Scientists at the University of Kent, UK have used Raman spectroscopy to identify different types and brands of lipstick on crime scene evidence without having to remove it from the evidence bag.
Lipstick marks can link someone to a crime scene and can be crucial for establishing physical contact between individuals in cases of violent crime. But current techniques for analysing lipstick evidence are either destructive, or require a level of human opinion.
The researchers developed a method using Raman spectroscopy and chemometrics for both in-situ analysis of bulk samples and trace analysis on a variety of recipient materials, without time-consuming sample preparation or destroying the samples. The study also investigated the effects of ageing on lipstick evidence which provides useful information for trace evidence analysts working with older lipstick stains.