Posts Tagged ‘powders’

Is more expensive eye shadow really different?

June 6th, 2014

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

Mamasim asks…Can the processes (methods) as opposed to ingredients, of producing a beauty product be different enough to justify the price differences in the same product type? A makeup artist I like commented in a tutorial that the reason she liked Dior eyeshadows is they have a wonderful texture. She said that when she asked a cosmetic chemist why they said it was because during its production the product was held at the ‘fat combining’ stage for slightly longer than is the norm… (???) I’m interested in knowing if high end companies use more involved methods and this is a reason why their products can be more expensive?

The Beauty Brains respond:

The only unusual “fat combining” process that I’m aware of is the way Perry eats a hamburger and french fries. He eats ALL the fries first THEN he eats the burger.  Isn’t it normal to intersperse bites of the burger with the fries so you can enjoy the flavor of both?  I mean you wouldn’t eat your entire bag of potato chips and THEN eat your ham sandwich, would you? Sheesh! But I digress…

Processing can impact product cost

While we stress the importance of looking at ingredients to understand the quality of a product, there are situations where the ingredients don’t tell the full story. Sometimes HOW the ingredients are put together can be tremendously important to the quality of the finished product. You don’t see this in simple mixtures, like shampoos, but you do see it on more complex products like pressed powders. Case in point: a recent article in Cosmetics & Toiletries revealed that the quality of a powder cosmetic products depends in part on how the powders are pulverized.

The powders used in cosmetics can form agglomerates, or clumps. These clumps prevent the powder from having a smooth application. To avoid these clumps powders are processed to break them into tiny particles. This is commonly done using a piece of equipment called a “Hammer Mill” which basically slams metal hammers against the powder’s surface to break the pieces apart. Most manufacturers used to this type of equipment.

However a more advanced process, known as “Jet Milling,” can break the particles into even smaller sizes and make them more spherical.

Not surprisingly Jet Mills cost more, and not as readily available, as Hammer Mills. That means if a company wants to make a higher quality powder they either have to invest in more expensive equipment or they have to use a contract manufacturer which owns this specialized grinder. In either case the use of jet milling to create a softer feeling product results in an increased price. Therefore it’s unlikely you’ll see this used in bargain products.

So the answer is yes, process can impact cost.

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When is it Worthwhile to Spend More on Pressed Powder?

August 15th, 2012

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

Post image for When is it Worthwhile to Spend More on Pressed Powder?

Judy just wants to know…Are all pressed powder makeup products the same or are some brands worth spending more money on?

The Right Brain replies:

While we stress the importance of looking at ingredients to understand the quality of a product, there are situations where the ingredients don’t tell the full story. Sometimes HOW the ingredients are put together can be tremendously important to the quality of the finished product. You don’t see this in simple mixtures, like shampoos, but you do see it on more complex products like pressed powders. Case in point: a recent article in Cosmetics & Toiletries revealed that the quality of a powder cosmetic products depends in part on how the powders are pulverized.

Pulverizing powders

The powders used in cosmetics can form agglomerates, or clumps. These clumps prevent the powder from having a smooth application.  To avoid these clumps powders are processed to break them into tiny particles. This is commonly done using a piece of equipment called a “Hammer Mill” which basically slams metal hammers against the powder’s surface to break the pieces apart. Most manufacturers used to this type of equipment.

However a more advanced process, known as “Jet Milling,” can break the particles into even smaller sizes and make them more spherical.

Not surprisingly Jet Mills cost more, and not as readily available, as Hammer Mills. That means if a company wants to make a higher quality powder they either have to invest in more expensive equipment or they have to use a contract manufacturer which owns this specialized grinder. In either case the use of jet milling to create a softer feeling product results in an increased price. Therefore it’s unlikely you’ll see this used in bargain products.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

While in many (most?) cases it’s not worth spending more on expensive products, there are some exceptions. If you value elegant feel characteristics you may want to spend more on your makeup to ensure you’re getting a jet milled product. You can do a quick test to see if you like the feel of a powder by running your finger over its surface.

Reference: Comparatively Speaking: Pressed vs. Loose Powder

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Sensai Designing Duo Bronzing Powder

March 5th, 2012

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

Welcome to Fab Over Forty: Sensai Designing Duo Bronzing Powder

Bronzing powders and highlighting powders can add a touch of warmth and youthfulness to the face.  But, one of the things we have to watch out for as we age is using too much shimmer.  As Jacquey George told us, we need to be strategic in using shimmery powders, and this Sensai Designing Duo Bronzing […]

Thanks for reading Fab Over Forty. Please feel free to contact me. You’ll find my information on the “About” page on Fab Over Forty.

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Does Pressed Powder Makeup Always Contain Synthetic Ingredients?

February 3rd, 2012

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

Post image for Does Pressed Powder Makeup Always Contain Synthetic Ingredients?

February is link love month!  We’re taking questions from other bloggers and encouraging you to check out their blogs. Today’s question is from Mary at Pure Healthy Makeup. Stop by and say hello! 

Mary asks: Is is possible to make pressed makeup without using any synthetics?

The Right Brain responds:

Rather than re-opened the debate on natural vs synthetic, I’ll try to address your question as it applies specifically to powdered makeup.

Loose powder needs fewer ingredients

One can certainly make the case that certain brands of so-called mineral makeup are among the most “natural” of cosmetic products. For example, Mineral Hygenics only contains a few powders which are all derived from crushed rocks (more or less.) This kind of product is relatively easy to formulate using only mineral (ie “natural”) ingredients because it’s just a simple blend of powders.

Pressed powder is more complex

Pressed powders, on the other hand, are much more complex. In order for the powders to stay compressed they need some kind of binding oil. And for those oils to mix with the powders they may require a surfactant to lower the surface tension. And the pressed powders have to spread easily across your skin so they may require emollients to provide slip. And these surfactants and binders and emollients may require antioxidants to prevent rancidity. And, since pressed powders have a surface that comes in contact with fingers and makeup brushes, they are more likely to require preservatives than loose powders. And…well you get the idea.

The more ingredients that a formula requires, the more difficult it becomes to source ingredients that everyone will agree are “natural.” And although natural alternatives may be available, they may not work as well as the nasty old “synthetic” chemicals. This is particluarly true of preservatives and of many surfactants.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

It’s not impossible to formulate a pressed powder without  ”synthetics” but the requirements of the formula make it much more difficult.

Image credit: Beautyiswithin.

Do YOU know of a pressed powder that made of only natural ingredients? Leave a comment and share your natural knowledge with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

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La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

November 10th, 2011

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder ($80.00 for 2.20 oz.) is available in two shades, Translucent 1 and Translucent 2, both of which are loose powders designed to set makeup and mattify the skin. It is also supposed to add radiance to the skin. Worth noting is for the price, you get a large, full-size (2.0 oz.) along with a travel-sized version (0.20 oz.), both of which are refillable (though, I did not spy any refills available online, so it may be an in-store purchase only).

I should probably be using Translucent 2, which is designed for warmer skin tones (and also for those on the darker side of the spectrum), but the product I received and tested was Translucent 1. I don’t have extremely strong yellow undertones, so that’s probably why I was able to get away with Translucent 1, which is generally more suitable for cooler skin tones and those on the lighter end of the spectrum. Loose Powders are a product that really needs to be tested on the face with an appropriate applicator, because merely swatching it on your arm or the back of your hand will rarely yield the same result. For reference, I’ve done an arm swatch only just blended so the product is still visible against my skin as well as before-and-after photos of the loose powder applied with a fluffy powder brush (MAC 134).

This powder has shimmer in it, and initially, when I first swatched it against the skin, I was like, “Ooh, boy, that is SO not going to work!” Lo and behold, it mattified without giving the skin an unnaturally dry appearance. The subtle reflecting particles help deliver that soft focused look that gives the skin the appearance of a softer, more even appearance. There are numerous loose powders on the market with similar properties, so it’s not unique to La Prairie’s by any means, but these types of powders work exceptionally well on camera. They’re picked up and read back beautifully.

La Prairie’s loose powder is extremely finely milled–so soft it feels like silk and almost comes together like a cream. It applies easily without looking caky and disappears against the skin when a flick of the brush. It sets my makeup in place and keeps it there for eight to ten hours without needing to re-powder or blot. While testing this, my skin was fairly normal, and like many of you, I do get a little oilier around my t-zone. Without a powder, my t-zone looks oily after six hours and foundations can feel slick on the skin, but I felt like everything remained solid until that eight hour mark.

The price point–as far as La Prairie goes–is not nearly as high as I’d expect, given the amount of powder you receive. For reference, popular setting powder Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder retails for $34 and contains 1 oz. of product, which works out to be $34/oz., while La Prairie is $36.36/oz. It’s a higher initial price tag, but for something like setting powder, once you find the one that works for you, it’s a staple product you use everyday and will eventually use up. (Unless, of course, you have trouble committing to a product for long–like me!) I do like that you get a travel-sized version with you, though; it’s just convenient for keeping in your makeup bag or when you’re traveling. And if you don’t intend to travel, you can use the small size and refill it using the larger jar; this means keeping the large jar totally clean for the years it’ll take to finish it.

I have a good number of go-to setting powders, and La Prairie does everything it’s supposed to do.  It doesn’t compel me to switch, as I have found that many loose powders perform equally well on my skin type, it’s not just puffery.  It is definitely one I would reach for on a special occasion for its exceptional ability to give skin a softer, smoother appearance.

Where to Buy: Nordstrom, $80

THE GLOSSOVER
PRODUCT : 10/10
PIGMENTATION : 10/10
TEXTURE : 10/10
LONGEVITY : 9/10
APPLICATION : 4.5/5
PACKAGING : 4.5/5

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have a good number of go-to setting powders, and La Prairie does everything it’s supposed to do. It doesn’t compel me to switch, as I have found that many loose powders perform equally well on my skin type, it’s not just puffery. It is definitely one I would reach for on a special occasion for its exceptional ability to give skin a softer, smoother appearance.

OVERALL: A

See more photos & swatches!

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
Chanel Pro Lumiere / La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder on top

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder


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Please note that this article is not written by celebritymakeup.org