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Names, for sure, as I can remember them much better! I remember going to Sephora to buy a bunch of the (now discontinued/reformulated) MUFE eyeshadows. I had all the names written down but in the store, there were only the numbers, so home I went with nothing and had to go back a few days later with a list of numbers and their corresponding names. Mind you, the “naming” of the shadows in the ND Glam palette (“Outer Lid”, another “Outer Lid”, yet another “Outer Lid”) isn’t at all helpful either!

Same issue. Only the SA argued with me, said they had no names only #s and I was flat out wrong. Got my iPad out of the car and showed her. This is a training issue. Know what is online, or how to find out. Don’t dispute the customer. How about ‘I didn’t think so, but I’ll look.’ The SAs are not born knowing, but S should inform them, they should do their homework, and not be snotty to the customer. In that case the SA was ignorant and uninformed. Needless to say, she did not like being called out and corrected by someone twice her age. I however, was not rude, even implicitly.

This isn’t related to product naming, but I’ve had similar experiences there with pricing. Signage at the store advertised the ND mini palettes as $29 and when I asked the employee about it, they had no idea that they were all supposed to be $25. I had to pull out my phone and show the prices on the app. Were the mini palettes ever even $29 in the US?

I should amend my answer to say that when it comes to face products – foundation, concealer, powder – I also prefer a letter/number system that gives at least a bit of a hint as to cool/neutral/warm and also colour depth. But for colour cosmetics, especially eye shadows, I really prefer names.

My thoughts exactly. I like everything but bare products to have fun names, but with complexion products, I like a system like P1, W4, N5 or Fair 1, Medium
4 etc. so I know generally what I’m getting. Repetitive names and food names for foundations is getting old. “porcelain” has lost all meaning for me and I’m pretty sure people with deeper complexions are tired of “cocoa” and “espresso”.

I prefer a letter to indicate cool, neutral or warm tone followed by a number to indicate depth of color for foundation, concealer etc. And I would love to see a universal guideline to this for brands worldwide so it’s easier to find your appropriate shade.
For all other products I do prefer a name stated on the actual product. I hate how YSL lipsticks have only the number on the case and not the name. So confusing.

Even if they use numbers for lipsticks, they could at least add a number or letter to denote the type of color (pink, red, brown, etc.).

I honestly don’t care! I don’t use my makeup on anyone else so I don’t ever have an occasion to say or really remark on the names. I will say that I do like names just for the fun of it, though when it comes to foundation “N0 W0 C0,” etc is 100x easier than guessing if you’re more “vanille” or “amande.”

Names because they’re easier to remember. But ideally? They’d be names that gave me some indication of what the color actually looked like, otherwise they re as kind useless as numbers.

Foundations and concealers make more sense to me if they are a combination of numbers and letters denoting skintone depth and undertone. That said, there is little consistency.

I like shade names for colour products since they are easier to remember, but at this point even that becomes difficult in a market saturated with similar names.

It is even more aggravating when items are packaged as both name and number and on-line stores choose one or the other, but not both in their shade descriptions.

I do also agree that doing numbers / codes without consistency amongst brands would make it worse. It’s already confusing when with foundation each brand has an individual interpretation of what Beige, Buff, Shell, Nude, etc. means.

Totally agree with you Wednesday – at our local Sephora, their lipstories lipsticks are coded by number, yet everywhere else (even on their website) the lippies are named. So when you go into the store to find a lipstick (like I did for Hong Kong by Night), the staff have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. There wasn’t even a product information sheet listing the names and numbers! So very, very annoying, I can tell you.

Names all the way for me, I can never remember numbers.
Standing in a store and liking a lipstick but without a name I have no idea if I own that shade going by just the number. I always found YSL a nightmare for this.

Same for me with all of my YSL lip sticks it’s a struggle to figure out which shades I have by numbers! Wish YSL would add names to their lip sticks.

Numbers! I am an engineer, I love numbers! Moreover most of products name are so silly or heavily explicitly (nars I am talking about you) or they result offensive for a certain cathegory. So long life to numbers!

Names! Because I literally cannot remember numerical codes very well due to a type of dyslexia that involves numbers mostly, I rely on actual worded names for everything except foundation. I can do numbers for that because it’s only one, possibly two, per brand and formula.

Maybe it’s my engineering background, but I prefer numbers and letters codes to names. Names are sometimes fun, but I am finding them useless. Codes with numbers and letters give more structure, make more sense, help me make choices.
And I don’t mention this only about foundation and concealer. I would like to see a brand that codes bronzers and blushes. To me having lets say different letters for blush colors (pink, mauve, orange, etc.) and finishes (matte, satin, pearl), and numbers for depth makes more sense than fancy naming.

I somehow like that some brands are somewhere in the middle; like Estee Lauder Double Wear, which has both codes (2W2) and names (Rattan).

I agree with many others on this: letter-number combos for foundation & concealer to indicate undertone and depth. But I’d love it extended to lipsticks and blush, along with a name – so you’d know the undertone, depth, finish and general color catagory, like “PWS2, Blossom” for example, would be Pink, Warm, Satin, 2nd lightest. Along w/ pics on different skin tones, that would make it so much easier to buy online.

in a vacuum i don’t have a preference, but dark shout out to brands that name only their darker foundation shades after foods. i absolutely remember which brands do this and try to avoid them.

For eyeshadows andl lipsticks I prefer names – its easier to get a handle on the product if there is a name attached to it, especially when you are aiming to dupe the product. I recall when MUFE were using numbers for their eyeshadows and it was much harder to recall the number rather than a name and became confusing. And look at the trouble Natasha Denona got into when she tried to indicate placement of eyeshadows instead of using the time honoured system of naming the shades.?

I quite agree with you Christine about foundations – it is much easier to match shades and undertones if there is a number and code attached (to signify undertone) to indicate shades. I just wish there was a universal numerical system for colour matching in foundation between brands.

Like many others have said, I prefer a letter/number combo for foundation and concealers to let me know where I fall, but I dish that it was standardized across brands a bit more. Shade matching apps have been a lifesaver since I can’t get anywhere because of Covid, I must say. But when it comes to color cosmetics, I actually like both. #001 Mocha, for example. Numbers to organize, names to remember. Makes my OCD happy.

It would be nice if there was a “Universal Code” of numbers and letters it would make life easier. There are so many variables for pink, red, nude, natural beige or whatever color in the rainbow it just makes sense.

I prefer names over numbers. Names convey a feeling or a place that is often related to the inspiration of the color or collection. I’d be more likely to buy a lipstick if it was called Canyon Sunset over one called YB22. I prefer a romantic inspiration over a clinical one. But sometimes names can be obnoxious like the MAC lipstick Derriere, among others. I also hate the color name “nude” as if there is one definition of nude. Huh? “Nude” can be black coffee for some, alabaster for others. Overall, as Christine said, names can also be easier to remember.

I like names. They’re fun and a way of extending the brand’s aesthetic that adds a bit of personality to the product in a way that using just a number can’t. Ideally there’d be both as numbers are no doubt easier to use internally and can do things like indicate undertone or shade intensity with brevity but do nothing to add to a product’s interestingness, I guess you could call it.

Totally agree with everything you say on this topic.
I actively avoid makeup with numbers only and have increasingly done the same with foundations with foundations with names rather than numbers–because from one brand to the next that name means nothing.

Numbers. I am one of those individuals who will not buy products with stupid, vulgar or others names that grate against my values, faith, etc. I’ve been known to white out of bothersome names. Also, I find it so much easier to use numbers (like with MUFE or ND, who uses both) should you want to replace a color or trace it in their catalogue.

Names. Numbers are far too boring for something like makeup. Fun names make me smile! Numbers only make sense for base products where they have MEANINGFUL numbers and letters.

Names absolutely! Clearly marked.
Foundation, Numbers and Names. That way it’s easier for us consumers to repurchase?
Great Questions.

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