Solid or semi solid color cosmetics such as lipsticks, mascaras and many foundations are usually structured with waxes. Cosmetic chemistry uses different types of waxes. The commonly used waxes derived from natural origins are for example, beeswax, carnauba wax, candelilla wax, paraffin wax, mycrocristalline wax, lanolin wax, ozokerites. Waxes can also be of synthetic origin, such as polyethylene waxes derived from ethylene (co)polymerisation, waxes obtained by Fischer-Trops synthesis, fatty acid esters and glycerides that are solid at 40°C, silicone waxes.
A wax is defined as a lipophilic fatty compound that is solid at room temperature (25°C) and atmospheric pressure (760mmHg, i.e. 101 kPa), which undergoes a reversible solid/liquid change of state, it has a melting point greater than 40°, and an anisotropic crystal organization in its solid state. The size of the crystals makes the crystals diffract and/or scatter light, giving the composition a cloudy, more or less opaque appearance.
This point is considered to be a default in lipsticks and mascaras. For example SHISEIDO, in its latest "Rouge Irisé" lipstick presentation, explains that a high level of waxes in a lipstick increases both the solidity of the stick and the long wear properties of the film applied to the lips. However, this high level wax content also decreases the shiny effect on the lips. To obtain a shinier film on the lips the level of waxes has to be decreased. SHISEIDO found in "Rouge Irise" the "best level of waxes to achieve a high shine without fragility of the stick". To obtain this effect, in its formula Shiseido uses a special shiny oil having a high refractive index for a shiny effect, combined with the right proportion of waxes.
Waxes are also used to provide compositions with a greasy and oily feel and/or a greasy and lank sensation. In Japan, March 2005, L'OREAL Perfection launched "Aqua Rich" which is "A new moisturizing lipstick that claims to use gel to develop moisturizing network to seal in moisture, leaving lips protected from dryness and roughness.