lip title

Interesting media can make for especially interesting art, as the pencil-tip carvings, hairy apples and damaged banana art we’ve covered before should attest, but when you go carving up some perfectly good brand-name lipsticks to celebrate strong women and fashion icons, you are bound to cause your intended audience a little heartache.

According to the design website Taxi, Hong Kong artist May Sum uses lipsticks from Estee Lauder, MAC, Yves St. Laurent, and other big names in makeup to create tiny busts of some very familiar faces.

Given the medium, the carvings are not going to be exact replicas of their model, but May Sum has incredible skill in making them recognizable. Particularly when a bunch of these busts are lined up together, there is a surreal likability about them.

The artist also carves scenery, animals and other things, but the series she calls ‘Strong Women’ packs extra punch by immortalizing famous women in a medium that reminds us how tightly society still binds feminine power to beauty.

By the way, if you would like to commission a lipstick bust, May Sum can be found on the shopping site Etsy. For prices starting at around US$600, you can choose your favorite brand of lipstick, the color and any model you like.

At that price, I hope very much that you like the finished product, but if not, I suppose you could always use what’s left of the lipstick and it wouldn’t be a total loss!

They do look cool, but part of you can’t help thinking “what a waste of perfectly good lipstick!”


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▼Fashion icon and Vogue editor Anna Wintour


Audrey Hepburn


Coco Chanel


Lady Gaga


Kate Moss





[ Read in Japanese ]