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Using Color to Create New Shades

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Mar 8, 2007

For new shade development and creation, cosmetic shades can be broken down into four different groups or families. They are the reds, violets, nudes and the tawnys. The colorants available to the cosmetic formulator can create any shade within these four color groups. If we limit our starting point to lip products, our starting colorants will be a very large selection. Only some of our inorganic blue and green colorants will be eliminated, but these inorganic colorants have little use in lipsticks and lip glosses anyway. Coverage in lip products can vary greatly depending on the product type and shade family. Light color loading would be 4% to 8% and medium color loading would be 8% to 12%. Heavy color loading would be at 12% to 18%, while there are some companies who have products with extremely high coverage at 18% color or higher. The higher the color loading, the more costly the product. But if an extremely high coverage product becomes very popular as with M.A.C. shades, it should reflect in the sales figures and counteract the higher cost of goods. But let's talk about the color families.

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