We interrupt the intense sewing and costume design work with a brief foray into impulse purchases and mass market merchandising.
The watercolors caught my eye in Walgreens. I also recognized a familiar face. After months of staring at Mulan reference images, my brain is now trained to hone in on her visage. From there, I noticed there were also Ariel and Pocahontas lines. All three palettes are called “Dare to Dream”. I’m told Walgreens previously had a Belle line under slightly different branding.
My first reaction would have pleased the advertisers and licensing team – I had to have it all. Out of nowhere my 13-year old self took hold of my wallet and my judgement. I mean, all together this was only $15. I was curious and I thought it might be fun to Disneybound Mulan at work one day.
My logical, sustainable adult brain is shaking her head at my Disney-self. I suspect that this is probably made with the cheapest of the cheap ingredients, some of which can be toxic. (Heightening my suspicions, the lipstick smells like a wax crayon, but I’ll get to that in a moment.) I know that this exclusive release is a money grab, banking on young teens and nostalgic adults wanting to relive their youth. (Guilty as charged.)
Still, I bought the eyeshadow “beauty book” and the eyeliner kit. I passed on the lip gloss (too pink and pale for my preferences) and the nail polish (overpriced and odd color choices – “Princess Ping” and a blue-ish color called “Mushu” and other colors that I just don’t associate with Mulan). I’ll challenge myself to curate a Mulan nail polish collection down the road.
For this who are curious, the Pocahontas line was mostly face make up (bronzers, blush, etc.) with a mix of jewel toned and neutral eye shadows. Ariel had multiple eye shadow quads (whereas Mulan had 3 lip glosses) in addition to her lip kit (not an eye liner kit). Her colors were very tropical, as one might expect.
Behold the unboxing!
Eye Shadows – This is a fun collection of colors, many of which match Mulan’s outfits in the film. (I think this palette should have included a navy blue as well.) The pigments are very bold in the tray and on the eyeshadow brush, but when applied they lose a lot of their intensity. Serenity (Pink), Typhoon (cream), Jade (green) and Honor (peach) in particular disappear on my skin tone. I will try applying over my MAC eyeshadow primer paint pot and see if that helps the colors stand out.
Eye Liners – It was the eye liner kit (3 liquid liners and one pencil) that initially caught my eye. The liquid liners are Black (All the Force), Silver glitter (All the Victory), and Gold glitter (All the Strength). I suspect the glitter liners can be worn alone or over another liner (maybe the pencil liner that was included in the kit).
Blushes – SO BRIGHT. SO PINK. My regular blushes are much more muted than either of these. I’ll have to play around with them to see how they mix with my contour makeup and other blushes. However, I am doubtful that these blushes will be used much as I don’t really wear blush except to fancy events.
Lipstick – Drawing on Mulan’s Matchmaker ensemble, this beauty book comes with a bold bright cherry red. The red itself is a bit too blue for my taste, almost more magenta than red. It is called “Mushu’s Flame” and it is not as orange-red as I think it should be. Although, the colors in this palette are generally “cool” so it does make sense to include a “cool red”. I mentioned it smelled like crayons – even if it was the right color, I’m not sure I would use it. While I can work with cheaper eyeshadows, lipsticks are less forgiving as they cake and bleed. Luckily I own a bold red lipstick already. 🙂
The Beauty Book includes some suggested color combinations, guiding the wearer on which colors are best for the lid, the crease, and the highlights. I would have liked application suggestions for the other make-up – Ariel’s eyeshadow quads, Mulan’s eyeliner kit, Pocahontas’s bronzer sticks. I doubt I would wear the full “look” to work, but maybe out for a fun date.
Should you buy it?
YES – If you like Disney and enjoy playing with colorful makeup I think that you would have fun with this set. Likewise, if you are a collector of all things Disney, can you really pass up these palettes? And if you are a Disney cosplayer, um, what are you waiting for? (You can find them at Walgreens and at Drugstore.com.)
It isn’t the best make-up I have used, but these collections can provide inspiration for Disney cosplayers and Disneybounders. You could create similar palettes with your favorite make-up brands. I definitely plan to curate my own “Mulan” looks, combining this palette with my existing make-up. (The mere existence of this line says a lot about the prevalence of cosplay and fandom-culture in society. They are marketing to adults with that sophisticated watercolor packaging and complex make-up guides. If this was only for kids it would be cartoon-y. This line of make-up knows there are adults who want to emulate their favorite Disney heroines.)
If I get enjoyable use out of the eyeshadows and liners, I will be satisfied with my purchase. I’ll be sure to post a photo of me in the make-up in daylight!