Once again, Sephora is receiving a healthy dose of backlash to one of the products on its shelves. This time, it’s a shade of lipstick called “Underage Red.” So tacky.
Fortune says the shade is part of a line created through a partnership between the beauty retailer and Kat von D. The magazine points out that there’s another shade, “Lolita,” that might raise some eyebrows. But more pointedly, Sephora has faced backlash before because of the name chosen for a Kat Von D product. Last year, Sephora had to pull a lipstick called “Celebutard.” They issued an apology at the time.
Von D, on the other hand, reportedly posted then deleted a tweet basically telling people to chill out. (She used far more colorful language.) She also has a history of making headlines for ties to anti-Semitic remarks.
So this is a partnership that Sephora needs to be more careful about. They’re working with someone who has a history of causing offense, and seemingly not giving a flying fig about it. For the sake of their own reputation, they have to assign a marketing person to this product line to be sure that nothing is going out that will generate unnecessary negative headlines.
There are only so many apologies that a company can offer before customers stop believing it. In this case, we couldn’t find a statement from Sephora anywhere on this issue (if you’ve seen one, please let us know). But we did a search on the Sephora website and though “Underage Red” does yield a lipstick result, it comes up as “Out of Stock.”