Truly, I ask you.
What’s in a name these days?
Cosmetic brands have been concocting all sorts of names for their lippies since the longest time ever. And it makes sense too given how saturated the landscape has become. Everyone appears to be releasing make-up lines from established players kicking out new collections, to names you’d typically associate with garments, not beauty, looking to cash in on a woman’s (neverending) pursuit of that perfect pout. It’s practically a new lippie a day.
From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense.
I’m as commitment phobic as the next woman when it comes to beauty purchases. Afterall, how many nude shades can one wear at any given time? And you can’t really be walking out of the house with smokey eyes every day because, you know, we crave variety. As such, most of us are hesitant to commit to palettes of colour but think nothing of forking out anything from $5 to $50 for what promises to prime and plump, and take us from kissable to kiss-me-now.
Why am I bringing up the topic today? Well, because last night I was on Ulta and, contrary to my usual routine (I know what I want ahead of time so I go in, search by brand, find the product, check out and log off), decided I’d click on the category of Lipsticks. See what else was happening, you know. And wow, is there a lot happening in the world of lip colours.
There’s enough variety to baffle the sanest amongst us.
Anything from the palest of pinks to traffic-stopping reds and everything in between. With an equally wide array of names too. From Blackmail to Foul Mouth and Subversive Socialite to Perversion, Psycho and Alien, to somewhat less aggressive monikers including Frog Prince, Unicorn and Coquette, Babe Alert, Teddy Bear and Marshmallow. Let’s not forget the ones named after family and friends (I’m looking at you, Kylie!!), or entire beauty business empires spawned off by their social media success (think Huda).
By no means have I exhausted the list. In fact, I sincerely doubt I’ve even scratched a sliver of the surface.
I bring this up because of how much power the name of a lipstick holds over us, in determining whether or not we are willing to purchase it, bring it home, and paint our pouts with it.
Envision a lipstick called Nerd Alert. Or Dear Dork. Or Her Royal Weirdness. How popular do you think it would be? Do you envision lipstick tubes with those names flying off the shelves? I seriously doubt it.
More often than not, our purchases are motivated by brand aspiration. What we perceive the brand stands for, what it represents. Imagine if those three lipsticks were instead named as Nerd Couture? Or Dork Diva? Or Same Is Lame? What a difference it would make to how the consumer feels about buying them.
We want names that either resonate with us or inspire us. Yes, even when it comes to lipsticks and, for that matter, cosmetics in general, I suspect, including scents.
For example, some of the must-have-no-matter-what lippies in my now close to 450 member strong treasure trove of lipsticks are called Lady Danger, Punk Couture, Seduction, Exotic, Bustier, with my absolute I-would-wither-away-and-die-without shades being baptised as Maitresse, Muse Red, Dragon Lady and Femme Fatale.
Is it because I see myself as being a little lady-like and a little punk? Oscillating between being seductive and coy? Dominating and taking charge as much as being submissive and demure? Why, yes, yes I do indeed. I relate to all these names because I see bits of my personality in each one of them. They speak to me.
And that is precisely how powerful a pull the name of a lipstick can exert.
Orange Trench (Boohoo) | Fuchsia Playsuit (Forever21) | Lace Bra & Floral Booties (Poshmark) | Cuff c/o Unearthed | Sunnies (Chanel) | Lipstick is Quite The Standout (MAC)
What’s the name of your fave lipstick(s)?
And now that you’ve read this post, how much do you think its name affected your decision to purchase? Think it through before you answer, and please, let me know what that is by leaving me a comment below.
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