In ancient civilizations and medieval Europe, lipsticks were made using simple, ineffective techniques. The first cosmetic product to be used by mankind was lipstick, but over time, it has undergone substantial improvements. But its uses have always remained the same, especially women since they wanted to look prettier, distinguish themselves from other women, create makeup looks for occasions, and protect their lips from the harmful UV rays, dry air, and wind. But do you ever wonder what is lipstick made up of? Yes, there are different colouring agents that give lipstick its shade, but what else? Well, let’s find out what is lipstick made of today.
A Full Lipstick Guide - The Basics
Basically, lipstick contains 6 main ingredients that include a wide variety of dyes or pigments, wax, oil, antioxidants, alcohol, and preservatives. But there are some brands that also inculcate other additives such as vitamin E, moisturizing ingredients, collagen, sunscreen, and amino acids. Let’s understand what is lipstick made out of.
What is Lipstick Made of?
Since ancient times, lip decoration was limited to coloured berries. Today, all modern brands use the same types of ingredients that are produced by modern industry. Brands may differ with some extra ingredients, but let's focus on the main ones.
1. Preservatives and antioxidants
Lipstick is not something that you can use for an extended period of time since they contain certain ingredients that tend to degrade over a certain time. But a proper mixture of antioxidants and preservatives plays a crucial role in prolonging the shelf life of a lipstick. Hence, preservatives are one of the main ingredients in lipstick.
We all have multiple shades of lipstick in our vanity and the different pigments in them give them their colour. This is why lipstick brands spoil us with hundreds of shades to choose from to suit our preferences.
Wax is another primary ingredient in every lipstick since it provides the base that makes the application easier. Primarily beeswax, carnauba wax, and candelilla are used.
4. Oils and other emollients
Oils account for more than 60% of the weight of lipstick. Among the most common types of oil are castor oil, vegetable oil, mineral oil, lanolin oil, and cocoa butter.
The above-mentioned ingredients can sometimes emit their own smell, which makes the lipstick smell funky. This is why manufacturers prefer adding perfume or other fragrances so it is pleasant to our nose.
Discuss Lipstick Application
We all love applying lipsticks, don’t we? But did you know that we could use it in multiple ways apart from just using them on our lips? Since there are so many different types of lipsticks out there in the market, we can experiment with different looks. Lipsticks are indeed versatile, and let’s take a look at how we can use them in different ways.
One of the most common applications of lipstick is using it as a blush. It will give you a similar look to the one from a cream blush. Take your favourite lipstick and dab a small amount on the apple of your cheeks. Blend it in with your fingers or a brush. You can also use the same colour you used on your lips to create a monochromatic or no-makeup makeup look.
Just like blush, you can use a brown shade of lipstick as a bronzer since it works as a cream bronzer/contour. Choose a cool-toned shade for a contoured look and a warm-toned shade of lipstick for a sun-kissed bronzed look.
3. Eyeshadow base
Take a lipstick that complements your skin tone and apply it to your eyelids. Blend it with your fingertips and add loads of mascara to add colour and freshness to your eyes instantly.
If you wish to go all out and be creative, take your favourite liquid lipstick and an eyeliner brush. Take a small amount of lipstick on the brush and apply it as eyeliner. You can get all creative and try different colourful looks.
5. Colour corrector
Lipstick can also be used as a colour corrector. Using the red lipstick you have in your kit; you can cover dark circles and pigmentation under your eyes. Then layer your concealer over it, eliminating the need for a separate colour corrector. The red undertones cancel out any blue/green pigmentation.
FAQs about a Lipstick
What is liquid lipstick made of?
Three ingredients make up most lipsticks – oils, waxes, and pigments. The pigment determines the colour. Wax gives lipstick shape and a spreadable texture. Various oils, including castor, jojoba, cocoa butter, lanolin, petrolatum, and mineral add moisture. Adding oil to the lipstick formula also changes its intensity – more oil means it will be sheerer, and less oil means it will have a richer pigment.
What is red lipstick made of?
Cochineal, commonly known as carmine, is a red insect dye which has been used since ancient times to dye cosmetics, including lipsticks. This is what gave lipsticks the red colour during those times.
Today, carmine is used in a similar way to give red colour to lipsticks. It is an FDA-approved ingredient that is used in not only cosmetics but also several red food products.
How to make your lipstick last long?
Follow these steps to make your lipstick last long:
Prep your lips by exfoliating them and applying lip balm.
Choose a suitable formula for the lipstick depending on what your lips can tolerate based on the moisturising levels.
Apply the lipstick in layers to add more colour and make it opaquer.
Dust some loose powder over your lips to make it stay put throughout the day.
Written by Kinnari Ashar on Sep 28, 2022