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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

March 26, 2024 | 4 min read

The campaign is more sinister than the guttural screams of a Norwegian black metal band.

Today, a collaboration emerges that not even the darkest of souls could have imagined: Liquid Death and Elf Beauty’s ‘Corpse Paint.’

Indeed, metalheads aren’t prepared to face the mayhem of this new endeavor, which includes a makeup kit containing the essentials for black metal beauty – black and white face paint – all in a coffin-shaped box for $34.

To be deadly serious, the kit includes the Dead Set (Matte Magic Mist & Set), the Kiss of Death (O Face Satin Lipstick in the shade All Night), Eye Die (No Budge Cream Eyeshadow in the shade Wispy Cloud), Dead Line (H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen), the Brush with Death Putty Applicator and the Closed Casket (Removable Coffin Keepsake Box).

One thing that sets Liquid Death and Elf Beauty’s Corpse Paint apart from other makeup kits is its dark and twisted commercial. The spot opens in a frilly girl’s room, with posters of Norwegian black metal bands adorning its walls and two young girls flipping through a metal magazine. Suddenly, their idol, Glothar materializes from the pages before them and the three get to painting their faces.

As the girls revel in their new looks, a girl’s mother comes in to offer them vegan ghost blood. Suddenly, the mom locks eyes with Glothar in disbelief, revealing him to be her long-lost love. In a heartwarming twist, the power of black metal reunites this unlikely family.

Andy Pearson, vice-president of creative at Liquid Death, shared with The Drum the story behind this joint effort. “When we were approached about potentially doing a collab with Elf, we knew it was a chance to push both brands into spaces neither had been before. We knew we wanted to make a limited edition product together and corpse paint felt like the ridiculous center of the Venn diagram between us.”

The campaign was conceived and developed by the internal creative teams of both brands without the involvement of any external ad agencies.

When reflecting on the creative process of making the ad, Pearson added: “We simply wanted to create a world that seemed like everyone thought this was the coolest, hottest look. We watched a lot of 90s toy and teen beauty commercials and it felt like the perfectly innocent place to bring in something as scary as corpse paint.”

Kory Marchisotto, chief marketing officer of Elf Beauty, added, “Entertaining our community is at the heart of what we do ... Corpse Paint is the result of us laughing out loud. We want you to have a good time with us and be reminded of the fun and self-expression that makeup can fuel.”

Marchisotto also explained how to achieve the coveted look in four devilishly simple steps:

1. Use Brush with Death to apply Eye Die all over the face, pressing into skin.

2. Swipe lips with Kiss of Death, then apply in large circles around the eye area. Blend out.

3. Create irregular, jagged lines with Dead Line around the edges of the lipstick.

4. Mattify skin and set the look by spritzing Dead Set over the entire face.

As the campaign rolls out, the brands will work with several beauty influencers, who will show their followers how they get this look – in “a very straight-faced manner,” according to Pearson.

The news comes after Liquid Death announced $67m in funding at a $1.4bn valuation earlier this month.

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