Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mineral make-up filler round-up: Part 1 of 3

So I went a little nuts and decided to make one colour and try every single filler I had with it. My choice was this grind - Paper Cut from TKB Trading. My logic? I thought it was a great name...and it is composed of just two colours, so it's easy to make and easy to see the changes each filler brings to the mix. (I know you'll find titanium dioxide in the Pop Mica colours, so it's not a completely un-filler test, but I was ill! I will be testing iron oxides in the coming days with the same fillers so we'll see how they work in that context.)

The colour grind? I used 15 cc (1 tbsp) raspberry pop mica to 3 cc black satin mica to make my colour blend.

The plan? Add 5% of each filler (by volume) to the same amount of colour every time and document how the filler changes the colour, opacity, feel, and adhesion. I'd take 1 cc of colour and add 5% filler to that.

The plan goes wrong? Only I decided to add 5 small scoops to 1 cc of colour. Which means, in the end, I was adding 43% filler by volume to the colour. Most of the fillers are recommended at lower amounts - like calcium carbonate at no more than 10% or magnesium stearate at 10% - so these are extreme examples of what the fillers can do to your colour! I have not included a base (eye shadow, foundation, blush) to this mixture, so I'm judging the changes based on the one filler alone.

A note on colour changes? When you add 43% of something to a colour, it is going to "water down" the colour to be a little less vibrant. This is all part of the process of making mineral make-up - how does your base affect your colour? So every colour I've done is going to seem less intense than the original grind. I'm trying to base the colour change less on being less vibrant - because I expect that - and more on did it change it greatly, enhancing the pink more, for instance.

In my defence, I was very ill last week with a sinus infection that turned into something that seemed like the stomach flu after taking steroids! Not the best time to craft, I give you that, but I was so bored lying in bed all the time!

Colour: Reduced some of the sparkle. It is more pink than the original grind. On my hand, it was incredibly pink...too pink, in my opinion.
Opacity: Much more opaque than the original grind.
Feel: Very draggy. I definitely need something more if I'm going to sweep this across my eyes. There would be an unpleasant pull just to get the colour on.
Adhesion: Incredible adhesion. Even after some extreme rubbing, I could still see the colour on my hand. The sparkle, however, did come off.

I doubt anyone would use titanium dioxide alone as a filler. It's just too draggy and changes the colour far too much. Coupled with any of the high glide and slip fillers, this is the best addition for adding opacity to your bases (providing you use the appropriate level of titanium dioxide, not the crafty 43% I've used!)

Colour: The sparkle is still there, but it did change the colour to be a little more pink.
Opacity: More opaque than the original grind, but not as opaque as the titanium dioxide.
Feel: Draggy. I wouldn't want to use this as the sole filler in a product. I would need something far more glidy or slippery if I'm going to use this!
Adhesion: Great adhesion. I could rub it my hand and still see some of the original colour, but not the sparkle.

Using zinc oxide alone as a filler is just not a great idea. It's too draggy. Coupled with a high glide or slip filler, this is a great addition for increasing the adhesion and making your colours more opaque.

Colour: The sparkle is there and the colour did not change much. It does seem a little pinker, but on my hand beside the grind, you wouldn't know there was much of a change.
Opacity: No real change in opacity.
Feel: Glidy. I would happily use this as the only filler in a product.
Adhesion: Good. It did come off when I rubbed my hand - a little more easily than I would have liked - but it was far more tenacious than some other fillers.

I think using Micronaspheres as the sole filler would be great for a body glitter or an eye sweep where you're going for a hint of colour, but I'd definitely want something with more adhesion for a foundation or blush base. I was pleased with the way it didn't highlight the lines on my hand the way some other fillers did (bismuth oxychloride, for instance)

Treated sericite (dimethicone treated)

Colour: The treated sericite didn't change the colour much, but it did add a ton of sparkle to it. Too much sparkle? I liked it, but it might be way too sparkly for something like a blush or foundation. I think it's fine in a lipstick or eye shadow.
Opacity: It changed the opacity quite a bit, making it quite a sheer colour compared to the grind.
Feel: This felt just lovely. I would happily use it as the sole filler in a product.
Adhesion: The adhesion was good compared to the Micronaspheres, but not as good as titanium dioxide. It came off a little too easily when I rubbed my hand.

I think using treated sericite mica as the sole filler for a body glitter or eye shadow would be just fine, but for a blush or foundation it would add far too much sparkle (in a mica only colour grind) for most people's tastes and would come off a little too easily. Having said that, few people are going to use micas for a foundation or blush, so the point is probably moot. Combined with another great adhesion filler, this is the backbone for most of my bases and it works very very well with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Micronaspheres, and calcium carbonate (for oily skin).

Colour: Kept the colour very true and didn't add a ton of sparkle the way the treated sericite mica did.
Opacity: The colour became much more translucent than the treated sericite mica or Micronaspheres made it.
Feel: It actually felt pretty nice. It was not as glidy and slippery as the treated sericite mica or Micronaspheres.
Adhesion: Good adhesion. It did come off when I rubbed my hand, and it did come off a little more than I would have liked when I brushed my hand, but it stayed on.

Untreated sericite mica alone doesn't offer the great adhesion I'd like, but coupled with a great adhesion ingredient, this would be a great addition if you don't want to change the colour of your product much and want more translucency. I was actually surprised by how much I really liked the untreated sericite. For someone with oily skin, this probably isn't the best choice for a foundation or blush, but it would be a great choice for highly coloured eye shadows where you want the colour to be as true as possible.

Here's the first row of fillers I experimented with side by side so you can see how each one affects the grind. You can see how the opacity increases with the titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, remains about the same with the Micronaspheres, then becomes more translucent with the sericite micas. You can't see the sparkle so much in this picture, but the last three fillers definitely add some sparkle to the mix.

Join me tomorrow for part 2 of the mineral make-up filler round up!

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