Have you ever experienced something so cute, you lose all control?
You're instantly transformed from a (somewhat) mature adult into something that resembles a 14 year-old girl -- a normal, non-Tavi 14 year-old girl, that is -- screaming and clapping, gushing and fidgeting, acting like an all-around idiot for your rather advanced age?
The odds are your answer is yes, but said 'something' is an object that should make you gush, like a baby, or a puppy, or even Hugh Grant, in his glorious "Four Weddings and a Funeral" days.
But in my case, the object of my immaturity is Sephora's new Tokidoki collection. Just like M.A.C.'s Hello Kitty collaboration and Chanel Nail Vernis in Jade, it is one of those objects de beaute that makes my heart skip a beat -- a rare find that I'll horde in my makeup bag long after its expiration date.
It makes me want to haul.
Tokidoki is the brainchild of Italian artist Simone Legno, whose special brand of animation is a cross between Japanese anime and Italian suave. The cosmetics bags, palettes, bronzers, eye liners and lipsticks feature his trademark animations, figurines and characters in color pop hues and clean curvaceous packaging.
"In the 80s, Italy was really bombarded with Japanese animation and TV shows, sushi, etc," Legno told me of his early inspirations. "When I was 19 I traveled to Japan for the first time and I've been back 20 times since. I feel a sense of belonging there."
I know what he means. When I first visited Tokyo on a business trip, the "cute factor" (called kawaii in Japanese), transformed me into a babbling baby, incapable of doing anything but stumble from vending machine to mall stall, scooping up everything remotely kawaii in sight.
"I didn't know you like Hello Kitty so much," a coworker noted dryly, in the understatement of the year.
When I first laid eyes on the Tokidoki line at a recent event, much to the chagrin (and spilled drinks) of everyone around me, my reaction was similar. Every product crushed my heart a little more that the last.
Witness: A key chain emery board, shaped like an animated character. First of all, brilliant, and second of all, stop it. Similar heart-melting cuteness can be found in the paraben-free Cromatico Eyeshadow Palettes, each with a collectible, Legno-designed charm hiding inside to echo the Japanese trend of loading up your cell phones and purse zippers with precious charms.
Legno's favorite product? The Perfetto Eyeliners. In eight edgy shades that range from snow white to periwinkle to eggplant, the fine-tipped markers are waterproof, and they're destined to conjure up our inner graffiti artists.
"We developed an interesting eyeliner, and it's wonderful to draw on the skin," said Legno. Indeed, at the event many of the Sephora Pro artists had created intricate body art on their hands and arms.
"If I were a girl I would really love makeup," Legno confessed.
Well, not as much as I love his. Squeal.