NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Nars Orgasm blush has become a popular product, but when it comes to naming U.S. cosmetics it's not all about sex, a study finds.
Benefit Cosmetics made its mark with unusual names such as Me, Myself & I eye shadow, but Barbara Kahn of the Wharton School and Elizabeth Gelfland Miller of Boston College conducted experiments to determine what effect names of colors and flavors had on consumers, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The study, published in The Journal of Consumer Research, found the unexpected name won out when experiment subjects were given the opportunity to think about it, as they do at cosmetics counters.
Kahn wrote that she had suspected certain words, like those associated with sex, would always spark positive responses. However, the researchers found the key to the most popular products seemed to be the unexpectedness itself that required the consumer to solve the puzzle of the name.
Tony Blair surprises actor Lowe backstage
LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Rob Lowe backstage during the actor's rehearsals for a London production of "A Few Good Men."
Lowe, who presumably is used to being recognized, was a bit taken aback this time.
"I've got my underwear on, and someone says, 'You have a visitor,'" Lowe told the magazine. "Striding toward me, I see Tony Blair."
Blair wanted to thank Lowe personally for comments he actor had made the previous day -- urging Americans to visit London as a show of solidarity following bomb attacks on the London Underground.
Thong popularity skimpier in Britain
LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The demand for thongs in Britain has dropped -- to the tune of almost 20 percent last year -- British retail industry insiders said.
As the summer season rolls on, the once fashionable and revealing underwear is piling up in stockrooms across the country, according to the Times of London Online. The retail chain Harvey Nichols sold 43 percent less thongs in the last three months than it did during the same period last year.
Fashionistas are attributing the decline to a movement away from a sexual theme in clothing. Cut-off shorts were mentioned as the latest trend in that direction.
"Showing your thong is a bit old now," said Jodie Marsh, a British model, reality TV star, and former purveyor of thong culture. "I'd rather have big knickers showing over the top of my jeans."
Report: Hormones causing more male breasts
LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Female hormones found in tap water and food may be contributing to the development of breasts on male Britons, doctors said.
The number of male breast reduction surgeries in British clinics has doubled in the past year, said the Sunday Times of London Online. Male breast growth is a medical condition called gynecomastia, and is linked to traces of the contraceptive pill in water and other food hormones used in farm animals.
Gynecomastia causes breasts that are not due to fat. They resemble female breasts in makeup and tissue content, doctors say.
Yannis Alexandrides, a London plastic surgeon, has been doing roughly four times the male breast reduction surgeries as he did in 2001, and believes processed fast food in particular is to blame.