Anatomy of Lipstick

From the WebMD Archives

What's Inside
Lipstick is primarily composed of waxes like beeswax and carnuba that give it structure, emollients like castor oil and lanolin to ensure it glides on smoothly, and vitamins and antioxidants that prevent rancidity of the natural oils and pigments or colors -- the main attraction.

Built to Last
Long-wear formulas contain lightweight emollients that rapidly evaporate, leaving behind pigments. Flexible film formers provide water resistance and help pigment adhere to lips.

Behind the Shine
Glossy formulas that look high-shine contain ingredients like mica or silica that reflect the light in uniform angles. Matte versions contain higher levels of wax and less oil to create a flatter effect.

Color Correction
To make sure lipstick shades stay the same between batches, manufacturers use specially designed equipment to categorize the hues and identically match previous batches.

Steps for Staying Power
To avoid feathering in fine lines and color fade, first apply concealer around your lips, blending well. Set with a light dusting of loose powder. This will fill in fine lines and prevent runoff.

Apply Yourself
Keeping lips exfoliated and moisturized ensures lipstick glides on evenly. Trace lips with a liner, then use a lipstick brush to fill in with lipstick and blend with liner.

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WebMD Magazine - Feature Reviewed by Mohiba Tareen, MD on August 19, 2016



Jennifer Blum, professional makeup artist based in New York City.

Ni'kita Wilson, cosmetic chemist based in New York City.

How Products Are Made.

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