What you should know about… lipstick

“It is one of the safest products to make and use.”

There´s one thing in this world that women find absolutely irresistible. That’s right, we aren’t talking about men, diamonds or even cat gifts (as cute as they may be). We´re talking about lipstick. Honestly, what woman doesn’t love a good lippie? Admittedly, I am a self-confessed lipstick hoarder with colours that range from various red, pink, purple and nude shades. I´m not the only one though ‒ trust me. However, have you perhaps ever wondered where our staple make-up product comes from, how it’s made and what is even in it?

Believe it or not, the concept of lipstick dates all the way back to ancient civilisations. Cleopatra made hers by using crushed beetles and ants to extract the red colour out of them. And while today´s lipsticks don’t contain any crushed bugs (thankfully), the same key ingredients have generally stayed the same over the years.

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MSc Cosmetic Science lab at LCF, Image credit:  London College of Fashion official website

“Lipsticks are a blend of various waxes, including bees wax and oils”, says cosmetic scientist Rachael Polowyj. “All you do is heat the waxes and oils all up, melt them and mix it all together. Then you add the pigment into the mixture and let it solidify. It´s so simple and you only add a small amount of preservatives because lipstick doesn’t contain water. Oil and wax are not typical breading grounds for bacteria, which is why it is one of the safest products to make and use.”

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How it all gets mixed together

Vitamin E is also a key ingredient to prevent the colour from changing as well as keeping lips moisturised. In addition, all lipstick on the market is pretty much the same. From your fancy YSL lipsticks to your drug store bargain ones, the only difference is the amount of pigment each brand uses as well as the packaging.

And there you have it! If want to expand your beauty wisdom a bit further, check out how cosmetic science students and the London College of Fashion as well as mega-brand L’Oréal make their very own lippies.

Image credit for cover image: Studio DIY

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