12-hour Lipstick

Keep your lipstick on your lips, not on the ones you love. See our makeup tips pictures.
© iStockphoto.com/eaniton

Many women feel naked without lipstick and wouldn't think of leaving the house without it. However, it's a busy world, and most women have a to-do list a mile long. A jam-packed schedule doesn't leave time for frequent pit stops to reapply lipstick. Women wanted to wake up, put their face on and have it stay there, no matter how much talking, eating, drinking or kissing they did.

And of course, there are men that like the made-up look as well; in fact, one of the first long-lasting lipstick ads claimed to be for men only. In 1956, Coty produced an ad that bemoaned how fetching a woman could look at dinner, only to look "washed-out" and "pale" when she woke the next morning [source: Green]. Clearly, the answer to such a conundrum was a lipstick that would be there morning, noon and night -- a lipstick that would last at least 12 hours.

Coty's long-lasting lipstick is still on the market today, along with several other products that promise to last all day long. In an interview with CBS, Glamour magazine beauty editor Andrea Pomerantz likened these lipsticks to tampons, the birth control pill and the dishwasher in terms of the revolutionary amount of time they save a woman [source: Neal]. Not only do women save time, they're also spared embarrassing situations; a 1996 survey found that 87 percent of American women had left traces of lipstick in unwanted places [source: Johnson]. The only downside? It may be harder to catch a cheating partner; after all, lipstick on the collar is no longer a tip-off.

But rather than focusing on the negative implications of these 12-hour lipsticks, let's investigate how they work. Just how do they last so long?