Benefit Cosmetics, a California beauty brand, is trying to market makeup through humor. In its new spot by Portal A, Sarah Colonna, a comedian from Chelsea Lately, bops about on a Segway in a police uniform doing beauty busts in the most insulting way she can—often leaving her victims gasping in shock. While the whole fashion-police concept is rather old, what's new is that a cosmetic company is ditching the glossy aspirational ads and outright insulting potential customers—almost never a good idea. But somehow, it works. Why? 1) Because as much as women want to look glamorous, there's an even more immediate desire not to look like a fashion disaster, and a lot of overdone runway makeup looks exactly like that. 2) Because the brand has chosen "Laughter is the best cosmetic" as its motto. 2) And because Colonna, whom we see applying the cosmetics at the end, is clearly not a model herself. Quite frankly, it's refreshing to see any humor around the serious business of touting artificial images of cosmetic perfection.
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