The beauty product that has become a make-up bag staple for adding color to lips and cheeks was originally made for a more private body part.
Benefit Cosmetics customers were shocked to learn that the Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain product was actually designed for nipples.
Benefit UK posted a Reel on their Instagram sharing the little-known use for the best-selling product.
“Before you come for us, yes we’re okay! Benetint’s original formula wasn’t intended for the lips OR the cheeks,” the caption read.
The video — which has 235,000 views — shows a male model applying the Love Tint color to one nipple and then the Cha Cha Tint to another.
Many people don’t know that Benetint — the very first product released after Jean and Jane Ford founded the company in 1976 — was originally made as a nipple tint for exotic dancers, according to Allure.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 the lips and cheeks and comes in five different shades.
Customers were shocked to see Benefit’s explanation for the product’s original purpose, and the company received mixed responses.
“The ads get weirder every day. People don’t have creativity on how to promote their products,” one person commented.
“Was that really necessary,” another asked. “Bad PR move there. That image will scar me.”
“I was a big fan of the brand but I guess it’s the time to unfollow it,” an upset customer wrote.
“That’s soo not right puts me off,” someone added with an angry face emoji.
“Can’t unsee,” another exclaimed.
“OMG!!! BENEFIT what are you thinking with this advertisement seriously shocking for your company, you just went to the bottom of the list in makeup,” one wrote.
Other users were supportive of the brand — and some even knew about the product’s history.
“If people knew the reason why the tints were made in the first place then they wouldn’t be so offended by this post,” someone pointed out.
“I feel like it’s worth mentioning they didn’t market the product for everyday people to paint their nipples red. It was actually for strippers,” another commented.
“This is a great product for anyone who lacks pigmentation, has scars or wants to accentuate their nipples,” one customer wrote.