The beauty product that has become a makeup bag staple for adding color to lips and cheeks was originally designed for a more private part of the body.
Benefit Cosmetics customers were shocked to learn that the Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain product was actually made for nipples.
Benefit UK posted a reel on its Instagram sharing the little-known use of the top-selling product.
“Before you pick us up, yes it’s ok!” The original Benetint formula was not intended for lips OR cheeks,” the caption read.
The video – which has 235,000 views – shows a male model applying Love Tint to one nipple and then Cha Cha tint to another.
Many people don’t know that Benetint — the very first product launched after Jean and Jane Ford founded the company in 1976 — was originally designed as a nipple tint for exotic dancers, according to Allure.
After a dancer requested a product that could make her nipples more prominent, the Ford sisters boiled rose petals and carmine to make a red stain. The creation became an instant hit.
Now Benetint is used primarily for lips and cheeks and comes in five different shades.
Customers were shocked to see Benefit’s explanation of the product’s original purpose, and the company received mixed responses.
“Ads are getting weirder every day. People don’t have creativity on how to promote their products,” one person commented.
“Was it really necessary,” asked another. “Bad PR move there. This image will scare me.
“I was a huge fan of the brand, but I guess now is the time to unfollow it,” one upset customer wrote.
“This is so not right it gets me down,” someone added with an angry face emoji.
“I can’t ignore,” exclaimed another.
“OH MY GOD!!! BENEFIT what do you think with this seriously shocking advertisement for your company, you just went down the list when it comes to makeup,” one wrote.
Other users supported the brand – and some even knew the story behind the product.
“If people knew the reason the tints were made in the first place, they wouldn’t be so offended by this post,” someone pointed out.
“I feel like it’s worth mentioning that they didn’t market the product for regular people to paint their nipples red. It was actually for strippers,” commented another.
“This is a great product for anyone who lacks pigmentation, has scars, or wants to accentuate their nipples,” one customer wrote.
New York Post