Sonnet: To Tokidoki, About Your Packaging
(stolen brazenly from Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.
Thy box takes far more depth and breadth and height
Than it could need. It surely is not right
That such a small thing should use so much space.
I hate thee, though thy contents I embrace
For they look well in sun and candlelight.
I hate thee freely, and am not contrite;
I hate thee purely, yet feel no disgrace.
I hate thee though I love these shadow’d hues
Thou holdst within, ‘neath skull and bones and wraith.
I dropped thee on my foot; thou left a bruise.
The packaging on all thy line’s fair breadth —
Craptacular, the lot! and, though I’ll use,
I’d love thee more wert thou not wrapped in death.
Sorry. “Hate” is a strong word, especially when you say it so many times, but it’s been a while since I bastardized some poetry and this was convenient. And speaking of bastardization, the product up for review today is Tokidoki’s eye shadow quad in Bastardino.
As you can tell from the poem above, the in-a-nutshell review is that I really like their products but, er, slightly dislike the packaging. OK, yes, I hate it. I hate it for three reasons: 1.) If you are still into cartoon characters, you are probably too young for makeup, and the heart-shaped-skull-and-crossbones thing is kind of weird anyway; b) The edges and corners of the plastic box that houses this eyeshadow quad are quite sharp — I really did drop it on my foot and it really did leave a bruise, and iii) you know how I feel about wasted space in packaging, and this one’s got it in spades.
The actual eyeshadow palette (and I’ll be generous and include the lid) takes up only 1/3 of the depth of the plastic box. The other 2/3 of the space inside the box is a holding container for a little plastic charm of the tokidoki character after which the quad is named. WTF? I don’t need a toy with my makeup, thank you very much, and I really dislike how big and clunky this unnecessary “feature” makes the product. In fact, the packaging was so much of a turn-off for me that I planned to avoid the line altogether — until I swatched some of the products in Sephora and I’ll be damned if they weren’t actually impressive.
Tokidoki’s beauty division is a relatively new addition to the brand, which is based on the Japanese-inspired art of Italian designer Simone Legno and whose bizarre and slightly macabre characters can be found adorning everything from handbags to hats to shirts to toys to jewelry to iPhone skins to … well, you get the idea. So far, these products are Sephora exclusives.
The individual eyeshadows are also of excellent quality (and also annoyingly overpackaged), but at $15 a pop for an individual shade vs. $25 for a palette of four shades, all of which I like, the quad was the better bargain. Yes, you get less of each color than you do in the singles, but since I rarely manage to use up an entire eyeshadow pan anyway, this wasn’t a big deal for me.
This particular palette is named Bastardino after the character, who is apparently some sort of spiny prickly cactus/dog combination, and it contains four shades, all of which are also named after characters. As per the top photo — top left: Carnivora (light frosty champagne peach, not unlike Stila Kitten); top right: Riposino (light cappuccino shimmer); bottom left: Mummetto (matte medium dark brown); bottom right: Bastardino (green with gold shimmer). I’m always on the lookout for wearable shades of green eyeshadow, and when it came packaged with three other shades that were all winners for me, then I had to stuff my snark in a sack and buy it. The shadows are all nicely pigmented — not so strongly that you can accidentally overapply with one stroke, but very buildable. They have a lovely smooth skin-feel and with primer I didn’t have any trouble with fading or creasing.
Swatches! From left to right: Carnivora (almost impossible to swatch on my skin), Riposino, Mummetto, Bastardino.
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): In spite of the quality of the product, I’m giving this a “poor” because of the wastefulness of the packaging and how much space it takes up. Its size effectively prevents it from being useful for travel, unless you make it serve dual duty by using the bottom cavity to store earrings or small children.
Purchase again? We’ll see. I really, really, REALLY hate the packaging of the whole line.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)