This has been The Summer of Chain Restaurants Not Getting the Memo About April Fool’s Day Starting and Ending on April 1. In June, IHOP announced it was changing its name to IHOb, literally flipping the capital P into a lowercase B to turn the International House of Pancakes into the International House of Burgers; after a month of low-key mass hysteria, the brand was all, “JK!” Then, on July 11, Olive Garden tweeted that it would be launching a “Breadscription Box” — a (completely fake) subscription box for its famous never-ending breadsticks.
Quite satisfied with its own shenanigans, Olive Garden’s social media team was at it again earlier this week, tweeting “Okay so you liked the subscription box… now what about a makeup palette? 😍” with a photo of exactly that. In it was a bronzer called Breadstick Bronzer and a blush called Marinara Rouge, both debossed with the Olive Garden logo, as well as six eye shadows with pasta-inspired shade names: Alfredo Awesome, Parmigiana Perfection, Fierce Fettuccine, Royal Ravioli, Lasagna Lush, and Spaghetti Sparkle.
When a friend sent me a link to the tweet, my immediate reaction was, “Is this real?!” — a sentiment echoed by dozens of Twitter users who replied to what is very likely a stock photo sprinkled with a little Photoshop fairy dust. But while my response was one of incredulity, for others, it came from a place of genuine enthusiasm toward the idea that the largest Italian(ish) restaurant in the U.S. could conceivably launch a makeup palette. “Omg if this is real I have to have this😍😍😍😍😍,” one Twitter user replied. Another excited follower wrote, “Olive-you forever if you make this a reality 😩.” (I appreciate the emoji implying she’s groaning at her own bad pun.)
Although replies from Olive Garden’s Twitter account all but insist that there are no actual plans to dabble in cosmetics, fans are fantasizing about using not only the palette, but an entire line of Olive Garden makeup. “Listen as an OG LOVER, ima need this to be real, you could make a lipstick and the tube could look like a breadstick, so many possibilities. I’m here for it 100%,” one reply reads. Another well-versed Twitter user wrote, “I would have a blush, highlighter, and bronzer named after your desserts for example Tiramisu for the Bronzer. Breadstick would be a beige transition shade, ‘marinara’ would be deep red foil, ‘olive’ would be a forest green, ‘Fettuccini’ would be a white with gold reflect etc.” Meanwhile, several people demanded that the hypothetical palette should smell like breadsticks, because of course.
There’s no telling whether or not the passionate Twitter response will encourage Olive Garden to turn its joke into a reality, but it wouldn’t be unheard of. KFC has previously launched nail polish and bath bombs — both fried-chicken-scented — in Japan, and briefly sold a limited-edition Extra Crispy Sunscreen in the U.S. I, for one, would throw my money at a Chipotle eye shadow palette, assuming it contains a green shade called “Guac Is Extra,” but that’s just me.