Women consume 8 to 27 tubes of lipstick a year. Lipstick does more than just become part of us. It transforms the way we feel about ourselves. A red lip is always bold and confident. A pink lip indicates playfulness and softness. An orange lip is courageous and daring. We define ourselves by the way colors make us feel. To paint a lip is to say to the world how we feel about ourselves. It's a powerful subconscious statement made conscious to the world.
What ingredients go into making a simple lipstick? Most are edible, beautiful and absolutely safe, but some have cheap ingredients that harm the earth, the environment and ultimately the world we live in as reflected through each and everyone of us. We end up being what we consume. If we consume plastics, use plastics, wash plastics down the drain, eventually some of those plastics get into the waterways. Fish swallow the plastics and we eat the fish, thus consuming (again) the plastic/petrol.
Six degrees of separation!
I make this brief point to illustrate that no one is one individual. We are in relationships all the time even if we don't know it. In fact, we can't really do anything alone. Even if we are sitting at home on a computer we have already interacted with thousands of people who helped make the computer, your Internet provider, not to mention social media! We are all connected to one another.
I provide my information freely and openly as possible because I believe in a world that is cleaner and better than the one we live in today. I love makeup so much that I want to know how to make them and what ingredients go into them. I started my quest by making my own tinted lipsticks, experiments with dozens of DIY formulas. But after working in the makeup/spa industry for over 15 years, I yearned to know more about the ingredients in commercial grade cosmetics. The logical start would be lipsticks, since we will eat the lipstick while wearing it. In my experience, it's one of the go to products for most women. I myself am a big lipstick junkie. Collecting shades, mixing shades and having fun putting them on clients. I love makeup, so don't get me wrong.
Trust me! Most lipsticks are fine, edible and completely harmless. In my research, I have found that more expensive brands will use ingredients that aren't the finest quality, but this also goes for more inexpensive brands. It just goes to show you that you can't judge a lipstick by its cover and price!
Lipsticks need four main ingredients wax, emollients, colors, and oils. Commercial grade cosmetics need preservatives.
If you are doing a DIY please be aware that the shelf life is usually only 1 month. Trust me on this! I did many experiments where I just watched little dishes of lipsticks I made. Some preservatives have been found to be carcinogenic, many are benign and actually help preserve the product so we don't get sick.
Most lipsticks contain a few waxes. Waxes help keep the lipsticks firm. Carnauba wax is often used because it takes high temperatures for it to melt.
"Various oils and fats are used in lipsticks, such as olive oil, mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin, and petrolatum.
"Lipsticks get their colors from a variety of pigments and lake dyes including, but not limited to bromo acid, D&C Red No. 21, Calcium Lake such as D&C Red 7 and D&C Red 34, and D&C Orange No. 17. Pink lipsticks are made by mixing white titanium dioxide and red shades. Both organic and inorganic pigments are employed.
"Matte lipsticks contain more filling agents like silica but do not have many emollients. Creme lipsticks contain more waxes than oils. Sheer and long lasting lipsticks contain more oil, while long lasting lipsticks also contain silicone oil, which seals the colors to the wearer's lips. Glossy lipstick contains more oil to give a shiny finish to the lips.
"Shimmery or frost lipstick may contain mica, silica, and synthetic pearl particles, such as bismuth oxychloride, to give them a glittery or shimmering shine.
"Lipstick is made from grinding and heating ingredients. Then heated waxes are added to the mix for texture. Oils and lanolin are added for specific formula requirements. Afterwards, the hot liquid is poured into a metal mold. The mixture is then chilled. Once they have hardened, they are heated in flame for half a second to create a shiny finish and to remove imperfections."