Makeup guru, tattoo artist and former “LA Ink” realiy star Kat Von D is not backing down from the recent controversy over her Studded Kiss Lipstick line. The shade in debate is called “Underage Red,” which has been called as inappropriately sexual by some customers.
Underage Red remains technically available on Sephora’s website, although the lipstick is already out of stock. (Some enterprising beauty fans have even hiked up the price and are now reselling it on Amazon.)
But Von D refuses to budge on the name. She wrote a letter to fans on Facebook with an explanation of why she chose the name Underage Red, but was very clear that it is not an apology:
“I should mention first, that I am the sole creative force behind my brand. I am the one responsible for naming every single shade, so I don’t see why anyone should aim any backlash towards such a great company like Sephora, who ultimately has no creative input on such matters.”
“I clearly remember wearing a variation of this shade when I was 16-years-old. I also remember the feeling of wanting so badly to go see a specific concert at this age, and not being able to get in to the venue because I was underage. Back then, I was already deeply in love with punk rock music, and although in the eyes of many (including my parents), it may have been inappropriate for me to be wearing lipstick. But I did.”
“”Underage Red” is not a girly, pink shade. It is not a sophisticated, deep red either. It is an unapologetic, bold red. To me, “Underage Red” is feminine rebellion.”
“So, NO. I refuse to sacrifice my integrity and creative freedom. NO. I will not be pulling “Underage Red” from my collection. And NO. This is not an apology.”
This isn’t her first time at the “Your Lipstick Name Offends Me” rodeo: Von D was previously called out for a lipstick shade called “Celebutard” that was seen as offensive to people with mental disabilities, E! Online reports, which prompted Sephora to pull it from shelves.
To be fair, she’s hardly the first beauty maven to use overtly sexual product names. MAC also has a Lipglass gloss named Underage, which has gotten called out for the same reasons as Underage Red. Some cult beauty favorites like Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes and Nars Orgasm probably owe part of their success to the shock-value of their names. With Underage Red out of stock on Sephora’s website, it looks like Von D will even get a pay-off for sticking to her guns.