What is bold, right and guaranteed to inject some extra happiness into your daily life? Probably the Marimekko for Clinique Limited Edition collection.
I love anything that has an artisanal twist on an everyday products. So when I saw these in David Jones Wellington on the weekend, I just fell in love. While Marimekko obviously isn't a New Zealand company, I felt that as an iconic Scandinavian brand, an area of the world shares many similarities with New Zealand, these lipsticks had an affinity to the kinds of things we love here.
I've been a fan of Marimekko for years, especially as my Mum used to have a shop in Karori where she sold some Marimekko printed goodies. When I saw the Marimekko for Clinique collection on Instagram stories, I knew I had to get my hands on the lip glosses and lipstick. There are 10 colours of each and 10 patterns in each range (a total of 20). The big struggle is choosing just one! (or in my case... three?!).
One reason I love the Marimekko brand is that it was one of the first companies to blur the line between commerce and art, something I find fascinating. This idea was popularised in the 1960's by Andy Warhol and has kept a stronghold today. You now see many artists collaborating with brands, as it is the norm. But once it would have been considered outrageous to mix art prints on a household item. Art was a formal discipline - and household products were meant to be plain or traditionally patterned. By adding trendy, psychedelic patterns to cushions, tins and almost anything else, Marimekko started a revolution. Naturally, I feel I can't talk about these lipsticks without a walk down memory lane.
Marimekko is a Finnish company based in Helsinki that was founded in 1951 and is still going strong today. It made important contributions in the 1960's to textile and design, particularly that swinging 60's patterned dress look. It was founded by Viljo and Armi Ratia, after the Viljo's oil-cloth factory project failed. It was then converted to a garment plant. Armi asked some artist friends to apply their graphic designs to textiles. To show how the fabric could be used, the company then designed and sold a line of simple dresses using their fabric. The rest is, as they say, history!
Art Meets Beauty
The Collection really speaks to my love of art, design and fashion (I studied art history at University and modules often focused on not just fine art but how design shapes peoples lives). My love of art history is part of who I am, and so I'll never turn down a limited edition collection that is a collaboration with an iconic brand or artist (I still desperately want a Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons Handbag in the Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe print - LV, call me, okay?). Quirky and cute packaging reflects archival prints created by Annika Rimala, Marimekko's most prominent ready-to-wear designer in the 60s and 70s. She was one of the most influential designers of her time and embedded Marimekko into popular culture. What a woman!
The lipsticks are derived from the Clinique Colour Pop range. Juicy Apple is a pink and red fish-scale print, raspberry pop, a blue and green fringing and nude pop black and white flowers. Until I tried the lipsticks, to be honest, the main superficial appeal for me was their gorgeous packaging. I would have DEFINITELY lusted after these as a teen when I was travelling through Paris and London with my family, looking at galleries.
What about the juice?
The beauty of these isn't just on the outside, however. They are as fabulous on the inside as they are on the outside. I really, really liked how all of these feel on my lips. The Marimekko for Clinique Pop Splash Lip Gloss + Hydration (to call it by its official title) is 100% not sticky which blows my mind having grown up in the era of the Lancome Juicy Tube (remember when your skank bits used to get stuck to your mouth? Thank god beauty has progressed). It feels hydrating, like a lip treatment, and a soft, wearable tint of colour. It actually feels good for you.
The Marimekko for Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer is also very hydrating. It runs onto your lips like a dream and the colour payoff is intense. They are not intended to be long-wearing lipsticks, but they do deliver a tint, even when they've rubbed off a bit. But let's be honest - the point of these lipsticks isn't that you apply once in the morning and then leave them for the day! It is designed for you to bring out and reapply later in the day, so you can show off the flamboyant packaging to all your friends throughout the day!
At $47 each, these could be the perfect present for your art or design-loving friend or family member (I want to buy my mother one - the woman who instilled my love of art history in me). And while that may seem a little up there for a lipstick, I just compare it to a Jeff Koons Louis Vuitton handbag. Yep, they're feeling very affordable now!
Mum's the final word
Yesterday I met with my mum and showed her the three Clinique x Marimekko lippy's I had. Before I could say 'swinging sixties' she had grabbed the black and white packaged one with the nude lip colour and pocketed it. I guess that probably sums up whether this range gets her seal of approval! I suppose after 28 years of my stealing her things, I can make an allowance - just this once.