How to Make Lipstick?

Aim: To prepare, evaluate and submit lipstick. 

Requirements:  Ice, Lipstick mold, Beaker, Water bath, Scraper, and Lipstick container. 

Chemicals:  Carnauba wax, Ozokerite Wax, Beeswax, Lanolin, Castor oil, Cetyl alcohol, Red Ferric oxide, Beetroot Natural Colour, Titanium Dioxide, Perfume, Butylated hydroxyl toluene, and butylated hydroxyanisole. 

Formulation Consideration: A lipstick is a colored cosmetic in the form of a stick used to make the appearance of lips attractive by imparting color. Lips are considered more alluring when they are slightly moist. This appearance is achieved using a greasy base, which has an emollient action also. 

A good lipstick should have the following characteristics: 

  1. It should be smooth and easy to apply to leave a thin film on the lips. 
  2. It should be free from grittiness and should be non-drying. 
  3. It should have a high retention of color intensity 
  4. It should have required plasticity. 
  5. It should be innocuous externally as well as internally. 
  6. It should not lose its smooth and shiny appearance during storage. 
  7. It should have a pleasant odor and flavor. 
  8. It should remain free from blooms or sweating during storage. 
  9. It should remain firm within a reasonable variation of climate, and temperature. 

The average weight of the stick is 3.5 to 4 gm of which 2 gm is useable giving 250 to 400 applications. Lipstick is composed of coloring material dispersed in a blend of oils and waxes.  The blend of oils and waxes is adjusted to the desired melting point and viscosity. Though the body temperature is around 36°C the product is expected to withstand the high-temperature climate. Therefore, lipstick must have melting point appreciably higher than 36°C. The melting point of around 60°C is considered appropriate. 

For discussing the formulation of lipstick, the basic raw material of lipstick can be classified as follows. 

1. Wax Mixtures:  It is of prime importance in the formulation of lipstick as desired melting point, viscosity, and other physical properties of the stick are achieved by using a mixture of different waxes, which are commonly used in lipstick including hard paraffin, soft paraffin, white Beeswax, candelilla wax, ceresin wax, ozokerite wax, cetyl alcohol, etc. 10-15% waxes give a proper structure to the sticks. It maintains it as a solid even in a warm climate and holds the oil phase so that it does not bleed. (Temperature up to 50°C), allows a smooth and easy application of colors without undue pressure. Carnauba wax and beeswax have a high melting point. Beeswax is used in large quantities giving greasy and dull effects. Beeswax is used from 3-10%, binds oils, and high melting point of waxes, its m.p. being 62-64°C. Carnauba wax gives luster to the product and its m.p. is 80-88°C. Cocoa butter has a sharp melting point just below human body temperature. If generally used alone and in large quantity will cause the stick to bloom. 

Ozokerite wax has varying melting points of 60-80°C and is used from 3-10%. If used in excess, the lipsticks tend to crumble during application. Hard Paraffin is too weak and brittle to be used in lipstick but is used in lesser proportion to produce gloss. Spermaceti wax, obtained from whale sperm, is soft and thixotropic. Cetyl alcohol is soft and thixotropic. 

2. Oil Mixtures:  It acts as a dispersing agent for insoluble pigments and solvent for eosin dyestuff. Oil mixture when intimately blended with wax mixture provides a film to lips when lipstick is applied. Castor oil is one of the most commonly used vegetable oils. Castor oil can be used in lipstick formulations up to 65% or more. It possesses a very high viscosity and thus delays the settling of pigments from the molten mass. It has fewer tendencies to smear and runoff.  Disadvantages- less penetration in dry pigments, because of high viscosity, greasy feel, needs antioxidants. Liquid paraffin is used in lipstick formulation to give a glossy appearance to lips after application. These should not be used in a percentage higher than 5%. It enhances gloss on the lips and has an emollient property. An effective gloss can be obtained with isopropyl myristate or isopropyl palmitate (2%-3%). 

Fatty materials like lanolin and lanolin derivatives act as blending agents for solid and liquid fatty materials, are good moisturizer and emollients, helps in dispersion and wetting of colors, minimizes sweating of oils and cracking of lipsticks, enhances gloss, and makes a homogenous mixture of a variety of oils, fats, waxes and has a plasticizing effect. These materials improve covering properties and also increase the thickness and stability of the film. The percentage used is 10 to15%. 

When products having high staining properties are required, bromoacids are dissolved in polyols. Polyols being highly hydrophilic have an affinity for the moist surface of lips and dissolved dye transferred to lips causes stains. E.g. benzyl alcohol (6%), castor oil (0.5-1%), polyethylene glycol 400 (10%), propylene glycol (1.6%). 

3. Colours:  Staining agent: dyes (bromoacids) 0.5-3%, oil-soluble pigment 2%, insoluble pigment 8-10%, titanium dioxide 1-4%. Eosin color is used to stain lips (D and C No. 21). At slightly acidic pH it changes to red that is in contact with lips. It is water-insoluble. E.g. Dibromo fluorescein (D and C Orange No. 5), tetrachlorotetrabromo fluorescein (D and C No. 27 Red shade). Pigments are used to produce more intense colors. They are insoluble and should be ground very finely to avoid any gritty feeling on lips. Colors for lipsticks should be of even and fine particle size and good opacity with good covering power. 

4. Other Additives:  Additives include antioxidants, preservatives, and flavors. If propyl para hydroxy benzoate is used as a preservative, a concentration over 0.1% should not be used as a higher concentration may cause a burning sensation which may trigger off an Eosin allergy reaction.  Flavors used in lipsticks should not contain any ingredient which may be irritating or toxic.  These should have good taste and should be able to mask the fatty odor of the base. They are used in relatively high amounts (2-4%). Floral/ fruity perfumes are used. E.g. Raspberry, Rose, Strawberry. To prevent rancidity in storage lipstick formulation should contain antioxidants. Antioxidants like butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyl anisole (BHA), and propyl gallate can be used. 

Manufacture of Lipstick: The manufacture of lipsticks involves four distinct operations namely color dispersion, mixing, molding, and flaming. 

Types of Lipsticks: 

  1. Transparent lipsticks
  2. Liquid lipsticks 
  3. Lip jelly
  4. Lip salve 


Sr.No. IngredientsQuantity Given Quantity Taken 
1Carnauba wax7% 
2Ozokerite Wax3% 
5Castor oil61% 
6Cetyl alcohol5% 
Oil-soluble (Red Ferric oxide) 
Oil insoluble (Beetroot natural color) 
8Titanium Dioxide3% 
10Butylated hydroxyl toluene and butylated hydroxyl anisoleEach 


  1. Clean the lipstick mold and lubricate it with the soap solution. 
  2. Keep it inverted in the freezer or on ice. Mix color and titanium dioxide on butter paper, and pass through a 100 mesh sieve. 
  3. Take the color mixture in a beaker and levigate with part of castor oil. Take waxes, lanolin, cetyl alcohol, antioxidants, and remaining castor oil in another beaker. 
  4. Heat on the water bath, heat the color blend in the water bath at the same temperature and add the oil phase to the color blend. 
  5. Pour the melted mass over the molds (previously lubricated and chilled) and allow them to set. Trim the excess base and remove the lipstick from the mold and fix it in the holder. Pass the lipstick through the flame. 

Label: Shade number or shade name. 

Storage: Store in a cool place. Away from heat Packaging: Each Lipstick shall be packed in a metallic or plastic lipstick holder. 

Use: To make the lips elegant. 

Directions: Apply lipstick. Pick up the lipstick and apply the color, starting at the center of the upper lip and moving outward toward one corner. 

Evaluation Table: 

Sr.No. TestObservation 
4Colour uniformity  
6Softening point 
Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : How to Make Foundation Lotion?
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