Browsing through the cosmetic aisles it suddenly strikes me that a lot of women’s cosmetics have names which are linked to some kind of food. On one foot long section alone I see lipsticks by Kikki TM called Moon Pie, Cherry Bomb and Cupcake. Their individual lip balms have names like Orange Creamsicle and Root Beer. MAC has shades such as Crème in Your Coffee, High Tea, Popcorn and Real Sexy. Bobbi Brown is not far behind with Salmon, Desert Plum and Rum Raisin.
What is going on with these names I wonder while I idly try and test Estee Lauder’s Rich Cherry on my wrist. And suddenly it occurs to me; it is all a mind game. The names draw us in by tantalizing our imaginations and then arousing our memories of food. Even though I will never wear frosted pink lipstick any more than I will wear Lady Gaga’s origami dress, I will pick up a pink lipstick called Lychee, simply because of its associations in my mind. The manufacturers count on the fact that this may lead a buyer to another shade from the same range.
Just to make sure it is not all about the lips, I duck around to shampoos where I am greeted with an absolute rainforest of kiwi, mango, avocado, passion fruit and even blueberry. It is like market day on a tropical island in there!
I come home just as the Avon lady comes down the driveway trying to stay upright in the wind. Out of fifty shades of lipstick in the Avon book she has left on my doorstep, 12 are named after food, 10 for a colour and most of the rest after that other pleasure of the buying classes, sex / romance! One is spoilt for choice between Mystic Papaya or Nude Perfection, Iridescent Plum or Red Kiss! You can pick to be Never So Nude or Passionate Pink or touch your lips with Charged Cherry.
I think back to the beauty aisle where I had regretfully walked away from Clinique’s Black Honey and a chance with NARS’ Orgasm, not because they did not appeal but because I am not going to pay for that, not just yet.