In the world of wacky cosmetic-color names, nail polish and lipstick are in a dead heat. But it’s National Lipstick Day. So here we go with an entire post dedicated to the nuttiest lipstick shades in the xoVain beauty closet!
First, let’s talk about what goes into the naming of a lipstick. I got in touch with creatives at three popular makeup brands--Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC), Urban Decay, and NYX Cosmetics--and all of them acknowledged a correlation between lipstick monikers and sales. So there's a lot riding on these names--and how they make us feel about ourselves in the context of our lip color choices.
Says OCC founder David Klasfeld, “Makeup is all about identity.... Creating a name for a lipstick can honestly make it or break it.... Sometimes people will buy a shade simply because of the name, without any intent to use it.”
What type of creative thinking goes into naming a lipstick? “Sometimes the name is just there. Other times, we refer to this list of names that we keep when we're stuck. Other times, nothing on the list works, so we get a whole group around the table to brainstorm,” says Urban Decay co-founder and chief creative officer Wende Zomnir. “Sometimes it involves a glass of wine or two--that stuff gets pretty into the gutter!”
In my experience poking around various beauty closets, lipstick names usually fall into six categories: food, sex, shameless puns, alliteration to the max, fancy one-word titles (my favorite discontinued Chanel shade is simply called “Dragon”), and confounding things like “Dissolved in Dreams” that speak nothing of the color--or reality.
Here are nine lipstick names that set off my internal WTF meter.
Sexer by Kat Von D
I didn’t even know “sexer” was a word. Here's how Merriam Webster defines it: “one that identifies the sex of an animal or other organism.” Do I need to wear this lipstick to tell people that I am a woman???
Dissolved in Dreams by Rouge Bunny Rouge
As per above, CONFOUNDING! But pretty, no?
Whipped Caviar by NYX Cosmetics
As a person who really likes and tries to know a lot about food, I can tell you that this is not the color of any caviar that I’ve seen. If you see mauve caviar, step away--step away slowly.
Grandma by OCC
I LOVE this color. It makes me want to go to Palm Springs, or shop at Tory Burch (and I hate Tory Burch). It doesn’t look like anything my grandma would wear, but Klasfeld said it’s an exact match for the color his grandmother wore. I love men who love their grandmas.
Truffle Tease by Maybelline
Again with the not-based-in-reality-food-names. I’m guessing they’re hinting at chocolate truffles, because actual truffles (the fungal kind) are either white or black. Either way, the color doesn’t live up to the food!
Pinky Nude Sinner by Lipstick Queen
Pinky Nude would have been just fine. But Pinky Nude Sinner? Nope.
Blankety by MAC
Here's how I think this went down: one lipstick namer says, “This kind of looks like my blanket.” Another replies, “Yeah, it’s really blankety.” Lipstick = named.
Catfight by Urban Decay AND NARS
If there are two lipsticks named Catfight in our closet, just imagine how many others are out there! I put my money UD's pink. Cage match!
Stand-Up Bread by VMV Hypoallergenics
No, that's not a misprint. Yes, it is bread-colored. And, yes, it sits upright. But Stand-Up Bread doesn't make ANY sense. [Update: It was a misprint! The tube we received had a typo in the name, which is actually "Stand-Up Broad"]
Do you care about the name of your lipstick? Have you ever bought a lipstick based solely on its name? What's the wackiest lipstick name you've run across?