News In Brief: Lipstick smudges reveal their identity

Spectroscopy allows forensics researchers to tell cosmetics apart

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 11:43 AM February 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — Discerning one lipstick from the next can be tough for consumers but it’s even harder for scientists. Now forensics researchers have found a quick method to tell apart individual lipsticks, no matter the color or brand. The approach could help investigators analyze evidence in cases in which a smear of lipstick on glass, paper or a piece of clothing becomes important.

Experts typically examine a lipstick’s dyes or its chemical or elemental composition. To distinguish closely r...

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