There’s no doubt that this Japanese brand is super-cute; it’s aimed at young girls (but doesn’t specify how young so I’m guessing at early teens?).Kimmi Perfume
If I look at this too deeply, what I’m seeing is the ‘dollifying’ of beauty products bringing them closer to a toy than a beauty product – so are they really targeting teens? Or even younger?Kimmi eyeshadow palette
It’s really, really sweet and I want all of it.. but for some reason this has made me a little uneasy about just how young a beauty target audience can or should go.
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I don’t think that children are being deliberately targeted. That’s a completely Western take on the products. This seems more like an update on the Hello Kitty phenomina which was once embraced by trendy teenage girls in the Harajuku District of Tokyo. The packaging is intended to reflect a childlike innocence that belies the intent behind the wearing of cosmetics (sexual allure). It reminds me of the Hello Kitty cosmetics in Sephora or Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers perfume bottles. Cutesy and adorable, but not really intended for children.
That’s a good point, Eileen. This week, whilst looking at the cosmetics in the local Japanese grocery store, I commented to my friend, “Look how cute everything is!!” From the packaging for the false eyelashes to the pink heart-shaped eye pencil sharpener to the photos on the boxes of hair colour — it is all positively =darling=! I wanted one of everything, even if I couldn’t read what it was. 🙂
Obviously, the age at which a little girl shows interest in makeup is very individual; and the age at which they are allowed to begin experimenting is up to their parents. I have always loved makeup. I started playing at my Grandmothers dressing table when I was two years old. I have since inherited that dressing table, and it is where my two daughters began their love of makeup. At 7 and 9, they are both quite talented makeup artists, practicing different looks on themselves and each other, with full access to my extensive collection (providing they ask permission first).
This Kimmi packaging is almost irresistibly cute, but if the makeup inside is not good quality, I would not even consider it. I’ve never let my daughters use “play” makeup. They use whatever Mama uses.
I’m a perfumista (also known as a Fragonerd 🙂 ) and there is great debate in the fragrance blogs and forums about scenting children. Personally, I like the idea of giving children the chance to enjoy perfume and experiment with scents. It’s less of an issue in France/ Spain/ Portugal/ Italy, where perfume is enjoyed just like food or music and there are plenty of children’s perfumes available in e.g. Marrionaud. You can find Spiderman, Arthur and the Invisibles and Kung Fu Panda scent for boys as well as every variety of Disney Princess edt for girls. Indeed, my 8 year old has worked her way through many many bottles of various different characters and is currently loving Disney’s Princess Tianna. (I loved Kung Fu Panda.)
She’s also fascinated by makeup, like all little girls and I do give her a swish of face powder and lipbalm on special occasions to satisfy her desire to put on makeup like Mummy does. I think it’s fine for children to try things and dress up, but in some ways what I worry more about is her putting cheap, rubbishy things on her face that will clog her pores or give her a reaction.
I had play make up as a child and i loved playing with it. As long as its not encouraging them to start with a full face at age 8 then its not a problem. I don’t think many children would be patient enough to apply make up properly.
I don’t think it is targeted towards young children. Japan loves it’s products super cute, and older women will still have Hello Kitty/Sanrio branded products the same as teenage girls.
Like some commenters have said, I doubt it’s specifically targeted for children. The kawaii culture in Japan is not exclusive for younger women.
That being said, I am not someone who doesn’t oppose the idea of children (boys and girls) playing with make-up. However, that’s only okay as long as they’re being properly taught that make-up is NOT a necessity and should mainly be used for self-expression and a creative outlet in a fun setting. As long as they know they don’t need make-up to be beautiful, I don’t see how it’s that much different different from handing them crayons and paper to draw. Let them have fun with it, just hide your Chanel lipsticks. 😉
Well said, Ryou!