With Star Wars: The Force Awakens rocking the box office and turning long-term aficionados into squealing fangirls once again, it’s no surprise that more and more companies are trying to capitalize on its success by incorporating Star Wars themes into their product lines. From Lego sets to waffle makers, it seems that there’s nothing that can’t be Force-ified with a little determination. Yet, as tired as we all are with unnecessary branding (I mean, do the minions from Despicable Me really need to be on everything?), one surprisingly comfortable fit seems to be CoverGirl’s new line of Star Wars themed cosmetics. The products come in a range of new shades—perfect whether you’re on the “Light Side or the Dark Side.” The limited edition line includes six different lipstick shades, nail polishes with names like “speed of light” and “red revenge,” and Dark Side mascara stamped on the back with any one of 10 memorable lines from the movies.
Beyond the cool factor of being able to display your faction affiliation in your mascara, this new product line speaks to a broader cultural phenomenon. Whereas Star Wars was once seen as a hobby for geeks and nerds, it has now achieved popularity in society at large and, specifically, with women and girls. It is in no small part due to Daisy Ridley’s fierce performance as the protagonist in The Force Awakens (contrasted with the infuriatingly and inexplicably passive role Padme took in the later prequels). It is widely acknowledged that the female demographic is beginning to feel more comfortable sitting among the audience of these films. It’s funny how women are happy to show up to your “guy” movies when they’re not marginalized, ignored, or written in a way that fails the Bechdel Test.
Imagine a Star Wars themed Maybelline makeup line during the 1970s, when the first Star Wars movies were originally released. It would never have worked, because the crossover audience interested in both makeup and Star Wars was practically nonexistent. These days, CoverGirl has been able to take advantage of a cultural shift that has made the franchise more accessible to everyone.
In fact, it almost makes one wonder if the opposite is true. If the Star Wars makeup line represents the increase in women’s interest in Star Wars, could it also represent men’s gradually increase comfort in wearing makeup? A quick search on YouTube will prove that this is a topic of great interest to many, probably more people than you would have initially guessed! It would have been interesting to see a line of Star Wars makeup marketed to both men and women as a way to bridge that divide. Unfortunately, either CoverGirl missed a great opportunity, or the world’s just not ready for that yet. Plus, I guess they’d have to rename themselves.
In short, the new CoverGirl line of Star Wars themed cosmetics is really cool, and even if it’s just a branding gimmick, it’s a neat one. It’s great to see women becoming more comfortable expressing their enjoyment of things that were once considered geeky or even unladylike. It’s also encouraging to see the Star Wars franchise showcasing female talent with an abundance of strong and complex leading ladies. It would be great if the pendulum could swing both ways and allow for inclusion of men in more traditionally feminine interests, like makeup. The Star Wars makeup line would have been the perfect place for this kind of honest crossover, but since it didn’t happen that way, men’s makeup will just have to wait for its next chance to spring into the limelight. Until then, keep blending, guys, and keep your brow game fierce.
It feels like the first cosmetic product that caters to the nerd in me. The lipstick tubes are pretty sleek as well, but I can’t believe they passed up the opportunity to make the their Covergirl Star Wars lipstick tubes in the shape of actual lightsaber. Meh, close enough.
By Kayla Robbins