Sunday, December 29, 2013

My 2013 Top 10 Nail Polish Favorites List

Please visit PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr to see my year-end nail color pick and 2013 Top 10 Nail Polish Favorites List (plus a bonus list from a special young lady whose nails make frequent appearances there)!

Hot Looks: Nailed It

Which look will you rock this NYE? Hot Looks: Nailed It Edited by SunHee Grinnell, Vanity Fair | December 29 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

John Frum and the Cargo Cults

Who is John Frum? Read the article: John Frum and the Cargo Cults by Gerry Matlack, 19 February 2007

Thursday, December 26, 2013

PINK MANHATTAN Top 10 Fragrance 2013 Year End List

It's that time of year again, and although I don't expect my taste in perfume to have changed too much since I've not been as avid a sampler as I'd once been, I've certainly discovered some new fragrances to adore that have joined my wardrobe. My permanent line-up consists of tried and true loves, with Creed Spring Flower, my all-season, all-occasion fresh Fruity Floral in the top tier; the others I love more seasonally but have stood the test of time. However, it's refreshing to keep my collection updated with new fragrances alongside my own choice of timeless classics.

There were a few additional scents worn throughout the year, as I can't even wear my favorites every day, but believe it or not, I have stuck to one or two favorites at a time more steadily than at any time since becoming a perfumista. It is possible to become a signature scentist more or less, if you're not looking to expand taste horizons, and opt to stay within your comfort zone.

It also helps if you've met the one(s) you know will always be your go-to, regardless of fashion, and oblivious to changing trends. After getting to know loads of different perfumes in all of the olfactive families and in different styles, I know I am a Floral person (mostly white flowers or a blend) who leans in other directions from time to time. Fruity Floral, Floral Oriental, Floral Aldehyde, Fougere Floral, Green Floral and straight up Floral: these seem to be my favorites since the beginning and as time goes by. I love the sweet notes, too: vanilla, tonka, amber. Which are your favorites?

My 2013 Year End Top 10 Fragrance List

1. Creed Spring Flower
2. Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion
3. Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto
4. Creed Fleurissimo
5. BCBG Max Azria Bon Chic
6. Prada Amber pour Homme
7. Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
8. Jean Patou Joy
9. Serge Lutens Gris Clair
10. L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons

Image: Creed Spring Flower, from my own collection

Celebrity Scent of the Year: Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum

Hall of Fame: Christian Dior Poison Esprit de Parfum

Best New Launch of 2013: Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido La Fille de Berlin

Fragrance of the Year: Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto

As I've said before, I haven't sampled a great deal this year, but thanks to Serge Lutens, it seems I will need to read A Woman in Berlin now. I'm also feeling personally amused that the purple hourglass bottle and box packaging concept for YSL Manifesto looks so much like G by Giorgio Beverly Hills, one of the first perfumes handpicked for me. Now, once you've smelled almost everything there is to smell, and there are few mysteries left, you can delve into brand new fields of leisurely study as I have this year, like the fun and carefree, super laid back world of nail polish. Please visit my PINK MANHATTAN @ Tumblr account where I plan to post my Top 10 list of favorite nail polish shades, to be compiled before 2013 is over (I'll update you soon). Best Wishes in 2014, darlings!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


Image: Adoration of the Shepherds (1689) by Charles Le Brun

Monday, December 23, 2013

Paris Hilton Sheer by Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton (2004)

Paris Hilton Sheer by Paris Hilton (2007)

I opened an early Christmas perfume gift to myself (it was an inexpensive add-on to get free shipping for another fragrance purchase), a very nice, sweet Floral in a wild-looking Barbie pink bottle called Paris Hilton Sheer (2007). This is the version I'd tried before that I liked, a follow-up to the original pheromone-infused Paris Hilton fragrance of 2004. Three years can make a huge difference in scent technology; while the main composition is essentially the same--a sweet, traditionally feminine white floral blended with apple notes, full-bodied and very American a la Gale Hayman Delicious and Fred Hayman 273, the Haymans being creators of Giorgio Beverly Hills, respectively, the Sheer version is definitely lighter, crisper, and noticeably ozonic (post Eternity airy-musky).

Although I'm afraid of the final dry down phase turning on me the way the original did, it's been well-behaved so far, with no animalic surprise elements to speak of. If you're interested in this fragrance, look for the word "Sheer" under Paris Hilton's name on the bottle and box. Otherwise, the packaging for both 2004 and 2007 versions is identical.

Paris Hilton (2004)

Paris Hilton Sheer

The coffee insurgency

One of my New Year's resolutions is to phase out coffee and other food items containing acrylamide (not completely, but enough to hopefully make a difference). As I was doing some online research about different kinds of tea I hope to try in 2014, I came upon this interesting article that breaks down global coffee vs tea drinkers by countries.

From The Economist: "EXACTLY 240 years ago today, uppity colonists barely disguised as Mohawk Indians defied the crown and ruined the private property of English merchants by dumping 342 chests of perfectly good tea into Boston harbour. This illegal act, known as the Boston Tea Party, was part of a small rebellion that eventually led to independence and to today's Tea Party movement. Americans now quaff three tmes more coffee than tea, according to Euromonitor, a research firm. Throughout most of the West, the bean bests the leaf. Yet the British consume three times as much tea as coffee, despite an invasion by the American Starbucks..." Read the article: The coffee insurgency The global rivalry of bean versus leaf - Dec. 16, 2013 The Economist

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christ as Sol Invictus

Mosaic of Jesus as Christo Sole (Christ the Sun) in Mausoleum M in the pre-fourth-century necropolis under St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

"Ceiling Mosaic -Christus helios, the mosaic of Sol in Mausoleum M, which is interpreted as Christ-Sol (Christ as the Sun). Detail of vault mosaic in the Mausoleum of the Julii. From the necropolis under St. Peter's Mid-3rd century Grotte Vaticane, Rome. Mosaic of the Vatican grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica, on the ceiling of the tomb of the Julii.v Representation of Christ as the sun-god Helios or Sol Invictus riding in his chariot. Dated to the 3rd century AD. "Early Christian and pagan beliefs are combined in this third century mosaic of Christ as a sun-god. The triumphant Christ/god, with rays shooting from his head, is pulled aloft by two rearing horses in his chariot. The Dionysian vines in the background become the vines of Christ." Title: Christ as Sol Invictus Late 3rd century

"The First Apology" by St. Justin Martyr, an early Christian, quotes Psalm 19:5-6, a verse that was very popular with early Christians. It was associated with the ancient Christian custom of praying toward the East, the direction of Christ's Ascension and second coming, instead of toward Jerusalem as Jews did: "And hear how it was foretold concerning those who published His doctrine and proclaimed His appearance, the above-mentioned prophet and king [David] speaking thus by the Spirit of prophecy. "....In the sun has He set His tabernacle, and he as a bridegroom going out of his chamber shall rejoice as a giant to run his course." Christ was also associated with "the Sun of justice with its healing rays", a Messianic image from Malachi 3:20." Christ as Sol

Malachi 4:2 —"But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall."

"Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 AD and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.

"The idea, particularly popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, that the date of 25 December for Christmas was selected in order to correspond with the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun", is challenged today." Sol Invictus

"Since 1970, the rule for the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is: "The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on 6 January, unless, where it is not observed as a Holy day of obligation, it has been assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January."

"In the Church of England also, the feast may be celebrated on the Sunday between January 2 and 8 inclusive [citation needed] although the official date of epiphany in the UK is always January 6. (...) In the Episcopal Church in the United States, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord is always the Sunday after January 6.

"Alternative names for the feast include (τα) Θεοφάνια, Theophany as neuter plural rather than feminine singular, η Ημέρα των Φώτων, i Imera ton Foton (modern Greek pronunciation), hē hēmera tōn phōtōn (restored classic pronunciation), "The Day of the Lights", and τα Φώτα, ta Fota, "The Lights".

"The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus. St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day." Epiphany on Wikipedia

"Although probably the best-known Roman holiday, Saturnalia as a whole is not described from beginning to end in any single ancient source. Modern understanding of the festival is pieced together from several accounts dealing with various aspects. The Saturnalia was the dramatic setting of the multivolume work of that name by Macrobius, a Latin writer from late antiquity who is the major source for information about the holiday. In one of the interpretations in Macrobius's work, Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, the "Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun," on December 25." Saturnalia on Wikipedia

"The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2013, there is a difference of 13 days between the modern Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar. Those who continue to use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6, which on the Gregorian calendar translate as January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eriteria, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldova celebrate Christmas on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7. Eastern Orthodox Churches in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Antioch, Alexandria, Albania, Finland, and the Orthodox Church in America celebrate Christmas on December 25 in the revised Julian calendar, corresponding to December 25 also in the Gregorian calendar.

"Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. These elements, including the Yule log from Yule and gift giving from Saturnalia, became syncretized into Christmas over the centuries. The prevailing atmosphere of Christmas has also continually evolved since the holiday's inception, ranging from a sometimes raucous, drunken, carnival-like state in the Middle Ages, to a tamer family-oriented and children-centered theme introduced in a 19th-century reformation. Additionally, the celebration of Christmas was banned on more than one occasion within certain Protestant groups, such as the Puritans, due to concerns that it was too pagan or unbiblical." Christmas

"Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time") is a religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names (Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht." Yule on Wikipedia

"The Christkind (German "Christ-child", pronounced [kstknt]) is the traditional Christmas gift-bringer in regions of Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, parts of Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary, France, Upper-Silesia in Poland, parts of Hispanic America, in certain areas of southern Brazil and in the Acadiana region of Louisiana. In Italian, it is called Gesù Bambino, in Portuguese Menino Jesus ("Jesus Boy"), in Hungarian Jézuska ("Little Jesus"), in Slovak Ježiško ("Little Jesus"), in Czech Ježíšek ("Little Jesus"), in Latin America "Nino Dios" ("God Child") and in Croatian Isusić ("Little Jesus").

"Promulgated by Martin Luther, explicitly to discourage the figure of St. Nicholas, at the Protestant Reformation in 16th-17th-century Europe, many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve. A gift-bringer familiar to children in Central Europe, the Christkind bears little resemblance to the infant of Bethlehem. [2] The Christkind was adopted in Catholic areas during the 19th century, while it began to be gradually replaced by a more or less secularized version of Saint Nicholas, the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas, Santa Claus) in Protestant regions.

"The Christkind is a sprite-like child, usually depicted with blond hair and angelic wings. Martin Luther intended it to be a reference to the incarnation of Jesus as an infant. Sometimes the Christ Child is, instead of the infant Jesus, interpreted as a specific angel bringing the presents, as it appears in some processions together with an image of little Jesus Christ. It seems also to be rooted in the Alsatian-born myth of a child bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. [citation needed] Children never see the Christkind in person, and parents tell them that Christkind will not come and bring presents if they are curious and try to spot it. The family enters the living room, where the Christmas tree has been put up, for the opening of presents (the Bescherung) when the parents say that they think that the Christkind who has brought the presents has now left again. In some traditions, the departure is announced by the ringing of a small bell, which the parents pretend to have heard or which is secretly done by one of the adults in the family.

"Since the 1990s, the Christkind is facing increasing competition from the Weihnachtsmann in the American version of Santa Claus, caused by the use of Santa Claus as an advertising figure." Christkind - Wikipedia

Monday, December 16, 2013

Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton

I thought I had tried Paris Hilton perfume before and rather liked it, but maybe it was the sheer version, which looks exactly the same except for the word "Sheer" under the name. I don't like the dry down on the sample of this original 2004 release that I'm smelling right now. The original Paris Hilton is reputed to contain pheromones in it. Is that the raunchy stank I'm smelling? It's so smelly, it woke me up in the middle of my sleep; it's permeated my pillowcase and won't leave my skin. Scientists don't believe in extractable human pheromones...and the ads promoting pheromones I know are bs when they urge women in their 40s to use them to reclaim the sexuality they had in their 20s. Women's sexual prime doesn't start till 35. I'm not dissing Paris Hilton's perfume because of some personal vendetta against someone I don't even know. I think any perfumista looking for the skankiest perfume possible should forget about Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan, L'Artisan Parfumeur Jacinthe de Bois, Penhaligon's Bluebell and anything else I've ever thought to be animalic or indolic and just go for the PH. The scent in the bottle is pretty: a tuberose floral, fruity and sweet, like BCBG Max Azria Bon Chic and Gale Hayman Delicious put together. There's apple here, too, like YOSH U4Reahh...nice. The dry down is a pure body odor mess. Did Parlux make it smell this indolic for a reason? Is it just that tuberose notes found in so many perfumes, from Michael Kors Very Hollywood to Carolina Herrera, can actually smell this bad? I should have heeded the B.O. warning when it started smelling like bananas on me, sort of how Child perfume turns on me, except that doesn't turn into saliva and other secretion smells. I don't know whether to call Paris Hilton a failure or an utter work of genius.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer

"Axel F", the theme from Beverly Hills Cop starring Eddie Murphy, hit number 1 on the pop chart back in the day. It was the reason I was motivated to practice playing keyboards, and how I got into Herbie Hancock, who I just learned is often miscredited for writing it. The composer of the funky keyboards (Roland/Moog/Yamaha DX-7) / LinnDrum synth masterpiece is named Harold Faltermeyer. My apologies for not clearing up my own misinformation before I blogged about it on my music blog.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Prada Amber pour Homme

When I say "This is one of two colognes I want my man to wear," of course I'm exaggerating; I would never mind him in Chanel Les Exclusifs Eau de Cologne, Creed Millesime Imperial or even liberal splashes of 4711 for that matter (liberal because it's a great inexpensive scent that never lasts). However, if I'm going to gift him with one designer fragrance that I intend to buy enough of so he never runs out, it would have to be Prada Cologne for Men, aka Prada Amber pour Homme. It is my favorite men's fragrance right now, and that's not an exaggeration.

We both like the YSL L'Homme, don't get me wrong, but this Prada for Men is everything: clean (I love neroli-bergamot--very 4711), and just a bit woody-vanillic but not exceedingly gourmand sweet, just nuzzly warm like the Canoe he used to like back in the day but high end, and not so powdery-musky. It's also a bit aquatic, like his beloved and trusted Acqua di Gio (original), but even I can deal with the "manly cologne smell" and wear this. Prada for Men is a true new classic, on par with another once-beloved signature of his, Chanel pour Monsieur.

Prada for Men was launched in 2006. I would have tested it sooner had I not heard so much about Prada Amber for Women being patchouli-heavy and geared for women who dislike sweet, flirty scents. The Men's is more my type of scent: very citric fresh yet subtly ambery with a dry, lightly wooded dry down. It reminds me of Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, too, but with something deeper and a bit more complex going on. Fear not; I still prefer my cologne like I prefer my men: safe.

And why yes, I like fresh (flirty) smells, and can safely say I love this because it smells pleasant and also very importantly, unobtrusive! If you love someone, please get this for him and by all means share it with him and with all the world!

George Takei Eau My

According to the perfume ad copy, George Takei's shared fragrance, Eau My..."will delight you when dry." Eau My George Takei: Fragrance With a Hint of Hikaru Sulu - Next Gadgets

Monday, December 09, 2013

Why do we value gold?

Why do we value gold? By Justin Rowlatt, BBC 8 December 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Colors of Christmas

Christmas is not just red and green. Find out why blue is a Christmas color: The Colors of Christmas -

Friday, December 06, 2013

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme is one of two Men's fragrances that I want my guy to wear forever and ever (and ditch the obnoxious Bleu de Chanel--no more Brut/Axe type fougeres!). This one seems to go especially well with his handsomely tailored wool winter coat, new and devoid of strong, unwanted yesterday's cologne. Woody (Sephora lists both "cedar" and "cedarwood"), a little vanillic sweet with tonka, a little hesperidic with classic bergamot, and green with violet leaves, the initial impression is that of a modernized, slightly gourmand Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel, Christian Dior Fahrenheit or Creed Green Irish Tweed.

It smells unmistakably like a Men's cologne but women can easily wear this warm and dry, slightly musky but very upscale, gentle and elegant scent. I have yet to find a cologne that smells this delicious in a woody men's scent, especially one so Green--it doesn't seem to overwhelm me at all, even in close quarters (still, one big spray will do on most days; it's gentle but has presence).

I'm wearing some now and I really enjoy it, but my true hope is that he can wear this, and I can be his YSL counterpart in Manifesto for Women, also redolent of vanillic tonka within the context of a gentle, clean and modern citric musk accord. The Men's is a little floral, but the Women's is even more so, although discreetly and in a powdery "skin scent" way, like Chanel Les Exclusifs Beige. That puts L'Homme in perspective; it could be conceptualized as a "skin scent" woody floral musk for Men, like "Beige Intense."

Launched in 2006, Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme has several flankers now that might also be worth checking out.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Contradictions of Nelson Mandela

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela. Tonight's NYT Op-ed: The Contradictions of Mandela By Zakes Mda, The New York Times, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

PINK MANHATTAN Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone

Creed Spice and Wood,

Literally fit for royalty, Creed fragrances make superior gifts for the ladies and gents who have it all. I'm a devoted lover of Spring Flower, Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie and Fleurissimo, perhaps predictable choices for a Floral / Vanilla (amber) / Fruity fragrance fan, but not everyone shares my olfactory taste. How well do you know your giftee? Visit Creed boutique's online SCENT FINDER: BROWSE BY CLASSIFICATION - Select a scent classification to display its details and associated fragrances.

Lancôme Étincelle de Neige: Neige Argent Noel, Flacon Blanc Noel

This Lancôme Vernis in Love Happy Holidays collection is going to get me into textured nail polishes after all. Who can resist snow cone nails? Those PR photos on the fabulous nail polish blogs have shown the most ice queen-worthy nails I've ever seen. The space age-looking and densely sparkly (with rainbow / holographic glitter) titanium / silver Neige Argent is also cool; what a fun, versatile duo for lacquer lovers of any age. Lancôme nail polish In Love in Flacon Blanc and Neige Argent,

I also wanted to feature some traditional, modest gift ideas for Christmastime such as hand-milled soaps, books or holiday votive candles, and wanted to take this opportunity to share that flameless candles are now available in many different styles, both scented and unscented, safe and ideal for gift-giving. I don't have particular ones to recommend, but I also have to share this beautiful blog where you can see the author's many creative uses for flameless candles: Daily Thing of Beauty: Crowns - Swede - Celebrating Euro Style Interiors and Gardens 12/29/2012

Here's more eye candy: Decorating for the Holidays: Unusual Ornaments, 12/9/2010

Finally, do you need a gag gift? Here's something funny yet practical (arguably). Although I haven't read through the whole Japanese slanguage book, I can tell you teaching relatively close pronunciation without proper intonation is only so helpful. These pronunciations are difficult for native speakers to understand in real life. Nevertheless, some knowledge beats none; the use of pictorials is a smart teaching and learning technique. Mildly stereotypical images (faux Japanese hair bun) might amuse the ironic hipsters in your life:

Slanguage Language Learning Books by Mike Ellis, available at The Lakeside Collection: "Start out on the path to speaking a foreign language with Slanguage Language Learning Books. Illustrated prompts help make it easy to master simple phrases and commonly used terms. Books have chapters like Greetings and Responses; Adjectives; Family, Food and Restaurants; Labor; Law Enforcement; Health and Medicine; and Travel and Tourism. Softcover books are easy to carry with you on the road."

Enjoy, and Season's Greetings!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from PINK MANHATTAN

Thank you for your continued support and interest in my blog in its 7th year of online publication. I'm grateful for the stamina to keep writing and share my thoughts and inspirations with you!

Chanuka at Bubbe's

Cue to 15:41 and hear the loveliest Hanukkah song about lighting the chanukiah (menorah). The harmonies that occur starting at 17:03 due to its canonical structure are beautiful and fun to sing. I think more people should hear it, and make it a Chanukah classic!

Happy Chanukah 2013, aka Thanksgivukkah - Gobble tov!

Related link: Menorah versus Chanukiah - Gans Gifts and Judaica from Israel

Saturday, November 23, 2013

One loves Essie Ballet Slippers: the Queen's favourite nail shade

One loves Essie Ballet Slippers: the Queen's favourite nail shade - The Queen crowns Essie's pale pink 'Ballet Slippers' shade as her one and only ruling nail colour. By Kate Toung | 19 November 2013 Telegraph

Friday, November 22, 2013

The New Neutral Nudes: Winter Nail Polish Colors (via Unnaked Nails)

Image: Leighton Denny Supermodel, "a fabulous mink shade" (

From Unnaked Nails: "I know a lot of peeps refer to nudes as fleshy coloured boring beiges but let me broaden your horizons me, nudes are..." See the gorgeous neutral palette chosen by one of the hippest nail polish / beauty bloggers out there (Yes, I envy both the polishes available in the UK and their sensibility borne of style and substance): Winter Nudes // Nail Polish Picks - by Catrine, Unnaked Nails, November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blue Veins? Cool or Warm Toned Skin? Why Makeup Color Theory is Bunk

Since the days of Color Me Beautiful of the 1970s, women have tried to figure out if we're cool or warm toned in order to choose the correct colors for our natural coloring to look our best. So the theory goes, and the color chart we're told we should follow looks something like this (found at every makeup retailer):

Cool (pink, red or bluish undertones)
Warm (yellow, peachy, golden undertones)
Neutral (a mix of warm and cool undertones)
(From Stylecaster)

We take such info for granted as being true, but did anyone else know that pink and red are warm colors (pink is light red), and only blue is cool?

According to makeup color theory, the definitive way to tell the difference between cool and warm comes down to the color of our veins as seen through our skin: green or blue. Since most people aren't pale enough to be considered "blue-blooded," this system lets the fairest people in the world feel dissimilar from the rest of the world consisting of a great, great, great many colored folks. Furthermore, even green-veined light gals can take psychological refuge in knowing that they are at least less pigmented with unwanted colors (mainly yellow which turns blue veins green) than certain other folks who are so far away from being fair, they really aren't blue-blooded at all.

Except all the green-veined gals are lumped together as being warm. Well, has anyone else noticed that green is a cool color, closer to blue than pink or red? In fact blue and yellow are its parents.

If both blue and green are cool colors, what's the difference between skin tone that appears either blue or green-veined? Blue is cooler in relation to green. Likewise, pink is cooler than orange, making pink a cool color in relation to having yellow in it. Red is warm unless you subtract yellow and get a purple red, or pink, a color that only cool-toned gals can wear! The absence of yellow makes a color cool. The whole theory in a nutshell is just that.

What sets one apart from the other as being able to wear certain colors (generally the bright and pretty ones)? The zero mark on the makeup color wheel appears to be set where green breaks from blue-toned green to yellow-toned green. That's why green can fall into both cool and warm spectrums on a modified color chart like this one:

Actually, red marks the spot where the reason lies. Notice how the chart breaks it down between cool or warm toned red. That means the chart is based on yellow as the marker between colors fit for blue-bloods and non. It's not enough to dissuade certain gals from wearing pink, but it's a start. (Edited to add) Notice too all those brown shades where orange should be. Brown can't be made by mixing red and yellow, you know, but that's one way to fill up the warm color chart, since all the other colors are taken.

You see, the makeup color theory is based on comparisons to other people and their skin color, not a true color theory used by scientists. The interesting thing about color temperature theory is that the cooler color is a hotter temperature, evident in the color of a blue flame. You'll also see the color spectrum is not a neatly structured manmade wheel, a system designed to make color biases simpler to visualize and explain.

"Color temperatures over 5,000 K are called cool colors (bluish white), while lower color temperatures (2,700–3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red). [1] This relation, however, is a psychological one in contrast to the physical relation implied by Wien's displacement law, according to which the spectral peak is shifted towards shorter wavelengths (resulting in a more blueish white) for higher temperatures." From Wikipedia: Color temperature

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How Hipsters Ruined Paris

"People say you had to be in Paris in the ’20s or New York in the ’80s. The sad truth of our contemporary moment seems to be only that you no longer need to be anywhere in particular anymore." Read the article: How Hipsters Ruined Paris by Thomas Chatterton Williams, November 8, 2013 The New York Times

Katy Perry Killer Queen

From Teenage Dream to Killer Queen, recording artist Katy Perry continues to expand her repertoire of personas as only a superstar of her caliber could. I got a sample of this scent at Sephora where I almost missed it completely as it was obscured under the One Direction display. Had my tween not quietly shrieked at the sight of Our Moment, I would not have seen the heavy glass bottle beneath it, a garnet red juice in a crowned, bejeweled scepter-inspired bottle with a sharper pointed edge than even that of Thierry Mugler Angel or Chopard Wish. For sure the name fits the presentation. I don't think this comes as a rollerball, but I could be wrong.

As for the scent, it's pleasantly sweet and ambery, a dustier version of Rihanna Reb'l Fleur, reminiscent of Juicy Couture Couture Couture, a heavyish orange blossom blend that I like but the kids don't seem to. Also bearing similarities to Givenchy Absolutely Irresistible and Chanel Allure Sensuelle of a few years back, I think Killer Queen is the strongest launch by Katy Perry thus far, but I'm only comparing it to her first one, as I wasn't aware of a second fragrance launch before this one, which is apparently her third.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Demi Lovato and The New Black Pair Up to Release 5 New Nail Kits!

“I love all the products that I have created because I think they embody all the qualities of a strong woman,” Demi told Women’s Wear Daily. “It is fun to be able to create your own look down to your nails. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my nails, although you can’t always tell. I want to put something cool on my nails that expresses who I am and what I’m feeling.” See the colors here: Demi Lovato and The New Black Pair Up to Release 5 New Nail Kits! - Nail It Magazine

Pictured: "Studded": Grey Stone Polish, a Top Coat, and Mini-Studs

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Painting a Room With Blues, or Hip-Hop, or Mozart

"RECORD companies have long promoted music for helping to set a mood, and paint brands similarly highlight the power of a coat of well-chosen paint to create the right ambience. Now a paint company is marrying those notions, with a smartphone app that suggests paint colors based on consumers’ favorite songs." Painting a Room With Blues, or Hip-Hop, or Mozart by Andrew Adam Newman, The New York Times October 28, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed & Metallica Lulu in 5 minutes

Uploaded by 666ssn666 on You Tube

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Let's have a drink every time Lou Reed sings the word "colored" (not)!

RIP Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground

Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Nirvana: Visit my music blog for my tribute to a rock legend: PINK MANHATTAN Music blog: The Music of Lou Reed - October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blockbuster Toy Rainbow Loom: Weaving, Rubber Bands, And Digital Literacy

My daughter models her Rainbow Loom "starburst" bracelet creation "Cheong Choon Ng, the engineer who invented the Rainbow Loom, was just trying to play with his daughters. His fingers were too fat, so he made a loom with a wooden board and push pins." Read the article: Blockbuster Toy Rainbow Loom: Weaving, Rubber Bands, And Digital Literacy - by Jordan Shapiro, Forbes | 10/23/2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Where is Avonte Oquendo?

"On October 4th, a boy named Avonte Orquendo walked out of his school in Queens in the middle of the day. He’d first approached one exit, where a security guard, with a degree of diligence that will long be debated, asked him where he was going. He didn’t answer; he couldn’t. Avonte is severely autistic, and, at age fourteen, unable to speak or use language. The school was supposed to be watching him. But the guard, as far as the police can tell from security footage, one way or the other didn’t stop him from then leaving through a side door. Anyone who’s seen him since is not telling."

"The city lost Avonte—his parents had entrusted him to a public school and didn’t get him back, not yet. And the city has been trying to find him." WHERE IS AVONTE OQUENDO? October 23, 2013 By Amy Davidson The New Yorker

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roma Couple Ordered Jailed by Greek Authorities

"A Roma couple was ordered jailed on Monday over the alleged abduction of a child who was found during a police raid on an encampment in central Greece last week. The case has fueled speculation about human trafficking and illegal adoption rackets, and heightened scrutiny of Roma populations across Europe.

(...) "He said Maria’s case had “opened a Pandora’s box about what’s happening with the Roma and the exploitation of children in Greece but also in Europe.” He said there were no statistics to indicate how many children were victims of such rackets “because the authorities have not tackled the issue for fear of being accused of racism.” Roma Couple Ordered Jailed by Greek Authoritiesby Niki Kitsantonis and Dan Bilefsky, October 21, 2013 The New York Times

Friday, October 18, 2013

Christian Louboutin offers new "Nudes" in a range of hues

Now, that's hip, making lots of women feel happy to be included! Of course I wouldn't mind a pair of Loubies in any color to be honest... YAY Christian Louboutin Makes Nude Pumps In Multiple Shades! PLUS My Top Picks for 6 Different Skin Tones -

Polished Nude: The Secret to Finding the Most Perfect Shade

"Nude," they say, is a challenging color to find for your skin type, so I like to mix my own custom colors. My preference for a nude shade for myself is philosophically the same as the general beauty rule for choosing foundation for the face: the most flattering shade is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. (Edited to add: There are exceptions, like this staple dark nude color I just found: check it out on PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr.)

For the nails, I also go a little warmer or cooler to avoid total "mannequin hands" whereby my nails become almost invisible from matching too well with skin.

Right now, my hands are still tan from the summer, so I'm rockin' a peachy pink beige that's neither yellow nor too pink, just stunning. I made it by mixing Sally Hansen Nude Now (sheer beige) and Wet 'n' Wild Private Viewing / Séance Privée (tan pink beige) as a base for a host of other colors. Other nail polishes I used here include NYC Fashion Safari (opaque beige), OPI My Vampire is Buff (off-white) and Wet n Wild Blazed / Embrasée (coral).

Of course, if anyone knows of a color that looks like the one I made, I'd love to know its name! (Updated on 10/19/13 at 4:12 PM: I've found a color match! Read more about mannequin hands: PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr.) (Updated on 10/23/13: And another color match here: PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr)

Added on 11/8/13: PLUS Don't miss the final saga of my search for the perfect mannequin hands at this link.

By the way, I sing and create all sorts of music, too. Listen to my original song "Private Dreams" on Broadjam, home of independent music, where the sultry rave-trance inspired Dance track hit #1 in the US Northeast in March, 2006, and made the Broadjam Earth Top 10 chart in April, 2006. (Download for just $1.)

Updated on 10/19/13 at 2:32 AM: Read more about nude nail colors and a description of my favorite nude beige on the cooler side of the spectrum @ PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yves Saint-Laurent Manifesto

I ignored this bottle on the shelves of Sephora and the department stores for over a year because the first encounter was less than memorable. All I really smelled was the coconutty note I've been smelling everywhere; it could easily have been a Benefit perfume. It wasn't until I asked the salesperson at Sephora for a proper sample to take home that I really got to know it well. Now, Yves Saint-Laurent Manifesto is on my holiday wish list. It is love, love, love, every facet of it from the dewy Green musk accord reminiscent of Naomi Campbell, L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier and Giorgio Armani Sensi to the powdery creamy "skin scent" woody-vanilla jasmine musk of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Chanel Beige and the cult favorite of its time, Creative Scentualization Perfect Veil.

There is a piercingly high-pitched musk note that gets more intense over time on my skin that I need more getting used to (I have the same problem with Chanel Beige--those sharp Green violets make the musk even more shrill), but other than that, this is my holy grail skin scent: a sweet but sheer vanillic musk with a lemony edge (or is it lemongrass?), reminiscent of an orchid perfume solid by Sephora which I haven't worn in awhile. Manifesto is more interesting with green notes and that dewy coconut, altogether blended like a skincare cocktail at a spa. The dry down I get isn't musk, and definitely not laundry white musk, but a sophisticated and delicate vanilla orchid scent, just powdery enough to not smell like talc, either. This is downy soft skin musk perfection.

Would I have been happier with the bottle without the purple plastic thing in the middle of it? Yes, but I like the ornate vintage look of the gold cap, and feel the hourglass shape of the glass bottle fits the elegant skin scent very well.

The notes on
Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto (2012)
Top: bergamot, green notes, blackcurrant buds.
Middle: jasmine, lily of the valley, cream.
Base: cedarwood, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla.

The composition is by perfumers Anne Flipo and Loc Dong. Other perfumes by Anne Flipo include Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia (2010, with Loc Dong & Dominique Ropion), Lancome La Vie Est Belle (2012, with Olivier Polge & Dominique Ropion), Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose (2011), and L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons (1999)--a favorite of mine! Perfumer Loc Dong's compositions include Calvin Klein CK IN2U Her (2007, with Carlos Benaim), Calvin Klein Euphoria (2005, with Dominique Ropion & Carlos Benaim), and celebrity fragrances for Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift and Sean John. (source: Now Smell This)

Carl Jung on Theosophy (and my not-so-metaphysical thoughts on the topic)

Before we get to what Carl Jung said, may I just note that it's weird how New Age stores have all these books, from the apocryphal books of The Bible (books in the Catholic version of the Bible but not in the Protestant version) to the Kabbalah, Sufi mysticism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology, Witchcraft, Satanism, UFOs, Egyptology (and writings on how great the ancient civilizations with slavery were, be it Egyptian or Roman), The Secret / Blavatsky, Jung, etc. but never anything remotely Protestant, or traditionally Judeo-Christian? Perhaps what Ayn Rand found so abhorrent about modern thinking was a specific type of anti-materialist New Age philosophy, although her book Atlas Shrugged touches on theosophical motifs such as Atlantis, too (as well as materializing thoughts and all that creative visualization stuff).

I'm not sure where Objectivism fits into the picture, but this is all food for thought while I finish reading Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's magnum opus.

Another thing: Protestant Christianity isn't all bad, people...especially when you understand that it's one religion that you're not bound to by bloodline / birth, because you have to come to God by faith alone. That is a belief system that separates (and sets free) religion from ethnicity.

From Carl Jung on Theosophy - Carl Jung Depth Psychology | October 6, 2013: "I refer to the theosophy thinking which is to-day rapidly spreading in every quarter of the globe, presumably as a reaction phenomenon to the materialism of the epoch now receding. Theosophical thinking has an air that is not in the least reductive, since it exalts everything to transcendental and world-embracing ideas. A dream, for instance, is no longer a modest dream, but an experience upon another plane'. (...) Certain anthropological peculiarities of the dwellers on the Atlantic seaboard are easily explained by the submerging of Atlantis, and so on. We have merely to open a theosophical book to be overwhelmed by the realization that everything is already explained, and that ' spiritual science ' has left no enigmas of life unsolved. But, fundamentally, this sort of thinking is just as negative as materialistic thinking.

(...) "The only difference lies in the fact that materialism reduces all phenomena to our current physiological notions, while theosophy brings everything into the concepts of Indian metaphysics."

(...) "Either kind of thinking is both sterile and sterilizing. Their negative quality consists in this: it is a method of thought that is indescribably cheap; there is a real poverty of productive and creative energy. It is a thinking taken in tow by other functions." ~Carl Jung, Psychological Types, General Description of Types, Page 445.

Image: From Five Minute Vacations

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Little Pony: Racism, Homophobia and Pretty-Shaming Fluttershy

I can see why My Little Pony is enjoying a resurgence in pop culture, because the animation is cute and the characters are voiced by some heavyweights in the voice acting world, as well as the musical numbers being performed by Broadway singers. I'm suddenly seeing these pony characters as stuffed animals in drugstores / greeting card stores and tourist shop windows in Times Square; most of us have heard of bronies by now, including my tween daughter who's taken to weaving Rainbow Loom bracelets in Rainbow Dash colors. So when I was asked to watch an episode on You Tube, I happily obliged, but I commented to my kid on the moral of this story, one I vehemently disagree with.

So people and publications are saying this show is racist, homophobic and smart-shaming? I haven't watched enough episodes to verify that, but I know the episode I saw was "pretty-shaming." The story went something like this: The snobby pony (Rarity) was envious of the shy pony (Fluttershy) for turning into a model. The problem is resolved when Fluttershy admits to hating being a model, thereby giving modeling up and making Rarity happy. The moral of the show was that no one should outshine anyone in the group, and that your friends come first, before any kind of individual success.

Well, gee. I guess people should drop all their dreams if it makes their friends envious, and they should never do anything unless the group says it's ok. I explained to my child that this is a crock of bologna. I teach her to be happy for others' successes and talents, beauty, smarts, etc., and for her to strive for excellence and never let anyone hold her back from her dreams. I tell her that a true friend would not be consumed by envy, but will encourage her, as I would, because I love her. I say, "What if you got a record deal--will you turn it down if your friends can't sing with you?" She listens, but I wonder if my words are weightier than the persuasive pull of Broadway actors behind moving pictures in mesmerizing colors.

I wonder what sorts of Pinky powers are bestowed upon wearing the Pinky Pie loom bracelet she made. Maybe the power is taken away from the individual, and instead given to a group in large numbers, influential by moving together horizontally. As for the racism, homophobia and all else, I'm not going to make her stop watching it any more than I'd ban Fantasia, Tom & Jerry or The Aristocats, but I am involved in getting her to see beyond this "magic of friendship" business to where New Age theosophy and racism have merged throughout its relatively brief history. I hope through watching My Little Pony together that she will be equipped with the consciousness to reject whatever notions it teaches that go against the definition of good as we understand it today, and practical logic for survival which includes choosing her friends wisely.

Read on-topic:
My Little Pony: Racism is Magic (Ugh!) Ample racist hidden messages in the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” show by Wong Wai Song

My Little Homophobic, Racist, Smart-Shaming Pony by Kathleen Richter | December 9, 2010 Ms. Magazine

Thursday, October 10, 2013