I’ve never really taken to Napoleon Perdis as a brand. The products seem to be undifferentiated, the logo reeks of a gold medallion nestling in a hairy chest, and the NP body scrub has the dubious honor of being the first in its genre that I don’t like (usually I am a pushover when it comes to body scrubs). So I was intrigued to see Napoleon Perdis Devine Goddess lipsticks in Ulta for $22 that boasted being “enriched with herbal extracts and antioxidants”. Perhaps NP was about to win me over.

To be sure, Devine Goddess lipsticks have a dash of Matrixyl (palmitoyl oligopeptide). It also has lemon balm (melissa officinalis) and the good news is that this is also a proven antioxidant. However, given that both come at the end of the ingredient list, I expect the antioxidant quotient to be not much more than angel dusting (as it is known in the trade). As Copley reported, angel dusting is an unfortunately common practice in the cosmetics, cosmeceuticals, and dietary supplement industries. In formulating a product, certain suspect manufacturers incorporate a miniscule portion of an active ingredient, insufficient to produce any measurable benefit.

There isn’t anything else in Devine Goddess that will pamper your pout and, although most everything is benign, there are a couple of things that might make it pucker. BHT is a suspected carcinogen, propylparaben also carries a (controversial) stigma of being carcinogenic and it can certainly be an irritant.

Ingredients

Diisostearyl malate, lanolin oil, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Octyldodecanol, Polybutene, Polyethylene, microcrystalline wax (cera Microcristallina), propylparaben, dicalcium phosphate, flavour (aroma), Zea Mays (corn ) oil, Ethylhexyl palmitate, Bht, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract. May Contain: Mica 77019, Titanium Dioxide 77891, Iron Oxides 77499, Iron Oxide 77491, Iron Oxide Yellow 77492, Red 6 15850, Red 7 Lake 15850, Red 28 Lake 45410, Yellow 5 Lake 19140, Blue 1 Lake 42090, Carmine 75470, Yellow 6 Lake 15985.