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Anna Sui makeup collectibles you'll want to own

Anna Sui makeup collectibles you'll want to own

Hello dolly

Text: Renée Batchelor


Have you ever looked at something completely frivolous and wanted it immediately? That's the kind of effect Anna Sui's new 20th anniversary makeup collection will have

It was love at first sight. The first time I saw Anna Sui's floral babydoll dresses and grunge chic aesthetic in the pages of Seventeen magazine as teenager, I wanted it all. At the time 'It' girls of the era like future director Sofia Coppola were among her friends and muses and this petite Chinese woman with a babydoll fringe was the centre of it all, literally defining '90s grunge style along with Marc Jacobs and models like Kate Moss. I was lucky enough to meet Sui herself in 2013 for the launch of La Vie de Boheme fragrance in Hong Kong. Happily, she did not fail to disappoint, greeting the press warmly and regaling us with tales of her family.

It's kind of amazing knowing that her beauty line, decked in her signature purple and black colour scheme, is 20 years old this year. Besides makeup and fragrances, the range also has brushes and gorgeous accessories. Enduringly popular in Japan, Anna Sui Beauty is fun, fantastical and feminine. It is unafraid to be colourful, whimsical and a bit romantic, inspiring a slew of similarly-packaged products — from brands like Ladurée and Jill Stuart. This anniversary collection has several standouts, the main one being the dolly head cases for lipsticks. Pick from three charismatic ladies (each case is $21) and fill it with your lippie or eye colour of choice, housed in a convenient pot or pan.

Each dolly head has a life of her own. Sally, was heavily inspired by Sally Bowles from Cabaret. Like Liza Minelli who played her in the Bob Fosse movie, she has chic, plastered-down black hair and dramatic makeup — think deep pink lips and fluttering lashes framing giant peepers. Marion was based on 1930s actress Marion Davis and bears her signature cream-coloured skin and light, curly hair. Finally Bea (not inspired by Bea Arthur, by the way) is the spicy, sexy rock star with blue eyeshadow and pirate eye patch with hair reminiscent of Louise Brooks by way of David Bowie. Now that we have all the historical inspo down pat, take a minute to appreciate how cool these dolly heads are. They remind us of those childhood stamps we used to own, that said 'well done' or 'good work' or simply had a cartoon character on it, but this opens up to reveal a Lip or Eye & Face Colour of your choice. Just one singular colour that will make the most impact when you whip this baby out to apply it in public. Which you must.

Other products in the collection that we adored include the Face Brush — in a lush mix of goat and artificial hair —  and a Brush Stand that was inspired by a goblet. Seriously it's the ultimate product to buy a beauty junkie who has everything, and the price is head-scratchingly affordable. There's also the three Dolly Head coffret sets. Again, you can pick them according to the doll head or character of your choice or simply by the colours you love. Inside each elegant, collectible tin you'll find the classic rose-embossed lipstick, a liquid eyeliner and a nail polish in a stunning colour combination.

Available now at Anna Sui counters

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