A few weeks ago, Marci posted some Korean soaps that looked like cakes and I lost my mind with envy. I am a really big fan of kitsch. In my job, I love Meadham Kirschoff, Sophia Webster, Dolce & Gabanna: over-the-top, embellished, shiny and girly. I’m doing a lot of therapeutic work around my inner child right now, and it seems to be manifesting itself in how much I just want to throw sparkles on my face and paint my nails pastel colours.
I try and work with slightly more of a chic aesthetic than that of a nine-year-old girl, but, ultimately, my inner child wants everything to look and smell like candy. I’m giving her free reign for this post.
I have more beauty products than I am prepared to admit. I have bags full and shelves full and drawers and more shelves and cupboards. Beauty products have spilled out into my life at large, so a significant proportion of my hoard is in my kitchen or on my desk; it isn’t relegated to a cabinet somewhere, arranged by type or colour into transparent Muji containers or anything (much as I wish it was).
This means that if beauty products look cute, they are dual-purpose: They are useful AND ornamental, and I can make out that I intend to overspill nail polishes into every corner of my life.
Firstly, let’s talk about the cutesiest girly stuff I have ever found.
Number one is this Etude Heart Highlighter, which is Korean and available through the fabulous Kollection K. It quite literally looks like what I imagine princesses from the olden days have on their dressing tables and comes with tiny heart-shaped highlighting pellets which you pour into the container and then apply with the powder puff onto your cheekbones. The powder itself is a shimmery, reflective white, and you all know how much I love a highlighter.
Number two is also courtesy of Etude House via Kollection K: the sweetest pinky-violet nail polish in the shape of an ice cream cone. The nail polish applies incredibly well, with two coats giving complete opaque coverage (so painfully unusual for pastels).
My final winner in the girliest packaging competition is Shu Uemura’s ob compact case. Shu Uemura have really got the aesthetic component to their brand sorted; they have some of the coolest, chicest packaging as well as their limited-edition ranges, which usually feature custom palettes into which you slip whichever of their shadows or powders you like.
I am head over heels for their ob collection, and this is just the cutest ever. Plus, when I run out of powder, I don’t have to chuck it all away. Totally eco.
Moving on to category two: things that are shaped like food.
Korea has these products on lockdown, starting with the coolest thing ever: Tony Moly’s Latte Art Cappucino Cream-In Scrub (available through Candian retailer Momomango). This is a face scrub shaped like a little coffee cup, guys; it even has a removable stirrer that you can use to apply it if you don’t want to use your fingertips to get the product out the pot (apparently that is what you are meant to do with face creams rather than just jam your hands inside, to keep stuff sanitary).
It smells potently coffee-like and is intended to be used as an exfoliating mask: you massage it into your face and it changes colour and then you wash it off. It is incredibly creamy, with little exfoliating granules, and it warms and sort of foams upon application. It isn’t as scrubby as I ordinarily demand from my facial exfoliants (but then again, I do live for AHAs) so I’ve been using it as a mask because it leaves you all soft and glowy. And coffee-smelling. And it is shaped like coffee!
Next is Tony Moly’s Smooth Massage Appletox Peeling Cream (from Momomango). SHAPED LIKE AN APPLE! I don’t know who works on these fragrances, but this is the most authentically apple-scented thing I’ve ever found outside of an orchard. With malic acid and AHAs, it is another exfoliant mask that you massage into your skin for a minute or two and then rinse off a few minutes later. When you massage it in, it clumps into little particles which is kind of weird but it leaves you glowy and deliciously appley. Apples!
Finally, another apple product: Babiphat’s Apple Magic Lip Tint (also from Momomango). Again, this looks like a tiny apple and smells and tastes weirdly like actual fruit rather than artificial apple lipbalm. Koreans have this scenting and flavouring malarkey down. It is incredibly lightly tinted and mainly works as a balm, but with a slightly sticky, glossy texture that stays on your mouth longer than lip balms ordinarily do. Fabulous. APPLES!!!
My third category is the stuff that I just couldn’t not include.
So, I used to really, really love pills. I guess I still really love pills, but they aren’t something that have proven particularly beneficial to have in my life, so these Dose Nail Polishes are a pretty great alternative. You can get them in these cute little pill jars, and the polishes themselves are shaped like pills and come in rad, dense colours.
Their gold shade is one of the best I’ve found, and their primary colours are fantastic. Ideal for junkies who reform to live a lifestyle of serenity and manicures.
Also too good not to share are Paul & Joe’s blotting papers. There isn’t too much you can say about a blotting paper aside from that they are bloody handy in summer when you get a shiny face and don’t want to pile on pressed powders, but these are particularly adorable to keep in your bag because they are covered in tiny dolphins.
Finally is Etude House’s Missing U Harp Seal Hand Cream (from Momomango), which is from a collection of endangered animals which are all the most adorable things ever. It is small and easy to carry about in your purse, formulated with shea butter and with a citrusy scent.
It doesn’t leave your hands all slimy and greasy, and when you buy it, you make this seal very happy apparently. On the box, it says, "I really want to see you… I miss you!" which confused me a little, but I believe must be an allusion to the sad plight of the harp seal.
Basically, you should all go and buy all this stuff for yourselves and then for everyone you know for their birthdays because it has all made me so happy that I am practically beside myself. Plus, my nails, face and hands look great. But mainly, I am happy just looking at my shelves of TOTALLY KAWAII PACKAGING and utterly indulging my inner child.
What’s your favourite cute product packaging? Do you have a crazed infatuation with beauty products that look like fruit? Do you not care if your foundation comes in an icing bag so long as it works? HOLLA!