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It’s a typical sun-drenched afternoon in Los Angeles, and I’ve found myself in the very atypical situation of wearing matching lab coats with Jessica Alba while making personalized liquid lipsticks. “Do  remember that shade Daniel used on me—the purple-ish, pink color?” she asks her shiny-haired cosmetic chemist, who is overseeing our lipstick experiment. “I’m trying to get to that color.” The chemist recommends she add more black pigment to tone down the red, and Alba resumes stirring. Over the next few minutes, we mix our shades like the most studious of chemistry students, adding dabs of orange-y red pigment for brightness and splashes of white to soften.

Simultaneously, Alba is passionately explaining the difference between the new Honest Beauty Liquid Lipsticks ($13), and the ones currently on the market. “It’s been a labor of love,” she says, lab goggles perched on her nose like a pair of Celine sunnies (mine, on the other hand, are giving off more Bill Nye vibes). “We had to go through seven different versions to get to the final one.”

The new liquid lipsticks, like the rest of Honest Beauty products, offer a clean, toxin-free alternative to its traditional counterparts, many of which have started coming under more scrutiny in recent years for their sketchy, potentially-harmful ingredients. “We consider the safety of the ingredients, but we also think about ways we can ‘up’ it and make it benefit  skin in some way,” Alba explains. “We think about ways to incorporate a natural alternative that may not exist out there. In this formula, it’s patent-pending because we combine these three elements in our liquid lip that have never been combined before to get , long wear, and flexibility—but also give a performance that’s even better than what’s out there.” (The ingredients include avocado oil, hyaluronic acid, and a pine tree resin, which gives a budge-proof, matte finish that still feels hydrating and comfortable.

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