Getting your Mojo back

Heh. Dig the new Mojo Cosmetics site: there’s a certain Rodenbeckian majesty to their sexy WWII-styled “propaganda.” And keep an eye peeled for the musings of some “beauty, utility and balance in design expert” (!) on the Press page.

Haters will grumble, but what can I say? I love Mojo, quite unabashedly. It’s great, thoroughly contemporary product…lightyears better than that nasty tin of Carmex you’ve been hauling around in your pocket lint since you were a high-school junior with a hand-me-down Honda CVCC.

2 responses to “Getting your Mojo back”

  1. CM Harrington says :

    While I was in school during the height of the 80s, I still never carried around make-up.

    I’m a huge fan of the whole propaganda-as-art thing, but I’m trying to figure out if you’re merely talking about the packaging (being great, light-years better, etc) or the product itself. Does it melt? Does it smudge? Does it come off while drinking out of a glass?

    One thing I’ve always wondered about cosmetics in general… if all the super-top-end fashion folks use brands like Max Factor (even when not paid to) to achieve a look, why would a person go for the *vastly* more expensive brands, considering it’s a consumable? Is it purely a status/brand thing?

  2. speedbird says :

    From my original review of the Mojo Titan on v-2.org:

    “The last of the “tools” I’m sharing with you today is a trifle different. Of all things, it’s a line of lipcare products and the dispenser unit specially designed to showcase them, and you truly don’t get much more analog than that.

    Big huh, right? Well, there’s a backstory here. Like many of you, perhaps, for much of the year some kind of lip treatment is a frank daily necessity for me. Whether it’s because I’m taking too much UV on my runs or spending too much time in the harsh, denatured air of airliner cabins, my lips aren’t particularly happy with me. They crack. They hurt. They don’t look all that great.

    Despite this discomfort, this is just not something that I’ve historically spent a whole hell of a lot of time worrying about. Mostly I just suffered/ignored what was going on – maybe I even patted myself on the back a little bit for my stoicism, and (to paraphrase something Neal Stephenson once wrote) for being the kind of person too busy living my life to care much about what was happening to my skin.

    And then I entered my late thirties. It’s a time at which many small signs converge to remind you, in no uncertain terms, that though life may be good and it may be sweet, it is very definitely a one-way trip. I know I need’t go into detail, here, but you may be certain that what was and is happening to my lips is part of a more general syndrome. And part of the nature of this syndrome is that Attention Must Be Paid to many things that have hitherto been quite happily neglected.

    The issue here is that, as anyone who knows me knows well, I’m just not the kind of person who’s gonna tote around a rust-flecked yellow tin of Carmex or a greasy plastic tube of Chapstick. It’s snobbery, pure and simple: these objects offend me. I do not, cannot and will not derive aesthetic satisfaction from them, and therefore I will likely neither buy them, nor should I be compelled by circumstance to buy them, actually remember to bring them with me.

    Is this stupid? Sure it is. Is it also true? You bet. So I was intrigued when I saw something called the Mojo Titan show up on Core77’s Bullitts, and thrilled when the designer/manufacturer kindly offered to send me a Titan for review.

    The Titan is, quite simply, the most ludicrously over-engineered personal beauty product I’ve ever seen or heard tell of – and I mean that as the highest praise. It’s a discreet, pocket-sized cylinder, with a thoroughly appropriate warmth and heft in the hand, that shelters at its core a refillable munition of super-premium lip balm. (Bio girls, transgirls, drag queens, goths, silent-film stars and other boys who wear same should note that the Titan can also be loaded with cartridges of equally premium lipstick.) I ask you: how many products in the health and beauty domain can claim to be “heat-tempered aerospace-grade alloy (aluminum, titanium, manganese, magnesium), YAG laser etched, four-axis CNC-machined”? It’s awesome.

    Let me now admit that I carry my Titan everywhere, and get a great deal of pleasure and amusement out of each of the several occasions daily on which I use it. The pleasure starts with the object itself, especially the haptics involved in replacing the top half of the tube. Whether intentionally or not, the inside of the upper piece is finely scored, which makes a very subtle but highly satisfying “zip” sound/feel when screwing it back on. This level of precision crafting far exceeds, say, that devoted to a mere survival knife.

    But the packaging, sumptuous as it is, is just a bagatelle; the real value proposition here is the product. I can’t speak for the lipstick, but without question, Mojo ships the best lip balm I’ve ever tried. The botanically-formulated, all-natural balm offers persistent moisturization without being gloppy, and finishes with a subtle eucalyptusy/pepperminty tingle. I’m hooked. My lips have never been happier.

    Now, the quibbles:

    – There’s something a little off on the form factor, at least if it was intended to carry through the ultracontemporary messaging implied by everything else in the presentation. The dimensions (i.e. reduction in tube diameter toward the top) and especially the flared carry-ring stanchion reinforce an almost Victorian aura. As a result, the Titan misses the jetrosexual mark it’s so obviously aiming for by just that much…but you know what Mies said about God and the details.

    – Observationally: many, many men don’t have the slightest idea how to use a beveled lipstick, having not been trained since early childhood in the art of applying same. And what’s more, some feel awkward about using something so heavily gender-coded as “female” in public – this is admittedly silly and something to get over, but true nonetheless. For both reasons, then, I’d argue that a unisex product like lipbalm should default to the flat-tipped form of a Chapstick.

    Would I have paid full retail price for the Titan? Probably not; as cool as it is, it’s admittedly kind of indefensible. But you can bet I’ll be back for more of the balm. It is, not the slightest question, something I no longer care to leave home without.”

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