I have been doing some volunteer work in the Amazon rainforest this past month and came across a beautiful tree with heart-shaped, red spiky fruits. My Peruvian host told me that it’s an Annatto, or more commonly known as the “lipstick tree!”
He ripped off a fruit, broke it in half and then rubbed the tiny red seeds between his fingers. The seeds produced the most vibrant red, creamy paint-like substance which immediately started to stain his skin. The lipstick tree has many uses for the locals, it is used as face paint, dye, lipstick and even to repel mosquitoes.
The color lasts for hours. I wish it came in other shades..
I am a freelance makeup artist in Los Angeles working mainly in print and television. Makeup and traveling are my passion and my heart resides at La Isla De Los Monos Monkey Rescue Center in the Peruvian Amazon.