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Professional Cosmetics Go High Def

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: December 1, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

According to Michael Benjamin, president and CEO of Temptu—a professional, U.S.-based airbrush makeup and body art business that’s launching a new consumer line in 2009—people’s lives are ever-evolving in the digital realm.

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Sourcing ingredients from industries outside of cosmetic science—such as the paint, the pharmaceutical and the electronics industries—has enhanced the array of formulaic options the supplier has to present to its clients. To meet demand, Presperse has added to its roster marine actives from Biotech Marine in France, arctic oils from Aromtech of Finland, botanical extracts from Bioland of Korea, and skin brightening actives from Technoble of Japan, which work in conjunction with its high-performance cosmetic powders for visible, long-term skin benefits.

Raw Materials

“Where heavy makeup is exposed, soft focus is the key to hiding blemishes on digital film,” says Phillips. “Presperse offers a line of powders that optimizes soft focus properties, including spherical silicas under the trade name Spheron, spherical Ganzpearl PMMA beads and micronized powders from Micro Powders Inc. Instead of masking the imperfections, the skin is blurred to create an appearance of soft focus without camera tricks.”

EMD Chemicals/Rona Ingredients, another supplier, similarly focuses its materials on light refracting properties that minimize the appearance of fine facial lines and wrinkles, such as Ronastar LDP. In addition, EMD offers color pigments that enhance cosmetic sparkle on the runway or stage through its new Xirona Volcanic Sparks line. Other materials that may have promising uses in the professional high-def cosmetics industry are colored bismuth pearl pigments, available through suppliers such as Presperse and Impact Colours, which provide smoother application and promote adhesion. But just as in the fashion industry, cosmetics are cyclical in that color trends constantly change for consumers and professionals alike, and in some ways, the two industries influence one another—an aspect to which some professional cosmetic brand owners pay close attention.

Fashion's Influence

“The cosmetic industry is driven heavily by the fashion forecasts set forth by the world’s most acclaimed designers, and cosmetics complement and enhance fashion,” says Phillips.

For suppliers such as EMD Chemicals, presenting color forecasts as far as 18 months in advance plays an important role in working with beauty brand clients. “This forecast is based on the fashion industry, along with economic trends and influences that illustrate how makeup colors and trends will be affected,” says Rebecca Vaiarelli, marketing, cosmetic pigments, EMD Chemicals.