Masks Off, Rouge On: These Are The Shades And Textures Women Want From Their Lipsticks

While the last two years saw a temporary dip in lipstick sales, lip products have seen a steady increase in sales with countries easing up on mask mandates, and is projected to...

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While the last two years saw a temporary dip in lipstick sales, lip products have seen a steady increase in sales with countries easing up on mask mandates, and is projected to reach $18.2b in sales by the year 2025.

Long-Wearing Formulas

Mask-wearing regulations still have not eased in all countries, with some adopting a mask-up indoors policy, which means there are times that call for a lipstick that won’t budge even when you’re wearing a mask over it. These are usually lipsticks with a long-wearing and oil-free matte texture that don’t rub off easily. What about those who own lipsticks that don’t fit the bill? Lip gels that function as a top-coat over your existing lipsticks help to form a protective layer over lips and extend its wear. They’re also able to transform the texture of creamy lipsticks into a matte texture, while preventing feathering and locking in moisture.

Lip stains are also really popular. These type of lip colors are absorbed into the top layers of the lips for a sheer wash of color and the advantage is that the color is often really natural-looking and doesn’t budge. There are also developments in lip stain formulas that offer high pigment payoff like that of a regular lipstick, but also stains so the pout remains tinted even after a meal.

Hybrid Lipsticks

Women look for more than just a pop of colour for their lips when choosing the right lipsticks—it has to offer hydration benefits, protect the lips, plump the pout, with an exceptional lightweight texture to boot. Hybrid lipsticks that offer lip plumping effects, skin care benefits all while being comfortable to wear will check all the boxes for the perfect lipstick in a post-pandemic world.

Beauty for All

The conversation around inclusivity continues to be held, especially in the beauty industry. While more foundation shades have been developed to fit a wider range of skin tones, there are challenges finding lip products that fit a wide array of darker skin tones. There are subtle intricacies and nuances with darker skin tones that require lipsticks to have good coverage, or pigments to bring out the skin tone instead of dampening it.

Inclusive beauty doesn’t just include race, but also gender identities and age. This means creating products that addresses the needs of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), men, transgenders, and mature individuals.

Eco-friendly and Non-Toxic

If it’s anything we learnt from the pandemic, it’s the importance of safety for the planet and its inhabitants. Clean beauty has seen an uptick, with consumers specifically looking out for cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable options when it comes to their beauty products, especially amongst savvy Gen-Zs. Natural options often include plant-derived oils and pigments, with skin-loving ingredients that plump and minimize lines.

Formulating the perfect lipstick with Sensient

At Sensient Beauty, we take pride in offering a large array of pigments, bases, emollients, pearls and fillers to help you formulate the ideal lip product.


Pigments help to form the ideal shade of a lipstick, and Sensient’s Unipure® LC pigment range has a complete line of purified lakes, mineral and organic pigments that boasts exceptional batch-to-batch consistency, global compliance and high color purity. Sensient also offers Ariabel® Organic Pigments, which have high color strength, and a wide range of shades.

Pigment dispersion

A vital part of any color makeup product, dispersions help impart colors, wet pigment particles and give a uniform coat of colour. Covanol® is an alternative to castor oil-based dispersion that possesses good sensoriality and stability. The shades are bright and vivid with low heavy metals content, and are available in seven organic colors, and four mineral colors.

Surface Treatments

Surface treatments determine how a product feels on the skin, but also play a vital role in adhesion, wear, chemical stability, as well as maximize the pigment load of a product. The Botanical Avocado is a surface treatment that is soft to the touch on skin, all while being hydrophobic. It can be used for makeup formulations with high pigment loads, and is naturally-derived. ADT, another type of surface treatment, is made up of a combination of silicone polyurethane and organic titanate. It also boasts a high pigment load that remains fluid, making it ideal for use lipsticks to give it a glossy and vinyl effect. AS Surface Treatment is also a hydrophobic surface treatment that is versatile, with good synergy when used with pigments, fillers and pearls. It gives a soft skin feel, with no color distortions that suitable for a wide range of face makeup including foundations, pressed powders, lipsticks, and mascaras.


Unlike pigments which are insoluble and opaque, dyes are soluble and see-through. Unicert®-J has a wide range of water and oil-soluble dyes that are suitable for lip tints and lip stains to create long-lasting lip colors.


Sensibead® SI175 and SI320 help give products a blurring and mattifying effect, which can be used in mattifying lipsticks or lip top coats. It gives a good slip effect with transparency so it doesn’t alter the color. At the same time, these ultra-fine silica particles are also absorbent. Covabead® Crystal has the unique properties of giving skin a soft focus effect coupled with a silky feel on skin when applied. Its light reflection properties also means its an SPF booster and blue light shield, offering skincare benefits on top of cosmetic benefits.


Pearls are added into a formula to modify the way light bounces off or create a visual effect. In lipsticks, pearls can be added to make them appear pearly, shimmery, sparkling or glittery. Covapearl® is a natural mica which has good consistency and purity. It’s available in a wide range of shades to modify its light reflecting properties, without requiring a white base.

Contact us for a full portfolio of Sensient’s products that can help you create the ideal lip product to suit your customers’ needs.

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