Red Lips: How Bugs color your dainty Lips.

“There’s a shade of red for everyone”

-audrey hepburn
Red Bugs

Ever wonder where did the red pigment from your lipstick comes from?

History documented that Cleopatra “Queen of Egypt” used this method to reddened her lips. The epitome of beauty found a way to naturally color her smooth lips.

Cochineal Extract

How to create the Color Red


The pigment used in red lipstick is often made from crushed cochineal bugs which live on a cacti.

The color known is carmine red which is yielded after treating the carminic acid produced by the beetles. Carmine then is used to draw out the color scarlet and crimson shades.

Culturing the Bugs


Cochineal Male turns into a fly for a few days because pigments are scantly produced ,while the female cochineal produce more of the red color and are often used to extract the red pigment. The female also out numbered males due to environmental factors.

18th century Gathering of Cochineal

Cochineal also known as dactylopius cocus is a red insect dye that has been used for centuries to dye textiles, drugs and cosmetics. This beetle was native to Mexico and South America. In an average cacti leaf you can take up to 3 grams of bugs.

Starbucks also admits its strawberry drinks are colored with the parasitic beetle. Nevertheless, using this beetles to color the the well known drink is still FDA approved in US. So, to those vegan consumer make sure to ask before drinking. You might think twice before ordering those drinks.

The Final Product

To bring out a dye from cochineals they are collected after ninety days.

The beetles will undergo a tedious process to produce the famous red die and will be ready for export to be used for different products. The beetles are processed by immersing it to Hot water, steam or exposure to sunlight. Each process produced an array of scarlet shades.

PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animal) estimated that it takes 140,000 bugs to produce one kilo of the usable pigment.

Enhancing your beauty comes from unexpected sources. Wearing a red lipstick is elegant. It can change a boring look into a sophisticated one when used properly. So, Flaunt your REDS and make sure to wear it with confidence.

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