Jan 28th, 2016, 11:50 AM

Too Faced: The Sugary Sweet Company Shaking Up the Makeup Industry

By Elizabeth Segre-Lawrence
Photo by Pink Peonies
Makeup + Chocolate = Success?

Food and cosmetics are two things that one might consider to be natural enemies. The internal debate on whether or not to wear lipstick in fear that it might smudge when you eat is all too real for cosmetics users everywhere. However, Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson, the founders of Too Faced Cosmetics, are bringing the two seemingly incompatible worlds together in a way that only they could–and it may just be changing the attitude behind cosmetic marketing.

After receiving a chocolate facial at a Hawaiian resort, creative director Jerrod Blandino was inspired to combine the antioxidant-rich qualities of cocoa powders with cosmetics, resulting in the brand's popular Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. Chocolate Soleil was such a success that Blandino and Johnson expanded the line with two more variations of the bronzer, a handful of lipstick and gloss shades, and three eyeshadow palettes. Oh, and by the way, they all smell like chocolate.
The thing about the cosmetic industry recently is that it has become incredibly dull. Yes, every now and then a brand will collaborate with a celebrity (Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani), designer (Mac x Zac Posen), or fashion influencer (Nars x photographer Steven Klein) to create some eye-catching products that fly off shelves, but walk through the aisles of Sephora and you'll be struck by the visual monotony of the merchandise: everything is shiny and black. If not black, packages come in a muted color. If there are any advertisements in the vicinity, the models tend to take the persona of a hardened, slick glamazon. No one ever smiles. But then there’s Too Faced, which claims to be a "serious makeup brand who knows how to have fun,” rolling out eyeshadow palettes that evoke the Land of the Sweets with shade names like “Creme Brulee” and “Salted Caramel.”
Image credit: TooFaced.com (left), Narscosmetics.com (right)
What makes Too Faced so successful? Nowadays packaging isn't enough to compel consumers to go out and buy $49 palettes at the drop of a hat. In a market saturated with dupes for every shade and price point, Too Faced's appeal lies in its deviation from the cosmetic industry's prevailing image of glamor, luxury, and inaccessibility. Instead, the brand offers decadence, softness, and even nostalgia, evoking sweet memories of "My First Makeup Kit." Perhaps the implicit codes of cosmetic advertising are undergoing a shift, to adapt to the taste buds of consumers. Because who doesn't like chocolate, right?