Welcome to this week’s episode of “Jessica thinks she’s seen it all and then a brand does something so strange it actually manages to surprise her.” Today I present you with Fenty’s ketchup-themed makeup line that contains both lip gloss and actual ketchup, brought to you by pop icon and makeup magnate, Rihanna.
HOLD UP, is this Fenty ketchup/makeup line real? And does it actually contain ketchup?
Yes, and yes. As part of a collaboration with the Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF, Fenty (Rhianna’s mega-popular makeup brand) is selling $25 makeup kits that contain six packets—some of which actually contain ketchup, while others contain makeup (red lip gloss, to be precise). To add an element of mystery, there is no way to tell which is which until you have opened the non-resealable packets—and it appears there’s no way to guarantee the kit contains at least one lip gloss, which is why people are calling this a (relatively low stakes) version of Russian Roulette.
Does this strange collab seem like a waste of time and money? A hundred percent, yes. While I admit it’s strangely appealing, I will absolutely not be spending my own money to try it out. Paying for lip gloss that might actually just be ketchup seems like a way to basically burn your money. If you’re paying for the “experience,” it doesn’t even seem like much of an experience?! Because once you open the packet you’ll immediately know what’s inside, and then you have a package of lip gloss that you can’t seal up (and have to use it all on the spot), or you have an overpriced packet of ketchup. I’d go so far as to call this flat-out stupid. And yet, I kind of love it?
This project is actually pretty on-brand for MSCHF, a collective known for making mischief with fashion and food-related pranks mixed with social commentary. Some of their past projects include selling popsicles of the world’s richest men so that people could “eat the rich.” They also made exorbitantly-priced “participation trophies” as part of a collab with Tiffany and Co., and sold a holy water hard seltzer. But if their thing is social commentary, what is the message they are trying to send with this new Fenty ketchup collab? That makeup and ketchup are equally as valuable? That you should always carry fries in your purse? Maybe the message is that people will buy anything as long as it is associated with Rhianna.
I guess we’ll find out soon. Or maybe we will never find out, and we’ll spend our lives wondering what Fenty ketchup makeup means about the human condition. In the meantime, will you buy yourself some Fenty ketchup packets? If so, you’d better act fast, before MSCHF moves on to their next act of mischief, leaving this whole tomato-y mess beheinz.