I can admit that sometimes the level of detail that goes into the appearance of cosmetic products might seem a little futile. A pretty exterior effect, carefully designed and manufactured, only to be wiped or worn away with use. The pinnacle of ephemerality – a surface effect on an object which alters other surfaces.
However, as Oscar Wilde said, “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”. And since my chances of being one are limited these days…
These transient and temporary effects are not without their benefits, anyway. Besides being enormously fun to come up with and manufacture (a selfish point, perhaps), they can transform a product. A slight overspray of micro-fine pearl on an eyeshadow powder, or an inlaid mosaic of subtly shifting tones of pressed foundation powder can lift a product from the merely everyday to the sublime. Sometimes the effect is so subtle that we don’t notice it at first, but subconsciously, we know that the product is more interesting. When really focussed upon, the layers of design, visual effects and process are deeply riveting.
I thought I would show you some terribly clever examples of fleeting details on lipstick bullets (beyond the usual logo-embossing) which I particularly admire. They vary from the extreme in-your-face styles to subtle designs that simply help to reinforce a visual brand identity. (click images for links)