Otaku culture is the focus of Japanese brand Shu Uemura’s holiday collection (from $27, shuuemura.ca), created with Takashi Murakami. The artist famous for stamping his colourful designs on Louis Vuitton Speedy bags in 2002 emblazoned the makeup’s packaging with Six Heart Princess, his anime artwork based on the legend of a warrior princess. “It’s a very dark story about people who were born into a cursed family and are not able to break away from their blood,” he says. Cheerful! “I tried to create something that would not be dubbed as modern art but that was totally Japanimation style.”
“It’s Japanese subculture translated into art, so it’s a very edgy and interesting approach,” says Kakuyasu Uchiide, Shu Uemura’s international artistic director. “It was a bit of a challenge for us to express his kind of beauty.”
Eyeshadow palettes are split into the duelling sides of Six Heart Princess’s personality: soft pinks and dramatic blacks. There are tubes of creamy cheek-and-lip tint, a first for the brand, and two false lashes: a feathery pair tipped with fuchsia hearts and a strip of black feathers that resembles an arrow’s fletching.
The collection also includes a new version of the brand’s famous eyelash curler, which was originally designed in 1991. “The trend for using exaggerated lashes to make the eyes appear bigger probably originated in Japan and then reached Western culture,” says Uchiide. The curved clamping surface has been truncated so that it grasps only a centimetre at a time, ensuring no lash remains uncurled. This winter, it bears a Murakami-designed charm, like the cellphone jewellery beloved by Tokyo girls. See the video Murakami directed for the collection here!