Business: Of Ceteareth-5 and Water

Sometimes the only way to tell one cosmetic from the other is by the price tag. Competing products use many of the same ingredients, and what the customer buys is often the mystique and the prestige, as well as color or scent. Lipsticks are basically made of waxes, oils, fragrance and color, although 31 ingredients go into Revlon's Raspberry and only 23 into Maybelline's Toasted Brick. Perfumes are costly in part because of small quantities of exceptionally expensive natural oils. Among some of the exceptionally prized, the prices per lb. run: jasmine...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!