Do You Subconsciously Want to Have Sex With Your Lipstick?

Illustration for article titled Do You Subconsciously Want to Have Sex With Your Lipstick?

What's in the name (of a lipstick)? That which we call a lipstick by any other name would look as awesome/get smeared on your teeth at the worst possible moments! Okay, sorry, that Shakespeare pun attempt didn't go so well. But professor Debra Merskin categorized the names of 1,722 lipsticks for an awesomely-named paper, "Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names," in which she organized makeup monikers by popularity:

  • 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%

Merskin concluded that "When women ‘put on a face,' or ‘put on war paint,' they are not only acting in line with social prescriptions of feminine beauty, but are also involved in a system of meaning that helps them to navigate the sea of changing conditions that are a part of postmodern social experience."


On a more superficial level: women are more likely to buy lipsticks called "Triple Chocolate Parfait" "Ginger Goodie" or "Hot Mama" than, say, "November Nude." (The first few are from her abstract, but I made that last one up. Creative, I know.) I wish the full paper was available online, because I'm dying to know what kinds of lipsticks are named after "Arts and Media." Jezebel Jade, anyone? [Update: it's online! You can download it here.]

Lipstick names - a textual analysis [Improbable Research]

Image via Leonid and Anna Dedukh /Shutterstock.



Some less popular shades of lipstick:



Strangely Brown


Hint of Brain

Prematurely Bold

Rusty Trombone

Zombie Apocalypse