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High Def, High Tech

By: Sara Mason
Posted: April 6, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 8

Ciba also recognized the need for sparkle, expanding its Calisha Color collection of pigments with a range of six unique high chroma effect pigments. The new Calisha Impressions collection offers new and innovative approaches to delivering color. Each of the six novel effect pigments imparts a very bright, noticeable color and is available in water- as well as oil-dispersible grades.

Innovating Applications

Limitations to development are complicated by various sets of product safety regulations affecting pigments.

A new pigment must be registered and added to the appropriate list before it can be legally marketed. There are currently at least 14 such lists, including REACH. “Manufacturers are limited by coating techniques and the substrate used and the way the pigments are manufactured,” said EMD’s Linz. “And there will always be limitations, but we can move toward innovation in application.” Such limitations in addition to smarter reverse engineering techniques, low numbers of new entrants in the market and downturns in profitability (causing some to cut back on research) leads to the “commoditization” of pigments.

“It’s really a challenge to be innovative,” said EMD’s Vaiarelli. “But with dedicated R&D, there is always something new—lip topping or lip powder, or interesting combinations to make unusual applications that haven’t been thought of before.”

Using Merck’s color forecasting tool, the company takes a comprehensive look at colors and ideas and the concepts behind them. “You are not reinventing color, you are reinventing the idea to create from the color,” said Vaiarelli. “It’s taking a red lipstick and a whole image of what was popular in the ’20s and turning it around to make it work for today’s woman.” If it’s not the color, it’s the application.