First let's take a look at what benefits women want in lipsticks; long lasting colors, non-bleeding, conditioning, creamy, pleasant or no taste or fragrance.
So just what are the main ingredients necessary to give us this result? Waxes, oils, fats, emollients, paraffin and carnauba wax are the main ingredients to want to look for. Bonus ingredients would be Vitamin E and or aloe vera.
The wax stabilizers help it mold to the container it will be supplied in and preservatives like alcohol and sometimes sunscreens, flavors and fragrance are there for obvious benefits and prolonged shelf life.
The higher the grade of ingredients and the type of processing is important to the consistency, longevity or shelf life and increase the cost. Because it is made in larger batches, it is important for consistent color and smoothness that each dry ingredient be ground very fine and combined with the heated oils slowly stirred and once combined can be poured into cold aluminum molds and chilled until firm enough to put into containers for packaging. The higher priced lipsticks see a more detailed processing providing you the consumer with a better product! While all lipsticks may seem alike, any lip guru would know that just isn't true. Pay more and score yourself a long lasting lip wear that is filled with benefits that will last even longer.
Have you heard the claims that woman consumer 4 - 6 pounds of lipstick a year? Lipstick weighs up to ½ an ounce. So to consume 4 pounds a year you would have to eat 118 tubes and that is a lot of lipstick! Moral to this story - wear your lipstick but don't lick your lips and consume it! Seriously though, since we do eat some of our lipstick, this is just another reason why higher quality ingredients are important!