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Green is Sexy

Nancy Jeffries

Color cosmetics today are an expression of science, fashion, innovation and ecology. One-dimensional color has given rise to prismatic color, sheer has taken turns with saturated, and matte has met luminosity. There’s moisturizing color, UV benefit, light-reflecting properties, and organic, plant-based ingredients. It is quite a colorful array.

Green is Sexy

“Finally, green is sexy,” claims Eco Natural Makeup by NVEY, an Australian line that operates under a green philosophy. The company has positioned its makeup line as prestige organic makeup, and its 54 SKUs feature organic and OFC-certified ecologically sound cosmetics. “Natural botanical extracts and powerful antioxidants make for a pure, gentle and effective makeup solution,” said Jane Dirr, president and CEO. Rohan Widdison, the company’s founder noted, “The market for organic personal care products was worth US$4.3 billion, with an estimated 50% increase by 2010 to US$6.6 billion. Much like free trade coffee, ethically chic, organic personal care resonates the emerging trend in socially responsible retailing.”

“We employed an array of synergistically aligned ingredients that act as both skin beneficial and essential structural components for the basic formulas, like soy bean extracted glycerol monostearate and organic sweet almond oil to act as emollients,” said Widdison.

The company, which uses certified organic raw materials with earth-derived colorants, blends single batches of color to offer a colorant tone range from pale beige to medium tones for light to medium coverage. This ensures that the colorants are sustained in the products without separation. Its moisturizing fluid foundation utilizes cucumber extract for moisture binding, thyme extract to assist in firming skin’s collagen and calendula oil for antiseptic properties.

Pigment Technology

From earthy and organic to high-tech science, color cosmetics offer benefits that are defined across a variety of perspectives. A new technology with color-changing effects is adding depth to the color cosmetic spectrum. Engelhard Reflecks MultiDimensions pigments can appear to be one color, but move across the color spectrum to provide multiple color effects on the skin or in shampoos and lotions. Using advances in borosilicate pigment technology, these multidimensional pigments make color-shifting effects possible in cosmetics. As an example, the effect of one Reflecks MultiDimensions pigment can appear red, but by changing the angle just 30 degrees, the effect turns to violet then blue or shifts from violet to blue to teal.

In addition, the technology is said to add qualities of visual dimensionality and sparkle to products. According to Nancy McGuire, global marketing manager for Engelhard’s cosmetic effect pigments, “The beauty of Engelhard’s new Reflecks MultiDimensions color-changing pigments is that they maintain their visual properties in moderately opaque cosmetic formulations. This makes them well-suited for use in certain color cosmetics, and they are especially eye-catching in transparent formulations such as gels, clear sticks and nail enamels.”

This line joins three other lines from Engelhard—original Reflecks pearlescent and iridescent pigments, Reflecks Dimensions pearlescents and iridescent pigments, and Reflecks colors. The pigments are designed to add luster, complex color and visual effects to cosmetics. In addition, Engelhard’s line of specialty mineral technologies help to enhance tactile qualities—including wear, absorption and other performance characteristics.

Luxurious Lips

Chanel’s Rouge Allure Satin Lip Colour is a prestigious entry into the color cosmetics market this season. The colors, consistency, adherence and pigment technology reflect luxury and manufacturing sophistication. The Chanel name is etched into the lipstick itself, and Rouge Allure contains silicones for smooth application and long-lasting adherence, vitamin E derivatives for free radical protection, shea butter for calming, and concentrated canola oil extract for hydration, softening and protection.

Lipsticks with vibrant color and brilliance require research and skin care expertise to develop. Orlane Paris introduced Rouge Pur Soin—an antiaging, line-reducing range with a scientific focus. In designing an antiaging lipstick to enhance, moisturize the skin’s upper layers, and reshape the lips and their contours, Orlane utilized marine-based biopolymers derived from chondroitin sulfate and collagen—known for their hydrating and filmogenic properties. These spherical molecules are incorporated into a dehydrated form that lodges into depressions of the skin tissue. They increase hydration by trapping water, which would otherwise evaporate from the skin through transepidermal water loss. The result is a plumping and line-reducing effect with long-lasting hydration.

Additionally, ingredients such as jojoba oil and muscat rose oil soften the skin and restructure the skin’s epithelium to maintain skin texture. The lipstick also contains apricot kernel oil for brilliance, and vitamin E and beeswax to protect the skin from free radicals and environmental stressors. Combined with a color range based on even pigment dispersion, the colors retain brightness, sparkle and purity without heavy metals.

Mineral and Pigment Solutions, Inc. is a supplier of muscovite mica in a larger particle size version, which, according to the company, imparts a lustrous finish to pressed powders. According to Thomas Grunstra, vice president, business director, personal care and health care, Mineral and Pigment Solutions, “By varying the particle size, you can create either a high sheen or a very matte effect. This allows the formulator the flexibility to adjust the finished look of the pressed powder. Enhanced properties can be achieved by modifying the mica with various surface treatments.”

A silky powder from YSL, called Poudre de Soleil Sun Powder, utilizes coated mica particles and offers Ampli Light+, a complex of radiance-boosting pigments that capture ambient light and amplifies and diffuses it to create an optical smoothing effect—as well as a non-drying texture supported by moisturizing properties. The powder offers the illusion of a radiant tan, protects against UVA and UVB rays that cause skin aging, and offers formulas that blend with skin to make it several tones darker.

Products utilizing mineral technology may deliver color and age-reducing benefits with ingredients such as triple-milled titanium, gold, zinc, magnesium and aluminum—as in DYG Mineral Makeup, by Dianne York-Goldman of La Jolla Spa MD. Mineral tints, translucent powders, eye shadows, satin blush treatments, lip colors and lip plumpers are among the company’s products. DYG’s Dimensional Eye Shadow provides three-dimensional luster by layering matte and pearl pigments to create a fabric-like texture, and the Sheer Satin Blush contains micro-pulverized pigments for soft and durable transparency.

Colorescience Mineral Makeup, whose owner Diane Ranger emphasizes the importance of quality ingredients in mineral makeup, notes that real mineral makeup is free of talcs, oils, alcohols, dyes, binders, fillers and heavy preservatives. Mineral makeup should work to make skin look enhanced—not covered up. Colorescience, which makes a range of face, eye and lip color cosmetics based on mineral technology, notes the importance of reading labels to see if products are FDA-rated. “Some companies make mineral makeup, some companies make makeup and put a few drops of minerals in it. It’s not the same thing,” said Ranger. “Consumers need to read their labels and check to see if the products are FDA-rated; be aware and compare.”

Colorescience also uses nanotechnology to provide SPF properties to prevent photoaging and natural mineral pigments that reflect light to give skin a glow. Natural-looking shine and color are the results of a special polymer technology from Clarins. Providing a new take on luminosity, as well as flavorful color for lips, the company’s Souffle de Rouge Lip Colour Tints come in shades like strawberry, watermelon, caramel and fig. The products utilize the Clarins Lip Expert™ complex dual action, which provides long-lasting moisture from micro-patches and protective action from shea butter and vitamin E, to smooth lips and make them appear visibly fuller due to line-filling pearls based on acacia micro-pearls. The tints, made in France, offer both subtle flavor and fragrance, in addition to their color properties.

Another pearl technology comes from Sothys, which offers Intense Velvet Bronzing Powder for all skin tones. It is made with finely milled powders to dust sheerly on fair complexions. Deeper tones can be layered for a sun-kissed glow. The bronzer is infused with nearly imperceptible pearl pigments, which make the face appear luminous without appearing shiny. The colors are soft and sunny, with active ingredients to protect, hydrate and nourish skin while adding rich color.

The Eyes Have It

In has become de rigueur for color cosmetics to offer benefits and on-trend color in all formats and formulas. The Aux Lumière du Sud’s Color Collection from Sothys offers a Provencal spring time, with Lavande, a creamy base of lavender; Faience, an earthy pink; and Brun Profond, a rich brown, to smudge into the lash line. The company’s Two Way Eye Shadow combines the luster of a cream with the staying power of a powder in a healing formula that contains shea butter and vitamin E to hydrate the delicate skin of the eye, while allantoin heals and protects. Also from Sothys, Waterproof Soft Eye Pencil adds a subtle shimmer, and Multi-Dimensional Treatment Mascara thickens, lengthens and curls lashes while it protects and moisturizes with beeswax and rice gluten. The mascara colors and coats lashes with Brun Intense, a deep brown color alternative to black. Sugar’s Color Collection for spring 2006 is a youth-oriented entry for color that offers eyes a burst of candy-colored metallic shades in a range called Gumball Eye Shadow Palette. It features five iridescent shades of light lavender, glittering purple, shiny pewter, lime green and aqua blue—as well as Garden Eye Shadow Duos with shimmering, soft-textured colors.

Fashion, treatment and technology have combined to offer a multitude of shades, tones, textures and effects to consumers who never tire of nuance. As long as demographics and an evolving marketplace continue to feed the seemingly endless appetite for beauty, we’ll all be able to sparkle, glow and feel as though we’re on the beach at St. Tropez with color cosmetic accoutrements.

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