Love Me Sells Out for Beauty

At its heart, street art is outsider art. But thanks to the commercial success of people such as Shepard Fairey, the debate continues over the point at which a graffiti artist goes from success to sellout. The Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop explored this, among other controversies in the street-art world.

Now, the supposed sellouts have spread to the world of makeup.

New York City-based graffiti artist Chris Kulig (a.k.a. Love Me) has paired with cosmetic powerhouse Smashbox for a limited-edition spring 2013 collection. Does a graffiti artist really need to endorse a high-end makeup line? Apparently, yes—as well as a new Vans shoe line! Of course, it's genius timing, what with a certain love-themed holiday coming up.

Regardless of your definition of artistic integrity, Smashbox's new collection really is a fine set: two eye-shadow palettes, two lipsticks, a powder blush, two lip glosses and, of course, a black liquid eyeliner. The eyeshadow palates are the most eye-catching, featuring five colors you can actually use in Picasso-like packaging, with a plastic layer above the eyeshadow in the shape of Kulig's Love Me logo. The "Entice Me" palate has cooler, shimmery shades (icy blue, navy blue, purple taupe, icy pink and a killer iridescent purple), while the "Admire Me" palate goes warmer and less bold (champagne, matte nude, coral, bronze and dark brown). The shadows have a high pigment and go on incredibly soft. The "Idolize Me" blusher is a poppy pink.

The jet-black eyeliner has a bold, felt-tip, paint-pen applicator that works great for dramatic, thick, cat-eye looks. It goes on dark and stays on long. The "Love Me" lipstick imitates his signature color—bright red—and the "Tempt Me" version is a pink-y coral. Then there are the two lipgloss shades—"Adore Me" (fuchsia pink) and "Charm Me" (nude pink).

With offerings this great, who cares if Kulig's a sellout?

Follow me on Twitter: @taylorwrites.


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