Cosme Decorte

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte 2016

I was so pleased to see the latest product of the wonderful partnership between Cosme Decorte and Marcel Wanders.  I really hope it never ends!

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact

This year's theme is "the Wandering Grace," yet another variation on Wanders' previous fairy/nymph stories.  This one is a little more detailed than what we've seen before.  From the interior of the box:  "For many nights, a young muse dreamt of traveling beyond the bounds of her home. She sang a wistful song of farewell to the surrounding flowers and trees that had provided her comfort. The curious spirit crafted a strikingly beautiful purse to collect all the wondrous treasures she would find on her journey. Reaching the edge of the forest, her eyes grew wide with amazement at the open expanse. Into valleys and over hills, crossing rivers and along the shores of the sea, a song of joy from the muse swept through vast cities and unimaginable landscapes. As the grace wandered across the world, she discovered breathtaking nature, lively new cultures, and learned a great many things. Her dream had come true and her purse became filled to the brim.”

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact box

The compact is a lovely rendition of Wanders' signature fanciful patterns.  Instead of ceramic, metal or plastic, which we saw in previous years, the 2016 compact gets a fresh update with a faux-leather case adorned with embroidered scrolls and flowers.  (At least, I think it's faux leather - it might be real but I have no idea how the embroidery would get stitched onto real leather.)

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 compact powder

As usual I wanted to see whether the pattern on the outer case had anything to do with Wanders' work.  It's not a 100% match, but the flowers and botanical scrolls look very similar to his recent collection of furniture and toys for "child mobility brand" Cybex.

Cybex by Marcel Wanders Parents collection chair

Cybex by Marcel Wanders Parents collection

Cybex by Marcel Wanders Parents collection chair(images from

I also noticed that the promo image for the Cosme Decorte compact feature Wanders' "Eden Queen" rug pattern, which debuted at the Salone de Mobile in April 2015.

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 promo

Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte 2016 promo(images from

Marcel Wanders Eden Queen rug
(image from

So that's interesting and all, but what does it have to do with the compact's design?  Well, another reason I suspect the patterns on the compact case are directly related to Wanders' Cybex collection, besides their obvious resemblance, is the fact that the Eden Queen rug was installed in the showroom for the collection.

Cybex by Marcel Wanders Parents collection

Cybex by Marcel Wanders Parents collection(images from and

Purely speculation on my part, but this rug tie-in may be further proof that the design on the compact was modified slightly from those on the Cybex collection. 

In any case, I liked the 2016 compact more than last year's, but still not as much as 2013's bell design. ;)  What do you think?


Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte 2015: The Secret Nymph (and a special holiday surprise!)

For his holiday 2015 creation for Cosme Decorte, Marcel Wanders came up with another fairy-themed compact.  "The Secret Nymph" powder depicts what I'm assuming is a forest nymph, encased in a white case engraved with one of Wanders' floral patterns.  I like this one since the shape reminds me of a sunflower and those are my favorite flowers.  :)  And luckily enough, it popped up on Imomoko so I was actually able to own it!  This is the first Marcel Wanders Cosme Decorte piece I was able to buy so I was really happy to have at least one for the Museum.

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015

Alas, I was unable to translate the story from the Cosme Decorte website, and neither their Facebook pages nor the Marcel Wanders site had any information. Sigh. 

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015
(image from

But there was this blurb on the inside of the box:


And this on the bottom of the compact:

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - the Secret Nymph, 2015

I tried to identify the flower in Wanders' other designs.  I found a couple that were similar but not identical.

Marcel Wanders - Frozen Garden tile collection, 2014

Marcel Wanders - Wallflower "Illusions" wallpaper for Graham and Brown, 2014(images from

In any case, it's a nice compact, perhaps not my favorite of all the Wanders editions but I'm just so pleased I was able to get my hands on any of them!

Now, are you ready for a big surprise?  A while ago I had mentioned to the husband that the 2013 Cosme Decorte/Marcel Wanders piece had come up on Ebay and that I was tempted to get it, since you never see them.  A few weeks later I had totally forgotten about it with holiday shopping, etc...and then on Christmas morning I saw a mysterious box under the tree.  YASSSS!  The husband had remembered and purchased the bell for me.  And it's beautiful.

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - Awakening Beauty, 2013

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - Awakening Beauty, 2013

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - Awakening Beauty, 2013

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - Awakening Beauty, 2013

It really does produce a very soft ring, not the loud, obnoxious typical jingle bell sound.

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - Awakening Beauty, 2013

Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte - Awakening Beauty, 2013

The engraving on the side of the compact reads "Eternal beauty awakens to the sound of golden bells."  You can read all about the story of this piece here.  Since I covered it previously, I won't rehash it now.  I have to say I like this bell a lot more than the 2015 Marcel Wanders creation.  It feels and looks much more luxurious, as the 2015 compact is made of clear plastic with the pattern underneath.  It's certainly not bad, but I don't think it's quite as expensive-looking as previous Cosme Decorte/Wanders releases, nearly all of which are rendered in metal (the one from last year is most likely white plastic, but it still looks more substantial than this year's case.) The bell in particular is so unique - between the fact that it's, you know, an actual ringing bell, something I've never seen in makeup packaging, and the engraving on the compact, I have an urge to put it in a glass jar and display it year-round.  I also like having the year printed on the outer box, which is missing on the 2015 one.  Nevertheless, what I love about these Wanders pieces is that each year they're different enough to be special, but they always bear a resemblance to each other.  If you look at all of them they make a rather cohesive collection, and Wanders' stamp is unmistakable.  Now I just need the 2011, 2012 and 2014 editions for the Museum. ;)

What do you think of these?

Ghosts of Christmas Makeup Past: Cosme Decorte x Marcel Wanders - the Muse and the Pearl

As I do every year, I'm expressing my despair that these beautiful collector's pieces by world-renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte are not available in the U.S.  I have seen a few pop up on e-bay but at well over retail prices, so I've been missing out on them, but I'm beginning to think I should just suck it up and go for it as they are true art objects.  Anyway, today I'm bringing you yet another holiday piece I wasn't able to post about last year due to generally being busy and an epic stomach flu that wiped me out for almost a week.

For Cosme Decorte's holiday 2014 compact, Marcel Wanders created a theme entitled "the Muse and the Pearl".  The outer case is inspired by an oyster shell, while the design on the powder takes its cue from Vermeer's famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring.  The official description is as follows:  "Oyster shells are home to desirable silky white pearls and are eternal symbols of luxury and beauty. The compact’s natural sculptural form is a small treasure to the hand and to the eye, evoking a premium and delightful experience.  The powder is impressed with an image from the story which inspired the product, 'The Muse and the Pearl Earring'. It describes Dutch Master painter Johannes Vermeer in his studio suddenly overcoming a creative block at the sight of his model putting on a delicate pearl earring.  The armor of an empowered muse and jewellery to behold and cherish, this compact powder elevates the world of high-end cosmetics."

I'm in awe of the case, which features one of Wanders' signature star patterns as well as a beautiful sunflower-like motif in gold at the bottom.

Cosme Decorte x Marcel Wanders holiday 2014

The design on the powder is so delicate and feminine - an excellent counterpoint to the sharp geometry of the outer case.

Cosme Decorte x Marcel Wanders holiday 2014

Cosme Decorte x Marcel Wanders holiday 2014 story
(images from

I liked that Wanders did another take on one his key inspirations (used previously for the MAC collaboration) and incorporated the pearl idea so perfectly between the oyster shell-shaped compact and inner design - it's rather genius for a soft, light-infusing powder.


Candy is king! Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 coffret

I loved last year's holiday coffret from Cosme Decorte so it's no surprise I'm pleased with this year's version.  King of Sweets features the same basic design as the 2013 coffret - a red outer box with a laser-cut scene on the interior of the lid - but with a different theme.  The box has been outfitted with a golden bow to resemble a box of candy, while the inside cutout depicts a magical candyland.

Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 King of Sweets coffret

Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 King of Sweets coffret

The design is really precious, with a jolly crowned snowman as the"king of sweets" holding court amidst a delectable landscape of candy. 

Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 King of Sweets coffret lid

The set includes a stick blush (upper left, wrapped in red), an eye shadow palette (lower left, meant to look like chocolate), a candy cane-packaged gel liner and pink lip balm.

Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 King of Sweets coffret

Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 King of Sweets coffret palette

Cosme Decorte holiday 2014 King of Sweets coffret palette

When the coffret first arrived I spent a few minutes daydreaming about a forest made of candy (sort of like when Homer visits the land of chocolate).  Imagine my great delight a few weeks later when one of my favorite blogs featured the art of Will Cotton, who specializes in painting truly amazing dessert-filled landscapes.  They were exactly what I was envisioning when looking at the coffret!  While Cotton's work sometimes represents the darker themes of excess and greed, I personally like to interpret it as a purely happy fantasy, where one can escape to a wondrous world overflowing with an abundance of sweet treats.  The bright colors and perfectly rendered textures of all the sweets make these imaginary scenes appear real.  That accuracy is not accidental either:  Cotton has a professional pastry oven in his studio so that he prepare desserts and re-create them flawlessly on canvas.  He also sometimes builds other props and life-size sets, because, as he says, "this way I can really lose myself in the surprises and unexpected details of the subject, and in a very real way, I’m no longer painting something imaginary, because in fact, it’s right there in front of me."

Will Cotton:  Chalet (2003)

Will Cotton:  Spumoni River (2003)

Will Cotton:  Pudding Flood (2003)

Will Cotton:  Forest (2003) 

Will Cotton:  Candy Stick Forest (2005)

Will Cotton:  Untitled (2004)

Will Cotton:  Eutopia (2008)

Will Cotton:  Pastoral (2009)

Will Cotton:  Dona (2011)

Will Cotton:  Macaron Garden (2012)

Will Cotton:  Nut House (2012)
(images from

They're just all so crazily decadent.  

Getting back to the coffret, I think it would be a perfect addition to a revamped Sweet Tooth exhibition (and maybe I could have some of Mr. Cotton's work hanging as a backdrop!)

What do you think of the coffret and of Will Cotton's work?

Ding dong! Cosme Decorte/Marcel Wanders holiday 2013

While I love this very special Cosme Decorte piece designed by Marcel Wanders, two things make me sad about it:  one is that I most likely will not be able to get my hands on it, and the other is that unlike last year's piece by Wanders, there is no English translation for the extensive description at the Cosme Decorte website (last year I found it via Facebook.)  This year's limited-edition face powder is called Awakening Beauty, the theme of which builds off of last year's powder, which was Sleeping Beauty.  This was the most I was able to find about the inspiration behind the design:  "Silently she lies cased in her dream world. All around, water lilies dance in time to the beat of her loving heart, a protective embrace that holds her forever young and beautiful. At last she awakes to the sound of a soft lullaby of golden bells." 

As with the 2012 compact, this powder has a delicate fairy and flowers imprinted on the powder.  The porcelain bell lid is functional, producing a soft ring when lifted.


(images from

Wanders has an affinity for bells that goes back at least as far as 2007, when he created eight large-scale, hand-painted bells for a "personal editions" collection.  These were largely decorative but also were available with an optional light fixture.  Like the bell used for the powder, these have bows at the top.



(images from

Earlier this year he revisited the bell theme with these lamps for Moooi.

(image from

He also used the bell in this cheese plate for Marks & Spencer for their winter 2013 home goods collection.

(image from

For Wanders, "The bell represents a very early and essential form of communication, generating a welcoming ring that brings people together for festivities and congregations."  In the case of the Cosme Decorte powder, the bell is used to awaken the fairy from her slumber. 

What do you think of this?  I think it's meant as a collector's piece, but I'm curious to see if anyone out there would actually use it.

Cosme Decorte Makeup Coffret II

Remember how I said I'd give my eye teeth for this Cosme Decorte set in my Woodland Wonderland post a few months ago?  Well, I was browsing at Ichibankao for a holiday exhibition item and there it was!  Naturally I pounced. 

From the brand's Malaysia Facebook page:  "In a silent winter wonderland carpeted in snow, the animals in the forest gathered quietly on this holy night to welcome Christmas.  These lovable animals make their appearance on AQMW Christmas Coffret. Like a treasure box found only in this special forest, have it with you will bring a sense of peace and happiness."  


The luxe white lining inside the box does indeed resemble a forest floor covered in snow.


While I love that the animals appear on the makeup itself, I think I like the laser-cut paper interior even more.



This picture is for the husband since he loves squirrels!


Here's the eye shadow:






What do you think of this set?  It reminds me a little of Paul & Joe because of the attention to detail, although the overall style is different.

Tick tock: Marcel Wanders for Cosme Decorte


I've been waiting to report on this beautiful compact since July (!), when PJ at A Touch of Blusher posted about it.  You might remember that Dutch designer Marcel Wanders collaborated with MAC in both 2010 and earlier this year.  This holiday season, Mr. Wanders teamed up with Japanese luxury brand Cosme Decorte, which as far as I can tell, is virtually impossible to get shipped to the States.  It's extremely disappointing because this compact was only available for pre-order by phone at Japanese department stores, and since I lack a contact in Japan I am completely out of luck in getting my hands on it.  Another one that got away!

Anyway, these pictures are taken from the Cosme Decorte website.  I was determined to find the English version of the descriptions, and fortunately I found it at their Facebook page.  However, the print is tiny and you can't enlarge the pictures, so some of the words here are missing because they were too small to read.

Here is the first image and introductory text.

"Inspired by a locket on a necklace where precious memories are held, and pocket watches, the compact case evokes a pleasant sensation of the past.  Coupled with modern stylistic elements, the case is rendered (?) a new beloved treasure.  The sparkling silver case radiates glamour and daintiness, mirroring the allure that is the essence of a beautiful woman.  When the case is open, a sleeping beauty awakens to transform you with her radiance.  She is an artwork in pink beige powder, soft as air, rendering you divine. 'Between dream and reality awakes the true soul of imagination.'"


The company and Wanders developed a little story for this fairy who will grant you silky soft and smooth skin.  "A beauty lies curled in slumber, a delicate flower waiting to blossom.  She sleeps happily in wait until at last the compact is opened.  She stirs, as she awakens, her beauty radiates from within, dusting an airy well of loveliness upon women everywhere."


Next is a description of the case itself.  I adore the patterns as well as the engraved Wanders/Decorte names on the sides.  "A hexagon with a flower-like symbol of beauty.  Intricate pattern.  Looking like the fine texture of flawless skin.  The design is a fusion of Cosme Decorte's beauty ideal, which is what the brand has been seeking for as long as forty years, and a symbolic motif of Marcel Wanders, a world renowned artist.  Seen from different angles, shadows over concaves and converses convey different expressions, revealing the life cycle and the vibrancy of skin."


Finally, there's a summary of the case and powder, the description almost identical to the introduction.  If you look really closely you can make out the faint outline of the fairy within the powder.  "A sparkling silver case, reminding you of a pendant or pocket watch.  Quietly opened, greeting you is an extremely pale pink beige powder.  Take it on a puff and gently skim over the cheeks.  Silky grace and velvet, moisture and gloss.  All the skin wants comes together in a veil, enveloping your skin gently in moisture.  Containing golden (?) powder and pearl powder, it also protects the skin from ultraviolet rays, with a soft touch.  Hold the compact in a portable velvet case in your bag or a purse.  Every time you lift the lid, a fairy appears in a soft air to transform your skin into a vision of beauty and awake the purity of your mind."

Cosme-Decorte-wanders-powder(images from

I love the idea of this little sprite coming alive and sprinkling her magic skin-perfecting fairy dust when you open the case.  And I think the design of the case is much more representative (not to mention more expensive-looking) of Wanders's work than his collections for MAC.  While I did take a look at some of his designs in writing about those collections, let's take a little refresher course with images that are more relavant to the Cosme Decorte compact.

The use of silver and crisply defined hexagons are reminiscent of the promo ads Wanders created to go with his Christmas collection for Dutch department store De Bijenkorf in 2008.  (According to this article, De Bijenkorf is the "Harrod's of Holland".  As a dedicated shop-aholic, I thought I was familiar with every major department store in the world, but I had never heard of this one!)  Wanders created a collection inspired by his take on the three kings - in his version of the story, there are three queens instead of kings.  The white queen is shown below.

Wanders-de bijenkorf white

Fairies have also made an appearance in Wanders's work.  Take, for instance, the "Forest Muses" flock wallpaper he made as part of his recent "Whispers" collection for Graham & Brown.  "Transient and daring they are camouflaged to the naked eye. It is but the soft whispers they breathe that beckon you forward. Darkness breaks and in a moment the fairies emerge dancing through the damask forest. 'Closer, closer”, they whisper “may we dance for you?'”

Wanders-grahambrown(images from

Here's a closeup so you can see the fairies a little better.

(image from

Overall, I thought this compact was exquisite and unmistakably Wanders.  It's also a good reflection of his most recent work, which I'm finding has a slighter softer feel while still retaining the strong geometric/showy modern Baroque patterns he's known for. 

What do you think of the compact?  And if anyone knows someone in Japan who can pick it up for me, let me know!  ;)