It’s no secret that we’re suckers for pretty beauty products, but if you want to really get us swooning, show us a collection from an artist collaboration. Makeup, after all, is an artistic expression, so seeing it paired with more traditional forms delights us. And though we love visiting galleries both at home and while travelling, there’s something about holding and playing with these artist collaborations that just brings the work to life. Plus, the packaging is always so darn gorgeous.
We especially love when the brand and artist make a perfect fit, hence our joy when we first got word of Urban Decay’s Jean-Michel Basquiat collection. Much like the California-based brand, Basquiat was known for his edgy vibes and use of bright colours. Originally a graffiti artist, the New York native went on to be a leader in the neo-expressionist movement of the ’80s.
In working with Basquiat’s estate on the limited-edition collection (the artist himself passed away in 1988, at the age of 27), the brand made sure that every aspect—the colours, the shade names, the packaging—reflected his work. The attention to detail paid off, as this is definitely one of the most thoughtful artist collaborations we’ve seen in recent years.
The collection’s two Eyeshadow Palettes ($49 each) are sure to be top sellers. The shadows come housed inside mini replicas of Basquiat’s paintings, printed on actual canvas and with a small hole in the back of each so you can hang them on the wall. Plus, the eight shadows inside each are new hues from the brand. Both palettes also come with a double-ended brush and large interior mirror.
The Tenant Eyeshadow Palette contains ultra-bright hues ranging from hot pink to shimmery lime green. The shades include Studio (pale matte pink), 1960 (bright matte pink), Neo (aubergine with micro-shimmer), Les (matte charcoal), Graffiti (metallic green), Exu (bright green shimmer), Boom (bright teal) and Untitled (rich deep blue).
It’s definitely the more impressive palette out of the two thanks to the consistent pigmentation and rich, buttery textures (even with the mattes)! For a colour lover, it’s a sure-fire winner. Seriously, Untitled is the most beautiful blue eyeshadow we’ve ever seen.
Lovers of the brand’s Naked Palette will gravitate towards the Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette’s beiges and browns. The palette includes Enigma (pale matte nude), Levitation (warm matte nude), Not For Sale (matte sienna), Suckerpunch (warm brown shimmer), Influence (brown with gold shimmer), BK (matte grey), Pseudonym (matte navy) and Crown (metallic gold).
The mattes weren’t as impressive in this palette, but we do love the choice of hues which make it a little more edgy than a typical neutral palette.
There are also three fun shades of 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($25 each): Vivid (bright teal), Post Punk (neon green) and Anatomy (sienna). They’re designed to look like art pencils, and each have a handwritten-style of “Jean-Michel Basquiat” printed on the label along with the artist’s famous crown motif.
Much like the eye palettes, the Gallery Blush Palette ($45) comes in a canvas-wrapped case featuring Basquiat’s famous imagery. Under the crown-printed lid, there are four shades perfect for defining your cheekbones.
The two blush shades are X-Rated (medium pink) and Noho (berry). There’s also a highlighter called Now’s The Time (warm champagne shimmer) and a bronzer called Jawbone (a medium-toned brown). For anyone more into a natural look, this is the product to nab from the collection (it’s also our favourite piece out of ’em all).
It really is a perfect cheek kit, with impressive pigmentation, universally-flattering hues and texture variety.
Lipstick lovers will be happy to see three new hues of the brand’s popular high-pigment Vice Lipstick ($21 each).
There are two cream finishes (Abstract, a caramel-y nude, and Epigram, a warm sienna) and one matte (Exhibition, a deep pink-purple). The tubes’ lids are printed with Basquiat’s work, making these lippies surefire collectibles.
Accessories & Vault
If you can’t pick just a few products (we don’t blame you!), you can get all nine in the special-edition UD Jean-Michel Basquiat Vault ($299). Its great value, plus it comes in a large box decorated inside and out with some of Basquiat’s most known works, and is, again, designed to be hung on your wall once you’ve removed the products inside.
While we don’t have them to show you today, there are also three makeup bags in the collection with a different piece of artwork on each size: Gallery is the smallest, a narrow zip-top pouch; then there’s 1983, a slightly larger zip top pouch with a wider bottom; and Untitled, is the largest with a zipper that wraps around its three sides. These would make for amazing gifts for any art and makeup lover!
The Urban Decay Jean-Michel Basquiat collection is available online now at sephora.ca.