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Fenty Beauty x MSCHF and the thin line between hype and safety in beauty

Do we really know what's in our make-up products?

Fenty Beauty x MSCHF and the thin line between hype and safety in beauty Do we really know what's in our make-up products?

A bright red box contains 6 totally identical ketchup packets that bear the words "Ketchup or Makeup?" and contain either a lip gloss or some sauce to sprinkle on the chips but there are no graphic clues to distinguish them, so how do you figure out what you are going to wear on your lips? This is not the beginning of a math problem, but the dilemma that arises from MSCHF's 83rd drop in collaboration with Fenty Beauty, in which the design collective launches a new provocation against the culture of consumerism curated together with Rihanna's make-up brand, from its origins a creator of cutting-edge collections. The social campaign also blurs the lines between food and beauty, a match that has always been a lucky one in marketing, and is complete with a guerrilla marketing activation featuring a hot dog cart that brings the exciting experience of not being sure of eating ketchup or makeup to passersby on the streets of NYC, as demonstrated in the video by @amalydominguez.

The only way to tell if the contents of the sachets are ketchup or makeup is to open them and smell ( or taste) the contents, leading to the product having to be consumed as soon as possible in either case. The box is either a collector's item or the new sensation for doing video reactions on TikTok, as many creators have already done avoiding most to spend $25 to buy 3 ml of Fenty lipgloss to be purchased only on ketchupormakeup.com , sold on Sephora.com for 22.90 euros for 9 ml, with the difference being that the shade available for purchase on the site is slightly less red than the ketchup-colored shade of the innovative creation. The collaboration is MSCHF's first exploration into the world of beauty, which is highly subject to stereotypes and capitalist instrumentalization when it comes to creating induced needs and crowds of personalities insecure about their flaws, who rush to the miracle product to finally "make up" for a certain lack. With the collaboration, both the collective and Mrs. Robin Fenty's brand affirm a willingness to play with the mechanism of hype and the ignorance-in the sense of lack of knowledge-of the public toward the ingredients within beauty products, which are increasingly chosen for the bewitching power of the packaging than for the functionality or aesthetic effect of the product. 

If at the beginning of 2022 there was talk of Safe Beauty, a post-pandemic trend at times germaphobic that identified consumers' interest in full control of what they applied on skin, eyes, and nails to avoid bacterial overgrowth, now the obsession has completely waned creating a return to experimentation in the beauty world, abetted by TikTok and its more abstract beauty trends. Fenty Beauty's ketchup sachets actually pose the question: do we really know what we're slathering on? When buying make-up we usually don't read the ingredients, but the effect the product promises to achieve. According to the Human Highway report for Cosmetica Italia in partnership with Netcomm in March 2022, as of today we know much more what we slather on than in the past, people are more attentive to the characteristics of the products especially when it comes to the sustainability of the product towards the environment: 33.4 percent of Italians pay attention to this data for personal care and skincare, although the make-up category is less affected, with 28.3 percent.

 

This shows that even if Fenty's and MSCHF's box had been sold as a lipgloss box, few would have noticed they were putting ketchup on their lips.

@amalydominguez @mschf #ketchupormakeup #mschf #thingstodoinnyc #nycstreetstyle #nyc #fyp #foryou #mschfdrops #coolthingstodo #fentybeauty Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna) - T.I.
@amalydominguez @mschf #ketchupormakeup #mschf #thingstodoinnyc #nycstreetstyle #nyc #fyp #foryou #mschfdrops #coolthingstodo #fentybeauty Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna) - T.I.
@_alyssa_lorraine_ @fentybeauty #mschf #ketchupormakeup #fentybeauty #glossbomb original sound - Alyssa Lorraine
@anahitaxo I want ketchup to become a permanent shade!! #fentybeauty #lipgloss #mschfxfenty #fentybeautyglossbomb #ketchupormakeup #lipcombo #redlipgloss #ketchupgloss #rihanna #fentyheatgloss sos - evie