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Leftover Lipstick Marks Could Actually Help Solve Crimes In The Near Future

We've all heard the phrase, "Getting caught red-handed,” but what about red-lipped?

Elle magazine reports forensic students have developed a method for pulling lip marks off glasses, cigarettes and the like — even after they've supposedly been removed or worn off.

The method, called "gas chromatography," is largely used for lifting latent prints in criminal investigations. The process involves applying an organic solvent to the object to remove the oils and waxes left behind by a fingerprint (or, in this case, by a lipstick mark).

A second substance, a basic organic solvent, is then added to extract any remaining residue there may be.

Western Illinois University undergrad student and lead researcher Bethany Esterlen admits,

Working on this investigation has opened my eyes to the fact that TV has it wrong — things take much longer in real life.

As Medical Daily notes, there's still research to be done. The process can be implemented by labs as-is, however, and improved with the purchase of new equipment or further research into lipstick.

Read more here and check out a video about the cool project above.

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Citations: Lipstick Can Now Be Used to Help Solve Crimes (Elle Magazine), New Technique Can Identify A Lipstick Stain At A Crime Scene And Pinpoint Culprits (Medical Daily)