First of all, I love Mad Men more than life itself. Okay, that’s not entirely true- at least this season it isn’t. Admittedly my life too suffers from ups and downs in quality, but this season has been uncharacteristically uneven. Nevertheless, Mad Men is still known as the little cable show that could. As AMC’s first scripted series, it put the scrappy channel on the map, and along the way, introduced the world to the glory that is Jon Hamm. And it is also a juggernaut in the fashion world, with its influence evident on catwalks since the very first season.
Surprisingly enough, with a plot centered around the Golden Age of the advertising industry, there have been relatively few media tie-in products capitalizing on its success. Most likely, Matthew Weiner, the notoriously anal showrunner, keeps a tight leash on the licensing rights. But in any case, in the years past, Mad Men has inspired a decidedly uninspired line at Banana Republic, and a line of limited edition Mad Men Barbie Dolls that little resembled the actors.
This year, however, Estee Lauder teamed up with the show to introduce a limited edition creme rouge blush and lipstick set, in Evening Rose and Cherry, respectively. I’ve been drooling over them since it was announced three months ago, right when the current season first premiered. Estee Lauder was nice enough to provide a set for review, to coincide with the season finale this Sunday.
And what is not to love about the whole thing? The retro ’60s inspired ads feature a Betty Draper-like blonde ingenue with a “who, me?” look on her face. You know- the dream. The packaging itself is also vintage inspired- old fashioned typography on a box with a lovely floral design and a wallpaper like feel. Not unlike something you’d dig up in your grandmother’s trunks in the attic when you were a small child- if your grandmother was a rich white lady that is, which mine was not.
Obligatory Instagram shot
A gold pleather pouch house the shiny gold casings of both the compact and the tiny bullet sized lipstick (the size is true to lipstick size in the olden days). The overall effect is incredibly classy. Way too classy to carry around and wear on a daily basis, at least for me. I will have to save it to whip out only on special occasions- like during the intermission of an opera or whathaveyou, right after I catch the eye of a Daniel Craig lookalike and right before I make a fool of myself in front of him.
But in all seriousness- the creme rouge is soft and quite easy to apply, and the color is a classic shade suitable for just about all skin tones. The lipstick, though lovely, is a bright, pink red, that I don’t quite think can be pulled off by just anyone. At $25, the lipstick is a good collector’s item for vintage makeup junkies, but you’d get more use out of the $40 blush.
Fancy creme rouge making a mockery out of my other blush
I applaud Estee Lauder for reviving a part of its history, and only wish it wasn’t limited to just the one lipstick color and blush. They will launch a second collection to coincide with season 6 next year, so hopefully that can be remedied. The supply is highly limited, so get it at Esteelauder.com while it lasts. And don’t forget to catch the season finale of Mad Men this Sunday. I myself will be attending a dressy season finale party in Manhattan, where I expect to show off my newest toys at every opportunity.
The Mad Men Limited Edition Collection was provided by Estee Lauder for review purpose. There is no pay for play unless specifically listed as advertorial or sponsored. See FAQs for more details.