Last week’s challenge was a revelation. I love wearing red lipstick. You should try it. You really should.
I know many women shy away from it because it’s bold and bleeds and it’s hard to find the right shade. But to you I say, Be Bold. Life is too short not to be. Just make sure you wear a lip liner and try a variety of them in order to find the shade that suits you best. At Sephora, you can have your Colour IQ done, which helps to narrow it down. Or, just try on shades you like that match the undertone of your skin (I look best in reds with blue or yellow undertones). Experiment. Play. Have fun. Find your signature red and impress the hell out of everyone, including yourself.
Now, apologies that this week’s blog is a bit late but I had emergency dental surgery and therefore a painful and crooked smile for most of the week. I have been very good and haven’t bought a new lipstick during this entire experiment, until this week. From my bout with the flu (In which I lost. Terribly.) straight into a root canal, I needed a pick-me-up. So I bought a new lipstick. If truth be told, I bought three.
As I browsed the various makeup displays in MAC, I started to get overwhelmed very quickly. Usually, shopping is my jam, but MAC lipsticks come in over 200 shades, so I had difficulty narrowing my choice until I made my final selection. It was a choice between MAC’s classic bestseller, Rubywoo, a retro matte red, and a sexy dark matte aptly named Diva. I found myself equally in love with both, but was drawn to the latter, because the name started to tip the scales in its favour.
Apparently, in the lipstick world, names are a big deal. A very big deal. Much time is spent around the drawing board or the executive boardroom or the lab coming up with marketing campaigns around the names of lipstick or entire lines because women will buy lipstick they never even intend to wear, simply because the name strikes a chord. If I could have my dream job, it would be naming lipsticks and nail polishes. I would have lines bases on my favourite books, poets, movies, vacation spots, and pizza toppings. Really. They would sell like gangbusters (I’m not sure what gangbusters are, but they would sell just as well).
I made my purchase (you can never go wrong with Rubywoo!) and headed to Sephora to further my knowledge of lipstick names. Many brands have similar ideas—I saw lipsticks named Naked and Merlot and Flirt and Desire and Perfect Red multiple times, across various brands. Depending on which demographic a certain brand is marketing, you see names like “Classic” and “Hollywood”, compared to “Bae” and “Queen B”.
So, I decided to make a list of the best and worst names I could find. For the record, all the shades are luscious and beautiful and gorgeous. But the best names are truly marketing genius and I would buy them without even flinching, while the worst are, well, ridiculous at best and just EW at their worst.
The Top 5 best names (in no particular order)
1. Spice Spice Baby (Too Faced)— You’re already singing it aren’t you? I bet this lipstick is perfect for when you need stop, collaborate and listen.
2. Lady balls (Too Faced)– I don’t supposed they could just call this matte red lipstick Ovaries, which is more appropriate, if not catchy. But this made me giggle and I would love to give it to all of my friends.
3. Poe (Kat Von D)— The English major in me loves that this dark navy lipstick is named for Edgar Allan Poe. I would have the perfect lipstick for when I want to be dark and broody and existential-like.
4. Heathers (Anastasia Beverly Hills)— Considering the body count in this 80’s classic teen movie of the same name, a brownish oxblood matches perfectly. Also, I would buy any lipstick that would make me look in the slightest bit like Winona Ryder.
5. Mrs Roper (Too Faced)– This is just too much awesome. I hope this bright tangerine colour comes with a matching muumuu.
And now for the WTFs.
1. Catnip (Anastasia Beverly Hills)— I get the idea; lipstick is definitely like catnip for me, but I wouldn’t want it the real thing anywhere near my mouth.
2. Wolves Mouth (Kat Von D)— I just don’t understand. Is this supposed to be cutting edge? For animal lovers? Werewolf enthusiasts?
3. Melted Chihuahua (Too Faced)— Wait, what? Ew. Just ew.
4. Roach (Urban Decay) — I like it when lipsticks are actually named for the colours of things they actually resemble. But a lipstick by the name of a creepy crawler is beyond ick.
5. Man bun (Tarte) — She looks quizzically at the name. She scratches her head. She moves on. This one definitely is designed to appeal to Millennials, and will probably sell out.
Romeo (or rather Shakespeare) asked the question, and argued that,
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I agree. When it comes to your next purchase, don’t choose because of a name or the packaging or the marketing. Choose the best one for you. Or ones, like me this week.
(Alright, alright. I bought four.)