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63 Comments

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actual creative names so I can remember the colors! I hate numbers only.. always have to open the tube to see the shade!

I think if we add up the responses, words clearly win!! and I agree numbers are just so generic-I don’t like having to open the tube to see the shade-creative names certainly stay in your head

Oh my gosh, words BY FAR. I can never remember numbers. I still can’t name a MAC brush by its number. The words don’t necessarily have to be descriptive (fanciful names are okay), but please no numbers.

Definitely words. It’s much easier to remember “Custom Kicks” (thank you random bottle I just grabbed off the table for reference) than, say, something like 9294CK10 or whatever.

Words! Many YSL products have only numbers on their packaging and containers where I am, and it’s tricky to go looking for ‘Corail Incandescent’ only to be confronted by numbers instead.

I am very bad with numbers, so if I have to choose, I’d go for words. However, numbers can sometimes denote color family, so I feel that words and numbers combined is best still.

My pet peeve is absolutely, companies (coughlorealcough) who would use different names/numbers for the same shade in different countries. It’s almost as annoying as companies who’d use different formulations of the same products in different countries. Unless it’s intended as substitute due to local regulations, I really don’t see the point. (I’m looking at you, Chanel)

For face products like foundation and concealer, though, numbers might be helpful, but not that much unless they’re accompanied by descriptions. (01 Fair, 02 Light, 03 Medium, etc)

Words, hands-down. Numbers are just too hard to remember! Sometimes they’re handy to have in addition, e.g. in ranges that use numbers to denote colour families, but they’re just confusing on their own.

(And for all of the “but numbers are universal!” naysayers… translations are a thing. And, if that fails, I’d much prefer a foreign word over a boring number!)

I think for foundations, I prefer numbers/letters. It’s just an easier system because the shades tend to be closer together. Mac’s systems is great for NC/NW25. For everything else, definitely names, it’s more fun and memorable! I know if I’m wearing a lippie that looks fabulous and has a sassy name, I’ll feel a little more spunky.

That’s exactly the same for me. Even though I usually wear the palest or the second pales shade available in almost everything.

I really prefer most of my MUFE eye shadows over the MAC, but I just wish they would put names on them!

I like actual words! I think naming the color just adds something, makes it a bit more creative, and feels like the brands put in some effort. Plus, it’s easier to remember!

Names are definitely better but I think sometimes it can be useful for a product to have both a “word name” and a number, like for products where the colour matters, foundations, concealers etc…

Names! I can never ever remember numbers. It’s the only thing I dislike about Inglot products – I’ve had a few double ups. I have bought products purely for the name in the past as a bit of fun, namely nail polishes πŸ™‚

Same thoughts on inglot. I don’t have access to the brand in person, so I’d have to buy online, and their number system and huuuge selection ensures that I will never do that.

I don’t care either way, but if a brand chooses to go with words, I would much prefer something that actually denotes *something* about the actual color. Also, higher end brands should really try to stay away from juvenile puns. That said, I do find NARS’ naming system quite interesting, and I actually find myself learning something. With each new product, I find myself researching the geographic location, movie title, etc., and finding the connection/inspiration for the shades.

For things like foundations, I would much prefer a numbered system. It is so clear that shade 1 is much lighter than shade 10.

For colored products, I would rather have a descriptive name than a number or a creative name. For an example, take NARS’ “Sin.” What does the word “sin” look like? I have no idea. I’d imagine a lot of red, lace and whiskey, maybe. “Golden Berry” seems more apt, but it is definitely less intriguing of a name.

I like words but I also search for a number next to it, just to make sure this one is another shade not a renamed one (like Dior nail polishes same shade different number). I also like sorting things out and number helps. I love the names of Illamasqua polishes but wished they also had a number (like Chanel)

Words please! Numbers are harder to remember, not descriptive, and although I don’t choose things just for the name, I do get a little boost from wearing something with a fun name or inspiration.

Word/names for sure! (though a number – more for their own stock control purposes – in addition to a name is fine). I have about half a dozen Inglot eye shadows and can never remember which ones I have. As for my Guerlain Rouge Automatique lipsticks, I always have to open them up to find the one I’m looking for because, although they DO have names, the cases only have a number on the bottom. They also have little colour “squares” but they’re so small that they all look pretty much the same so they’re no help at all.

Names! That’s the one thing I don’t like about Inglot. Once I asked why they don’t use names and I was made fun of because Polish names would be too hard to remember…. then pick more international names??? πŸ˜€

Words are better to me because I tend to remember them more often than I would remember numbers. Especially if it is a unique word or phrase.

I prefer words. With numbers it is too easy to go, “Was it 34?….or maybe 43…”. Often times the word names give you a clue to the color.

Definitely words. Unless the number is something easily memorized (#222, or something), I’ll never remember it. And, numbers never give you an idea of what the color might look like (‘Deep Sea’ – most likely blue; or ‘Moss’ – probably a warm green. #84 – who knows?).

It depends on the product. I think with products that are gradient in shade (i’m thinking about foundations or concealers) it’s easier to remenber numbers. For all the others, it’s easier to remenber names.

That’s a tricky one because MAC uses numbers for their foundations and then words for the colors! I would have to say that I prefer words for product names because if the name is interesting and the I like to color I am more compelled to pick it up. Also when a friend ask oooh what shade is that or what color is that, you want to give them a fun name to remember. Good thing I only have to remember one set of numbers for my MAC foundation!

It depends on the product. Things like brushes, foundations, concealers I actually prefer numbers (or number/letter combinations, or word/number combinations). I don’t find “ivory” or “mocha” to be descriptive enough for a skin-tone product, as opposed to a NW15 or something like that. And I’ve never found brush descriptions to actually be descriptive enough–easier for me to just remember shape by number.

For color cosmetics, however, I like to have names. I won’t remember that #23 is bright red and #24 is mauve. They’re also just more fun, especially if they’re evocative of the color they’re describing.

Names!! One of the reasons I bought all the pieces of the Iris Apfel collection was for the birdy names. I kinda have a penchant for buying birdy things.

Words! I love when they are slightly ridiculous (I’m looking at you Urban Decay). It adds a little bit of whimsy to my morning routine.

Both. Names are nice for atmosphere, but numbers are reassuring. It’s easier to figure out lights and darks on foundations. As far as color, it feels organized, and hopefully keep a brand aware of gaps in hues and tones. If only they were labelled with RGB or Hex Codes, I’d be a happy camper. I’m imagining a lab with a giant color wheel filled with lipstick samples labelled like “F.2009:243.108.111”.

Words for sure except when it comes to foundation and concealers. Those need numbers for sure as foundation shades are supposed to be related to each other in a sequence, light to dark. Of course adding a letter or another number for undertones is ideal (like MAC’s system, or Dior where the last number is a different undertone, so 010 and 012 are the same depth, but one is the peach version, the other is the beige version).

When it comes to foundation, with names it’s difficult to know where they stand in relation to each other. “Oh here’s a Cream Ivory, it’s too dark, do I go for Soft Ivory or Peach Ivory?” See it’s not clear because names don’t tend to have that relation to each other. However “3 is too dark” means I know to go for 1 or 2.

Besides, names can be fun and add personality to a product. The coolest name I ever came across was a lipstick by Shiseido called Iron Maiden. How can you not buy that?!

Definitely words for me, it’s easier to go to a makeup counter and ask for Handwritten e/s, Red Lizard lipstick, etc. than to try to remember the number of a product.

Words, most of the time. Although, I haven’t purchased Too Faced’s Boudoir Eyes palette simply because the names of the shadows make me blush… lol

I absolutely detest numbers. INglot for instance – I love the eyeshadows but I won’t be able to tell one from the other becasue they are all numbered and once they go in the palette, then forget about it cuz they are impossible to pull out.

I like names better, and I have been known to buy a product I like if I love the name, rather than just love the product. Luckily most of the time the two seem to go hand in hand. For example, not only does NARS blush in Deep Throat make me giggle and blush, but I LOVE the colour. Orgasm too. The only colour with a number name I can actually remember is the super famous #92 from MUFE.

I like it when they have both. Numbers help me find them and keep track of what I have, but names are nicer to call them and easier to remember.

Words! If the name is fun it gets me to remember it but numbers, I have to remember too many of them already! Plus it doesn’t sound so “cool” to say look at my eyeshadow, it’s called “436” instead of say, “Amber Lights”

Words! Fantasy names all the way! They are so much easier to remember, and easier to associate with the colors if they are done right!

I prefer words, I’ve noticed that a lot of individual MAC, Urban Decay and NARS products have cult followings, whereas the same doesn’t seem to hold true as much for MUFE or Inglot, and I think that’s more not do with people being able to put a product to the name more readily. On the other hand it can be annoying to go to a counter and have to ask for MAC Rama-lama-ding-dong or NARS [CENSORED].

For most color products (lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, etc), I definitely prefer words. Its much easier for me to remember a kitschy name than a random number, especially since the numbers rarely don’t seem to correspond to the shade (eg., jumping around and not having the lightest colors with the lowest number and darkest shades with the higher numbers). It also drives me nuts when the color name is not printed on the tube, just the shade number…

However, for foundations/concealers/etc, I prefer to have both a logical number and a descriptive name. I find it helps me to determine the shade range I should be looking at by the number, and then have a name to be a little more descriptive (eg. OK, they call this foundation 07, but is it more “beige” or “tan”?).

I like numbers for things like foundation, powder, etc. because its easier to see the shades in my head that way opposed to all the shades having a name ie. Benefit. However for everything else i feel like words are the way to go πŸ™‚

I prefer color names. They seem to set the mood and tone for a product/collection. It also helps me in selecting colors. If a color is “Sienna” as opposed to “No 119” then it can help me whittle down products and helps me to determine what works for my skin tone. It’s also that one last show of creativity and thought that was put into the products.

I prefer both ways, especially if they are combined. Take for example foundations as most of you already stated: the numbers are extremely helpful and logical but it’s also great when they are paired with an appropriate name for them.

Names, for me!
That’s the ONLY thing I dislike about Inglot eyeshadows, other than the fact that I have to order them “blind,” online.
For some reason, I simply cannot get those numbers straight, to the point that I’ve almost ordered an eyeshadow I already own, simply because I’d forgotten that I had it!
I’d prefer even lame names, like “light brown,” “medium taupe,” etc. to numbers.
If they wanted to keep the numbers and add names, as in “349M – medium grey taupe matte,” that would work for me.

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