Monday, September 21, 2009

Mineral make-up filler round up (with iron oxides): Boron nitride & boron glow

Boron nitride is a create addition to iron oxides as it can make the matte colours sparkle and will offer some translucency.

As with the other iron oxide filler tests, I used the Aster matte pigment grind from TKB Trading. I doubled the recipe to be...
3.2 grams manganese violet
1.0 grams ultramarine pink
1.0 grams ultramarine blue

I'm just doing the chart here because I really didn't notice a huge difference in colour change or sparkle as I went from 1 cc colour grind to 1 scoop boron nitride (13%) to 1 cc colour grind to 5 scoops boron nitride (0.75 cc or 43%). I didn't really notice an increase in sparkle until the 5 scoops point, and I didn't notice any increase in whitening or translucency. It's as if I hadn't added anything at all. I did notice as I increased the amount of boron nitride, it was less likely to rub off my hand, but that was it.

I admit, I was quite surprised to see how little the addition of boron nitride changed the matte pigment. I know the grind is a powerful colour, but this powerful? Even at the recommended amount of boron nitride - 5% to 40% - it didn't change the matte pigments at all. I would not use this as an eyeshadow - maybe an eyeliner, but it's quite unpleasant on its own without the slip and glide, and far too grippy for my tastes. (I really like the colour in general, but the feel is not great!)

I really think the best way to use boron nitride with matte pigments is to use 1 cc boron nitride to 0.15 cc or 1 scoop colour grind and work your way up with the colour. It will offer good adhesion and some sparkle, but the colour needs to be the smallest amount possible to start! And you really need more glide to be able to apply it easily!

Boron glow is pretty much the same as boron nitride in chemical composition, only you'll find its particle size is 30 microns, rather than the 5 or 6 microns of boron nitride. It should be shinier than boron glow, and adds a nice sheen to your products.

As usual, I used the Aster pigment grind for the experiment, in the same ratios as above.

I went from 1 cc colour to 1 scoop boron glow (13%) to 1 cc colour to 5 scoops boron glow (43%). I found the colour went more transparent as I added more boron glow, and it I did get some shine out of it by 5 scoops. There was a tad more sparkle at the lower levels than with the boron nitride, but not enough for me to use it alone as a filler. It was draggy but had decent adhesion. I definitely wouldn't wear an eye shadow made with matte pigments and boron nitride or boron glow as the only filler.

Boron nitride and boron glow really seem to shine (excusing the pun) in micas (please see the micas with fillers post!) or in lipsticks without a ton of iron oxides. I am not exactly sure why the matte pigments seem to change so little with it, but I do know that the recommended levels of boron nitride plus matte pigments equals an eye shadow I wouldn't wear!


Linda said...

I see boron as an additive. If the recommended amount is up to 40% it doesn't mean you should only use boron as the filler. If you only use boron that has loads of adhesion (as well as feels nice) - you just won't have enough slip.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

If you've read the rest of the MMU series, you'll see that I was experimenting with the fillers each on their own at various levels in the hopes of showing what each one brings without interference from other ingredients. I don't suggest using any single ingredient as the only filler in MMU - I generally suggest a mix of sericite mica, Micronaspheres, titanium dioxide, Dry-Flo, and other fillers, which can find in many other posts - because each brings something special to the party. These posts intended as an example of what boron nitride and boron glow did on their own.