Medusa's make-up eye liner sealant contains: water, VP/VA Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
One from Sephora ($18 for 0.2 ounces or about 6 ml)
Aqua (Water), Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Polyester-5, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben. Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.
One called TransFix contains Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Polyvinylpyrrolidone, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid (Not so good reviews of this one...)
What I can take from these ingredient lists is that these ingredients contain water, a co-polymer (the VP/VA or polyvinylpyrrolidone or PVP), a humectant/plasticizer (propylene glycol), and preservatives. This is an easy product to replicate because we only have a few variables - the water, the plasticizer, and the sticky stuff - but I want it in a gel format so it doesn't get all over my purse. Secondly, it'll be easier to turn this into a gel liner when I eventually perfect the recipe.
The propylene glycol isn't here so much as a humectant, but as a plasticizer. We want the product to be slightly plastic, in that we can move our eye lid and it won't crack. If we don't have that, then we get a sticky, thick substance that can't handle a little movement. You can use another poly-alcohol based humectant if you want, including hexylene glycol, butylene glycol, glycerin, 1,3-propanediol, or sorbitol. You can't use honey, sodium lactate, or sodium PCA. For more information on humectants, click here.
And I can also take away that they are incredibly expensive for what they are! Running between $5.00 to $20 (and, I'm sure, more!) for less than a tablespoon, the ingredients aren't hard to get or expensive, but it can take some time to get the skin feel you want.
So what ingredients should I have?
- Water. I'll use distilled water for this, as I should for every product I make, but it's even more important when I'm making a gel as I don't want to include salts or metals I could find in tap water.
- A polymer of some kind. I want to use something like PVP or AMP, something I might use in a hair gel for holding. PVP (INCI: PVP) is a film former and thickener soluble in alcohols and water. Use at 1% to 10% in water based products. AMP (INCI: AMP acrylates copolymer) is a similar ingredient, but there are many different versions of it, all of which will include the acrylates copolymer. I'm using PVP because it's easier for me to find.
- Propylene glycol. As I mentioned above, propylene glycol is included here as a plasticizer, as something that will keep something that could be stiffer more supple. (Yeah, you can giggle now if you want.) You can substitute another polyol based humectant here, but I'm using propylene glycol.
- Preservative. Of course we need that. We want to find something that can be used near our eyes. Something like Phenonip or Liquid Germall Plus works well here. Check the preservatives section of the blog to see data sheets on each preservative to see if your favourite will work here.
Related posts that will give you an idea of how I work to figure out a product's ingredients and skin feel:
Duplicating products: Lush's After Life moisturizer (part 1)
Duplicating products: Lush's After Life moisturizer (part 2)