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Meet the miracle ingredients behind our lipstick range

14 April, 2021 6 min read

Making lipstick from some of the world’s most delectable ingredients is no small feat. But, why do we do it? Well, my dear Watson, it has everything to do with industry norms and looking beyond them to do better for your body - and our interplanetary one.

We’re about to give you the scoop on what makes lipstick stick, and why our ingredients are over-achievers on the kindness and performance fronts.

Getting lippy on lipstick

Traditionally, lipstick is made up of the following compounds:

  • Emollients to smooth and soften the skin, usually in the form of oils or butters.
  • Structuring agents often in the form of wax, to ensure the lipstick has structural integrity and won’t crumble or melt.
  • Pigments for colour in the form of soluble or insoluble dyes (look for the word ‘lake’ in your ingredient list).
  • Pearl, luster, or matting agents depending on the desired style.
  • Wear ingredients for durability and staying power.
  • Fragrance or flavour so that lipsticks won’t smell or taste like their ingredients.
  • Preservatives or antioxidants so they won’t expire in your drawer, pocket or purse.


Mother Nature’s capable of some pretty potent stuff. We’ve harnessed her (super)natural powers to make our award-winning Hyperreal lipstick range epic, starting with the following key ingredients:

Olus oil

What is it?

Besides being rich in fatty acids, olus oil is essential to skin-cell regeneration. It soothes and softens skin, creating a protective barrier to help keep the moisture-in and the baddies out. Shoo!

How is it made?

Naturally. Olus oil is a compound of triglycerides (a fancy word for a blend of fatty acids) that naturally occurs in a whole range of plants.

Why is it in cosmetics?

Oils often make up the majority of a lipstick's composition, as an emollient. Emollient is a word used to describe things that have softening or smoothing qualities. Olus oil is a natural emollient you'll find in lipsticks, balms, glosses, hair care products and plenty more places. We've chosen this ingredient because it helps our formula apply smoothly, every time. And because olus oil has a lower melting point, its chemical structure stays flexible and fluid without compromising on texture. So your lipstick won’t dry out in the bottle or on your lips.

Why should I care?

We use olus oil instead of worrisome alternatives like mineral oil, which is often a derivative of petroleum processing. Yikes.

Olive oil or Olea europa fruit oil

What is it?

Rumour has it, Cleopatra was a big fan of olive oil. And could you blame her? Besides packing some serious vitamins (A, D, E & K) and hydration creds (cheers, squalene), olive oil is high in antioxidants to protect your lips from the signs of ageing. Delicious and miraculous.

How is it made?

You guessed it, from olives. The olives are harvested from trees, cleaned and ground into a paste where the oils can bond and pool before being separated and extracted.

Why is it in cosmetics?

Olive oil is another star player in our team of emollients, bringing viscosity (thick and sticky qualities) and spreadability to our lipsticks. It’s high-antioxidant content also helps to prevent our ingredients from expiring while protecting your lips from the elements. Pretty neat for a seedy little fruit, huh?

Why should I care?

We don’t use just any run of the mill olive oil. Ours is sourced through trusted ethical supply chains, using eco-sustainable processes and renewable raw materials. Keeping standards high and our regard for people and planet even higher. And because it's organic, you can rest-assured knowing that no pesticides were involved in its production.

Rapeseed oil

What is it?

Like many of our lipstick ingredients, this humble little oil is an emollient with surprising antioxidant properties. It’s abundant in anti-ageing allies like Vitamin E and omega-3, so you can say ‘see ya later’ to fine-lines and wrinkles.

How is it made?

Rapeseed oil is extracted from the brassica napus plant, also known as the canola plant. Like olive oil, the plant is harvested, cleaned and ground into a paste before the rapeseed oil is extracted.

Why is it in cosmetics?

We’ve invited rapeseed oil to join our ingredient party because it always brings moisturisation while its antioxidant qualities prevent our formula from expiring. It’s readily available, and thanks to new harvesting methods, is now one of the more sustainable choices when it comes to environmentally-friendly ingredients.

Why should I care?

Because plenty of lipsticks still use ingredients like lanolin to achieve the same level of spreadability. Lanolin is an oil/grease derived from sheep’s wool. The sheep secrete this oil when they sweat which coats their wool in a moisturising and protective layer. Which is great for sheep, and something we prefer to leave out of our cosmetic routine - this is why we have never and will never use lanolin. Read more about what we leave out of our products on our Vegan Cosmetics 101 blog.

Prickly pear extract or Opuntia ficus indica extract

What is it?

It’s no wonder this plant is covered in spikes. If you were loaded with hyper-moisturising Vitamin E and collagen-boosting amino acids, you’d be pretty protective too. Get ready for fuller, plumper, more hydrated lips - without a jab in sight.

How is it made?

This ingredient is harvested from the prickly pear cactus; those incredible plants that sprout flat, oval-shaped, spike-laden pads and ruby-red fruit from time to time. The plant fibre and juice is often extracted for topical and edible purposes. Delish.

Why is it in cosmetics?

Prickly pear sap is known to carry protective qualities and act as a moisture-locking barrier for the skin. We’ve included it in our lipstick to keep the hydration firmly fixed to your lips. There will be absolutely no drying-out on our watch.

Why should I care?

Rather than using ingredients like beeswax to lock-in moisture, we’ve opted for a kind, cruelty-free alternative. Where waxes are absolutely necessary, we’ve opted for a synthetic alternative, so that the bees are free to bee, and enjoy the nectar of their hard-labour.

Camelina oil

What is it?

Camelina oil has nothing to do with camels and everything to do with Vitamin E and omega-3. Thanks to its high alpha-linoleic-acid content, this oil acts as a neat little moisturiser; improving your skin’s elasticity, suppleness and overall appearance.

How is it made?

Camelina oil is extracted from a plant that’s very similar to flax, in fact it’s often called false flax (but we won’t hold that against it). The camelina sativa seeds are harvested from crops, cleaned and ground before being separated into oil.

Why is it in cosmetics?

It’s a brilliant natural emollient, giving beauty and body products that smooth, silky texture we love; without any overpowering fragrances or colours.

Why should I care?

Camelina oilseed crops are sustainable. In fact, the plant has been recognised for its incredible omega-3 content; giving the marine oil industry a run for its money. This is great news for cruelty-free beauty lovers and ocean dwellers alike. (Read more about why we don’t use animal-derived squalene in our Vegan Cosmetics 101 blog.)

Passion flower oil or Maracuja Oil

What is it?

Besides sounding decadent, passion flower oil is praised for its restorative qualities. Also known as maracuja oil, this ingredient packs bona fide anti-ageing and hydration powers. With antioxidants like these, those free radicals don’t stand a chance.

How is it made?

Passion flower oil is actually extracted from passion flower fruit seeds. So the next time you’re crunching on those tart-little suckers, thank them for their miraculous cosmetic qualities.

Why is it in cosmetics?

We’ve included this miracle oil in a handful of our products for its high vitamin and mineral content. Vitamin A (or retinol) promotes collagen and elastin regeneration, Vitamin C protects your skin from free-radicals and Vitamin E soothes and softens. So your lipstick won’t just look incredible, it’ll do some phenomenal things for your pout, naturally.

Why should I care?

Rather than using known irritants like capsicum resin to plump your lips (via a mild allergic reaction), we’ve chosen natural nurturers known for their loving qualities. And our passion flower oil is responsibly sourced, so you can apply our products knowing you’ve contributed to an ethical income stream.

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And the natural legends don’t stop there.

When it’s time to wipe away today’s shade, our award-winning Self Love Oil is stacked with even more ingredients to adore (almost) every part of you.

Organic jojoba oil

Bacteria resistant and ultra-hydrating, it also helps deliver the healing benefits of other key ingredients.

Avocado oil

A highly penetrative oil with Vitamins A, D and lecithin providing excellent moisturising properties and sun protection.

Self Love Oil

If this article made you hungry, you’re not alone. Read more about the foods you’ll want to snack-on to improve your nail health right here. And if you’ve ever wondered what all this 8-free, 10-free, 12-free nail polish business is about there’s a blog for that too!