This is one time when it’s okay to be lippy. Kent tells all about colouring those kissers.
Photo Credit: http://www.shebytes.com/2011/08/17/lipstick-effect/
Estee Lauder was the first cosmetics maker to put lip colour on a stick — and that’s why she’s famous! People ask why she didn’t patent it but she did. She just couldn’t stop people from using other formulae to put lip colour into a stick, too.
There are so many formulae to make lipstick. There are like billions of them! But it’s pretty much eye cream with pigment in it, or to be more specific, with colour in it. Now there are many kinds of colour, things that give you colour on your face. Let me call it ‘lip colour’. Lipstick is the biggest selling form of lip colour and then you have liquid, gloss and hybrids of everything.
Things that keep colours — there are two things, one is pigment, one is dye. Pigment is like particles that lie on top of your lips, and it needs technology to make it stick. You couldn’t. Like, talcum powder and baby powder, they give you white colour, but you can’t just put it on your lips the way you put powder on your skin; it would soon be gone. Dye, however, is a little bit different because it actually stains your lips. It adheres to your lips and stays longer.
Lipstick is pretty much just solid eye cream. Cosmetics and salad dressing, scientifically, they call both an ‘emulsion’; they are the same thing, a mixture of a solid with a liquid, or oil and vinegar. You can put colour in the emulsion, but the key is to shape it like a stick, that’s why they call it lipstick!
In the beginning, lip colour came in a cream. If you go back to the Egyptian times, you go back to ancient China, they all had it. In Thailand we call it ‘chaad’. It’s just a little cream and you put it on.
The average lipstick lasts four hours.
Nowadays, there are all sorts of products that are considered lip colour. There are lipsticks that they call lip stain. It looks like a magic marker! It came out two years ago; those things last long, a maximum of three days, like 'Extra Lasting' by L’Oreal.
The formula has both pigment and stain in it, so pigment gives you a bright colour but when it’s gone the stain remains. But the problem is not about the long-lasting colour, it’s how it stains your lips. Sometimes it doesn’t stain evenly and it looks ugly. And that is where things get difficult.
So what do people have to do in order to get it to stay evenly?
Re-apply the lip colour!
Someone once asked me if the way to tell a cheap lipstick is when the lipstick comes off on your spoon or fork when you eat. And the answer is that every lipstick is cheap. It doesn’t matter how much you pay for it.
So what’s the difference then between an inexpensive lipstick and an expensive lipstick? The base formula. You can smell it. There is an old-fashioned, waxy smell. Besides, old lipstick formulae cracks on your lip. This is called 'bleeding' and 'feathering'. Imagine your grandma’s red lipstick she wore ten or twenty years ago. That’s bad lipstick. Many expensive ones also crack, even new ones; it’s a bad formula. A good lipstick should not crack on your lips (aka should not bleed).
The holy grail of lipstick is long-lasting, 24-hour, perfect-looking lipstick that moisturises. This has never existed. If you look at the claims of lipstick manufacturers, don’t believe what they say. Lipstick dries your lips because it’s like when you put on powder; It will suck the moisture out of your lips!
Don’t think that just because lipsticks are oil-based that they won’t dry your lips out. The oil will dry and then the rest of the ingredients will suck out the moisture in your lips. If you ask a woman what she feels is a good lipstick, she will always say a good one is, when at the end of the day, her lips feel good. It has nothing to do with the colour itself. It’s the formula.
Colour is part of the formula. But the colour of a lipstick can be designed and will be changed according to fashion. It is the base formula that makes your lips feel good at the end of the day and that makes for a good lipstick.
So what should the lipstick contain for it to be a good formula? That depends on which formula is used in the product coming out. Lip gloss is very popular because it doesn’t crack your lips (but you can’t really see it, can you?). That’s why lip colour — what we call liquid —is better in that arena because it has more plasticisers, which make things pliable and flow, like plastic. And it holds things together and it doesn’t crack. But lipstick has the least amount of plasticisers because it has to be in stick form. Plasticisers make it flow, and for lip colour to flow from the applicator — which we call a ‘doe’s foot’ — it has to be liquid.
So, in choosing the ideal lip colour, it depends on what you want. Liquid lip colours don’t give you a bright colour because it has a lot of liquid in it. It’s more timid looking, more shimmery, but if you want a really bright red, go with a stick. Lip stains will never give that kind of colour either. Putting lipstick on is more like doing oil painting. What is the end look you want? Sometimes people want a look that can be available in a certain form for now, but it may take five more years, ten more years for technology to catch up with that. They’re still working on it. Companies know what people want, but they can’t deliver.
So lipstick is still a work in progress, just like everything.
19/12/2011 - 12:36