They're right up there with King Midas' golden fish hooks which so intrigued me in a childhood storybook. Shu Uemura has released 24-karat gold eyelash curlers. Surely, in an industry based on indulgence and image, these are the ultimate in senseless luxury?
Shu Uemura eyelash curlers are considered a bit of a ''beauty icon'', it is true - they are well designed and easy to use; they fit various eye shapes and prevent pinching while delivering evenly curled lashes that open the eyes. There's a lot to love about them. And why not have them in gold? They're $40 - not eye-raisingly expensive, especially when bought as an interesting gift.
But what I love about them is their audacity. At a time when people are being presented with unwanted gold watches and unexpected golden handshakes, along comes a cheeky and highly inessential beauty aid. It's gold. It shines. You can't miss it. We might want gift vouchers (or in some cases food vouchers) but here is something completely indulgent and fun. Who could not smile over gold eyelash curlers?
Perhaps something as superficial as this is most needed at a time when Australians are stressing about keeping jobs, finding jobs and paying the bills. It's good to be reminded that there is a lighter side to life. Perhaps gold eyelash curlers could be seen as an extension of art - not a fundamental need but necessary for the human spirit.
Alternatively, you may think them a silly white elephant, classing them alongside foot spas, hair masques and skin highlighters. Or a modern symbol of decadent vanity. What then brings a smile to your eyes? What beauty product is a special treat, a bit of frivolous fun, in your eyes? If you had to buy a beauty gift for someone who had everything except a smile, what would it be? Does a lipstick still rate as a treat or is something more OTT in order - something like, er, golden eye lash curlers?! Indulge your imagination.