Espionage Cosmetics’ Gamer Girl Special Edition ($35).
One of the best things about being a geek is finding fun and fashionable ways to express your passion for a fandom. You can wear bright, colorful leggings or a classy character dress and everyone will know what you’re interested in. If you want a more subtle way to do this though, you have an option: geeky cosmetics.
Recently there have been more eye shadows, lip glosses, nail wraps, and other cosmetics with geeky themes popping up then ever before. Thankfully, a lot of these products aren’t just a stock color with a franchise name slapped on it. Companies are taking the time and putting lots of effort into developing products that represent their inspiration well and resonate with fans.
If you want to know how they do it, we spoke with Geek Chic Cosmetics and Espionage Cosmetics about how they develop their geek-inspired collections. Learn more about the process, find makeup tips, and discover other places you can fulfill your geeky cosmetics needs after the break.
Geek Chic Cosmetics’ Harry Potter-themed Witchcraft and Wizardry collection ($28.75).
Geek Chic Cosmetics is a one-stop shop for your nerdy cosmetics needs. They have mineral eye shadows, foundations, blushes, scents, nail polish, lip glosses, and lipsticks. Their shadows are particularly amazing, including collections inspired by everything from Farscape to Sherlock.
The colors match perfectly with the medium they were inspired by, but do they do it? Geek Chic Cosmetics co-owner Deborah Margarella told Fashionably Geek that once she comes up with an idea she will then rewatch or reread what inspired her to get back into the concept and get excited. Then it’s a lot of brainstorming and note taking.
“When I’ve got enough ideas, I go mix and formulate. This time frame generally varies a lot. Sometimes I can be done in a day and have 8 new colors, like the Witchcraft and Wizardry collection, and sometimes it takes me weeks [like with the Fellowship collection],” Margarella said. “I tend to run the colors by fellow fans after they are finished to see if it jives with them. A bit of an informal focus group, I guess.”
Finding colors that go well together and are true to the subject of the collection’s inspiration can be a struggle.
“Witchcraft and Wizardry, for example, the colors as a set after I was done really reminded me of some of the old Harry Potter book covers. That was actually completely unintended but a pleasant surprise,” she explained. “Generally, I find that if you keep the color true to the inspiration, they tend to work well together. I always swatch them all together and if there is an odd man out that doesn’t look like it belongs with the rest of the colors I either trash it, or save it for another collection.”
Narrowing down the colors when there are so many ideas is the hardest part, according to Margarella. On average it can take about two months to develop a collection. once the colors are decided they then focus on release dates, product descriptions, photography, and all the other aspects.
Geek Chic Cosmetics’ Farscape-inspired Scapers collection ($26.35).
A few months is also how long it can take for Espionage Cosmetics to develop a geeky collection from the day of the idea to the final product. Espionage is another company that creates nerdy cosmetics including lip serums and nail wraps. They are well-known for their shadows which include collections inspired by Game of Thrones, comic books, video games, and more. They also create special collections, like their recent Frozen collection to get an Elsa-inspired look.
Espionage Cosmetics’ Kayla Bunch told Fashionably Geek collections take this long because they don’t want to rush anything since so much effort goes into every one. She said they work hard to create collections that work beautifully with itself and the other collections.
“In that regard, we don’t duplicate colors, and we are always playing around with formulations to find new colors. Sometimes we come up with the collection of colors and find a theme that fits them, and other times we work from the collection to the colors. Either way, we want the colors and subject to end up complementing the whole vision!” Bunch explained.
As they develop the cosmetic collection, they simultaneously decide on all the details of the photoshoots as well. When everything’s finished, the product can be launched.
Espionage Cosmetics’ Game of Thrones-inspired collection ($28).
One interesting detail about these geeky shadows is that both companies use mineral powders. Mineral powders can be difficult to use for the inexperienced, so if you want to give them a try Bunch has some advice.
“One of the best parts of mineral pigments is their versatility! Espionage Cosmetics can be used for way more than just eyeshadow, including blush/bronzer, lipstain/gloss, eyebrow filling, highlighting and contouring, and hair chalking,” Bunch said. “The brush you use makes a big difference—we love angle brushes for eyeliner (especially glitter eyeliner over eyelash glue!) and eyebrows, fan brushes for blush and bronzer, and “C” brushes for eyeshadow. Playing around with using the pigments wet or dry also creates different looks! The best way is to practice new ways until you find the way that is easiest and most satisfying for you.”
Margarella agrees that good brushes are key and also recommends wearing a good primer.
“I use Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance, personally. I also hear good things about Darling Girl’s Glitter Glue and Fyrrinae’s Pixie Epoxy, which are good for dealing with fallout and making the shadow stick,” she said.
If you want to give some geeky cosmetics a try, then Geek Chic Cosmetics and Espionage Cosmetics would be great places to start your search. However there are a number of other companies that sell beauty products from shadows to scents with geeky themes as well. Here are three other companies you should check out:
The Entire Firefly Collection ($120).
For more eye shadow options, try Sweet Libertine Mineral Cosmetics.
If geeky scents are more your style, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab might have what you’re looking for.
You’d be surprised how many pop culture cosmetic lines pop up at Sephora, especially inspired by Disney. It’s always a good place to keep your eye on.