Volume 36, Issue 2 (March 1991)
Comparison of Minute Smears of Lipstick by Microspectrophotometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy
Minute lipstick smears are sometimes found as evidence on clothing, eigarette butts, bedding, and miscellaneous crime scene surfaces. Traditional techniques, such as visible-absorption spectroscopy, and paper and thin-layer chromatography, are not always suitable for comparison of the trace amounts of lipstick which usually occur in actual casework. Microspectrophotometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), in combination with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) were evaluated for comparison of minute lipstick samples. Microspectrophotometry proved very promising in differentiating lipstick samples of nearly the same color but with minor shade differences. Backscattered electron imaging followed by X-ray microanalysis was used as an additional method for discrimination purposes. Both of these techniques can rapidly analyze microscopic samples of lipstick.