Newbie - Need advice on making a highlighter

edited January 2017 in Formulating
 I am 18 years old and really have a passion in a makeup. I'm currently working full time and i'm trying to break out of that by doing something i love. I am interested in creating my own cosmetics, specifically highlighters, aka illuminators. I have done some research and came across a few different ingredients to use. 

One recipe i was told was:
Isopropyl Myristate 
Bis-Vinyl Dimethicone Copolymer,
(I am unsure what measurements go with this one). 

Another one i saw was:
Magnesium stearate 1g
Talc 3g
Mica 0.5g
Coloured Mica 2.5g
Caprylic capric tryglicerides 
Octyldocecyl lactate 
Ethylhexyl stearate 

I am no expert and anything you can tell me i'd be extremely grateful for. 

I want to make sure my ingredients are 100% safe and also vegan. I do not want to use Talc, are there any alternatives?

Could you offer any advice on ingredients that i may benefit from using. If you could offer a method and measurements that would be great.

Also, I was wondering what is key in making a powder formula that feels velvety on the skin and is super super pigmented. I want to see the colours e.g gold, i don't want it to look sheer. I really want my colours to stand out and look high quality. I've attached pictures to give you an idea of what i'm going for. As i said i'm only 18 and an amateur in all this but i'm hard working and willing to learn and listen. 

Thanks image



  • You really should find out what you are doing first being even looking at what you will be making. It is unfair of you to request all that information with no input from yourself

    Look to the right of this page "Learn to formulate cosmetics!" to learn some of the basics.
  • @johnb hence why i emphasised my age and the fact i am a newbie to this. if you don't want to help that's fine. thanks for the comment. 
  • What I was trying to do was point you in the direction of learning more about things yourself.
  • @johnb thanks john, at the moment i can only use the internet and what i can find there. paying for a course isn't an option right now but thanks anyway. 
  • I don't know if this would help
    Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology, Third Edition, at
    It's a whole book (887 pages) available for free download.

    I've not read it yet. I only got the link a few days ago.

  • You should probably start here:

    Another option is to start with pre-made bases:
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Thank you @Bobzchemist. I'll definitely try that as a starting point.
  • johnb , this book is a jewel, thanks for posting it!

    JSComestics , I can not either pay for a course at the moment and it is quite difficult to learn alone, it is to thank for much valuable information that we can find here. I think that behind a good formula there is a conscientious work, studies, time of investigation, tests .. and that is what i´d like to learn. and for me for example it is fundamental to learn to make a formula by myself, and to know why of the ingredients that I will use , how will interact between them, and not put ingredients without knowing what they are because I have seen it on a website! But I understand you, the experiments are cool!!, But are you creating a cosmetic line without academic training?, I do not know if that can be harmful to your skin! i think you are brave!! I am collecting a lot of information from good sources to study cosmetic chemistry and if you want I can give it to you! the link johnb posted is great.

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