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The Universal Selection Source:
Cosmetics Ingredients

Pigment Selection for Cosmetics

Creating with color is exciting and constantly evolving. Are you interested in entering this area but not sure where to start? This overview will help you understand the basics of selecting color materials\pigments for various applications including cosmetics.

Colorant Terminology


Color CosmeticsColorants appear certain colors based on the wavelength of light they reflect. Color can be measured and described using spectrophotometers. But, the trained human eye can achieve good color matches just as effectively.

Terms used to describe color include:  


  • Hue – This is the actual color, e.g. red, blue or yellow
  • Value or Luminosity – The higher the value or luminosity, the more white that is in the color
  • Chroma or saturation – The intensity of the hue relative to the value or luminosity of the color

Colors are measured using a variety of systems, which can include:

  • Pantone color charts
  • The Munsell color system
  • The British Colour Council Dictionary of Color Standards

Color selection charts

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1 Comments on "Pigment Selection for Cosmetics"
Kim Y Jan 20, 2017
This is a good article, esp. since it gives characteristics of pigments including stability & solubility. I wish there was a section on Natural (plant-based) colorants, like carmine, madder, indigo, woad, saffron, etc.

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