My obsession with starting blog post series strikes again. This time, I want to examine trends in beauty – past, present, and (hopefully) future. They can be trends in packaging design, colour choices, terminology… whatever seems interesting. For the first instalment, it’s more about packaging and format than anything else – beauty products that resemble art supplies.
Historically, the 60s and 70s were filled with artsy cosmetic products like the famous Mary Quant crayons, the Biba Paint Boxes, and Yardley “water-colour” eye shadows. Now, in the 2010s, I sense a bit of a renaissance for this style of beauty. The popularity of makeup through social media seems boundless, and a common sentiment seems to be makeup as art. Many self-taught makeup artists are posting looks inspired by visual art, or simply claiming that their craft is an art in itself.
In 2010, MAC launched a limited edition collection called MAC Art Supplies, featuring different pencils, markers and crayons, including lip tint in felt-tip marker form. Today, there are far more styles of artsy makeup to choose from.
A tragically minimal line of products, the MAC Paints are adorable metal paint tubes filled with cream eyeshadows. The range of colours is tiny, sadly! There used to be a wider range but for some reason there are only four permanent shades now. The ones above are the limited edition Kabuki Magic Paints.
Glossier Cloud Paint
This cream blush reminds me of the kind of watercolour that’s sold in tube form – distinctly gel-like and sheer but vibrant. Only intended to be worn on cheeks, I think this looks very cute blended onto eyes and lips as well.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Paints
A new product on the market, the Aqua Paints are cream shadows in tube form. Most are vibrantly pigmented and matte, making them look so much like artist’s paints I think they should be sold in a kit like real paints.
3CE lip marker
Strikingly similar to the aforementioned lip marker made by MAC in 2010, this sharpie-like lip tint coats lips in a thin, sheer layer of colour. The popularity of korean beauty and the more recent “popsicle lip” has made this type of lip product very common, you’ll find lip markers sold by numerous brands.
Too Faced Sketch Marker
While it would be easy for me to feature any felt-tip eyeliner here, one brand that really took the aesthetic literally was Too Faced with their Sketch Marker eyeliners. A fairly plain formula housed in a distinctly pen-like packaging, complete with a clip on the cap like a real marker!
MILK Eye & Lip markers
These chunky markers really look like highlighters – the kind you use for studying, not signalling aliens – and deliver an ink-like product. Cool aesthetic, but at the end of the day this style of packaging isn’t the easiest to use. MILK also sells eyeshadow in paint tube form.
Crayons & Pencils
Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick
The most obvious reference to art supplies is this literal crayon collab, where Clinique made their popular chubby stick tinted lip balms look like big crayola crayons, sold as a set in a big crayon box. I only wish they’d used more crayola-esque colours too!
LH Cosmetics Crayon Kits
Recently-launched LH cosmetics is pushing the multi-use properties of makeup with these new pencil kits – sold in a box set, like real coloured pencils! Of course, the Mood kit with bright colours is the most artsy in the range.
Marc Jacobs Kiss Pop Lipstick & Twinkle Pop Eye Crayon
One of the cutest packaging designs I’ve seen (Marc Jacobs has some of my favourite packaging in general!) is this lipstick that looks like a little chubby pencil, with a conical tip and everything. It’s so cute I die. The eye crayon from the same collection is just as adorable.
What do you think of this packaging trend?
PS. The bedazzled painter’s palette is a brooch by Tatty Devine.