The term “lipstick base” can be used to describe two different products. The first type of base is also known as lip primer, and it is a neutral-colored cosmetic that is applied to the lips before lipstick, lip liner, or lip gloss. The other type of lipstick base is a substance that is used to make lipsticks, balms, or lip glosses. Manufacturers or individuals who want to make their own lip cosmetics can add various pigments to the base and then pack them into a tube, jar, or other container for later use.
Both makeup artists and individuals who wear color lip cosmetics use lipstick base for several different purposes. The first is to provide a matte surface for a gloss or lipstick to cling to, as this can make the lip color last longer, resulting in less need for reapplication during the day or evening. It can also discourage lipstick from smearing or feathering into the tiny lines around the mouth, which can greatly detract from its wearer's appearance.
It is also possible to use lipstick base to change the appearance of a person's lips. The user or a makeup artist can select a base that matches the wearer's skin tone so as to obscure the natural lip line. The makeup artist or user can then use a lip pencil to modify the lip line before filling it in with lipstick or gloss. In some cases, a lipstick base may be formulated as a lip plumper that encourages temporary swelling of the lips, creating a fuller mouth. This technique is typically not suited for daytime, however, as it may give the user a heavily made-up look.
Cosmetic companies and do-it-yourself makeup enthusiasts make use of lipstick bases when producing lip cosmetics. The formulation of a lipstick base will differ by manufacturer, but may include thickeners and waxes that provide texture to lip cosmetics. The base may also include oils as moisturizers along with vitamins and antioxidants that act as preservatives while also providing further protection for the lips. Some producers may sell lipstick base only to commercial manufacturers, while others will sell this product to anyone who is interested in making her own cosmetics. The lipstick base may be sold on its own or as part of a lipstick-making kit along with pigments that can be blended into the base to make custom lip colors.