Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Lightbulb Moment ... Part Two

Today is the turn of Essence's "berry me" lip gloss.

Priced at just €2.49 its the cheapest berry coloured lip product I could find in my local pharmacy after having my Lightbulb moment.

Its more of a raspberry colour. More pink than I would like. I am really looking for a mulberry colour. Anyways.

As you can see its an hourglass shaped applicator sponge on a short wand, which makes mirror-less application in the dark a doddle: just swipe the applicator between your lips and away you go.

The formulation glides on easily and smells faintly fruity. A sneaky lick reveals a reasonably pleasant taste. Kudos. Colour is sheer, but since it is a gloss I wasn't expecting otherwise, so its just a lovely pinkish wash of colour.

Obligatory swatches on my lopsided lips:

My natural lip colour

 Immediately after application

After one hour

 Hardly any colour remained after this photo so I didn't bother with another pic. I left the majority on my coffee cup, even though I was trying to be careful.

For €2.49, I can't fault it really. The colour is lovely, but not quite what I was looking for. I will keep it though, to play around with and experiment with.

A bit of gross beauty science now... I was interested in the two words, under the colour information on the label, contained in quotation marks: "contains carmine". hmmmmmm...

So before I put this anywhere near my face, I did what any vaguely savvy person should do: I Googled it.

Wikipedia gives me this:   "also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red #4[citation needed], C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminum salt of carminic acid, which is produced by some scale insects, such as the cochineal scale and the Polish cochineal, and is used as a general term for a particularly deep-red color".


So the main ingredient used to colour this comes primarily from an insect. Just as well they put it on the label as it can cause anaphylactic shock in some people who are allergic.

Well. Nice to know. Thankfully, I know I am not allergic to anything hinky so I gave it a go and hey, I am from Africa and I have eaten roasted crickets, ants and mopani worms. What doesn't kill you, etc...

Now, since carmine is used fairly extensively in the beauty industry to get that lovely colour, I wonder how many other products contain this. And I wonder how many people have had a reaction to a product containing carmine, and have blamed it on something else.

Anyway... its food for thought...

My hunt for THE berry lippy will continue. Hopefully this year will allow me to branch out into the luxe lines... budget allowing of course. Oh and if the kids don't get in the way first...

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