Lipstick—it’s the standard for glamour, for style, or simply for looking and feeling pulled together. It is like no other cosmetic for communicating the personal style of the wearer. The finer points of lipstick formulations are as individual as those who wear it, but some basics stay true, like the use of waxes for structure and coordinating emollients as well as safe color ingredients for use on the delicate skin of the lips. With a renewed attention this year to full-face makeup, the beauty of lovely lips has come back into focus.

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New Trends in Texture and Formulation

This is a fantastic time to be formulating lipstick. There is a brilliant diversity of fashions right now. The high style look of deep, dark shades and matte texture is holding sway at the same time that glossy shades, made neutral to create a monochrome look, is inspiring consumers to get their smile on. Lipstick can both create and reflect a mood, and gives wearers the opportunity to change at a whim.

Your brand’s formulas can take your clientele to the edge of fashion and fun, from the sharp, power reds, to the season’s strong wines, out on the town in the neon colors that say day-to-night fun or bring subtlety to their palette with shades of nude, latté, and mauve. 2022 is a year for getting out and trying something new, and the vast range of colors that are on-trend really reflects this moment.

Beyond fashion, this year’s burgeoning trend for multi-beneficial lipstick formulations opens the door to show off products with even wider appeal. When creating a fabulous look you can also highlight your responsible sourcing, upcycled ingredients, efforts to support the environment and overall sustainability! Using ingredients that are natural, renewable and sourced responsibly lifts your product line from looking good to creating a good look for you and your customers.

Taking Lipstick beyond Glamour

Lipstick depends on the right waxes for the right performance. Koster Keunen understands waxes and the creative ways they can be used to formulate systems to achieve the results you really want. We offer you sample formulations here that show some of the possibilities.

Formula#: 2/19-10000/258/188-1

Emphasizing the combination of a subtle, monochrome palette, and socially aware formulas, this lipstick packs a real multi-benefit punch. An all-natural lipstick packs emollience and luxurious texture, keeping your lips smooth and hydrated, while meeting market demands for vegan and clean beauty products.

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
Kostol Apifree1 Behenyl Behenate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate 10.0
Sunflower Wax1 Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax 12.0
Bayberry Wax1 Myrica Cerifera (Bayberry) Wax 5.0
Kester Wax K-241 Lauryl Laurate 6.0
Castor Oil2 Castor Oil 17.0
Jojoba Oil2 Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil 12.2
Vitamin E Acetate3 Tocopheryl Acetate 0.8
Phase B
Unipure Red LC 3864 Iron Oxides CI 77491 2.96
Unipure Red LC 3814 Iron Oxides CI 77491 2.55
Unipure Yellow LC 1824 Iron Oxides CI 77492 0.74
Unipure Black LC 9894 Iron Oxides CI 77499 0.37
Titanium Dioxide 3255 Titanium Dioxide 14.54
Mica Sericite 2855 Mica 1.18
Jeechem CTG6 Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride 14.66

Formula #: 11/19-10030/484/258-2

Natural and sustainable ingredients again make a statement, but this time in a silky stick. One-swipe application shows off how well emollient-rich formulations perform with rich color.

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
Sunflower Wax1 Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax 10.0
Kester Wax K-60P1 Polyhydroxystearic Acid 4.5
Orange Wax1 Citrus Aurantis (Orange) Peel Wax 8.0
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil2 Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil 13.0
Jojoba Oil2 Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil 15.0
Castor Oil2 Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil 18.0
Vitamin E Acetate3 Tocopheryl Acetate 1.0
Prestige Soft Fire Red 353414 Mica (and) Iron Oxide 12.0
Mica Sericite BC 2854 Mica 1835

Formula #: 2/19-864/10000/154-11

Fancy featuring a glossier formula? Our Metallic Liquid Lip combines the all-important coverage and shine with the comfortable wear that is much harder to achieve. Increasing product flexibility, this formulation also features a vegan option.

Ingredient Trade Name INCI Name %
Phase A
SynKos 20301 Synthetic Wax 6.0
SynKos 20651 Synthetic Wax 7.0
Kostol Apifree 1 Behenyl Behenate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate 4.0
Kester Wax K-82P1 C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate 5.5
Indopol H-1002 Polybutene 18.0
Dermol PETIS3 Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate 27.0
Jeechem OD4 Octyldodecanol 23.0
TC Bright Silver5 Mica (and) Titanium Dioxide (and) Tin Oxide 7.76
Chromatique Silver Gray5 Mica (and) Titanium Dioxide (and) Iron Oxides 0.24
Marvel Maroon5 Mica (and) Iron Oxides (and) Silica 0.8
Unipure Red LC 30756 Red 7 Lake CI 15850 0.7

It’s All about the Base

Formulating lipstick requires a base structure that will carry the color and texture that create the desired look. Creating the best combinations to meet your brand’s needs can be challenging. Koster Keunen has long experience formulating systems take advantage of the flexibility and benefits of various combinations. We offer the structuring waxes and carrier oils that get Phase A off to a great start, ready to take the color of choice, with the texture you are looking for. Our blog article, Creating the Perfect Lip Balm, offers some insight into putting these options together. Whether you are structuring a stick to give both strength and glide, or creating a gloss with staying power, the ingredients you choose can make this signature cosmetic shine.

Seal It with a Kiss

As summer simmers toward fall, be sure that your lipstick lines shine. Koster Keunen knows formulation with waxes that make lipstick as we know it possible. If you are ready to meet the trend for cosmetics being more than beauty, we are ready to help. Contact us to discuss your ideas for sustainable beauty with our formulation experts.

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About Koster Keunen

Koster Keunen has been working with wax since 1852 and has used our extensive experience and knowledge base to continuously develop new chemistries. Whether you are developing a new product, or need help with a reformulation or replacement, contact us to learn more about how we source, refine or develop waxes so you can create the perfect formula.