Makeup says whaaat?

I like makeup. It gives me a little confidence boost; I like the way it makes me feel. It enhances how I feel about myself on the inside and gives me an artistic, expressive outlet to portray on the outside. I wear it often, even though I hardly know what I’m doing with it. How to contour my face, wing my eyeliner, or arch my eyebrows is beyond me, but I know the basics. I usually choose my makeup based on the color (eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip gloss), the coverage features (foundation, pressed powder), or the enhancement features (eyeliner, mascara). I don’t usually pay much attention to the brand, and hardly ever will I notice the name of a makeup product. I love my current lip gloss because of the color that just barely tints my lips; it’s also flavored. It’s called “Superjuicy” from Victoria’s Secret. Not a big deal, right? I took “Superjuicy” to mean that it makes my lips feel plump and fabulous. What’s in a name, really?


But I started paying a little more attention when I saw an eyeshadow palette pop up on my news feed one day…

the balm nude flash

This is Nude ‘tude’s Naughty palette from The Balm cosmetics.  What’s the first thing you notice? Was it the colors of the eyeshadows? Or perhaps the fact that the background of the palette is women posed in particular suggestive positions? What about the names of the colors?


Now, how about this one? This is Nude ‘tude’s Nice palette from The Balm cosmetics. Notice that they are the same colors with the same name descriptions as the Naughty palette.  This is the product description of the palettes from their website: This amazing palette consists of 12 beautiful shadows that make wearing nudes sexy! These satiny smooth colors can be applied naturally, i.e. “let me slip into something more comfortable” or beautifully layered. The wide range gives you light highlighters as well as brazen bold shades that work to add definition and emphasis to your lids. Nude`tude allows you to dramatically dress up your eyes—if nothing else!”

Huh. So if I use any of those colors, then I’m considered “snobby”, “silly”, “standoffish”, and “selfish”? Is that what you’re trying to tell me, Nude ‘tude? That doesn’t sit very well with me. Not at all.



I thought to myself, “Okay, well…maybe it was an oversight by someone who wouldn’t realize how the names and images of these make up palettes may affect the women who use them…maybe.” Boy oh boy, was I wrong! They came out with a second palette, Nude Dude…


Notice the background image of the men and how they’re posed. What about the names of the colors? “Fabulous”, “flawless”, “friendly”, “faithful”. This is the product description of the palette from their website: “Introducing theBalm's latest addition to the Nude series... Nude Dude! Get a quick look using any combination of these triple-milled shadows or dress up your look by adding water to transform your favorite shades into loyal liners. This total package includes 12 full-bodied shadows that can be worn alone or layered for added intensity, so go ahead and cover (or uncover) your eyes.”


I can’t help but wonder what the creators of these make up palettes had in mind when they designed them. What message are they trying to send to women who use these palettes? Why do the pallets featuring females include names like "snobby," "stubborn," and "seductive," while the pallets featuring the males include names like "friendly," "fearless," and "funny"? These are clear examples of gender roles- meaning the way our society expects us to behave as males and females. And yes, gender roles are related to teen dating violence. In fact, gender roles are considered to be a root cause of dating violence. By giving their makeup these kinds of names, it is reinforcing the way society expects us to behave as males and females!

Am I making a big deal about this? Would you have noticed the names if I hadn’t pointed them out? How do you feel about them in comparison with each other (the Dude vs ‘tude palettes)?

Source:The Balm Cosmetics