How is Lipstick Made and Who Invented It?

What is that one thing that you cannot go out of the house without? Of course, you cannot simply go out without your clothes unless you live in the mountains belonging to a tribe without some covering on their upper body. Generally, clothes are indispensable, and perhaps if you are going somewhere, you really need money to pay for your commute or food when you get hungry.

But for women, especially for most celebrities and prominent figures in the showbiz, a lipstick would always go with them, and they cannot make any public appearance without that color on their lips to perfect their make-up. Lipstick is the best buddy for some women.

Regardless of what shades someone prefers, lipsticks have colorful ways to lighten the mood of a person, boost confidence, elevate the look, and make someone feel good or convey an impression. Have you noticed what lip color do antagonists and villains have? Either they have dark red or bloody red or black lip color.

Over the years, lipstick trends have changed a lot, but from ancient times to the present day, it’s still considered by many to be the swiftest way to enhance someone’s look. Whether you like a versatile nude, a classic red, or anything in between, there are several options you can choose from. But as times have changed, more complex cosmetics and skincare are becoming a trend. It’s important to know what lipstick is made of, where it comes from, and what that means for your beauty bag.

What are lipsticks made of?

What do lipstick and crayon have in common? It’s the wax that both of them are made of. But lipsticks besides wax are mainly made of oil, alcohol, and pigment.


The wax has some combination of three types—beeswax, candelilla wax, or the more expensive carnauba. The presence of wax enables the mixture to form into the easily recognized shape of the cosmetic.


Pigment adds color to the lipstick. By mixing white titanium dioxide and red shades, pink lipstick is produced. There are organic and inorganic pigments used in varieties of lipsticks.


Oils like lanolin, vegetable, caster, and mineral are added to the wax. The fragrance is also added as a preservative to prevent lipstick from becoming rancid. These are the main ingredients of all lipsticks, while some add other ingredients to make it more glossy and become smoother or to moisten the lips better.

Matte lipsticks have more filling agents like silica but only a little amount of emollients. There are more waxes than oil in creme lipsticks. Lipsticks that can last longer usually contain more oil, and silicone oil, which seals the colors to the wearer’s lips. But if you like shimmery or frost lipsticks, they contain mica, silica, and synthetic pearl particles, such as bismuth oxychloride, to give them a glittery or shimmering shine.

The amount of oil affects the pigment’s intensity in a lipstick; more oil means a more sheer application, fewer oil results in a more vibrant pigment.

There is no standard measurement of the content for lipsticks as manufacturers only respond to the consumers’ wide variety of choices.

Lipstick in the history

It was found out that about 5000 years ago, the ancient Sumerian men and women were already using lipsticks and most possibly also have invented them. They decorate their face with crushed gemstones. They mainly put it on the lips and around the eyes. Women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization probably used ochre that is rectangular with beveled ends as lipsticks.

Like Cleopatra, there are some crushed bugs (carmine) to create a color of red on their lips. The use of lipsticks in Ancient Egypt is a sign of social status rather than gender. They extracted red dye out of the fucus-algin, 0.01% iodine, and some bromine mannite. Unfortunately, this dye resulted in serious illness.

The Minoan civilization women colored their lips with bright red cosmetics. In Greece, lip paint was initially restricted to prostitutes and courtesans but expanded to the upper class between 700 and 300 BCE. Greek women colored their lips with cosmetics made from dyes containing Tyrian purple, crushed mulberries, and the toxic pigment vermilion.

Some of the Chinese first lipsticks were made from beeswax over 1,000 years ago to protect the delicate skin of the lips. Scented oils in the lipsticks were introduced during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). It gave lipsticks the mouth an enticing factor.

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