To understand lipstick packaging, one must be aware of the types, consistencies and formulas of these products. Lipsticks are of two main types:

  1. Conventional lipstick
  2. Liquid lipstick

Market is shared between these two types and packaging companies have to focus on both dynamics of this segment. For lipstick packaging, main challenge is to provide precision and speed for application to the consumer.

Conventional Lipsticks:

Conventional lipsticks can be of following types:

  • Moisturizing lipstick
  • Satin lipstick
  • Matte lipstick
  • Gloss lipstick
  • Cream lipstick

Lipstick has been an integral part of human civilization since ancient times. People used to denote their social status by wearing lip colors. People of higher statuses, regardless of their gender, used lipstick. It wasn’t until twentieth century that lipstick was designated status of a feminine product. In ancient Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia, people used lipstick containers made up of brass. Some used cockleshells for storing their lipsticks.

Modern day lipstick:

Over the years the formulas for lipstick kept on changing and evolving but it’s use remained constant in all civilizations. Modern lipsticks are much more evolved and safer to use. Yeas of research on cosmetics have helped cosmetologists to come up with a formula that is effective and safe. Cosmetic industry has also mastered the art of using different pigments for lipsticks. Till 1900s there was a limited number of shades to choose from as compared to now. In twenty first century there are more shades of lipstick than one can remember or count.

Composition of Traditional solid lipstick:

The present-day lipsticks that we know of today have one basic formula. The common ingredients include:

  • Emollients
  • Structuring agents
  • Pigments
  • Pearls/luster agents
  • Matting agents
  • Wear ingredients
  • Fragrance/flavor
  • Preservatives/Antioxidants

Emollients in lipstick are present usually 15-28 percent and in a mixture of two to five ingredients.

Structuring agents are present 3-10 percent in a lipstick and are responsible for the solid texture of lipstick bar.

Depending on the color and shade requirement, 0-10 percent pigments are present in a lipstick.

For gloss lipstick, 0-5 percent pearl/luster agents are added.

For matte lipstick, 0-5 percent matting agents ae added

Fragrance and flavoring agents are usually 0.2-0.5 percent.

41-79 percent, the largest content of a lipstick are preservatives and antioxidants.

Structuring agents:

Structuring agents are probably the most important part of composition of a lipstick and commonly used structuring agents are:

  • Ozokerite
  • Carnauba
  • Candelilla
  • Beeswax
  • Polyethylene
  • Microcrystalline

Packaging for solid lipsticks:

When it comes to any kind of packaging, there are usually two layers: primary and secondary. Lipstick is no different; it comes with one primary container and a secondary pack (mainly used for protection and marketing of the product)

Primary packaging:

Primary packaging designs for conventional lipsticks include:

Cylindrical tubes:

This the most common type of packaging we see. These cylindrical tubes are made up of metal and plastic (sometime just plastic). Modern tubes have a guiding mechanism called Baystick Mechanism, that keeps the lipstick bar safe and prevents breakage.

There is a wide range of decorations and finishing options available for lipstick tubes these days.

Stock packaging:

Stock packaging is like a template. You can get it from packaging firms at exceptionally low wholesale rates. They will print or engrave your brand logo and graphics over it.

Custom packaging:

Stock packaging maybe cheap, but if you want to make packaging your strong pursuit, design your own container with custom shape, size and dimensions. If you invest in your custom design, it might cost a little more than that but it will be worth it.

While designing make sure your container has a:

  • Comfortable grip
  • Is easy to open, and
  • Has a metallic shade i.e. golden, silver, and black are popular colors for lipstick packaging.

Secondary packaging:

Good packaging firms can provide you custom lipstick boxes on wholesale rates. These are Kraft or corrugated boxes for protection and placement of the product. These boxes are primary source of information and guidelines about the product.

Three main factors of a secondary packaging are:

  • Information
  • Branding, and
  • Brad identity

Branding and brand identity may sound similar but they’re two very different things.

Liquid lipstick:

Liquid lipsticks are a lot more popular than conventional ones in Twenty first century. Main reason for such huge appeal of these liquid lip colors is their long-lasting finish and anti-transfer (kiss proof) formulas.


Main ingredients of a liquid lip color are:

Is dodecane is the solvent (carrying agent). It is present is 90% of liquid lip colors and the percentage is around 60-65%.

Trimethylsiloxysilicate is what gives liquid lip its long-lasting, waterproof finish and acts as film forming agent.

Dimethicone is both film forming agent and the emollient.

Kaolin is the opacifying and mattifying agent.

Synthetic Beeswax is used as a thickening agent and is present at around 4% in liquid lip colors.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, and Propylene Carbonate come as a mixture caller BENTONE GEL VS-5PC V HV. It acts as the viscosity increasing agent.

Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E) is an antioxidant.

Hydrogen Dimethicone is responsible for adherence of liquid lip colors to the skin.

Market share:

According to recent surveys, a whopping 65% of women (aged 18-29) prefer liquid lipsticks over conventional ones.


Liquid lip colors, as name suggests are liquids with thick consistency. They are packed in containers similar to lip-glosses but with much more advanced applicators. Primary packaging of liquid lipsticks has Spatulas and Curved and rotating stems, which makes the application extremely easy. When it comes to liquid lip colors packaging, speed and precision is the key.

Secondary packaging:

Secondary packaging for liquid lip colors is pretty similar to the conventional one; a corrugated or Kraft box with custom design and graphics. it also contains information about the product such as ingredients, shelf life and expiration date. It also serves as a primary medium for branding and marketing of the product.


Without packaging, establishing a brand identity and getting your product “Seen” can be entirely impossible.

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