Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lipstick: Modifying lip balm - adding iron oxides

On the left - today's ruby lipstick with iron oxides. On the right - yesterday's ruby lip shimmer without iron oxide. You can see the colour is very similar, only today's lipstick is much darker and doesn't have the same glitter as yesterday's.

Creating a more opaque lipstick is as easy as adding a few ingredients to your lip balm recipe!

My lip balm recipe - you can use any lip balm you like that will work in a tube format...(from yesterday's post if you want to see what's what1)
8% candellia wax
9% beeswax (I was going to use carnauba, but I ran out!)
18% shea butter
12% mango butter
52% liquid oils (28% castor oil, 10% fractionated coconut oil, 7% squalene, and 7% jojoba)
1% Vitamin E

Adding micas at up to 10% is going to give you a nice shimmer (see yesterday's post), but we want to opaque this up a bit. How can we do this?

Increase your pigments: If you take the pigments up to 15% to 20%, you're going to get more colour. It will still be more of a lip sheen than a lipstick, but it will be a more intense colour.

Change the type of pigments: Iron oxides are going to offer more intense colours than micas. They are more likely to stain your lips (in a good way) than micas.

Add some fillers:
  • Boron nitride - at 2 to 5%, boron nitride is going to offer slip and glide, some whitening, and pearly sheen.
  • Bismuth oxychloride - at up to 25% (I'd stay around 5% or so), this is going to add opacity, a creamy feeling, and great adhesion.
  • Ronaspheres - at up to 10%, Ronaspheres offer slip and glide, as well as some titanium dioxide for whitening. Offers some light scattering properties as well.
A special note about titanium dioxide - the grandmother of all whiteners! This is a quick and easy way to get opacity into your lipsticks. You can go as high as 3%, but I'd suggest starting at 1% and working your way up to 3%. You know how much titanium dioxide can whiten, so starting low is always a good idea! And remember to use oil soluble titanium dioxide - water soluble will not mix well!

So let's take a look at adding iron oxides to our lipsticks. Remember to check with your supplier to ensure your iron oxides are lip and eye safe and write that directly on the bottle - if it isn't already listed.

We'll work with each filler during the upcoming posts.

RUBY with iron oxide
1 scoop red (light) iron oxide
4 scoops red mica (1/8 tsp)
1 scoop white satin mica
(6/32 tsp colour to 1 tbsp base - 6% colour to base )

If you've read yesterday's post, you'll recognize this colour blend. It's the ruby with some iron oxide thrown in to make the colour stronger. I've been using this 6% colour to base and it's more than enough to colour it quite strongly. This is going to be a bit of a lip stain in that the iron oxide will stick around after the glossy bit goes away.

You'll want to add 1% titanium dioxide - 1 0.15 scoop - to the micas before adding it to the lip balm mixture.

See if you like it. Increase by 1% at a time until you get a colour you like. Remember it will morph your colour, so you might need to add a little more iron oxide or mica to get back to your original colour. As you can see from the chart, going from 1 scoop to 8 scoops will turn it to a more dusty rose colour. Please blend these colours better than I have managed to do!

As an interesting note, this lipstick was much more long wearing than the version without iron oxide. It had some lip staining qualities, and I noticed that although the actual gloss had worn off, I still had some colour left. I was quite pleased with it, but Raymond didn't think it wasn't the best colour for me...he called it "stern librarian". (I agree with him).

Join me tomorrow to learn how to modify another lip shimmer into a lipstick using titanium dioxide.


Mich said...

Hi Susan,
Great info! Never thought of adding boron or bismuth as a filler.

Question on lipstick coloring: Have you experimented with the powdered form of cosmetics-approved dyes and lakes? Is there a rule of thumb for the percentages of these to lipstick base? (Or guidelines for what concentration to dilute them in castor oil or some other mixing medium?)


minaz Aslam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Zayman said...

I have a brief rant.

How is It that high end brands as Gabriiel/ZuZu Luxe, which claim to use only iron oxides and micas (no carmines or Lakes) are able to make beautiful shades of lipstick such as fuchsia, raspberry, berry etc., whilst claiming they only use oxides and mica? They deny using carmine or lakes, yet come come out with non-muddy and super saturated ones. I have tried to duplicate with their same ingredients hand have not even come close to the color saturation or hue; everything is brownish or at best burgundy.

This Leads me to the conclusion that either a) their ingredient list is dishonest, or b) I'm just not finding the right ingredients.

What do you'all think? Any similar experiences or thoughts on the matter?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Brian! I don't know this brand, but I think they're full of it. There are so many companies who tell lies like this - "preservative free" and so on - but we fall for it because we want to believe them. That's just my two cents...

Brian Zayman said...

Thanks Susan, that makes me feel better. How are they able to get away with it? Not that I'm going to take valuable time out my life to do it I have half a mind to submit one of their products to a lab!

Brian Zayman said...

Thanks Susan, that does make me feel better. I have half a mind to get one of their products lab tested to confront them. Probably will never do it though due to the waste of time and money though!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

They get away with it because no one does anything about it. If no one reports them to the FDA or they don't have to issue a recall, no one notices. I can't count how many times I've seen someone who wanted to report something shouted down by others who are worried more attention will be paid to small formulators - and this saddens me, as someone will get hurt and as a group, we did nothing about it.

Nadia Zayman said...

Hmmm. Well that sucks! As I just make my own makeup for myself I have nothing to lose. Are you saying though that if I do try and investigate itt could negatively impact on small proprietors?

Clare J said...

This really worries me as I'm vegetarian and REALLY don't want to accidentally buy carmine. Is it not possible to get bright pinks using ultramarines or other compounds? There is a European mica company that says all their colours are vegan. They have a very pink mica with the ingredients "Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide CI77491, Manganese Violet CI77742". The mica is coated with the pigment as I understand it, not just mixed.

Nadia Zayman said...

Claire, I actually didn't consider using pink and violet ultramarines so I might have unintentionally misspoken. Susan what's yoour input on this please? Meanwhile I'm going to try using pink ultramarine.