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How are Lipstick Names Created?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 21, 2024
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Lipstick names are half descriptive devices for the colors of the cosmetics and half marketing material. The decision of what names should be applied to lipsticks usually involves the input of a number of people in the cosmetic company including people who work in marketing and branding. For example, a bright red lipstick could be named "Pinup Girl Rose," "Ripe Tomato," or "Fire Engine." Although any one of these names could be used to describe the same color, they are all evocative of different images, which can be used to extend marketing efforts. The art of naming cosmetics extends into many other categories. In addition to lipstick names there are also names for eyeshadow, nail polish, and blush.

"Pinup Girl Rose," for example, could be used by a company that brands itself as a cosmetic company for classic looks and has a line of makeup in the style of the 1950s. A company that specializes in organic products and products made with natural materials might use the name "Ripe Tomato." A company that specializes in racy looks or urban looks, on the other hand, might go for "Fire Engine."

Cosmetics companies know that when browsing products, customers often read the names. For this reason, lipstick names are used to try and sway the customer to purchase the products. For example, a woman might like thinking of the image of a plump tomato, especially as the name indicates fullness and freshness, which may be the look that she is going for in her lip cosmetics. As such, lipstick names can be as important in selling products as the products themselves.

Some companies intentionally use very kooky lipstick names in order to extend the sense of their brand. For example, a company that specializes in cosmetics for dramatic, edgy, urban looks might use lipstick names like "Broken Taillight" or "Bloody Mary" for a bright red color, "Midnight Lights" or "White Lies" for a pale shimmery lipstick, and "Hot Pants" for a bright pink color.

The more outrageous the brand, the more outrageous the names. On the other hand, lipstick names for conservative cosmetics companies are likely to be very tame. The names often use images of fruits and flowers to describe colors. Also, indications of femininity may be used in the lipstick names, including words such as blush, giggle, and smile. It is common for lipstick names in a certain line of products to be named with a theme. For instance, they may all being named after a kind of berry or melon.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel , Former Writer
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"

Discussion Comments

By anon144135 — On Jan 18, 2011

I would like a job writing the names for colors of lipstick, paint, pencils etc. How do I find out the title of such a position?

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

Former Writer

"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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