Behind the Scenes: How Makeup Is Made

Makeup includes a broad range of products, from eyeshadow and foundation to lipstick and face powder. It comes in different forms too, including liquids, powders, gels, and solids. Each of these products is made in a different way to achieve the desired results. 

Makeup needs to be high quality and tested thoroughly to ensure it’s suitable for use, but there are many common ingredients and manufacturing methods that are used because they have been tried and tested. 

If you’re interested in makeup, it’s useful to know where it comes from and how it’s made. Here are some of the methods and ingredients you can typically find in some of your favorite makeup.


As you might guess, one of the main ingredients in lipstick is wax. It’s also mixed with oil, alcohol, and a pigment to give it color. The wax and oil are melted and blended together, then mixed with a solvent and pigment. 

The ingredients used to give the lipstick color often have the most variation, depending on exactly what the color is and what type of lipstick it is. The blended mixture of ingredients is mixed for hours before it’s poured into tubes for molding and then left to cool so it forms the lipstick shape.


All makeup products need to be hygienically made and suitable for use on the skin, but it’s especially important for beauty products such as mascara, which are applied around the eyes. It’s essential that there aren’t any ingredients that could irritate the eyes. 

For black mascara, carbon black is what’s usually used in the USA to get the black color as it’s a safe ingredient. Iron oxides may be used for brown mascara, with other ingredients products other colors, such as blue or purple. Water and thickeners are mixed together to create the base for mascara. 

Separately, wax is melted and pigment added for color, then the water and thickener are mixed with the wax solution.


Various makeup products come in powder form, including face powders, foundation, blush, and eyeshadow. Talc is often a key ingredient in face powders, which is a naturally occurring mineral that absorbs moisture. 

You might also find synthetic ingredients, such as dimethicone, a silicone-based ingredient. Tinted powders will contain either mineral pigments or organic pigments to give them color, which might include iron oxides, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or chromium oxide. 

Some powders also contain perfume, but many more natural products leave these out, as they can be irritating.

Preserving Makeup

Many makeup products have some kind of preservative in them to help them last longer. While it doesn’t make them last forever, it will prevent them from breaking down too soon. 

Not all products contain these preservatives or perhaps might have more natural ingredients to help preserve the makeup. You might need to be careful about which ingredients are added to makeup to ensure you can use them.

Makeup is made using a variety of methods, although there are usually a few shared ingredients in different products.