It’s a beauty trend that’s stuck around for a while — giving lipstick and nail polish hues wacky, memorable names. Look at any Essie nail polish collection and you’ll be greeted with names like “ignite the night” and “spun in luxe.”
But reality TV star Kat Von D, whose extremely popular makeup line is sold in Sephora, gave one of her lipsticks a name that’s memorable for all the wrong reasons and has sparked a growing social media backlash.
It’s called “Underage Red.”
The shade, which launched about a year ago in Sephora stores, has a name that suggests its wearers are either very young girls trying to look sexy, or women of legal age who are trying to look like very young girls. If nothing else, the brand name seems to suggest looking like a 16-year-old pinup doll is something to aspire to.
Von D is a tattoo artist and musician who got her big break on TLC’s reality show “Miami Ink,” which then spun off into her own series, “LA Ink.” She has written books and has her own clothing line.
But her makeup is apparently the most successful of all of her business ventures, even though Sephora had once dropped the Kat Von D brand from its lineup in 2012 after shoppers had issues with a different lipstick named “Celebutard.”
“People with disabilities are the last to benefit from what some might call ‘political correctness,’ and what I would call basic human decency,” Kim Stagliano wrote for HuffPost Style blog about the lipstick. “Retard is still bandied about.”
At the time, Sephora provided a statement to People Magazine regarding the “Celebutard” lipstick:
“It has come to our attention that the name of one shade of a lipstick we carry has caused offence to some of our clients and others. We are deeply sorry for that, and we have ceased sale of that shade both in our stores and online,” the statement said.
Von D’s response on Twitter was flippant: “At the end of the day, it’s just a f — — lipstick,” she sent out. People reported she then deleted the tweet.
It is unclear how much time passed between Sephora dropping the reality star’s brand and picking it back up again, but the beauty store’s website suggests it now sells the gamut of Kat Von D products.
Now, with “Underage Red,” Sephora and Von D may have a similar problem on their hands. One Twitter user accused the brand of promoting statutory rape. She also has another colour named “Lolita.”
In fact, like Kat Von D herself, her lipstick names all have a particular, branded edge to them, but nothing is as blatant or brazen as “Underage Red.” Business Insider reached out to representatives for Kat Von D and Sephora on Monday. As of this writing we have not received a response.
Kat Von D’s makeup line isn’t the only one using this terminology. Popular makeup brand MAC also has a shade of gloss called Underage. They also have one called “Kinky.”
However, Kat Von D’s “Underage” lipstick has generated some angry reactions online. This is what some people on Twitter are saying about the colour.
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