Perhaps it's a desire to be forever childlike and cute like the Japanese girls, or an attempt at denial over one's own age - or maybe just a simple nostalgia marketing trick - but it seems that various unlikely characters have been appearing on beauty compacts for a little while now.
Can't say who was the absolute trend-setter, but Paul & Joe's Disney make-up range must have been one of the first of the recent batch. Bambi face powder or, what is that, a tube of dog shampoo? No, it seems to be a hand cream. The star of the range surely has to be the skunk powder. You too can smell this good!
I've seen it sold in Harrods here in UK if you absolutely must get hold of some.
Recently, I spotted that the quirky make-up range Too Faced has decided to become super Smurfy - the blue characters have been chosen as the theme for a new make-up range. The creator of the range, Jerrod Blandino, is convinced that "Smurfette was the 'it' girl of the 80s generation". Yes. We were jealous until we went blue in the face.
MAC is also up to something - I've read that they will be launching a Hello Kitty line this spring. That seems suitably cute and appropriate, but their current special collection might raise a few more eyebrows. Would you consider Dame Edna your style icon? Not to say that the way in which her looks are applied is sloppy (she always looks excellent on stage), but the look is intended to be a send-up of an over-done drag-queen. And it fits the bill very well. I suppose MAC is a range with colours and textures fit for theatrical as well as everyday looks and maybe launching a Dame Edna range is in some ways a nod towards MAC's make-up artist roots. Since the Estee Lauder aquisition, we've had more "seasonal looks" and the sort of fluff you usually associate with a mainstream brand - not to mention MAC perfumes, which clearly indicate Lauder Group meddling (same happened to Bobbi Brown after they were bought by the Lauder Group - all of a sudden there was a perfume launch).
So with Dame Edna eyeshadows and lipsticks, MAC can teach us all how to send up your own customers, or if you prefer this interpretation, to pay homage to its own beginnings as a professional make-up line. Or if you think like me, you'll applaud them for doing something that gets all of us writing about them.
What I really would like to see now is a Muppet Make-Up range. Are you listening out there? You could have Animal deodorant (it brings out the animal in you), Gonzo concealer (hide your little beauty flaws) and a Miss Piggy Powder Compact (you too can be like the most glamorous pig in showbiz). Come on! It's not such a leap. There was even a Miss Piggy's Guide To Life back in the day.