Behind the Brand Name

16 beauty executives disclose the meanings behind the brand names they created.
Behind Beauty Brand Names

Have you ever wondered where the brands you stock got their names? The origin of most names bears a meaningful story. Some names have become so familiar to us that we’ve forgotten that they’re invented words–or that they even have a special significance.

From acronyms and places to words borrowed from other languages, where do your customers’ favorite brand names originate, and what do they mean? To find out, we contacted beauty executives and founders to see how they decided that a name was the one. For these entrepreneurs, their brand names have deep, complex histories, proving that a brand’s story really begins at the beginning. Below, you’ll discover how some of the most recognizable names in cosmetics, skin care, hot tools and hair care came to be–you’ll never look at your store’s brands the same way!

Nume Founder Sabrina Maren

NuMe

Sabrina Maren, founder

“It was a new venture that I completely created by myself, so NuMe, as in ‘New Me,’ seemed to fit. I wanted to create a brand that believed great hair starts with great styling tools. That’s why we create easy-to-use, technology-driven hairstyling tools that focus on hair health and lasting results.”

Lime Crime founder Doe Deere

Lime Crime

Doe Deere, founder

“I came up with the name Lime Crime for this colorful beauty brand because (lime) green was my favorite shade at the time, and the irreverent rhyme made it fun, catchy and unforgettable. Lime Crime stands for breaking the rules, doing things your way and boldly expressing who you are–with color. It’s about beauty with a touch of rebellion!”

RELATED: Tengram Capital Partners Acquires Lime Crime

Elena Ocher, Chuda founder

Chuda

Dr. Elena Ocher, founder

“We actually didn’t have a name for quite a long time. We had a patient that kept calling the product a miracle, so we came up with the name Chuda–which means ‘miracle’ in Russian. We thought it was perfect, given that the product’s essential ingredient is created in Russia. The name not only spoke to the roots of the line but was also easy to pronounce!”

Carolyn Aronson, founder CEO It's a 10 Hair Care

It’s a 10 Hair Care

Carolyn Aronson, founder and CEO

“We cater to all and promote healthy beauty. Our line’s miraculous 10-in-1 benefits work on all types of hair, hence our name. In an industry with both an ethnic haircare aisle and a nonethnic haircare aisle, It’s a 10 Hair Care will be in both–we make all hair types healthier.”

MARA Allison McNamara, founder

MARA

Allison McNamara, founder

“When I set out to create my line, I had this concept of creating an oil filled with algae actives and superfood plant oils but was a bit stuck on what to call it. I remember the day I picked MARA like it was yesterday. I was on vacation in Istanbul with my family and we were floating on the prettiest deep blue sea, the Sea of Marmara. It was at that moment that I knew MARA was the perfect name for my clean line of algae-infused face oils. MARA also happens to be the last four letters of my last name, McNamara, and means ‘sea’ in Gaelic, which pays homage to my Irish heritage and citizenship. Our brown algae actives are sourced from the coasts of Ireland and the U.K., so the name also ties back in with our ingredients.”

Denis Watson First Honey

First Honey

Denis Watson, founder and researcher

“The idea for the First Honey name comes from our company’s goal to make natural healing products everyone’s first choice. We asked ourselves, ‘Why use chemicals on our bodies when nature has provided such an effective, science-backed solution?’ Many consumers are in search of natural alternatives to topical antibiotics when treating everyday cuts, scrapes and burns, and we’re thrilled to offer the bioactive technology in our medical-grade Manuka honey that makes this treatment so efficacious.”

Soapwalla Rachel Winard

Soapwalla

Rachel Winard, founder

“‘Walla’ means creator or master in Hindi, so Soapwalla means ‘soap master.’ A friend of mine dubbed me the ‘soap walla,’ and I loved the name so much that I decided it was a perfect fit for my brand!”

Farouk Shami Farouk Systems founder

Farouk Systems

Dr. Farouk Shami, chairman and founder

“CHI, in fact, stands for Cationic Hydration Interlink. CHI’s namesake technology signified a fundamental change in the beauty industry; we delivered the first innovation in tools using ceramic, ionic and infrared technologies–both for health and safety reasons. More than just a name, CHI means energy, which is only fitting since the Cationic Hydration Interlink technology energized sales for the styling iron and blowdryer categories in general. Thanks to that signature technology and the CHI acronym, the brand is now recognized by 95 percent of women in America.”

Brianne West Ethique

Ethique

Brianne West, founder and formulator

“‘Ethique’ means ethical in French, which fits well with what we are trying to do and how we run our business. We had to come up with the name in a hurry after we couldn’t trademark the name Sorbet (our original name), and Ethique just fit beautifully.”

Ryan Sieverson SEVEN Haircare

SEVEN Haircare

Ryan Sieverson, president

“Seven is considered a lucky number in many cultures, but more importantly, it is widely considered to be the number of relationships. In the salon and haircare world, nothing is more important than the relationships we build, so ‘SEVEN’ seemed the ideal match when the doors to our salon first opened. The name continued to prove fateful; our stylists were taught to begin each service with a detailed client consultation based on the seven face shapes, which is now considered our signature standard.”

Tammy Yaiser VP product development Algenist

Algenist

Tammy Yaiser, VP of product development

“Algenist means ‘the genius of algae,’ and our mission is to unlock the secrets of algae, which have the exceptional ability to survive and thrive in the harshest environments on the planet. Responsible for regenerating and protecting algae, patented Alguronic Acid–Algenist’s breakthrough ingredient discovery–is naturally sourced and sustainably produced. Algenist offers measurable and visible skin transformation in 10 days and is committed to clean and safe formulas, leveraging biotechnology and the best of nature and science–without compromise.”

RELATED: 2018 Beauty ID Award Winners Announced by Cosmoprof North America

Emily Cunningham True Moringa cofounder

True Moringa

Emily Cunningham, cofounder

“When we first started working in Ghana in 2013, farmers weren’t cultivating moringa trees because they had no way to earn an income from the crop; there was no access to a guaranteed market. So we took the unused part of the tree–the seeds–back to our labs at MIT and figured out how to cold press them locally into moringa oil. ... We set out to build the definitive moringa oil brand–to do what Moroccanoil did for argan oil’s popularity. We wanted a name that conveyed the simplicity and transparency of our supply chain and advertised moringa oil as the hero ingredient; thus, True Moringa was born.”

Walter Faulstroh Chris Coleridge HUM Nutrition

HUM Nutrition

Walter Faulstroh (L) and Chris Coleridge (R), cofounders

“When we started HUM, we were inspired by the vibrant beauty of hummingbirds. They’re incredibly energetic, whiz around all day and are powered by Mother Nature. Hummingbirds have a real feel-good effect, and I also like to hum when I feel extremely happy about life. Our mission is to make people look and feel their absolute best, so HUM was the perfect choice for us.”

Lydia Sarfati Repechage CEO founder

Repêchage

Lydia Sarfati, CEO and founder

Repêchage (re-pe-shaj) is French for ‘second chance’– in this case, a second chance for beautiful skin. What inspired me to call my company Repêchage were the reactions of those who experienced my first treatment, the Four Layer Facial. ... However, the word’s original meaning comes from fishermen trying once more to make a catch by casting out their nets–to literally ‘re-fish’ or ‘re-pesce’–so the connection to seaweed and the sea was perfect.”

Martin Melik president Mehron

Mehron

Martin Melik, president

“My father purchased Plucker & Ahrens in 1927 and renamed the company Mehron–after its founder, Mehron Joseph Melik. Mehron began to privately label some of its products with Estée Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Max Factor and, most recently, Pat McGrath. From its Broadway roots in the 1920s to Cara Delevingne’s silver-painted head at last year’s Met Gala, Mehron has been a vital part of revolutionary beauty moments in the last century.”

RELATED: CPNA's Trendscouts Announce Their Picks for the Best Products of 2018

Leslie Marino Redken GM

Redken

Leslie Marino, general manager

“Our founder, Paula Kent, revolutionized the professional haircare industry for both stylists and clients with the launch of Redken in 1960. Cofounded with Jheri Redding, a chemist who developed low-pH products for Paula’s sensitive hair, Redken is successful today thanks to Paula’s dedication to science and her pioneering spirit. The brand was named by combining Redding with Kent, which became the ‘Redken’ we know and love today!” ■