The “problem” with this, according to Alba and co., is that isododecane isn’t sustainably sourced, which means it’s a no-go for the Liquid Lipstick. (Other no-gos are synthetic film formers, silicones, fragrance, carmine, and animal byproducts.) Instead, Honest Beauty chemists found that an ingredient called coconut alkanes, which is derived from coconut, and still evaporates, albeit slower, like isododecane. To prevent cracking, scientists added pine tree resins, in lieu of a film former, to the mix to create a flexible film.
It wasn’t easy, though. Alba said it took her team seven iterations until they landed on this final version, which currently comes in seven pinky nude to bright pink shades: Forever, Happiness, Passion, Off Duty, Goddess, BFF, and Fearless (a hue only sold on honest.com).
After swiping on the demi-matte formula with the doe-foot applicator, I usually wait a solid five to 10 minutes for the lipstick to fully dry before reaching for my morning coffee. That’s because I tend to lean toward a thicker, more pigmented application than Alba, so it needs time to fully dry down.
“I’m more into a lip stain, even if it is highly pigmented,” says Alba of the dry-down. “I also like that you can kind of push it a little bit [of color] outside of your lip line, and it’s like a blurry, stain-y kind of look.”
In terms of long-wear action, the chemists claim that, once applied, Liquid Lipstick sticks around (without budging) for up to eight hours. While I can’t say I’ve ever kept count of the number of hours the velvety soft formula has lasted on my lips, I will say that after applied in the morning beforehand hopping on the subway, my lipstick usually holds up through breakfast, lunch, and sometimes up until I get to the gym in the evening. So, yeah, it’s definitely got staying power.
As we’re nearing the end of the ride, I ask Alba what consumers should expect next from Honest Beauty. Albeit a bit (intentionally) vague, she clearly some Big Ideas. “The combination of skin and color, what is that world? I think that’s a huge space,” she says. But I need more, so I press on. What does that look like?, I ask. “It looks like three to five products that everyone will want in their life, like transformative products that are multi-taskers,” says Alba. “It will make their lives really good.” I’m listening…