What Are Your Favorite Product Cameos?

Schneider, Romy - Schauspielerin, Portrait im Bad
Schneider, Romy - Schauspielerin, Portrait im Bad

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Scarlett Johansson is capable of making most things look good. Case in point: her slapdash application of bubblegum pink lipstick in a suite at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

Name that movie. (Lip my stockings, Mr. Harris. It’s Lost in Translation.)

Now, what about that lipstick? Anyone? Anyone?

I didn’t know either—the tube was indistinguishable by color and shape—but I also couldn’t leave it at that. And so, one idle winter's eve, I found myself on Born Unicorn, an online compendium of all appearances product-, perfume-, and tattoo-related in movies and TV. Here, I discovered the answer (‘twas Clinique’s Different Lipstick in Raspberry Glace) then found myself falling, like a product-high Alice, deeper and deeper into this digital rabbit-hole for the beauty-inclined. Among other things, I came to know the name of the perfume used by one Amelie Poulain, the Diptyque candle preferred by Winona Ryder in the '90s, and American Psycho Patrick Bateman’s aftershave routine. Time well spent; this was valuable information indeed.

The Sherlock behind Born Unicorn is Teresa, whom I recently had the chance to speak with about some of her favorite finds. No-nonsense in the realm of on-screen product identification and passionate about Italian films, her format is straightforward and edifying: screen grab + brand name + product name = post. “As a cinephile and a makeup and perfume addict, identifying and archiving products in movies and TV shows came naturally to me,” she told me. Among her proudest moments are spotting Claire Underwood’s perfume collection (and Nars Lip Glosses) in House of Cards, the Bésame brand-allegiance of the women in American Horror Story, and Melanie Laurent’s Kryolan faceliner in Inglorious Basterds. Desperate to duplicate Beyonce’s 7/11 bathroom counter spread or Viggo Mortensen’s Russian mafia tattoos in Eastern Promises? She’s got you covered there too.

“Everything I post is a precise ID,” she says, citing her archivist/educator background as motive for accuracy. “I couldn’t stand posting something I’m not sure about.” When I asked how she figured out the provenance of the Lost in Translation lipstick that had me so stumped, she is pragmatic: “That Clinique lipstick ID was tricky! I had some shades in mind, but then I turned to the brand, and they confirmed my guess.” A strategy to live by—when in doubt (or when Sofia Coppola’s number is hard to come by), go straight to the source.

Like any good hunter, Teresa’s got a white whale she’s trailing after. “There is an ID which has been haunting me for a while now, though: the bottle of men’s cologne appearing in Roman Polanski’s Carnage.”

Here's where we turn to you, readers. Any hot tips out? Or products you’re personally itching to ID? Post your screen grabs/queries below and we’ll puzzle out the clues together.

—Lauren Maas

Romy Schneider image via Getty. For more Open Thread discussions, click here.