The Rise of Lipsticks In A Post Pandemic World

As we look towards a post-pandemic world, people are picking up their lipsticks once more

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw an unprecedented slump in lipstick sales no thanks to lockdowns and mask mandates. However, as the virus is veering towards being endemic, there is resurgence of lipstick-wearing as a way to celebrate the easing of restrictions surrounding mask wearing. In fact Cable News Network (CNN) reported $34.2 million in lipstick sales last year, marking an 80 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020.

As mask mandates have not been completely removed in certain regions of the world, there is a preference for consumers to use smudge-proof lipsticks that stays on even when wearing a mask. In terms of colors, it seems that brighter and bolder tones like reds, plums and pinks are favored and this trend is expected to continue through until 2023.

Red Hot Shades In China

There is a slight difference in the preference of reds in regions like China. Red lipsticks with a warmer undertone tend to be more popular as they complement Asian skin tones. Brick reds, terracotta, and orange-reds are very popular on social media.

Hot Lipstick Shades in US

According to M.A.C, the best-selling lipstick shades in the U.S. range from reds, darker wine and plum shades to more MLBB (my lips but better) shades like beige, blush and taupe.

Trending Lipstick Shades in Europe

In Europe, classic red lipsticks with blue undertone continues to be really popular, alongside darker and matte wine tones. Neutral lipstick shades like nude pink, peach or coral​ are popular amongst those with fairer skin tones, while warm and golden beige, browns and umber resonate with those that have darker skin.

Creating The Perfect Lipstick with Sensient

Sensient Technologies have developed a series of ingredients ranging from pigments, emollients, cosmetic bases, fillers, dyes, pigment composites, pigment dispersions, dyes and optimal and sensorial effect powders to help you create the perfect lipstick.

Select from a wide range of pigments from Sensient Cosmetic Technologies’ pigment library, which can be used alone or blended to produce a wide variety of shades. With Sensient’s expertise with pigments, we’re able to provide color matching, and advise on the types of pigments that work best with a formula to create the lipstick with the intended texture and consistency.

Testing and evaluation of lipsticks

At Sensient, we take colors seriously and they are assessed with a standard protocol to ensure consistency from person to person. Lipsticks are appraised with a grey background with emphasis placed on evaluating the colors in different lighting conditions and angles to avoid discrepancy. The environment in which these tests are conducted also remain consistent, with rests in between so as to not strain the photoreceptors in the eyes to maintain accuracy.

Metamerism occurs when two colors appear to match under one lighting condition, but not when the light changes. This makes it especially important to keep conditions like background and sample size the same when evaluating the shades.

When it comes to the coverage, lipsticks which are opaque are assessed against a white paper for better evaluation of pigment concentration while sheer lipsticks are pressed against two pieces of glass to determine colour and translucency. Colors are also tested against skin tones to evaluate the benchmarks against the trials. They are assessed based on their color, opacity and texture when on the skin for better accuracy when applied by consumers.

Adjustments can be done with one modification or several on on trial, although it is advised to do one modification at a time in order to understand the impact of the change that was make. For example, increasing the amount of white pigments to a formula when the trial’s color is darker than the benchmark.

At Sensient, we pride ourselves on our expertise in color matching and lipstick formulation. Contact us to find out more about our portfolio and how we can help you create the perfect lipstick.

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