Makeup Technology

Types of color cosmetics: foundation; blushers; mascara; eyeliner; eye shadow; lip color; nail color. Purpose: improve appearance; impart color; even out skin tones; hide imperfections; protection. Types of formulations: suspensions; aqueous; anhydrous. Emulsions: oil-in-water; water-in-oil. Powder: pressed; loose. Anhydrous: wax, solvent; stick; pan; tube.


The term powdered cosmetics are generally used to describe face powders, eyeshadows, and blushers. When the product is applied to the skin, the shade must not significantly change when worn, must feel smooth in use, making it easy to apply, and adhere well for a reasonable time, without reapplication.

Face Powders

Some of the attributes of a satisfactory face powder are the following: (1) gives smoothness to overall texture; (2) gives added skin translucency when excess is buffed; (3) makes the skin appear more refined and finer textured; (4) helps set the makeup base and adds longevity to the make-up overall; (5) suppresses surface oil and shine. Generally there is a wide range of raw materials used in powdered cosmetics and many of these carry over into the formulation of other decorative cosmetics.

Talc is the major component of most face powders, eye shadows, and blushers. js

Chemically it is a hydrated magnesium silicate. Cosmetic talcs are mined in Italy, -a

France, Norway, India, Spain, China, Egypt, Japan, and the United States. Typi- < cally talcs are sterilized by gamma irradiation. Particle size should pass through a 200-mesh sieve. Cosmetic talc should be white, free of asbestos, have high |

spreadability or slip, with low covering power. Micronized talc is generally lighter and fluffier but less smooth on the skin than regular grades. Although talc is fairly hydrophobic, treated talcs have been used to enhance its texture. In some products talc is present in up to 70% of the formulation.


Kaolin or china clay is a naturally occurring, almost white, hydrated aluminum silicate. It does not exhibit a high degree of slip. Kaolin has good absorbency, is dense, and is sometimes used to reduce bulk densities in loose powder products. It provides a matte surface effect that can reduce slight sheen left by some talc products.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate or precipitated chalk has excellent absorption properties. It provides a matte finish and has moderate covering powder. High levels should be avoided, or an undesirable, dry, powdery feel can result.

Magnesium Carbonate

Magnesium carbonate is available in a very light, fluffy grade that absorbs well and is often used to absorb perfume before mixing it into face powders.

Metallic Soap

Zinc and magnesium stearate are important materials for imparting adhesion to face powders, and usually incorporated at 3 to 10% of the formulation. Stearates add some water repellency to formulas while too high levels give a blotchy effect on the skin. Zinc stearate, besides imparting adhesions, gives a smoothing quality to face powders. Aluminum stearate and lithium stearates have also been used. High levels can make pressed formulation too hard.

Starch s

Starch in used in face powders to give a ''peachlike'' bloom and provides a ja smooth surface on the skin. One problem attributed to rice starch is that when <

moistened it tends to cake. Also, the wet product may provide an environment for bacterial growth.


Chemically mica is potassium aluminum silicate dihydrate. Cosmetic mica is refined and ground to particles of 150 |m or less. It imparts a natural translucence when used up to 20% in formulations of face powder blushes. Mica is available as wet ground that is creamy or dry ground that is matte. Sericite is a mineral, similar to white mica in shape and composition. It has a very fine grain size and a silky shine. It is soft and smooth and has a slippery feel on the skin. Sericite may be coated with silicone and other treatments for better water repellency and skin adhesion.


Polymers are chiefly texture enhancers used at levels of 3 to 40% depending on whether they are to be included in a loose or pressed powder. Among these polymers, we find nylon-12 and nylon-6, lauroyl lysine, boron nitride (makes active ingredients spread more uniformly on inactive bases), polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene acrylates copolymer (very sheer, will not affect binder in pressed powders, processing temperature less than 85-90°), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and silica beads (can carry oily ingredients into a system; increase wear on oily skin), polyurethane powders, silicone powders, borosilicate, microcrystal-line cellulose, acrylate copolymers, teflon® and teflon® composites (effective at low concentrations, 1 -5%), polyvinylidene copolymers (very light-ultra low density), and composite powders that are coated on inexpensive beads to reduce costs and increase effectiveness, like nylon/mica, silica/mica, lauryl lysine/mica and boron nitride/mica. Many of these polymers are treated with silicones, ti-tanates, lecithin, etc., for increased effectiveness.


Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, both pigmentary and ultrafine, organics, inorganics, carmine and pearlescent pigments either predispersed or treated are found in all face powders because the textures of these colorants are not very satisfactory.

Perfumes 4

The use of perfumes is important for face powder, which requires them because <

most of the raw materials used are earthy smelling and should be masked. Per- «

fumes should show stability and low volatility. |

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