Lipstick Looks Super-Cool Under A Microscope

By Holly Brockwell on at

Whether or not you wear makeup, there's no disputing the amount of science that goes into making products that appear the right shade on multiple skin tones, reflect different hues, flatteringly scatter the light and, most importantly, stay the hell on without ten million top-ups.

Teacher Amy Oyler, who blogs as The Scientific Mom, decided to use her new microscope to take a closer look at what thousands of people put on their faces – and the results are really cool:

Tarte Lipsurgence lipstick in 'Adored' at 10x magnification

Amy notes that this lipstick looks 'a bright pink coral colour' on the lips, but close-up we can see blues, greens, yellows and purples too, as well as the fine-ground pigment suspended in the wax.

MUA Shimmer Lipstick in 'Rose Gold' at 10x magnification

Wow! This "sparkly pink" lipstick is full of fascinating shades and shapes close up. There's little specks of blue and green, as well as big chunks of gold for that all-important shimmer.

Ulta Sweet & Shimmer lip gloss at 4x magnification

This gloss is a bubblegum bright pink in the tube, but closer-up it's almost transparent but packed with shimmer particles. The reflective crystals give off shades of brown, red, blue, even green under the microscope. Who knew?

Oyler also gives a pretty comprehensive science lesson on why the products look the way they do, what's actually in there (yay crushed beetle shells) and how it helps the makeup perform. Well worth a read. [The Scientific Mom via Reddit]

Lipstick images: Amy Oyler. Main image: Pexels.