Makeup as Muse: creative recycling
March 14, 2017
I had actually been working on a particular artist for the next Makeup as Muse for months - her work is pretty involved - but when the maker of this robot tweeted at me a few weeks ago I decided to hold off a little longer on my original installment and feature his creation instead. Meet Yslabelle (pronounced ees-la-bell), a functioning robot made entirely of repurposed YSL makeup packaging!
Standing roughly 6'6" tall (2 meters), Yslabelle was made from hundreds of boxes and her sword from the Shock mascara and Touche Eclat tubes. Gathering the materials took 14 months. I was in awe when I thought Yslabelle was simply a stationary robot statue, but as it turns out, her head is motorized so there's also some movement there. This is particularly mind-blowing to me given that I can't figure out how to hook up the attachments to our vacuum cleaner. Seriously though, I was never gifted at science/math/generally understanding how things work so I've never been all that interested in robots; however, my brother-in-law is a roboticist for Boston Dynamics, so that, combined with my own inability to comprehend anything mechanical, has made me appreciate the art of crafting robots a little more.
(images from robotazia.co.uk)
Yslabelle was made by Cyberigs Robots, a collective founded in 2015 by Mark Swannell to develop a collection for Robotazia. From what I can tell, Robotazia is a permanent exhibition of sci-fi themed robots somewhere in the U.K. that will be open to visitors sometime this year. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but I love the idea of all these different roboticists coming together to build cool new robots and repair old ones for the exhibition. Apparently you'll even be able to grab a snack at the "robo-bistro."
I have to say that this is a marvelous use of old makeup packaging, and it got me thinking about why more companies still don't offer recycling. LUSH, Zoya and MAC are the only companies I can think of off the top of my head that have official recycling programs. Yslabelle also makes me wonder what, if anything, we consumers can do about it besides writing letters and signing petitions encouraging companies to recycle (and as I've said previously, I don't think the entire burden should be on consumers). As we've seen with other Makeup as Muse posts, beauty packaging can be quite wasteful and it's not always easy to properly dispose of or repurpose it. I always put the outer paper boxes into our recycling bin, but this still doesn't help the bigger issue of the inner packaging like plastic/metal containers and tubes. Then of course, there's some completely superfluous packaging like Pat McGrath's sequin-filled bags. Now, I am a huge Pat McGrath fan and she can do no wrong in my eyes. I'd be so sad buying a product from her without those lovely shiny sequins - it just wouldn't be the same! I, along with lots of other beauty bloggers, reuse the sequins for photo props. However, if her company won't have some way for customers who don't want the sequins to send them back to be reused, we have to get creative. Enter Parisian fashion student Ana Ouri, who has been sewing the sequins onto her pieces. Genius!
(images from instagram.com)
I am nowhere near as imaginative as Cyberigs or this fashion student, but both projects inspire me to think of cool ways to recycle makeup packaging. Of course, since I'm a collector I don't even want to think about disposing of my beloved collectibles, and my huge stash (i.e., the makeup I actually use) is so massive I can't imagine actually finishing a product except for samples, so it's mostly a moot point for me.
Have you ever tried to repurpose cosmetics packaging in a more artistic way?