If you're one of those women who absentmindedly swipes lipstick and gloss across your lips for quick color and shine, take note: Your juicy tubes and gloss wands could be doing a whole lot more for you: They could help you quit smoking or help curb your appetite.
Today's lipsticks are doing more than just applying color and moisture. Some lip smackers are loaded with caffeine to help you stay awake, formulated with breath freshener to ensure minty-cool conversation, infused with cosmetic plumpers to give you Angelina Jolie kissers. Talk about pucker power.
Lipsticks are now learning what other cosmetics have known for years: how to do more than the obvious. Like face makeup loaded with SPF or skin-firming properties, lipsticks now do double-duty.
"These days, it seems like everything is multifunctional, so it's only natural that beauty products are following suit and going high-tech. First it was skin care, and now it's cosmetics," said Victoria Kirby, beauty editor for Allure magazine. "Consumers aren't satisfied with basic makeup anymore because they're much wiser about products than they were even a few years back. They know about the newest ingredients and what they can do, and they want their cosmetics to be just as advanced as their skin care."
Those ingredients would include plumping agents like those found in DuWop Lip Venom, Lip Fusion Lip Plump and Sephora Plumping Lip Gloss. Sugar Freshen Up Breath Freshening Lip Gloss is infused with mint for a "just-brushed" feeling. Spazzstick Caffeinated Lip Balm is made with caffeine for a java jolt (it was developed by an Alaskan police officer who needed a good lip balm and the ability to stay awake during long shifts). The Joey NY cosmetic company has three lip products that do more: Joey NY Lipfit (helps curb your appetite), Joey NY Lipnix (helps you stop smoking by reducing your urge to smoke) and Joey NY CinnaMEN (blended with vanilla and cinnamon, it is designed to attract a man's attention).
Color all over
"The trend for double-duty products is ramping up like lip stains that double as cheek stains or lipsticks as lip plumpers and breath fresheners," said Hannelore Daniel, manager of the beauty store for Amazon.com. "I would say that within the last three to five years, we've really seen the acceleration of these products. The beauty consumer is becoming more savvy and willing to pay more for products that do more."
Lipsticks that smell good are hardly new. But when the aromatherapy trend in the 1990s took hold, lipsticks started taking on mood-altering properties. Lipsticks that made you feel better, via aromatherapy, gave way to lipsticks that plumped your lips, which begat lipsticks that whitened your teeth and erased lip lines. A lipstick loaded with SPF is hardly new, but it's indicative of the new demands that are being made on what was once a simple tube of Cherries in the Snow.
Advances in cosmetics technology have helped make the lipstick do more, said Laura Kenney, Sephora beauty writer.
"As the technology gets better, people are realizing that lipsticks are doing much more than just applying color to your lips," Kenney said. "Customers saw that technology with the first plumpers. After that, people realized that lipsticks can be more than just lipsticks."
Now the beauty-consumer demands it, not just with lipsticks but across the beauty board.
"Customers aren't satisfied with basic makeup anymore because they're much wiser about products than they were even a few years back. They know about the newest ingredients and what they can do, and they want their cosmetics to be just as advanced as their skin care," Allure's Kirby said. "Makeup has to do more now than just provide beautiful color; it has to perform a function. Women are always demanding more and getting more from their makeup."
Expect more in the future. As technology improves, so will the number of functions the basics of cosmetics can and will perform. As minimal or noninvasive cosmetic surgical procedures rise, makeup is trying to keep up with its own innovations, said Amazon's Daniel. "Cosmeceutical companies are packing as much as possible into a little lip gloss these days," she said. "They're becoming increasingly high-tech."
Kenney said all of these advancements are a boon for the consumer, who has less time to spend with makeup.
"One of the most confusing things for the consumer is when you have a regimen that requires so many products," she said. "Having the consumer apply as few products as possible makes it a no-brainer task."