Dunkin’s Collaboration With E.L.F. Makes More Sense Than You Think

A donut eyeshadow sounds just as appealing as actual donuts.

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Makeup and fast food are not a pairing most people would think of putting together, but both industries have proven in recent years that they’re actually perfect for each other. The most recent—and delicious—example comes from Dunkin’ Donuts and E.L.F. Cosmetics, reports Allure.

What’s included in the Dunkin’ and E.L.F. cosmetic collaboration?

The Dunkin’ and E.L.F. menu of doughnut and coffee inspired-beauty products includes three four-pan eye shadow palettes, respectively named strawberry frosted with sprinkles, chocolate frosted with sprinkles, and Boston kreme. For lips, the collection has a Glazed for Days Lip Gloss Set and a Coffee Lip Scrub. And for the face, the collection has a Donut Forget Putty Primer (this is E.LF.’s renowned face primer but scented like a doughnut) and a Strawberry Frosted With Sprinkles Face Sponge which is a regular face sponge that looks like a strawberry frosted doughnut.

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You cannot tell me the packaging alone doesn’t draw your attention. The vibrancy of Dunkin’s logo colors, a bright orange and a pop of pink, lend themselves perfectly to the colors many of us who enjoy makeup are drawn to. You might think collaborations like this are just a cash grab from two otherwise unrelated industries, but you’d only be partially right. Yes, partnerships like this are definitely focused on profit. However, these match ups are likely chosen more carefully based on the food brand’s signature colors.

Food branding and makeup design go hand in hand

Take for example, Coca-Cola, which partnered with the cosmetics company The Face Shop back in 2018 for a similar limited-time only offer. This collaboration included a cushion compact, an oil-absorbing powder pact, cream lip tint, lipstick in five shades, three gel lip tints, and an eyeshadow palette, all of which were packaged in Coca-Cola’s signature red. Color psychology, which has long been used by food and beverage companies in the crafting of their brands, tells us that the color red inspires feelings of hunger, impulsion, and desire. They’re similar messages portrayed by cosmetics ads, where red is also a dominant color. Who wouldn’t want people to feel an impulse to buy their product?

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E.L.F. has history of strategic food partnerships. When the brand collaborated with Chipotle, you can see that although the packaging itself didn’t rely on brand colors, the products themselves did. The small release included an eyeshadow palette, a makeup sponge set, and a lip gloss. The green earthy tones of the eyeshadow palette not only mimic the line up of ingredients you would find at a Chipotle counter but also, according to color psychology, are colors consumers like me associate with eco-friendliness, natural, and organic qualities. Those qualities also align with E.L.F as a brand—all of the company’s products are vegan and cruelty-free.

For the most part, my go-to makeup looks are neutral in that I’m addicted to nude shades of lip color and a simple black wing eyeliner. But when I do decide to liven things up with some bright colors, I want those colors to shine like the glaze on a doughnut. Setting aside the psychology of it all, these collaborations are just flat out cute. A makeup sponge that looks like a doughnut or an avocado is simply adorable, and you can absolutely have my money.

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I must advise that no matter how delicious any of these products look or smell, they are definitely not for actual consumption. And as soon as I can make a trip to Ulta, my face will also run on Dunkin’.