Fashion likes celebrating its muses. Take Jane Birkin, after whom the iconic Birkin bag was named. She was apparently sitting next to Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas on an airplane in 1984 when her bag fell apart. After she explained her need for a sturdy leather tote, Dumas had a purse designed to her specifications. And, as they say, the rest is history. For a long time, there wasn't a beauty equivalent to the It-Girl bag. Beauty products are named after flowers, sunsets, and naughty turns of phrase. But, recently there's been an uptick in high-end makeup brands giving lipstick shades human names. It's official: We've entered the era of It-Girl lipsticks. And, instead of being one-and-done deals (like Alexa Chung's tote for Mulberry), these roll-outs are happening on the regular. NARS set the stage for the trend with its Audacious Lips line. For the 20th anniversary of his eponymous line, François Nars named each of his 40 (count 'em) new hues after a famous woman he respects. Audrey, Brigitte, Bette, Greta, and Jane — a whole spectrum of muses are represented, and each shade has its own personality. Tom Ford took the idea and spun it on its head (as he has the tendency to do). His 50-strong Lips & Boys collection honors the important men in his life, such as Addison, his first crush; Richard, his husband; and Rory, his best friend. "I like the idea of lipsticks named after boys," he remarked in a press release. "Why commit to one when you can have several?" Amen to that, Tom. Chanel closes out this trend trifecta in style. The brand's 29-shade spring range, Rouge Coco (out in March), is inspired by Coco Chanel's family (nudes), closest friends (pinks), muses (corals), lovers (reds), and favorite artists (plums). We love that in these makeup collections, it's not necessarily a celebrity who is being paid homage — it's someone who is near and dear to the designer's heart. Perhaps that's why this trend is becoming so popular. Like nameplate necklaces, it offers a sense of identity. Who wouldn't want their lipstick to share their name, or the name of their significant other? Whether or not they mean to, these collections level the playing field: We can all play It Girl for a night. Snagging a lipstick with your moniker is like finding a little piece of yourself, right? Now, can someone get to work on a Maria lipstick? I look pretty good in red.
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