Pigments and effects: all the souls of a pencil

Pigmenti, texture, effetti: tutte le anime di una matita

Subtle or strong, sharp or soft, pearly or mat. When it comes to make up, color is not just about hues: it’s about the effect we can obtain by adjusting the pigments inside the lead.

Baselines and customisation

We can create many different effects with a careful choice of pigments and elements, getting a wide range of results. There are a few baselines, of course.
For example, softer textures usually release more color, but we can develop leads that have a different effect depending on how they’re used. Eyeliner and lip contouring pencils give a stronger color release, while face pencils and some eyebrow pencils usually create a fainter shade. There’s a whole landscape in between: we can adjust the percentage of pigments and we can perfect different effects. Eyeshadows and lipsticks usually have creamy textures that make these pencils pretty covering, but we have developed lipgloss pencils with an almost transparent effect.

From colors to leads

How do we get from the reference color to the pencil? Nowadays you can find all kinds of pigments on the market: the choice makes all the difference when it comes to the quality and safety of the product. At Confalonieri we use only pigments with a low content of heavy metals, following the conditions of use provided for by authorities, in every sales region. The FDA for instance bans some lacquers for eyes pencils and others for lip pencils, while European authorities set different standards on some elements.

Next step: we exclude the pigments in the client’s negative list. Some clients rule out talcum powder, or some lacquers, or carmine, or they choose to use only certified pigments. If carmine is on the negative list, we’ll have to work a bit more to create blue and purple hues that don’t turn green, since pigments have a different natural intensity: some are stronger, some release way less color.

Special pigments: careful with the formula!

Inside this “area” almost every choice is viable. Almost, because we need a bit of caution when using some ingredients. Some pigments and pearls are absorbent and can’t be used in high percentages, since they’d make the texture too firm. Some pearly pigments work very well in soft textures, but loose a lot of brilliance in pencils with a high content of waxes. Our R&D department, anyway, is always ready to study the best solution for every project.

How does it work? Let’s say we’re creating a lip pencils, or an eyeshadow. The clients chooses the texture: moulding or extrusion. On the basis of this choice, we develop the mixture of pigments that gives the desidered hue. The same shade can be stronger or softer, depending on the texture: a lipstick pencil is shinier and has less pigments than the lip contouring pencil. Some of our lip contouring pencils contain twice the amount of pigments as the lipsticks in the same hue.

Shine bright

Pearly pigments create different effects, too: if the texture contains less waxes or mattifying powders, the pearls get shinier, while they shimmer a little less in leads made by extrusion. Everything can be fine-tuned to meet any requirements: we’ve created covering lipstick and eyeshadow pencils, using high percentages of pigments.

No matter these differences, every color can be produced in all of our textures. Covering effect and color release may change, the hue doesn’t: R&D and Quality control always check the pencils in the lab and during production, adjusting the ingredients to obtain the exact tint in every variation. We don’t approximate, of course: we use a spectrocolorimeter, checking a range of parameters.

If you’re thinking about a covering lipstick or a sheer eyeshadow, an eyebrows pencil with a soft or a sharp finish, a blush or a concealer, write to commerciale@confaloniericosmetica.com: we’ll start working together to create your tailor-made make up pencil.

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