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Cosmetic Colours: what are they & how to use them



EazyColours Colour additives, are classed in two main categories as either a dye or a pigment. Water soluble colour additives are considered dyes while Lakes as well as mineral micas are considered pigments. In general, when referring to cosmetic colour additives, what determines a dye from a pigment is its solubility - dyes are water soluble, while pigments are oil dispersible.



What does FD&C and D&C after some colours mean?

These letters typically stands for where the colour additive can be used. FD&C before a colour additive means you can use it in Food, Drugs & Cosmetics. D&C colour additives allow their use in Drugs and Cosmetics and NOT for food colouring.


So where can I use Lakes?

Lakes work well in cosmetics because they do not bleed colour. These pigments give off a super bright colour pay off and why they are widley used in the cosmetic industry.


*The image shows Lake Red40 added to Red40 water-soluble to change it from terracotta to a red bath bomb.


Water soluble Red40 when mixed with soduim bicarb will not produce the stunning red you'd expect, instead of being that vibrant red you see in the water, it is more a terracotta colour in a bath bomb mix. This is where Lakes come into play.


Lakes are not water-soluble, so you would only add a little Lake to your oils/fragrance oils before adding to you mix. This ensures that not only is the water vibrant (water-soluble) but the bath bomb is too (added Lake). Don't forget to add a little Polysorbate 80 to help disperse your oils in the water and not leave a residue.


EazyColours currently has batch certified Lakes in Red40, Blue1, Yellow5, Red7 and Red27


What are Mineral pigments?

Mineral pigments are often listed as mica, oxides and ultramarines.


Micas are an excellent colour additive option in the world of coloured cosmetics. They produce beautiful earthy tones, do not bleed and, thus, work very well in cosmetics, such as eyeshadows and even soap.


We include Mica pigments in our assessments for their beauty and for your creativity to run wild! We would suggest a blend of isopropyl alcohol and mica for painting on your bathbombs for example.


The rubbing alcohol will evaporate leaving the very shimmery mica on your bomb without activating it, but be careful, because some colours don't play nicely with rubbing alcohol. In fact Red28 will fade or completely disappear if rubbing alcohol is used with it, so a safer way is to use sweet almond oil. And even better it is included in our assessments.


Here are the EazyColours recommended usage rates of MICA


-Lipstick, Lip Gloss 5-10%

-Eyeshadow 10-40%

-Blusher, CC cream, Foundation 2-10%

-Blusher Rouge 2-10%

-Makeup Powders 5-10%

-Eyebrow Pencils, Eyeshadow Pen 2-15%

-Vanishing Cream, Cold Cream 2-5%

-Nail Polish, Nail UV/LED Polish Gel 2-20%

-Hair Spray, Shampoo, Perfume 0.1-10%

-Body Lotions & Body Cream 1-5%

-Soap 1-5%



Next up we have NEONS! How do you use them?



Neons are oil soluble pigments and must be disolved in oil to bring out the amazing vibrancy of these pigments. In the EazyColours Multi-Assessment for Neon soaps the allowed clear soap base will show the neons as extremely vibrant, while white soap base makes them more pastel.


Here is the EazyColours NEON usage rates in your products: For use in Soap, body butters, body lotions, nail and body paint application the percentage is as follows: -Soap 1-5% -Body Lotions & Body Cream 1-5% -Hair Spray, Shampoo, Perfume 0.1-10% -Nail Polish, Nail UV/LED Polish Gel 2-20%


EazyColours Neons are Not for use in bathbombs, eyeshadow or lipstick.


Neons in white M&P - softer colour

Image courtesy of Michelle Bell


Neons in clear M&P - vivid colour

Image courtesy of Rachael at Rachael's Bathtub Treats


Neons and mica in M&P

Image courtesy of Julia Chappell


Oil soluble pigments such as micas & neons work in many different applications outside of cosmetics. For example resin is an excellent medium for showcasing the shimmery beauty of micas, as well as in wax.


Image courtesy Rachel Rebecca Scott


We hope this weeks blog has highlighted the uses and applictions of our extensive range of colour additives to make your products POP!


Let us know if theres any topic we can help you with in our EazyColours Facebook Group!


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