Beautiful beauty products... & Other Stories

I have no idea how good the actual products in this range are... if the mascara flakes or stays put, if the eye pencils are hard or creamy, whatever.

What I do know is that this range is gorgeous. It has a slightly messy chic look that's hard enough to capture with clothes and fashion and nearly impossible to do with beauty products without looking tatty.


The mix of white, lucite, serif and cursive fonts with suitably smeary (and unique) shots of the product is cool. I'm a big fan of real photography on packaging when it's done right... like it is here. & Other Stories has made a mid-range, achingly hip beauty brand that, perhaps, Topshop makeup wanted to be? As much as I do like Topshop, its makeup range is sort of missing the coveted edginess I see here. It feels a bit like Benefit's slightly less twee older sister.

& Other Stores Makeup.jpg

This range doesn't. Probably because it's been designed by teams in Paris and Stockholm. Now that I think of it, it does feel very French, doesn't it?


& Other Stories is a subsidiary of H&M, so not some indie cool company, but still pretty cool, mainstream brand or not. They also sell other brands that you might have seen in so-hip-it-hurts places like Colette... Uslu et al. 

Beauty is just one of the categories of merchandise made and sold by & Other Stories

Currently they're only in Europe. 

Real boobs have rights too

What do you think of the group of derisive comments about young Miss Upton's boobs on the cover of SI this month? I don't usually pay attention to *news* on breasts (really, guys) but the jeering at her "flapjacks", as one particularly troll-y commentator coined her ample and natural-looking bosom, had me thinking about real boobs and why they get such a bad wrap for being flat or floppy or saggy or whatever. (I'll leave it to the others to comment about her relatablity, if her boobs are/are not fake or whatever and the other angles of this over-exposed story.)


I mean, it's just a matter of physics that large pockets of fat that hang suspended from one's chest will eventually end up headed south just like the rest of our physique will without surgical intervention. 

Have you seen a set of MOOBS (and boy are they on the rise) with nipples pointing skywards? Me neither.

Interestingly, as the media drums up a tempest in a tea cup around Upton's breasts, I happened upon some images of Marilyn Monroe disrobed more than usual in a magazine (they're from a new book of her photos).

Lo and behold, she has refreshingly natural breasts that do that flatten-and-spread thing that sizeable boobs do.

marilyn monroe topless_thompson hotel magazine.jpg

Do you think she would have had implants had she been around today? Yes, a totally frivolous speculation, I know, but I do wonder if she would have bowed to the pressure to be even more perfect and have even more surgery than she already did.

You have to wonder if the only boobs the men commenting have seen are gravity defying fake ones if they are so repulsed at Upton's. Let's also take a minute to acknowledge the context of objectification in which the contemptuous proclamations about this young woman's boobs are happening too. It's like a cattle market where all the cows had bulbous, swingy utter implants until now and the buyers can't handle the fleshy, dangly nature of the natural ones. 

I fret for younger people and the plastic, pornographied lens through which so many of them exclusively view of the world and women. Their ideas of what boobs should look like is pretty unsettling and probably telling of what they think a woman's other parts should look like. I don't wonder that some young men might pass out from the sight of a real vulva with actual pubic hair on it. 

Anyway, the real question I have about Upton's cover is how they convinced her that the microscopic piece of fruit leather covering her mons pubis. 

They surely had to Photoshop out some of her anatomy for that... like, say, her labia. Entirely. 

So, the take away:

Boobs. Sometimes they're real. Sometimes they're not. Gravity affects them too, even those not featured on National Geographic. Boys, get over it. You might think boobs are there solely for your viewing pleasure, and magazines like SI do their best to affirm that sense of entitlement for you, but they're not. And I'm pretty sure Kate Upton isn't crying herself to sleep on her private jet over your opinion about how hers look.

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Favorite backstage beauty spies for LFW

New York Fashion Week is a big old corporate production. It's slick and shiny and expertly packaged. London Fashion Week is a different kettle of fish. There's more indie goodness, it's a bit more interesting and individual. All four fashion weeks are great to get an idea of what sort of cosmetics we'll probably be wearing in the next 9 months.

But I like LFW for the coolest beauty inspiration... apparently this fall we'll be back to burgundy lipstick (thank goodness I still have my Revlon in Black Cherry) and in poufy hair with headbands.

My favorite sites to follow the fun:

Stylist Magazine's backstage beauty blog (images above from this fab blog)

TopShop Inside Out

The amazing Fashion Week microsite on

Grazia, of course

And here is a quick and sexy roundup of backstage beauty at NYFW. Thinking the 'Apres-Sex' look at Michael Kors is my favorite. Flushed and mussed and glowy. All good.