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Cosmetics Ingredients
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Photonic Makeup that Mimics Real Life Visual Effects

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Oct 5, 2007

It has been suggested to me that photonics could be used to create makeup, photonic makeup that mimics the colors on a butterfly's wings. A product which would contain little or no colorants could emit color and match the skin perfectly. This is because the natural world produces colors from seemingly transparent substances. We must first understand what photonics is and how does it apply in this particular application. Physical matter interacts with light in a process we call photonics. Color is the result of this interaction between the physical material of pigments and light, but the natural world provides us with numerous unique instances of colors in objects that possess no pigments at all. For example, soap bubbles are iridescent, and the colors will vary depending on the angle it is observed at, and butterfly wings, opals (shown below), peacock feathers and many other things that appear to us to have color despite the fact that the physical materials that make them up have little or no color in them at all.

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