How important is a product’s name to you?

I don’t remember names very well any more, so they don’t encourage or discourage me from buying… so long as they aren’t patently offensive (like a racial slur). I do think brands should take some care in the names they use, though, and if they’re doing a theme that could relate back to a particular region or culture, they should do their research prior to doing so!

— Christine
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42 Comments

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I really don’t care at all. Idk why some people get so worked up over names and act like they’re being forced to buy it. As long as it’s not a blatant racial slur or something like that, who cares? I love the more creative and punny names, they are much more memorable.

I definitely avoid products that have names that are derogatory or offensive, or overly explicit. I just don’t see the point of the shock value or ‘edginess’ label a company gets from these kinds of names, and with so many fantastic products on the market it is easy to find a dupe or substitution. Aside from those types of names, what a product is titled or called means very little to me.

When Hourglass came out with those lipsticks (Visionary?) with the very positive and inspiring names, I was so hopeful that it heralded a new trend AWAY from names with drug-related (Mainline, Dope) or sexually explicit names or those demeaning to women or with a racist undertone. Sadly, companies continue to use those objectionable names. Drug abuse is not “cute”, “fashionable” or even “cutting edge” – it is just a sad waste. And we shouldn’t be tolerating names that demean women or have a racist or prejudiced meaning.

Everything you just said about the drug-related names, Mariella! In my list below, I somehow forgot about that particularly offensive category. One that UD is infamous for naming products after, as if that’s something “cool”. But, it’s definitely NOT cool or cute. Especially when it references harder drugs than marijuana!

A bit heavy and only kinda related but there was a feature on our local news the other night about the paramedics who go out on calls for people who’ve shot up and OD’d in back alleys in my city and the risks these first responders face, especially now with all the various forms of fentanyl that are around. These are back alleys in derelict areas and the EMTs never quite know what they’ll face in administering aid to the person – they showed all the garbage, filth and decaying stuff that can be under the unconscious person. The EMT interviewed had already endured 2 needle sticks and the debilitating follow up preventive treatments for himself. And the reality is that what they showed IS a reality of drug abuse and addiction – nothing glamorous in lying in rotting garbage and mud while shooting up a drug that may well kill you.

I’m really skeeved out by overly sexual or meant to shock product names, so I’ve only bought those in the past if blogs and reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I bought and panned nars orgasm, but have found other blushes i like better since. If it isn’t a cult product, a stupid name (charlotte tilbury’s climax blush comes to mind) is enough to take it off my radar completely. Some product names are just too gimmicky.

I’m not really fond of the sex names nor the drug names. They are kind of embarrassing to talk about if you start talking about what you are wearing with other people who aren’t necessarily that into makeup. Those names also feel like they are trying too hard to attract teenagers.

Well, I have kids who are old enough to read, so that rules out anything that’s explicit (wink-and-nudge references are fine). If it crosses the line into into insulting or demeaning, you can also count me out. It’s easy enough to find dupes and I’d rather give my money to more positive brands.

I’d love to say “not,” except that I have been swayed by names; in some cases a name convinces me to pass up an item (usually if it’s too cutesie — I’ve more than once refused to buy something because the name had something to do with mermaids or fairies). I’m less bothered by “edgy” or risque names, but … sometimes the risqueness seems sincere, other times it seems like BS marketing, cringe-y, or eye-rollingly ridiculous (I like the idea behind the name for Orgasm blush, but other companies coming out with “everything-gasm” named products is just irritating).

On the other hand, in some cases a name convinces me to buy, but only if I already really, really, really like the product and am on the fence about getting it, leaning toward “yes”; I’ve never bought something for the name when I had no idea how I was going to use it.

I should have more accurately typed “I’m *NOT* bothered by “edgy” or risque names, but … sometimes the risqueness seems sincere (earned), other times it seems like BS marketing, cringe-y, or eye-rollingly ridiculous [and all the latter is a turn-off].”

I’m so tired of the wink, wink edgy sexualized names. Charlotte Tillbury’s recent everythinggasm collection was ridiculous. I love her stuff and own lots of it but that was a bridge too far for me. TF with a lipstick called Thrust. Makes me tired. Stop trying so hard, brands, and just put out good products that don’t require shock value names to get noticed.

I prefer product names that aren’t too vulgar, but I don’t mind if they’re a little cheeky. I’m more bothered by names like”Celebutard” or “Underage Red.” I think the former example was pulled years ago, but just saying.

It usually doesn’t matter to me unless it is a name rooted in something flat-out spiritistic, sexually vulgar, anything referencing violence against women of any sort (THAT lipstick by J*, for instance) or racially/religiously/culturally offensive. Sounds like a lot, I know. Except for the fact that most mainstream brands don’t go there, thank goodness. Also of note, it would have to be a name that is recognizably and overtly explicit to me and most others.

I really do care about the names of the products that I use and have stopped buying products with names I don’t feel comfortable saying in public. I am sure that a lot of people don’t care as it is “only makeup and what is there to get worked up about” but it is a slippery slope. Since the increase in social media the use of profanity has sky rocketed and while I cannot say I have never used profanity, the use of it in public and for no good reason, has escalated to the point where every other word is the “F” word. I have spoken with my daughter about it and she doesn’t see the big deal, although she herself doesn’t use it very often. Our language defines us in many ways and once you get comfortable with hearing the “F” word all the time then it is easier to use even worse words.
My daughter is Caucasian, American Indian, Western European and African American. When we visit her father’s family in Georgia, every African American uses the “N” word when speaking to each other. I find it truly offensive and really can’t understand why they do so. My ex-husband always tells me that they are okay with it but if someone of another ethnicity uses it they are up in arms. I truly don’t understand it and I guess it is okay that I don’t but words are powerful and they should be given a healthy respect.
Okay, I am off my hobby horse now!
As I sit here today, I would never buy the Nars lippie in “P…..Y Control again and for that reason I rarely ever wear it.

I honestly don’t care about product names generally unless they are offensive toward any specific group of people. I also have no bad feelings toward people who do have a problem with risque names but I draw the line at people casting aspersions about what kind of person someone is or what their intelligence level is if they use profanity. Just google profanity and intelligence and you’ll find that casual use of profanity is actually more prevalent among people who test higher in intelligence. But if you want to go around judging people as bad or unintelligent because they casually say the F word that really says a lot more about you as a person, truly.

Brian,
You are entitled to your opinion but I would ask you to read my response again. I never associated the use of profanity with intelligence or lack thereof. You however, have clearly judged me and based on your inaccurate reading and interpretation of my response. I do not judge people based on their use of language or profanity. Perhaps your judgement says more about you than me. I am not going to argue about it though. Have a nice day.

Yeah, dude, she didn’t even remotely say people who swear are dumb or terrible. No casual judgements against or aspersions were cast on you at all – and for that matter, I am a terrible potty mouth and Deborah and I have developed a close, personal and respectful relationship outside of this blog and I consider her a friend even though we’ve never even met.

Same. So long as the names aren’t offensive or too distasteful, I’m fine with it. I personally do not prefer the numbers that MUFE or Inglot like to use bc they’re not easy to remember—HOWEVER I do appreciate how they’re easier to grasp for non-English speakers.

If it’s culturally or racially insensitive, or connotes pedophilia (looking at you, Lolita), I won’t buy it. Otherwise, I don’t care. I’d have no problem rocking a lipstick called Booty, and I’ve got my eye on Smoke Sessions. I don’t get embarrassed if people ask me what I’m wearing. It’s just a word.

Maybe so, but they still know what naming a product Lolita means to the public. There are people with the bad luck to have Hitler as a family name, doesn’t mean you go naming products after your awesome buddy Evan Hitler.

Agreed! Especially since KVD also defended a product called “Underage Red.” If they wanted the shade to be named after a family friend, they could have used Lola…

That’s a really convenient excuse she took a long time to come up with considering she also has a shade called under age red. And yes I also know the reason behind that, it doesn’t make it any less gross.

I don’t like sexual or drug references. It is a deterrent in buying a single product (i.e. single eyeshadow or blush) and if a palette has the majority of crap names, I won’t buy. Instead of being edgy and creative, I find it lazy, short sighted and unimaginative and it makes a brand look thirsty for trying to cash in on shock value. That being said, I’m sure I have a palette t or two somewhere with some unfavorable names.

Names are only important to me in that I prefer a product/shade has a name. If the name gives me some sort of inkling as to the general color range, even better, but I’m not quite that picky. I hate when shades are just numbers or codes. It’s fine if you want to give those products a number or code in addition to a name for the sake of internal stocking and ease of ordering, but I’m never going to remember if I already have Guerlain Rouge G in 72 or 73 or was it MUFE cream blush in 320 or 330 that I liked. If I have to look it up, I’m probably just going to give up and move on.

Otherwise, names don’t really negatively affect my perception or likelihood to buy. Every now and again a really creative or apt name might entice me to buy something I might ordinarily been slightly meh about (for example, I’ve been trying to steer away from highlighters with overt glitter, but you can bet I bought a highlighter called You Idiots! You Fools! You Imbeciles!)

For the most part, I don’t care. I just want pretty colors and good quality. I don’t buy products with names that are racial slurs (including “g*psy”) and other derogatory slurs/terms. I don’t care about swear words used in product names.
While I’m not offended by most sexual names, the now-constant trend of brands imitating or try to outdo each other with these is getting to the point of being unintentionally funny and lame (Charlotte Tilbury, Tarte, etc.).

While name alone won’t make me buy a product, I have to admit that I enjoy a really clever product name, or names related to something in pop culture I enjoy. Like cool packaging, cool names are an extra treat and get my attention.

Names really don’t remain in my mind at all. They are printed so small on the product that I can’t read then with glasses and I don’t wear glasses when applying makeup.
I can often recognize brands by packaging. I just apply based on color from packaging that I know works for me.

Not much tbh. Sometimes I’ll avoid names that I personally associate with a bad memory. Also, I tend to avoid names that are like a random number/letter combo, as I forget which shade names I’m interested in when I go in-store to look at them lol.

It’s fairly important to me as quite a few brands – Nars, UD, Kat Von D, Tom Ford, to name a few, have released eyeshadows or lipsticks that have offensive names – either sexualised or drug related. To assume that these names are ‘cooler’ because of their provocative names is childish and insulting to those who wish to buy their products. Just because customers want to wear makeup doesn’t mean we should be subjected to products that have vulgar and offensive names.

It’s not really important to me at all. I have my own personal line and I can see why the majority of folks get upset by certain things but I do think think there is a certain amount of social hypocrisy over getting bent out of shape over things called Gypsy or Geisha (which previously weren’t regarded as terribly awful derogatory terms but are now – and I understand why) but embracing Smoke Sessions or numerous other slang terms that exploit women, their sexuality, etc. None of it is particularly “woke” or progressive but really, these companies are deliberately trying to create controversy to get extra publicity, and boy, does social media create the perfect storm to give it to them. If they genuinely lost significant sales each and every time, they would stop doing it – but they don’t.

I don’t really see the point in working up a huge amount of self righteous indignation over something as trivial as what a lipstick is called – if you don’t like it, don’t buy it and everyone can make that judgement call for themselves – but equally, I don’t think there’s any harm in letting companies know what something is offensive (or could be construed as such) in a polite and educational way, rather than jumping on a Twitter dog pile of pearl clutching outrage that inevitably just feeds the beast, so to speak.

But I guess that’s very easy for me to say, considering I’m not regarded as any sort of minority and I avoid social media platforms like the plague, so…

^^this^^

Except I’m half mixed Asian, black and Italian. Which is kind of weird seeing the newer outrage over terms like a Geisha and Gypsy as those were affectionate nicknames from my younger years. I’m also from Key West where live and let live shapes me into not really giving a hoot about stuff. I get people not liking things for their kids and such but I also don’t believe in shutting something down. If I really liked the color in that situation I would depot it into a z palette and scrap the rest. Very few shades I buy more of. I give as presents of a Z palette with the shades I won’t use sometimes for colors I already have dupes of or shades I wont/can’t wear.

It’s a catch 22 reading these comments…because some people don’t like numbers either. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, we had limited makeup brands. If you wanted high end, you went to the big department stores. Guess who didn’t have names….the now so called luxury brands. I remember my 7th grade school picture from the 70s..I had feathers clipped to my hair with a roach clip that I bought from the fair. I didn’t even know what a roach was!

And they are just words that we give meaning to. Dope used to mean pot and then something harder and now means cool I guess. Same as woke means aware. I have to ask my nieces every now and then what slang words mean. My poor aunt, years ago, we told her lol meant lots of love and my mom it meant little old lady. My mom for months getting on social media when she shared something and saw that reply got all in a tizzy until someone explained what it really meant. My aunt still signs cards with lol and her name. 🙂

But if I see some color I like, I buy it regardless of the name…I can’t read with out glasses anyway. I get marketing gimmicks but I am not as swayed by that. I remember reading an article by Tom Ford and when he said he tried to create an perfume that smelled like between a mans legs, I thought how vulgar. I still bought 3 of his perfumes and 3 palettes.

I would draw the line though on any brand that supports something like white supremacy or some group that advocates outright hate, not assumed hate either. I actually feel sorry for brands or people that get ganged up on because of a slip of the tongue according to latest popular offense or they made a mistake in their past. I actually had someone freak out on me on Facebook for using and recommending a lotion by a black brand that my cousin (who is very dark) recommended. They were mad the “brand” sold out to start expanding their marketing to other ethnic groups. Sadly this chick spent her younger years having sleepovers with me and my family and told me she never wanted to talk to me again for not being “woke” enough and lost her mind when I asked what that meant (I learned right after).. To me, that is just sad all the way around. I now avoid the platform except to send messages to family and friends.

But to each their own and companies should be mindful in today’s culture. And hopefully culture can relax a little. I just want and like great makeup!

Sometimes it does bother me. One that I found particularly offensive was the TooFaced Pretty Mess collection. Maybe because it came from a brand that also has some cartoonish packaging so it might be intriguing for kids. I just find it unnecessary. You don’t need to give your products overtly sexual names for me to buy it, but I get they need to grab our attention sometimes with all the new products constantly coming into the market. Anything ethnically or racially insensitive is a no-no, obviously. As far as drug-themed names (like weed) I’m not crazy about it, but it doesn’t bother me enough to not buy a product if I like it.

Not terribly important.
BUT
I do question a product’s quality more of the name seems to have been chosen to induce hype. An example – I really did not find Nars’ Orgasm to be orgasmic (it looked garish and orange on me).
I really do not care for the current trend of giving products sentence long names that sound ridiculusly over hyped also.

I agree with so many of you. I’m tired of the overly suggestive and drug themed names. It would be nice to move on. It was nice to see Hourglass name their lipsticks with inspirational names and Sephora named their lipsticks for places which were both nice. I have chosen to not purchase a product because of the name and I’m sure I’ll have to do so in the future which is a choice I make.

Something I would like to see is names that reflect the actual color of the product. I can’t remember what it was now, but recently Christine reviewed a product and the name was a ‘color’ such as Azure, but the product was nowhere near the blue family. Can we get names that match please? Or just go to a numbering system which is my least favorite…well just above sex/drug/derogatory names anyway.

As others have said, product names do influence my purchases and opinions of beauty brands. “Little” things like offensive names add up, like mosquito bites (an analogy borrowed from a great video explaining microaggressions and their impact).

The exoticizing names in Natasha Denona’s Safari Palette really turned me off from the brand. It was already a brand that was above my usual price range, but I had been intrigued by some of their offerings. The names of the shades in that palette left a bad taste in my mouth, and I don’t see myself purchasing anything from them in the near future. Similarly, the recent PMG release with all the drug references (angel dust, etc.) lowered my opinion of the brand. Other product names that commercialize addiction/hard drug use, such as Urban Decay’s Basquiat collection also make me uneasy. Finally, Kat Von D’s shade named Underage Red (and the continued promotion of a product called “Lolita”) also made me turned me off from the brand.

Other names, like trendy internet phrases and “shocking” sex references (as long as they are not derogatory), don’t really influence my purchases, but I prefer names that are fun or actually relate to the color or theme (for example the shade names in the Tarteist Pro Remix palette).

Thank you for starting thoughtful discussions like these; it is one of the reasons I love Temptalia!

As someone with a 12 year old daughter, and the teen daughters of friends in my social circle, I absolutely care about the names of products. My daughter sits with me in the bathroom and helps me pick lipstick to wear, and I am not under any circumstances saying, “let’s try Pussy Control today.” It’s vile. I give a lot of makeup away to younger teens – they love receiving it – and I just can’t bring myself to give a 14 year old anything suggestive. “Ooh, here’s some Glow Job, smear it all over your face.” They have their whole lives ahead of them to be sexual beings, they don’t need to grow up any sooner than necessary.

I realize I am very sensitive to this stuff now that half my household is fully in the throes of puberty, but I much prefer to be more of a “Makeup is fun, but you are beautiful and perfect the way you are, and your looks and your body are not even close to the most valuable aspect of who you are” kind of messenger to the little girls in my life.

It’s gross to oversexualize products, because the whole point is clearly to titillate young girls who shouldn’t be having sex in the first place. The rest of us don’t need to giggle over the names of our products.

LOL, I guess this topic hit a sore spot with me.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, they do discourage me, but it depends on how far they go and if the entire line or palette keeps to a discouraging theme. I’m so tired of the sexual, drug, and black magic innuendoes. I personally don’t care for them, but also they’ve been beat dead, so please let’s move on! Where is the creativity?

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