E.L.F. Cosmetics Has Brush With Liquid Death In 'Corpse Paint' Collaboration

In the latest unexpected brand collaboration, a beverage and beauty brand have teamed up to paint the town dead.

E.L.F. Cosmetics, long known for such unorthodox partnerships, teamed up with disruptive beverage brand Liquid Death to release Corpse Paint, a new limited-edition item for sale only on the beauty brand’s website.

E.L.F. Beauty CMO Kory Marchisotto explained that the collaboration grew out of love for the Liquid Death brand. “As a brand that's born to disrupt in the beauty space, we’re always watching [other] spaces for like-minded disruptors and challenger brands,” she told Marketing Daily. “What [Liquid Death] did to disrupt the beverage category was unparalleled,” so “We obsessively pursued them to get to a place where we could actually work together.”

The two brands collaborated on the overall concept of the product and the campaign video which launched today, working together on a script that was then shot by Liquid Death’s in-house production team --  while E.L.F handled the product and packaging design.



While certainly an unusual entry in the category, Corpse Paint felt like a natural answer to the question of what the two brands would team up to produce, Andy Pearson, vice president of creative at Liquid Death, told Marketing Daily. “We look at Liquid Death as an entertainment brand that happens to sell healthy beverages," he said. "On the surface, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, which is usually why we decide to do things. That’s where things get fun and interesting.”

The five-piece makeup kit features Dead Set Matte Magic Mist & Set; Kiss of Death Satin Lipstick in All Night; Eye Die No Budge Cream Eyeshadow in Wispy Cloud; Dead Line waterproof eyeliner pen; and Brush with Death putty applicator -- all housed within a closed casket keepsake with gold lettering.

As the name implies, the set is designed to be used to create a very specific look.

“You will see somebody looking like this in your [social] feed,” Pearson said.

"If people want to rock this look, that's awesome," he added, in a tone suggesting the buzz generated between the two brands' sizable social media audiences could make the effort a success either way. The brands declined to share details on how much of the "limited-edition" product was made available for sale. 

The two brands have more in common than it might initially appear. Marchisotto explained that each is a category disruptor with a similar sense of purpose, with E.L.F. shaking up the loose powder of the beauty category with a line of products that are vegan and cruelty-free, while Liquid Death built a bold beverage behemoth by calling for“death to plastic” in an industry which sees U.S. companies alone go through around 100 billion plastic bottles per year, according to Bloomberg reporting from 2022.

Going forward, the brands plan to showcase the collaboration in a variety of ways beyond the launch video -- including unspecified celebrity and influencer partners showcasing how to apply the unusual style.

While such partnerships are nothing new for E.L.F.,, Marchisotto  characterized the collaboration as a “boundary-stretching exercise” for the brand.

“This was the first time during my five years at E.L.F. where I  was uncomfortable…in the best way possible” Marchisotto  said. “The greatest moments come from discomfort.”

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