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Why Does Lipstick Taste Bad?

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I write on a vast array of topics, including makeup and beauty.

Bad Lipstick (Taste)

I’m not a big fan of lipstick. Why? Because it tastes terrible. I’m much happier with my cherry chapstick to keep my lips comfortable, and I figure my natural lip color is pleasant as is. However, I used to have a favorite lipstick. My friend bought it for me as a gift, so of course, I gave it a try. I fell in love with it.

The Avon Shine Divine Sheer Luminous in Strawberry Smash was the perfect color for my skin tone, made my lips look a little more inviting, didn’t dry out my lips, and, best of all, it even tasted good! I actually enjoyed wearing this lipstick. Sadly, Avon discontinued the product.

Why did Avon discontinue my favorite lipstick? They regularly change their products for no real reason, just for variety. If you ask me, that’s a poor marketing strategy. Sure, their customers enjoy new products, but they’d sell more if they’d practice some product loyalty by providing their customers with their favorite products for years and years, instead of just a few months and then on to something new. Though that’s my only complaint about Avon, they make great products; it’s just that they change them too often.

Ever since I have been unable to find a lipstick that comes anywhere near being as wonderful as my favorite—not even other products from the same brand.

This has led me to wonder, why does lipstick taste bad? It’s hard to find a direct answer from anyone, and you’re definitely not going to find a good answer from the cosmetic companies. So after some research, I’ve come to the following conclusions.

Chemical Ingredients

Makeup is full of all kinds of chemical ingredients, some that aren’t good for you, others that are harmless, and most of which we don’t really know much about. The ingredients used in makeup are scientific concoctions that paint on a pretty color, and usually, it ends there. Sometimes, other benefits are invented, such as moisturizing, plumping, and conditioning, but rarely is taste ever even thought of. And all these unnatural ingredients often taste bad.

To Discourage Consumption

Despite my personal dislike for bad tasting lipstick, the average woman eats 4–7 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. It’s only common sense that something you put on your lips will inevitably end up in your mouth, even if gradually. Perhaps lipstick shouldn’t taste good because if it did, women would be tempted to consume much more than the daily trace amounts that add up over the years. But I highly doubt it.

Sure, when a lipstick tastes pleasant, you are more likely to wear it often, but it’s not like you’ll spend your days licking it off your lips like candy. It just makes it less unpleasant when you happen to get a taste of your lipstick in your mouth. But that’s my take on the situation, perhaps those that create lipstick see it differently.

Consumer Rebellion

Why does lipstick taste bad? Because we allow it to! If we women as consumers would refuse to purchase the less-than-stellar lipstick options available, then we’d force the cosmetic companies to create products we’d actually want to buy. You hear all the time about how we women put up with too much for the sake of beauty. Why must we put up with foul-tasting cosmetics? And more so, why do we put up with unhealthy cosmetics?

We have more power than we think. We need to express our opinions to the cosmetic companies. We need to tell them what we want in our products. We need to stop settling for less.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Helena


Brenda on August 28, 2016:

Actually I've found that only cheap lipstick tastes bad. I have never bought a lipstick over $8 that had that specific bad taste. So now whenever I spot a cool colour by a bargain brand I sniff the tester before I buy. Most of them smell as bad as they taste.

skaty on June 23, 2016:

I hate the taste of most lipstick, but I think this post is sort of outdated. There are a number of lipstick brands on the market that don't taste like "regular" lipstick. Personally, I'm partial to the flavors of Rimmel London lipsticks. Some of them have a chocolatey flavor to them, others have a more fruity flavor to them. If you do a quick Google search of "lipstick flavors," you should be able to find some to try out to see if you like them:)