Denim brand Rock & Republic debuts a cosmetics line

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

ROCK & REPUBLIC, the 6-year-old brand best known for dark, dressy denim, is adding yet another branch to an already crowded family tree that includes handbags, belts, shoes, eyewear, dresses -- even cashmere sweaters. On Monday, the Culver City-based company enters the beauty game with its first line of cosmetics.

Ten items for face, eyes and lips reflect the brand’s flashy, hyper-sexy apparel. The packaging glitz is thickest in a bronzing and highlighting powder duo that comes in a pimped-out, crystal-encrusted compact priced at $225 -- $56 more than a pair of the brand’s Cosbie raw blue jeans. Fittingly, the three shades are called Private Jet, Villa and Penthouse. Pressed face powder ($44) comes in the same heavy, black-and-chrome compact, sans rhinestones, and resembles one of the brand’s logo-laced belt buckles.

A mascara tube looks like an elongated silver bullet ($28). And tinted face primer ($46) and illuminating mousse ($48) are encased in cold, shiny, black-and-silver tubes. If only their contents were intended for men.

The variety of colors and products is impressive for a fledgling brand. There are 48 colors of eye shadow ($28), 17 cheek hues ($28 to $40) and 15 lip gloss shades ($26 each), many with names that give Nars’ infamous Orgasm blush a run for its money. Fiend, a gray eye shadow, the light green Hangover and a darker shade, Lawsuit, feel tailored to some young Hollywood train wreck -- the name of a gold lip gloss, coincidentally.


None of the products is earth-shattering, especially for the prices, though the tinted SPF 20 face primer does some nifty tricks. It saps oil, fills in fine lines and can be worn alone or under foundation. Talk about multitalented.

But the products can’t compete with all that flash, which is really more trashy than classy. Somehow, bejeweled compacts seem to scream “coach-class lavatory” when what you really want them to whisper is “Gulfstream jet.”