What shade do you wear? Women choose lipstick colours named after food and sex, says study

Kiss me quick! From Triple Chocolate Parfait to Hot Mama study shows how women are drawn to lipstick shades relating to food and sex



15:28 GMT, 7 June 2012

What draws you to your favourite lipstick Is it the colour, the packaging or the smell

According to new research many of us are subconsciously swayed by the name on the bottom of the product.

A study found those bearing a moniker relating to food and sex were most popular with consumers with Triple Chocolate Parfait and Hot Mama outselling classic nude pinks or reds.

Lipstick shades relating to food and sex are most popular with consumers according to research

Lipstick shades relating to food and sex are most popular with consumers according to research

During the recession many cosmetics brands have had to be more imaginative in the the labeling department in a bid to set themselves apart.

MAC makeup boasts a spectrum of colours including Creme in your Coffee, High Tea, Popcorn and Reel Sexy
while Bobbi Brown offers Salmon, Desert Plum and Rum Raisin.

Lead author Professor Debra Merskin, from the University of Oregon, said: 'The findings show, beyond simple color names, that most of the lipsticks are named after food, beverages, sex, and romance.

Food: 24%
Color: 20%

Sex and Romance: 10%
Elements and Minerals: 9%

Emotions and Characteristics: 8%

Other: 8%

People and Names: 5%
Flowers: 5%

Places: 4%

Objects: 3%

Darkside: 2%

Arts and Media: 1%
Birds and Animals: 1%

Times and Seasons: <1%

'The American cultural imperative of beauty prompts many women to doubt their self-worth and keeps attainment of the beauty ideal just out of reach.'

During the study titled 'Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names' Prof Merskin categorised the names of 1,722 lipsticks from 52 national brands in order to 'understand how meaning is constructed through lipstick naming.'

Food related shades were most popular while variants named after birds and animals were least sought-after.

Prof Merskin added:'Sugared Plum, Double Fudge, Vanilla Brownie and Raspberry Glace sound like temptations form a dessert cart, but instead these luscious sounding treats are names of lipstick shades.

'Estee Lauder’s advertisements for its
Clinque brand, for example, invite women to taste ‘deliciously sheer’
shades such as Rich Cherry.

'Other advertisements invite the wearer to
experience ‘seduction,’ be a ‘tramp,’ or ‘X-pose’ herself.'

A spokesperson from feelunique.com, which stocks 15,000 beauty products online confirmed the trend.

'Within our 50 top selling colours, food named lipsticks feature highly on the list. From Watermelon to Succulent Lychee the names speak for themselves.'