Lipstick, or lip make-up, is by far the most popular of all the cosmetics used by women. Under all circumstances and with rare exception, a woman will always reach for her lipstick before going out, no matter how pressed for time she may be or what else she has to think about!
The skin on the lips has an extremely thin corneal layer, with an over-developed germinal layer so that the rich blood vessels lie almost beneath the surface of the skin, giving the lips its characteristic rosy colour. Since there are no sweat glands and few if any sebaceous (oil) glands on the lips, they tend to be dry and can crack easily in cold or dry climate.
The lips receive their moisture from the saliva in the mouth. Hence it is easy for foreign substances to penetrate the lip tissues further causing dryness sores and allergies. The composition and physical structure of lipstick is one of the most complicated cosmetics to produce due to this.
Lipsticks are made from several different products, some natural and others chemical. Almost all of them contain waxes, oils, fatty alcohols and pigments. Modern cosmetics including lipsticks often use silicones and synthetic substances. When choosing lipsticks, one must keep several points in mind. The appearance, consistency, its behaviour when applying it, the properties of the deposited film left on the skin, whether it stains the lips after use or makes them dry and cracked are all points to note.
The stronger the colour, the more the staining properties. One needs to also ensure that fresh products are used. The smell of a lipstick is the best way to tell if it is usable or not. Since many oils and waxes tend to have a short shelf life and go rancid, you must always keep a regular check on the products in your makeup kit. Throw out all cosmetics that smell ‘off’. The thumb rule is not to keep a lipstick for more than a year, especially in India where the heat of summer rapidly degenerates the product.
Choosing the right colour is of primary importance. Here again, as in the use of eye shadows, one must remember the hot and cold colour palette. Orange, brown, beige, red, maroon and gold comprise the warm colour palette that is most suited to the yellow tone skins. Pink, silver magenta and peach are the cool tones, hence are for the pink skin tones. Chose your lipstick with care. Buy only the best available, store them out of the heat, and you will always have fabulous healthy luscious lips!