November 09, 2011

Book & Beauty Connection: NARS 'Kudoki Kabuki' Lip Set and "Thousand Cranes" by Yasunari Kawabata

Beauty isn't my first love; books are. Every once in a while, I'll come across a product that reminds me of a book I have read; or a passage which has interesting imagery connected to beauty -- perfumes and lipsticks to powder compacts.

I don't know why it took me so long to think of this but why not combine the two? I get to write about something beauty-related while letting you have a peek into my bookshelf

Be warned though: My taste in books is quite unconventional.

The first time I saw the NARS 'Kudoki Kabuki' Lip Set, "Thousand Cranes" immediately came to mind.

The characters in "Thousand Cranes are brought together by a set of Japanese tea bowls and the Japanese tea ceremony. Written by Yasunari Kawabata in 1949, it is a short novel revolving around Kikuji,a man who has an affair with his late father's mistress, Mrs Ota. Following her death, he is drawn towards her daughter, Fumiko.

I first read "Thousand Cranes" when I was fifteen and fell in love with the simplicity of Kawabata's writing. He uses very simple sentences -- or his translators did -- to paint scenes which comes vividly alive in your mind. His writing style is so simple, you don't even realise the underlying tension until you find yourself holding your breath as you approach the climax.

That said, a lot of people find Kawabata boring.

"On the rim of the bowl, she had said, there was a stain from her mother's lipstick. Her mother had apparently told her that once the lipstick was there it would not go away, however hard she rubbed, and indeed since Kikuji had had the bowl he had washed without success at that especially dark spot on the rim. It was light brown, far from the color of lipstick; and yet there was a faint touch of red in it, not impossible to take for old, faded lipstick. It may have been the red of the Shino itself; or, since the forward side of the bowl had become fixed with use, a stain may have been left from the lips of owners before Mrs. Ota." 

The NARS 'Kudoki Kabuki' Lip Set is a limited edition set. It hasn't been released on the American NARS website yet although it is available from Nordstrom for USD 125.

"Thousand Cranes" by Yasunari Kawabata is available from The Book Depository for USD 12.

1 comment:

Connie De Alwis said...

This is brilliant! Very much loving this post. I embarrassingly like books that are light, funny and doesn't require much brain, including comics. Same with TV and movies, I like fun comedies and cartoons. I would really love to pick up books with more "depth" again. Reading used to be a hobby but now I use it just to pass time, which is sad.