Engelhard unveils special effects technology for color cosmetics

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Color cosmetics, Cosmetics, Engelhard

Color-changing color cosmetics look set to become the next big
thing, as Engelhard launches a new special-effect pigment that
brings a new dimension to a variety of color cosmetic and personal
care products.

Following hot on the heels of L'Oreal's micro-based High Intensity Pigment color cosmetics line, the Engelhard launch aims to tap into a growing demand for color cosmetics that incorporate the latest advances in chemical and scientific technology to provide striking effects.

Engelhard says that, from subtle changes in the viewing angle, its Reflecks MultiDimensions pigments can move across the color spectrum to provide multiple color effects on the skin or in shampoos and lotions.

The ingredient taps into the latest advances in borosilicate pigment technology, to produce multi-dimensional pigments that make distinctive color-shifting effects possible in a wide range of products.

According to chemical experts Mark Tellefsen and Qinyun Peng, Borosilicate is a substrate material which possesses properties conducive to pearlescent pigment. Large borosilicate flakes provide an extremely high aspect ratio, which results in very little light scattering.

This means that the luster brilliance is extremely sharp and the interference colors are extremely chromatic, with very high transparency and sparkle. Consequently the borosilicate flake pigments allow the unaided eye to discern colors particle-by-particle, which provides the multi-color effect.

Engelhard, which specializes in surface and materials science, says that the ingredient has been developed so as if a pigment can appear red, for examply, by changing the angle just 30 degrees, the effect turns to violet then blue or shifts from violet to blue to teal.

The company terms this its 'non-quarter-wave, multi-layer coating technology', which it has patented.

"Engelhard's dynamic Reflecks MultiDimensions pigments create extraordinary effects that will be well received by our customers seeking exciting new product possibilities,"​ said Nancy McGuire, global marketing manager for cosmetics and personal care at Engelhard.

"In addition to the color experience, this new effect technology adds highly desirable qualities of visual dimensionality and dramatic sparkle to our customers' product lines."

The new pigments form part of the company's Reflecks family of pigments and will be launched in four colors: Changing Cherry; Varying Violet; Shifting Sapphire; and Transforming Teal, lining up alongside three other lines of pearlescent and iridescent pigments.

Reflecting the importance of color effects, L'Oreal has signed Hollywood startlet Scarlet Johansson to promote its new line of color-changing cosmetics, HIP, as part of sponsorship deal estimated to be worth $3 - 4 million.

The HIP collection is being launched at chain, drug and mass-market outlets throughout the US in February. It includes a comprehensive range of color cosmetics, including lip colors, liquid make-up, bronzing powder and eye shadow.

Until the technology used in this line, referred to as Photonics, has only been included in prestige brands, but L'Oreal is planning on making its mark by opening it up to the mass market. The range is said to cost from $7 - 13 and is available in 61 colors.

L'Oreal has been working towards the development of the technology for the mass market for some years now. Back in August last year, the company revealed to CosmeticsDesign that research into photonics in nature headed by Pete Vukusic at Exeter University, UK, would soon lead to the availability of cosmetics incorporating unique color effects.

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