HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Fact or Fiction: Lips
by Staff
Women do so many strange things to their lips in the name of fashion -- coloring, plumping, even injecting them with chemicals. But why are our lips red to begin with? And what's really in all these things that we swipe on (and pump into) our lips?

Lips are pink or reddish because lip skin cells are different from those on the face.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They're that color because the blood vessels are very close to the surface.

Lips don't have any oil glands.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The do have oil glands, just not very many.

Some medications can make your lips even drier.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Medications can dry out the skin around your lips.

Cleopatra colored her lips with crushed ants.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: She used crushed snakes.

The first lip color in stick form was created in the 1700s.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It wasn't until the 1850s.

Lipstick was outlawed in Victorian England.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It wasn't officially outlawed, just frowned upon.

Max Factor invented lip gloss in the 1930s.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Estee Lauder was the inventor.

Lipstick can contain lead and cow brain tissue.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Yes to the cow brains, but no lead.

Guerlain makes a lipstick that costs $20,000.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Try $60,000.

Some lipsticks get their color from crushed seashells.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's crushed turtle shells.

You can make your own lipstick with beetroot powder.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You can't make your own this way, but many vegan lipsticks do contain beetroot powder.

Matte and long-lasting lipsticks can dry out your lips.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Matte lipsticks are OK, but long-lasting products are drying.

Beeswax is the most common emollient found in lip balms.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Beeswax is used, but it isn't the most popular.

If you have easily irritated lips, you might want a lip balm that contains glycerin.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The ingredient you want is cocoa butter.

Instead of buying lip balm, you can just lick your lips to keep them hydrated.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Licking your lips works only if you live in a tropical climate.

If you want to plump up your lips, one of the options is to use collagen from a dead person.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You can use collagen from a dead relative, but not a random person.

You can also have your lips plumped with a filler that contains Gore-TEX.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: There is a filler that contains spandex.

Lip fat transfers and implants don't last as long as human collagen injections.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Implants last, but fat transfers are more temporary than collagen injections.

Equine collagen is a popular lip plumper.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's actually bovine collagen.

Cosmetic lip enhancement is usually covered by your health insurance.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's covered only if your lips are extremely thin.