors; or - even more weirdly - Sally Hansen, a dark-horse candidate in the nail polish race that for years was known for their drugstore polishes...and who suddenly redesigned their bottles and brushes, reformulated their polish, and released several collections and colors including the instant blogger favorite Hidden Treasure. So no, OPI, you're not cheap. You're just arrogant, entitled, and also perhaps hoping that your prospective buyer is so stupid as to not be able to do a bit of research and find what -=other=- baggage they'll be getting...and maybe not buy, after all, even after you spent all this time tarting yourself up.

I stick by my conviction not to buy any more OPI products, not even the polishes made exlusively for places like Sephora...but now it's for so many more reasons. (For those of you who think OPI pulled a stupid but aren't going so far as to forswear their products entirely, some etailers' pipelines appear to still be open and the newer collections are showing up, even after the initial "we are phasing out all of our OPI products" notices that went up this summer. The per-bottle prices have gone up...but you're still paying less than retail.) Addendum: I guess OPI will be suing Target some time soon, because this summer when I was in Target and looking at their OPI display, I noticed that all of the bottles (well, all 2 dozen or so that I specifically looked at)...had rough patches on the backs of the bottles. Right about where the serial numbers would be. Aherm. Or maybe they don't care because Target is not selling them below retail?

From the Polish Police blog comes this wicked snippet:

In the meantime, people on Makeup Alley are brandishing their wit and coming up with hilarious new polish names for OPI. My favorites include Blue My Chances, Payback Black, Here Today… Jail Tomorrow, Have You Seen My Lawyer?, I’ll See Hue In Court, OPI Wish You All Paid Retail, Pink Another Brand Now, Orange You Going To Like Paying Retail? and Suzi Says Subpoena.

I am not registered on MUA, and from what I've overheard from others, it's as full of drama as...well, as any large popular internet forum is. So I will continue to stay away. But these polish names gave me a chuckle.

Not all publicity is good publicity M*A*C released another collaboration-collection with fashion house Rodarte. The collection and individual items were named after the maquiladora border-town of Juarez, Mexico, where women and girls are forced to labor ridiculously long hours in factories for an absurdly tiny sum of money...and if they object or try to improve their lives or the lives of their friends and family, they're beaten, raped and killed. The local law enforcement doesn't do much to help these women and may notify the gangs of "troublemakers", because the factories are too profitable for the local economy and the thugs that run it. Apparently during the months-long buildup to this campaign, no one at M*A*C thought to actually check on what or where Juarez was or what it might be (in)famous for...or they knew full well, and were just going to ride the wave of controversy all the way to the bank. I have no words. However, thousands of other beauty-bloggers did. The collection was eventually pulled, and a donation made to help the girls and women of Juarez.

SOLD!! Bare Escentuals was bought by Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido last January - around the same time that The SheSpace announced its closing. The deal caused some concern among the BE diehard fans, but also brought a bit of hope that with new owners might come new colors, some new products, and perhaps better fill levels. Annoyingly enough, more of the kits released last year contained mini-size eyeshadows (.28 grams / .01 ounces), there were quite a few repeats and uses of readily-available colors, and the fill levels on the larger colors did not reliably improve. However, the Buxom line at Sephora continues to expand (which I love, because I've become a total buxom-lip-aholic), and several older colors were brought back - either in kits or as individuals. I picked up Ell-If-I-Know, which is a gorgeous very pigmented blue sparkle, Trophy Wife, a lovely yellow-gold shimmer, and Dakota, a deep purple-black shimmer that looks amazing with my eyecolor. I even managed to snag Heaven blush (which is nice, but not as much of a personal favorite as Posh...which -=still=- isn't available individually. Get on that, Shiseido/BE!!) As happens with any changing product line, some of the items that debuted were kind of "meh" - for example, the much-ballyhooed Buxom Stay There shadows have a wider range of colors than MAC or Benefit's cream shadows, but they cost more per ounce and don't perform as well. People also seem divided about the new High Shine colors, in part because of the cost per ounce...but largely because of the packaging. I don't want an applicator that goes right back into the product and stays there, with all the bacteria that may be on it; and most people, unlike me, are not repotting fiends.

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