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Dear UCSB ScienceLine,
Just the other day I was watching TV an ad came up from the make-up Company, Revlon, where they were promoting 12-hour long-lasting lipstick. Yet, when my mother uses make-up it only lasts a couple of hours before she has to reapply it again. What's in the Revlon lipstick that's able to make it last so long?
Answer 1:

Unfortunately, the answer has nothing to do with science and everything to do with advertising. When you read or hear an advertiser's claim, you have to carefully listen to the small print. Revlon claims that their lipstick lasts 'up to 12 hours'. That could mean just about anything. It could mean that they did a survey and all the women reported their lipstick lasted 12 hours or it could mean that 99% of the women reported their lipstick's lasted only 1 hour and only one woman reported it lasted 12 hours. (Maybe she was sleeping the whole time!)

If you start looking at advertisements critically in this manner you will discover that many manipulate data to make their products look good. Learning how to examine data and information critically in this manner will help you to become not only a smart consumer but a good scientist! Good luck.


Answer 2:

I'm sure it's a trade secret. Companies keep that sort of thing secret.


Answer 3:

My daughter answered your Revlon question. It doesn't last 12 hrs.



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