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All The Science You Need to Know Behind Lipstick and Eyeshadow

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Have you ever wondered what the science is behind some of your every day makeup products?

In this second collaboration with Ifrah, she breaks down some interesting insights into the beauty industry and how lipstick and eyeshadow products are made.

Ifrah speaks about some isights into lipsticks and eyeshadows.


How is a liquid lipstick made?

The first step in making a lipstick is to mix the waxes and oils into a smooth liquid. An ingredient called mangolia butter is then added, this is a special ingredient as it melts at the temperature of your lips giving the lipstick a creamy texture. Once all the oily phase ingredients are melted, pigment is added and mixed well until you get the desired colour. The next step is milling. The tension and speed of the machine ensures there are no clumps or unmixed pigments making the mixture smoother and shiny. Finally, the formula is dispensed into the moulds and is ready to be packed.

The difference between a matte and satin lipstick

There are many differences between matte and satin lipsticks, starting off with how they are made. Satin lipsticks have a much higher oil content, as it is a much more hydrating formula that appears shiny on the lips. However, this also means they tend to transfer more and don’t last as long as matte lipsticks. Matte lipsticks don’t make the lips look shiny but they are more opaque and rich in colour. This is because the colour pay off is much greater due to there being less oil on the formulation. There is no moisture in a matte formula so it is important to hydrate and prep the lips in advance.

How do you make lipsticks long lasting?

All lipsticks vary from the type of finish they are for example matte or satin and how long they last on the lips. One important ingredient that determines the longevity of a lipstick is silicone oil. This is because silicones can act as a carrier for the colour pigments allowing maximum colour payoff and achieving the desired look. This also enhances the lipsticks ability reduce transfer properties which also indicates a long lasting lipstick


What makes an eyeshadow pigmented?

An eyeshadow has a great colour pay off when a pigment is added. A pigment is a loose powder which is distinguished by organic or inorganic pigments. Organic pigments are derived from carbon rings and chains but may contain traces metallic elements in order to stabilize the component. Inorganic pigments can be readily used in the manufacturing process of the makeup as it is a dry form of aprecipitated pigment. Inorganic pigments are more likely to be used in colour cosmetics such as eyeshadow as they remain stable even in  the presence of the organic solvents whereas various organic pigments tend to dissolve and have the tendency to resist from pigment migration and bleeding.

How are eyeshadows made?

Eye shadows are made in 7 simple steps. Starting with the pigment of choice for example, Gold. You would then weigh this and add some colour to it. This can be any colour to get your desired eyeshadow. Then you would blend the colours and the pigments together before adding it to a base. Once blended and added to the base you need to thoroughly mix. For the final steps put the mixture in an eyeshadow pan and press it. This makes the pigment compacted together, ready to use.

Which ingredients are used?

Eyeshadows are made up of base fillers, binders to keep them in the pan, slip and preservatives which increases the longevity - but the most important ingredient used is high grade talc which is crushed and milled into a powder. High grade talc is used as it is considered as an inert ingredient meaning it doesn’t cause any chemical reactions making it safe to use on the eyes and face.

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