L'Oreal is marketing its scrumptious Colour Riche range of lipsticks as "serum infused". This sounded to me like nothing more than a lame fellow traveler one the make-up-can-be-good-for-you bandwagons. These days, it seems that every new item of war paint has, at the very very least, a dollop of vitamin E. Actually, I am all for it it if means a heightened consumer awareness for not just slapping on any old chemical. Still, "infused with a pure serum complex" is both vague and gimmicky. I wondered what it really meant.

It turned out to be argan oil. Now why couldn't L'Oreal just say that? Argan oil is such a good ingredient that it deserves pride of place in the advertisements for Colour Riche as well as within the lipstick itself. Perhaps, L'Oreal believes that argan oil is too obscure for the average lipstick buyer. Maybe, but who, off the top of their heads, could come up with a precise definition of serum.

Argan is a queen amongst oils. Here are a few factoids that L'Oreal might consider for the next campaign. Argan is a powerful antioxidant due to high levels of tocopherols (vitamin E). In this regard, argan oil puts olive oil in the shade with twice the level of tocopherols and ten times as many gamma-tocopherols.

Argan oil, which is harvested from a Morrocan tree, Argan oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids. Better, even than fish oil or coconut oil and about on a par with olive, according to a study on mice. It is made up of 45% oleic acid (18:1), omega-9 and 35% Linoleic acid (18:2), omega-6.

Colour Riche also has sesame oil, which has similar properties to argan - vitamin E and omega 9. And then there is rosehip oil, which can definitely give argan oil a run for its money.

At last, war paint that's almost worth licking your lips for.

Ingredients in L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick

Lanolin oil, sesame seed oil, oleyl erucate, microcrystalline wax, PPG-5 lanolin wax, acetylated lanolin, beeswax, disteardimonium hectorite, fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, rosa canina fruit oil, calcium aluminum borosilicate, silica, argan oil, BHT, BHA, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxycitronellal, calcium sodium borosilicate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, methyl-2 octynoate, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate. May Contain: Mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, red 7, red 28 lake, yellow 6 lake, red 22 lake, bismuth oxychloride, yellow 5 lake, carmine, blue 1 lake.