Urban Decay is best known for its Naked eyeshadow palettes, but their entire beauty product line is incredibly popular (and amazing). Their new eyeliners have made a huge splash, blowing up all over social media, but not for good reason.
Urban Decay’s new line of liquid eyeliner is called Razor Sharp, referencing the thin and sleek line the product creates. The name of the product is not what has Twitter in a tizzy though; it’s how Urban Decay chose to advertise the eyeliners that has people upset.
Like most beauty brands, Urban Decay posted a photo of all of the eyeliner shades in swatches on a model’s inner arm/wrist. They then posted the photo with a tweet (which was later deleted) reading, “Ready for some Razor Sharp swatches UDers?”
Instantly, Twitter exploded with tweets calling out Urban Decay for referencing self-harm. Those who criticized the brand expressed that the thin swatches, paired with their location on the model’s arm, as well as the line’s name, Razor Sharp, was simply in poor taste.
@UrbanDecay if you're gonna have a product called Razor Sharp, choose a different way of displaying it
— love, caspian @ ECCC (@racquetball38) August 25, 2016
this is not ok… "razor sharp" really? And the placement of the lines on the wrist? Seriously bad taste… This is a trigger.
— Maike (@maike_suzanne) August 25, 2016
@Adweek granted, this is body part where people typically do their swatches… But when u match it up w/ "razor sharp"…risky..
— goblin gab (@gaburrrito) August 25, 2016
.@UrbanDecay hey UD, who on your PR was like.. you know what everyone loves? a good self harm joke
— BERNIE SLAMMERS (@charizarder) August 24, 2016
All in all, it seems nobody had an issue with the name, Razor Sharp, or the arm swatches separately. But, when paired together it comes across as insensitive. Urban Decay later responded to the backlash with this tweet:
We swatch on the inner arm to show texture & shades. We didn’t intend to reference self-harm as the product is named Razor Sharp Eyeliner.
— Urban Decay (@UrbanDecay) August 24, 2016
Though Urban Decay certainly did not intend to make a self-harm reference in their ad, it seems that a closer look at the ad and different phrasing could have avoided this controversy.
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