Hola Amigas!

Have you ever wondered about your lipstick? I mean, how it’s made, what goes into it, and all that stuff? Well, since I’m going to be launching my own lipstick line; Amarosa Lip Collection by Perla Rose, later this summer, I learned a lot about what goes into the creation of lipstick. I think you’ll find these facts as interesting as I do.

A little history first:

It is believed that lipstick or lip coloring was used as far back as 5,000 years ago, based on cosmetic cases found at various archaeological sites. It is thought that crushed gemstones and various oils were used in their formulations. 

Lipstick was used as a status symbol for royalty or others in power. And as we know, lipstick has undergone its own character arc from ancient times to present day; from a symbol of power, to promiscuity or even witchcraft, to rebellion, to true femininity, back to empowerment… and of course, our lipstick choice is an artistic expression of ourselves and our sense of fashion. It’s truly one of the finest accessories. 

Prior to the late 1800s, most lipsticks were true do-it-yourself projects. People used things like beeswax, plant dyes, and eventually the carmine dye made from crushed insects called cochineal. This red insect dye is still commonly used today, and not just in cosmetics, but also in food and vitamins. Yep, from bugs. But hey… at least it’s all natural!

The first commercially manufactured lipstick was created in 1884 by French perfumers, available in paper tubes, small pots, and also sold simply wrapped in paper. Rouge for the lips and cheeks became available through the Sears Roebuck catalog in the 1890s. 

Metal tubes became available in 1911, and in 1923, James Brace Mason Jr. patented the first swivel-up lipstick tube which is used today. And plastic replaced metal tubes during WWII. 


Although lipstick has seen some super weird ingredients through the ages, including sheep sweat, deer tallow and alligator droppings, (!!!) today, most lipsticks are made of three basic ingredients; wax, oil and pigment. The pigment is what gives the lipstick its color… remember those little crushed insects? The wax gives it its shape and spreadable texture and is usually some combination of beeswax, candelilla wax, and the more expensive carnauba wax. The oil, like mineral, castor, lanolin, jojoba, or vegetable oil, adds moisture. Other ingredients that can be in lipstick are fragrance, alcohol, preservatives and antioxidants.

When I created my line, I made sure to use the best possible ingredients, as well as to skip the unwanted stuff. My seven lipstick shades are all:


How it’s made:

There are three basic steps to creating lipstick; Melting and mixing, where the ingredients are melted separately then later combined. Molding, when the melted ingredients are put into their molds to create their solid form. And packaging and labeling; when the molded forms are put into their containers, and labeled for sale. You can read a very detailed description of the manufacturing process here. 

Since lipstick is a cosmetic that goes on your lips and is ultimately ingested, it is strictly controlled by the FDA.

Another fun fact about lipstick is that there is very little waste involved in its creation. 

Does lipstick expire?

Yes. All makeup eventually expires. But since lipsticks and lip glosses do not tend to hold much bacteria, they can last a long time. A good rule of thumb is 12-18 months for lipstick. Some would even argue 24 months for better quality products. Lip glosses are good for 6 to 12 months. Always air on the side of caution. If you’re not sure how old that lip color is… toss it and treat yourself to a new shade!

I can’t wait to share my new lipstick line with you. If you’ve got any questions or comments, contact me here.

Until next time, Amigas...

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