On my list of “Things I Don’t Think I’ll Ever See in My Lifetime”, right up there with a pregnant man (oh wait), OK right up there with flying cars is Barbie-inspired makeup that is actually wearable. However, here we are.
Stila has just introduced their collaboration with Mattel for Barbie’s 50th anniversary, and unlike many Barbie makeup forays that have come before (cough MAC cough), it is kind of awesome. OK, more than kind of. It’s really pretty great. But before we go there, let me do a quick run-down of the makeup looks seen on the catwalks at the Barbie’s 50th Anniversary fashion show:
Here we have the two extremes that represent the most literal and logical approaches to doing makeup inspired by a fantasy fem-bot creation made wholly of shiny plastic and deftly crafted by tiny Taiwanese hands: the spectacle (left) and the symbol (right). I could write some takedown of the fact that Barbie represents hyper-stylized femininity to the point of gross distortion and blah blah blah, but you all already know that. Besides, growing up with a truckload of Barbies didn’t make me feel like I had to have size E breasts just to feel pretty (though the 18-inch waist would be nice). No, I think we should just appreciate the backstage folks taking the Barbie thing where it needed to go. Barbie would not be comfortable with anything less than some Priscilla, Queen of the Toy Aisle drag, but at the same time she has to be understated enough to Sarah Palin her way through her various pedestrian jobs (School teacher! Veterinarian! McDonalds employee!). Therein lies the dichotomy of Barbie. Larger than life superstar, yet eager to prove herself competent in the real world. Like Britney Spears. Or Hannah Montana. Anyway, shine on, you crazy cubic zirconia.
Holy mother of stealing your big sister’s diaphragm, Barbie looks HOTT! I know this is supposed to be a modern take on O.G. Barbie’s look, but it is just too fierce to function. It’s like Kate Moss mated with a mountain lion in a van that used to be owned by Van Halen (not Van Hagar, thx) while on the set of John Waters’ Cry-Baby. It’s so rare that I actually want to pluck a look off the runway and rock it in real life, but this is just too much. As Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go there.”
OK, I’m no big fan of pink, but I like this look all together. It’s the same blushed-out look as before, but I really think the whole thing together with the big hair really works. This is the Barbie I remember from my childhood. See, all of my Barbies were hand-me-downs from my cousins who grew up in the 70s. We had an Osmond family Barbie set and the male Osmond dolls had actual hair, albeit styled in a big black helmet. We also had some wacky 70s secretary Barbie with her big career-girl hair and her purple eye shadow. I related entirely too much with the Mary Tyler Moore Show, even though Saved By the Bell was more my generation. Ahhh, to grow up poor.
Stila has taken this Barbie Through the Ages thing and gone a little farther with it, issuing limited-edition Barbie makeup collections by decade (ranked here by wearability):
Here you have that earthy, more natural Barbie look I’m used to from the 70s. I challenge you to tell me this is not wearable. Anyone would look good in these colors.
Still natural, modern, wearable, though a little flat. This group lacks the punch of the coral lipgloss from the former collection. However, if you need one-stop-shopping for makeup basics, this can’t be beat. I could see carrying just these things (OK, and some concealer) in my purse for a no-fuss everyday face.
Yeah! If you liked the O.G. Hardcore Sex-Panther Barbie look above, here is everything you need: liquid black liner, a little pink blush, some matte black shadow and, of course, a deep red lip. Not a great look for everyday everyday (unless you’re into the rockabilly thing), but still an indefatigable classic.
Here she is, the unattainable doll of my youth. The tanned, mansion-owning man-magnet that was taunting me with her tropical pool playset while I was playing Smokey and the Bandit for the thousandth time with my dated Barbies. Damn you, you snobby Malibu bitch!
Uh, anyway, I don’t begrudge anyone who liberally applies bronzer and blue eyeshadow, but it’s just not a universally-flattering look. Malibu Barbie works it. Lindsey Lohan tries to work it (bless her), now you can too. Actually, I can see that very careful application of this pastel blue, like lining the lower eyes with it or something, could be really pretty for spring.
What do you all think of all of this Barbie mania? Would you ever wear Barbie-inspired makeup?