There’s something about walking across the stage to accept a diploma knowing you’ve got a little 007 on your fingers. That’s how I felt when I graduated from the University of Missouri in May. As an the typical fan-girl in love with books and movies, it seemed appropriate to pay homage to one of the most classic franchises in history, James Bond, as I received my degree in journalism and minor in film studies. The morning of graduation, I walked into the salon with a plan — I was getting my nails done in “Die Another Day” red from OPI, or I wasn’t getting my nails done at all.
Okay, I exaggerate, but there was something so exciting about knowing that my manicure was an extension of my passions. Some women connect with nail colors like “Big Apple Red” or “Lilac Mist” because the hue matches a favorite shirt or reminds them of their first car. I connect with “___” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” because they remind me of the same feelings their inspiration evokes. You better believe I felt kick-ass and classy shaking the Chancellor’s hand.
Knowing my fellow fangirls, I know I’m not alone. The makeup manufacturers have caught on to the fandom trend, and they’ve starting to supply us pop culture addicts with cosmetic products based on our favorite shows, books and movies.
Covergirl is possibly the biggest name to join the party so far. With the release of The Hunger Games’ second book-to-screen adaptation, Catching Fire, comes The Capitol Collection, a cosmetics and nail line inspired by the settings of the story. The company has slowly unveiled the new looks, leading up to the full reveal closer to the film’s November 22 release.
This isn’t the first time that the colors of Katniss’ world — mainly the vivid hues of the Capitol of Panem, but also some styles from District 12’s mines (because, sure, miners wear metallic silver eye shadow all the time) — have been adapted into nail and makeup lines. China Glaze released their Colours from the Capitol line that included names like “Foie Gras,” “Agro” and “Luxe and Lush.” The names weren’t too Hunger Games-specific, but they sold big on the premise of being based on Suzanne Collins’ bestsellers.
The Hunger Games isn’t the only franchise echoed by beauty lines. Besides the OPI Skyfall line coupled with the film’s release and the James Bond series’ 50th anniversary, the nail polish giant also released a Muppets line (“Warm and Fozzie,” “Fresh Frog of Bel Air”), Burlesque glitter series and Oz The Great and Powerful soft shades.
Those looking for a more unique line of colors can go to Fandom Cosmetics, a company devoted to creating nail polish and makeup based on hit shows and movies such as Mean Girls, Game of Thrones, Sherlock and Firefly. You might remember Leigh Buckridge and Annie Holden’s story from Lydia’s article on their company. Since we published that story, they have expanded their lines to include Lord of the Rings, Hannibal, The Walking Dead and other fan-loved culture pieces.
These sanctioned cosmetic lines have an impact on both pop culture and beauty. Not only do they make more money for everyone, but they also show that being a Doctor Whovian or wannabe Avenger is not limited to the boys anymore (although Fandom Cosmetics does get a portion of male clientele at their convention booths). Women have already dominated fandoms through their love of The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and (sigh) Twilight. We might as well stake a claim Game of Thrones and Supernatural, too, and get a fabulous manicure while we’re at it.
Because girls can be fans, too. We can be obsessed with superheroes and sci-fi, and that doesn’t make us any less feminine or any less equal to men. We’re still women, and we’re still tough as nails. It just so happens that those nails are painted in TARDIS Blue.
Kate Everson is a Chicago journalist and University of Missouri alumna. By day she is an associate editor for four HR industry magazines. By night, she reviews films, outlines fiction novels with tough female leads and dreams of being the first person to win two Oscars in the same night for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. When her fingers aren’t getting exercise bouncing across her keyboard, she’s reading Palahniuk and Vonnegut, practicing her Batgirl skills in the dojo or waiting by the mailbox for her Hogwarts letter. As Katharine Hepburn said: “Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.”