Pretty as a Picture

The love affair between (mostly) classic characters and adult-focused cosmetics, lip care, and nail care products continues to intensify. More properties and more marketers—often of the niche variety—are entering into relationships to produce limited-edition beauty collections. Some recent pairings:

• The latest collaboration for Hello Kitty, licensed by Sanrio, is The Crème Shop’s October 2018 initiative involving a broad range of SKUs (51 in all), from bath bombs to face masks. More Hello Kitty items from the Korea-founded, California-headquartered beauty brand are expected in the future.

• Disney introduced a number of new additions in the past few months to its long list of collaborations in this space. Recent ventures include a Disney Princess collection of eye shadows, highlighter, lipsticks, and lip glosses with California-headquartered ColourPop; a Mickey Mouse 90th anniversary collection of six eye shadow shades and highlighters, as well as lipsticks and lip glosses, with U.S. cult brand Dose of Colors; and an eight-piece mermaid-themed vintage collection with U.S.-based Besamé Cosmetics, inspired by the 1953 film Peter Pan, that includes compacts, eye shadows, lipsticks, and fragrance.

• Mattel teamed with Los Angeles-based NCLA Beauty, a marketer of 100% vegan products, in fall 2018 for a 13-piece Barbie collection of lipsticks, lip gloss, nail polish, nail-art strips, and cuticle oil.

• Earlier in the year, DHX Media/Peanuts Worldwide and K-Beauty brand Innisfree offered a limited-edition collection featuring Snoopy, marking the beginning of the Year of the Dog on the Chinese calendar. Products included nail colors, lip tints, and compacts.

• Sanrio’s Mr. Men and Little Miss collaborated with luxury skin care specialist Crème de la Mer, part of the Estée Lauder corporate family, in October for a limited Little Miss Miracle edition of the latter’s flagship moisturizer. The specialty item launched exclusively at U.K. department store Selfridges, both online and off.

• In October, Korean brand VT Cosmetics introduced a line of foundations, creams, lipsticks, and eye shadows featuring the BT21 character avatars produced by social media company LINE for the K-Pop music group BTS.

Most of these collections are billed as cute, quirky, luxurious, and reasonably priced, as well as cruelty-free.

The use of classic (and sometimes new) characters as inspiration for niche collections of cosmetics and other beauty products for adults—a trend for at least the past decade—shows no signs of abating, as these examples illustrate. In fact, the incidence of such pairings seems to have grown over the past few years, with no end in sight.

In case you missed it and are interested in a recap of a busy year in licensing and collaboration, see our annual Year in Review, posted in late December. The article offers RaugustReports’ take on 15 of the key trends that had an impact on the licensing business in 2018.

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