There are three kinds of pop-ups these days: the “dining pop-up” (see What’s Popping Up every Friday in our food section for the latest); “pop-up attractions,” in which you buy a ticket for the opportunity to take a million selfies in front of different backdrops (see Candytopia, Beautycon Pop); and the most “pop”-ular,” full-on marketing promo opportunities for films, TV shows and products. Of the three, we seem to enjoy the latter the best, and not just because they’re the only ones that don’t require a cover. They just tend to be the most creative.
Benefit Cosmetics’ new Roller Liner Diner on Melrose is a vivid example. The makeup company has taken over the old Johnny Rockets restaurant space and drenched it in pink, adding waitresses and waiters on skates and a ton of fun girly touches throughout. It’s all to celebrate the company’s newest product, the Roller Liner, a deep black eyeliner pen, with packaging inspired by those old pink sponge rollers our moms used to wear.
Chief beauty ambassador Maggie Ford Danielson (also the daughter of one of the company’s founders) says the Roller Liner seeks to solve ladies' lining dilemmas when trying to draw that perfect dark trace above the lid: “Most liners are shiny, this one’s matte.” The new product is available at the pop-up as are other Benefit products including roller mascara, T-shirts that say “Bene-babe” and cute glitter makeup bags with fluffy pink pom-poms.
Known for its sexy retro style, Benefit was founded in 1976 in San Francisco by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford, with an irreverent take on beauty, especially when it came to packaging. They sought to create modern formulas with vintage appeal, and as Danielson told us at the opening, their aesthetic has always made for a perfect match in L.A., where women are a little bolder with their makeup looks. From pin-up girls to burlesque and rockabilly chicks to gals with rock & roll flair, the liquid line and cat eye seems to be favored on West Coast faces, so it makes sense to roll out this one in the heart of a trendy shopping area like Melrose. The space housed the very first Johnny Rockets cafe, which went on to become a global chain.
The locale was previously used by Showtime as a pop-up to promote its Twin Peaks revamp in 2017; it served David Lynch coffee and cherry pie and sold Peaks products. Roller Diner, which opened this past weekend and runs through Jan. 20, doesn’t have a food menu, but it is giving out free ice cream from the Milk Shop. If you like femme or ’50s stuff, makeup and ice cream, be sure to roll in and get your Pinkie Tuscadero on before it's gone.
7507 Melrose Ave., Fairfax; daily, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., through Jan. 20. Guests can walk in or make reservations via OpenTable.