4 reasons why your liquid lipstick isn’t working


1. Incompatible ingredients

For some reason, everyone loves to add glycerin to their formulas. I get it, glycerin is supposed to add “moisturizing” properties to the end product but that doesn’t work for most liquid lipstick formulas. Glycerin is a water-based ingredient, so throwing it in an anhydrous product will cause separation and lumpiness. Adding an emulsifier is the only way to use glycerin in a liquid lipstick. Another point to consider is the compatibility between silicones and oils. Many flavor oils are not oil-soluble, the same goes for preservatives. Cyclopentasiloxane is not compatible with castor oil, another oil people love to use. 


2. Oils

Speaking of oils, the biggest complaint about liquid lipsticks is that they are too drying. Beginners try to compensate by adding numerous oils to the formula (don’t worry, I did this as well). While this will make your lips less parched, the lipstick will transfer like crazy! The key is using a light oil like fractionated coconut oil, a low viscosity polyisobutene, or a low viscosity dimethicone. Any oil that has a greasy feel will cause major transfer problems. In addition, watch out for pigments that are suspended in oils (for my TKB users). Take those oils into account during formulation.


3.   Too many mattifying ingredients

So now your liquid lipstick is totally transfer proof but crumbles on the lips after an hour. What is going on? This happens if you use way too much volatile liquid and/or filler powder. Lower the amount of isododecane, cyclopentasiloxane, pigments, or filler powder in your formula. Remember that dimethicone 1.5 is also a volatile silicone. Using too much resin flakes can cause this to happen as well. 


4.   Not using a homogenizer

You have the perfect formula but then it starts to separate. One reason this happens is because the ingredients are not completely mixed. When using a stick blender, add 5-10 minutes to the mixing time after you feel the ingredients look completely mixed. A homogenizer can do the job in less time.