Stationery Cosme: makeup meets magic markers

Eyebrow pencils and lip liners aren’t made for writing on paper. But when you’re in a rush, and you can’t find a pen anywhere, they’ll get the job done. We’ve done it before, and we’re sure you have too.

Stationery Cosme turns that idea upside down and back to front. It’s a makeup range, but one that looks like pens, pencils, and other art materials.

From bathroom cabinet to stationery cupboard

Real stationery – memo pads, clear files, notebooks, masking tape, and all the fun colourful things to write with – sell really well in Japan. More so if they’re cute.

That wide-ranging popularity’s a primer for launching stationery-themed… other stuff. Yeah, okay, that base makeup joke was terrible, let’s move on.

The concept behind Stationery Cosme is deeper than just ‘make your makeup bag look like your pencil case’. It’s about familiarity.

(If your makeup bag does look like your pencil case, don’t get them mixed up. Forget and draw your eyebrows in with permanent pen by accident, and you’re screwed.)

Imagine you’re walking around a department store or drugstore. In the mood to treat yourself to some new makeup. Out the corner of your eye, you see something you kinda recognise.

“Is that… the stuff I used to paint with in art class all the time? Huh, this is eyeliner. That’s weird, but kinda cool at the same time. Maybe I’ll see how it looks…”

Seeing each item designed in a ‘stationery’ style is supposed to give you strong memories of using similar (non-makeup) things. Like the paper, pencils and sharpener on your desk at school, or the eraser that helped you redo your homework.

In that way, you’ve got an attachment to Stationery Cosme items before you even put them on your face.

At a first glance, we couldn’t tell the difference between the cosmetics and the crayons. But when you take a second look, you’ll start seeing words like ‘mascara’ and ‘lotion’ in the designs.

Painting your face like it’s a blank canvas

Maybe you’d expect generic ‘this is a pen’ designs, but that aesthetic’s been taken a step further. Stationery Cosme product lines are all high-effort collabs with actual Japanese stationery brands. Like the range inspired by Coupy art pencils.

It’s led to an interesting variety of Coupy-themed makeup, from eyeliner and colourful mascara to skin-correcting powder foundation sheets and chocolate lip gloss.

In the same way, Craypas paints lend their brightness to lip tints and nail colours. Face and body creams come in blue and white tubes that look like Radar erasers. And when you open what you think is a Magic Ink marker, you’ll find a mascara brush poking out instead.

The items chosen for each brand collabs fit with how both the art products and the matching Stationery Cosme makeup should work:

  • Coupy: lines, colouring and shading
  • Craypas: vivid and long-lasting colours, ‘water-based’ paint
  • Radar: quick correction, brightening, removing blemishes
  • Magic Ink: dark permanent black

For anyone who grew up using those brands all the time, it’s a heavy hit of nostalgia. And even if you remember other brand names from your own childhood, the basic shapes are easy enough to recognise.

“Hey, remember when I used to draw stick figures of the teachers with this pen all the time? Now I’m covering my eyelashes with it! Lol so random.”

Make a memo to buy more makeup

The main way to order Stationery Cosme makeup online is through the Stationery Cosme official website. They don’t ship to countries outside of Japan, so for international delivery you can use our item request form.

Sometimes you’ll also find Stationery Cosme listed direct on DEJAPAN.

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