Lipsmakingly good cause – Liptember

It’s news time people, I’ve been sent this interesting press release from the guys at Burt Bees.  In case you were wondering the BEES have been buzzing around the world of personal care since 1984. The company was built on a philosophy that supports the production of earth friendly natural personal care for the greater good.  After rocking the USA for a lifetime they swam over to Australialand and started pollenating our people  a couple of years ago. In fact, they loved it so much that they installed a Queen Bee right here and started taking over the world. Naturally!

Burt Bees are quite vocal on all things natural and were key in the production of the Natural Products Council, all very lovely BUT not always very scientific. While the Realize Beauty team do support the efforts to produce safer, cleaner and more sustainable cosmetics we do not share some of the concerns of this brand.  Still, each to their own and anyway, it’s always good to support a worthy cause and great products.

Here is their press release:

Burt’s Bees is proud to announce its partnership with new social initiative, Liptember. Throughout September,Liptember aims to increase awareness about women’s health issues and raise money to fund research and programs to achieve optimal health outcomes for women.

Liptember encourages women to buy the official Liptember lip colour and get sponsored by family, friends and coworkers to wear the shade every day during the month. And the shade on every woman’s lips, throughout Liptember, will be Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb.

As the official lip colour of the campaign, all profits from sales of the shade purchased at Priceline will go to Liptember’s first beneficiary, the Royal Women’s Hospital (Melbourne). Burt’s […]

Carnauba Wax – Good Enough To Eat!

It is this waxy little flake of an ingredient that gives those  colourful and shiny chocolates little chocolates their shine (E Number 903), makes polish glossy, enables your dental floss to catch the grime and helps your feet stick to that surfboard.  Its natural, its cost effective and its jam packed with anti-oxidants. What more could you want?

Anyway, I have been messing around with this ingredient as a way of making our lip balm recipe (for Cosmetic Kitchen) a little more glossy. Result = absolutely fabulous!

This wax comes as little dried flakes that melt at around 82C so a bit higher than beeswax (melting at around 63C) which means that when you use them, you need to be sure to melt these before adding your other ingredients to the pan.  The wax is a product of the “Tree of Life”  or Copernica Cerifera which can be found in Brazil. These trees produce this wax from their fan shaped leaves as a way of protecting them from the sun and from drying out – a natural sunscreen (for plants). The wax is harvested by mechanically grinding down the chopped lea to get a crude wax which is then sun dried before transporting off to be further processed (if required).  Each chopping results in the extraction of around 1Kg of wax which is not much but this ensures the trees ongoing health.

Chemically the wax is naturally brown through to yellow (some lipstick manufacturers would have the wax bleached so as not to affect the gloss colour). The wax is high in fatty acid esters (which is what gives it the high melting point) and also contains up to 20% of fatty acid diols. Diols are chemicals […]

The Lipstick Chronicles Part 3: What Do Lipstick Testers Test?

About once or twice a week, I get updates from chemical suppliers telling me all about their fabulous new “cure all” ingredients. This week I received a presentation from a company that makes film formers (the ingredient that makes your product stick on)! Not very interesting I hear you cry! Well that may be so, but included in this propaganda was an outline of how lippy is put through its paces.

So, how do the lipstick testers test lipstick?

1) Ease Of Application

Sounds obvious but if you have ever tried making your own lipstick / lip balm with natural waxes you will know how hard it is to get a product that goes on without ripping your lips off or leaving you looking like the party clown.  A lipstick should neither splat out or involve brute force to apply – it should glide on with elegant ease!

2) Structure of the lipstick

While structure of the lipstick is important when applying it to the lips, it is even more important when storing the lipstick. You would be most distressed if you lipstick ran out all over your designer handbag and I dare say that you wouldn’t be too impressed with an ice block of a lippy when trying to give yourself a touch of colour on the ski-slopes.  Again, it comes down to blending and that is why your lipstick probably has a long ingredients list – some waxes are hard but drying on the lips and others are too soft on their own. Together, they make the perfect product!

Lipsticks are tested under a variety of conditions including their freeze thaw stability, accelerated ageing (stored at 45C for somewhere around 4-6 weeks0 and the windowsill test to see how […]

The Lipstick Chronicals: What makes some lipsticks stick for up to 12 hours?

The crowds have gone wild for the new Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick from Revlon, launched in the USA in April of this year. Why? Because it is a one step, food proof, no smudge, 12 hour lasting and comfortable lipstick. Wow, sounds amazing!  To truly appreciate this fine feat of chemical engineering one needs to take a little look through history….

The early days

Grind up some pigment in a castor oil (Vegetable based) oil, mix this with some beeswax and harden. Voila!

This sounds oh so simple but getting a good dispersion and a great colour intensity  takes some hard work and a lot of grinding.  On the wear-ability scale these lipsticks won’t go the distance and will wipe off and wear off quite quickly – especially once you chow down into a nice greasy meal. Why? Well, this is because in chemistry terms like dissolves like and your oily pigment dispersion will be rubbed onto the first bit of oil you touch be that food or your hand or your partners lips!

Moving on a bit

Put the coloured bit (pigments) into a silicone base and make sure  some of the silicones volatile so that they evaporate once applied to the lips (to set it!)

Max Factor’s  lipfinity was one such product, prommising  durability and a kiss proof finish.  This was great and because we don’t come into contact with silicone so often in our day to day life the lipstick remained lip stuck for a good few hours.  The only problem with this was the matt finish.

Lets get glossy.

Prepare the first step as above and then make it glossy by adding a top coat!  The top coat consists of waxes and esters that don’t react with the […]