5 Art & Pop Culture Makeup Collections That Don't Exist, But Should

Complete with imaginary makeup graphics.

So maybe I’m a rube, but until I found out that MAC is coming out with a Rocky Horror makeup line, I had no idea that pop culture-based makeup sets were even a thing. (I am, by the way, shivering with anticipation for the RHPS products.)

Being a giant culture nerd, my imagination went running and I came up with five dream cosmetic homages to various artists and pop culture icons, complete with imaginary makeup graphics.

1. The Artwork Of Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis is a badass artist, best known for her 1970s neon-colored latex floor spills, glitter-spattered knots, and, of course, for messing with the editorial staff of Artforum (NSFW) by taking out ad space in the front of the magazine that featured Benglis nude and holding a giant dildo. In her honor, I would translate those neon-colored floor spills to lip glosses, and the “sparkle knots” to an eye shadow palette. However, metallics and glow-in-the-darks were also in her repertoire, so the possibilities for makeup are practically endless.

2. The Sandman Graphic Novel Series By Neil Gaiman

The Sandman series provides a ton of aesthetic inspiration: it’s based on gods and monsters from mythologies around the world, and Gaiman’s team of artists portrayed and colored them with a sort of terrible elegance. The main team of protagonists are all stark white, frequently with black hair, but the world around them is colorful and lush. Gaiman’s Lucifer character is getting his own TV show on FOX soon, so a palette featuring the colors of his blonde hair and purple-black wings would obviously be a necessity, too.

3. The Oeuvre Of David Bowie

Bowie is being featured in a retrospective exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art right now; I have not gone but I AM DYING to. So the time is ripe to honor his work with a makeup set, no? Bowie’s whole career has been a visual blowout, and his makeup style--wild eyes, neutral lips--is one of the most defining looks of the '70s. I referred to his movies Labyrinth and The Man Who Fell to Earth, as well as his iconic Aladdin Sane album cover, for inspiration.

4. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away

You could turn any of Miyazaki’s films into a palette and come out with something beautiful, but why not go with Spirited Away, the film that won so many hearts, plus an Oscar for Best Animated Feature? Miyazaki claimed earlier this year that he’d really-for-real-this-time be retiring (although, who knows), so we may be at the end of his long and accomplished career. Everything about his movies tells a story, from the perspective of the animation to the settings to the color.

5. Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time

This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the idea that I’d be the most likely to buy were it to ever become a reality--because I’m obsessed with the Zelda games. Ocarina of Time, in particular, is a visual feast. By today’s standards the graphics are kind of rudimentary, but when it was released in 1998, it was mind-blowing. Possibilities for themed lipsticks, blushes, and eyeliners abound in Ocarina of Time, but what I chose to do is use each of the five adult-stage temples as inspiration for eye shadow palettes.

Cover image via