ColourPop and Hello Kitty


As an eight-year-old girl, Hello Kitty doesn’t wear makeup, but her fans do — and they’ll have plenty to choose from on Nov. 1 when products from the Sanrio character’s cosmetics collection with ColourPop launch.

The partnership with Sanrio marks ColourPop’s first with a brand rather than a social-media influencer or celebrity and represents a return by Sanrio to beauty collaborations after a fruitful string of them with MAC, OPI and Sephora. The duo teamed up on an expansive limited-edition holiday range that includes four crème eye-shadow shades, three lip-gloss shades, two satin lipstick shades, three medium-to-full coverage lipstick shades, blush, highlighter and metallic liquid lipstick.

“For our Hello Kitty fan — twentysomething young adults — among her interests, beauty ranks really high. So, over the years, we have looked at different and interesting ways to introduce Hello Kitty to the beauty world. We see our collaboration with ColourPop as the next iteration of introducing Hello Kitty to that beauty world,” said Jill Koch, senior vice president of brand management and marketing at Sanrio. “Whenever we have done something in beauty, we have gotten a huge response.”

The idea to link with ColourPop originated at Sanrio’s offices. “We have a lot of ColourPop fans here at Sanrio. We love the products. The quality of the products is great and, because ColourPop is an online-only brand, they can move really quickly,” said Koch. “Everyone at our office is always talking about the latest and greatest in products and colors. There are a lot of internal conversations going on all the time about beauty, and we thought, ‘Let’s reach to them and see if they are interested.’”

ColourPop was, in fact, interested and joined forces with Sanrio in the summer. Together, they swiftly completed a collection to be released on Hello Kitty’s Nov. 1 birthday — she doesn’t age, despite Sanrio celebrating her 42nd anniversary this year — and for holiday gifting. Its products are priced from $5 to $42 with a Full-Face Kit containing three eye shadows, blush, highlighter and ColourPop’s signature matte and gloss lip items commanding the highest price, but perhaps becoming the most coveted offering in the bunch due to its variety and value.

Compared to its collaborations with influencers and celebrities the likes of Kathleen Fuentes, Jenn Im and Karrueche Tran, Laura Nelson, president and founder of ColourPop, which was started by Seed Beauty in 2014, said the collaboration with Sanrio takes a broader perspective. “We really wanted to provide a well-rounded collection, and be able to reach out to different customer bases,” explained Nelson. “We wanted to work with many of our different technologies and products from shadows to lip glosses to highlighters and blush to really create full-face looks. The glosses are amazing to layer on the more saturated lip colors or on their own.”

Several products developed by ColourPop and Sanrio such as Rainbow, a white eye-shadow shade infused with silver and pink glitter, Friendship File, a peachy beige eye-shadow option also with pink and silver glitter, and Surprise, a ruby metallic liquid lipstick, touch upon the shimmer trend that Nelson believes will be huge for the holidays. “All of the beautiful shimmer finishes really speak to the ColourPop customer as well as the Hello Kitty customer,” she said. “Nothing in the collection is too serious. We wanted to have a playful, fun and experiential element.”

The products from ColourPop and Sanrio will be sold on ColourPop’s web site and nowhere else. Once the collection runs its course, it’s unlikely there will be a sequel following the holidays. Expounding on Sanrio’s approach to collaborations, Koch said, “We are really strategic about categories we target and when those collaborations are launching. We never want to have too many on top of each other. We try to sprinkle them into the market and not do everything at once, and we want to give each collaboration its time to shine.”

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