These Lipsticks Deserve a Chance Despite WTF Shade Names That Don’t So Much as Hint at Their Color

Panko, though.
Publish date:
July 29, 2016

I rarely get to write about beauty stuff on xoJane these days because I'm busy keeping the gears oiled over on xoVain, but today, I'm making an exception. Because today, friends — today is a very important day in our nation's history. Today marks the time brave PR and marketing executives decided, in spite of seemingly insurmountable opposition from literally no one, that July 29 would be a day to honor that colorful, phallic, waxy stuff we unwittingly eat several pounds of by the time we die: lipstick.

Yes, it's National Lipstick Day. Hang your lipstick flag over your front door, buy a lipstick shirt from Old Navy, and atone for your lipstick sins. But most importantly, put on some lipstick if that's your thing.

Lipstick is most definitely my thing, as are words. (Beauty editor and all.) I've always been intrigued by the mysterious processes brands go through to decide on the words they'll use to describe a shade of lipstick. I, for one, appreciate some creativity combined with a clear indication of what the color inside the case will be, especially considering that so many lipstick cases don't let you see through to the bullet or put a corresponding color sticker on the bottom. (I'm lookin' at you, MAC.)

Maybelline has these new Loaded Bolds lipsticks — Tynan wrote an illustrated epic poem about them recently, and you'll see them all over on xoVain today — and they pretty much strike this balance. The line has shade names like Coffee Addiction and Mauve It, which, while not blowing anyone's minds with their wit, give you a very strong hint of the color without just naming them Brown and Pinkish-Purple.

As much as I love super-weird, out-of-left-field, what-were-you-smoking-and-can-I-have-some-just-kidding-I'm-a-huge-square lipstick names, they can be downright useless if you're shopping online with only a tiny swatch square to clarify what color Wubba Lubba Dub Dub is. That said, there are some friggin' great lipsticks with some friggin' WTF names that should not be missed just because you're confused and don't have time to Google pictures of the backs of beauty bloggers' hands.

Let's start with the one that inspired this jumble of words you're reading.

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquefied Lipstick in Lady Balls

This just happens to be one of Amber's favorite lipsticks, and when she told me the shade name, something in my brain broke a little. Like, if the packaging wasn't transparent, I don't even know what color I'd guess Lady Balls would be. Do they mean lady testicles? Because some ladies do have those, and I'm pretty sure they're not "matte true red," as Too Faced puts in parentheses.

Regardless, it happens to be an amazing matte true red, indeed, and you can see it on Amber in yesterday's super-casual Facebook Live.

bareMinerals GEN NUDE Radiant Lipstick in Panko

With names like XYZ and Frenemy, there's a lot of I-don't-know-what-color-to-expect in the new GEN NUDE line from BareMinerals, but the one that really makes me scratch my head is Panko. Isn't that Japanese bread crumbs? And wouldn't that make the appropriate color sort of a golden tan? But in this case, it's "spiced coral." And a gorgeous one.

OMG, beauty dare idea: coating your lips in panko on top of this Panko color. (OK, maybe not.)

MAC Lipstick in Blankety

Blankety is a soft pinkish beige, at least according to MAC. But what even is "blankety"? I thought it might be an adjective meaning "kind of like a blanket," which doesn't make a ton of sense in regard to the shade name, but then I looked it up in the dictionary and it's apparently just the first half of "blankety-blank," a Yosemite Sam-esque curse stand-in.

I will say, the color has that "innocent" feel that does sort of say, "I'm too ladylike and precious to say 'fuck,'" but I'm pretty sure that's not why they picked that name.

NYX Matte Lipstick in Goal Digger

We're all familiar with the term "gold digger" and how it's applied to (usually) women who date or marry rich guys. And I kind of understand turning it into a pun that... I dunno... expresses empowerment or something? But I'm still not clear on if it's supposed to imply that the wearer has the goals, or if, instead of money, they're only interested in their partner's ambition...?

Anyway, this overanalysis was brought to you by the fact that I don't understand what the words goal and digger have to do with a super-dark plum color, but it's a damn fine vampy shade nonetheless.

I know we usually don't go asking you questions at the end of xoJane articles, but I'm usually doing xoVain stuff and habits are hard to break, so...

  • What's your favorite WTF lipstick name?
  • Would you rather a lipstick have a name that makes the color obvious, or do you prefer random names?
  • Hey, what lipstick are you wearing RIGHT NOW (if any)?