Color Cosmetics - A Practical Guide to Formulation Review

The newest textbook to launch on the Allured Bookstore is Color Cosmetics: A Practical Guide to Formulation by Jane C. Hollenberg. Mrs. Hollenberg wrote this text because there is not a great deal of comprehensive literature on color cosmetic formulation. The information contained in this book is from her 40 years’ experience in the color cosmetics industry, including Coty, Revlon, Merck, and consulting.color cosmetic book

Book Layout

After a forward, preface, and a few acknowledgements, Color Cosmetics: A Practical Guide to Formulation jumps right into cosmetic product formulation types, each given their own comprehensive chapter. There are 10 Types of Cosmetic Formulations, and the textbook details those included in these categories:
  • Emulsion Foundation
  • Loose and Pressed Powders
  • Anhydrous Products (further segregated by Face & Eye, Lip)
  • Mascara, Eyeliner, Eyebrow Makeup
  • Nail Color (featuring guest authors)
Each chapter is relatively formatted in the same way. Mrs. Hollenberg first details properties each formulation category should have, then describes how you can evaluate their performance as a formulator. The chapter segues into the raw materials that are typically used in these formulations. Of course, there are thousands of functional raw materials at your fingertips, so she covers the most common ones and discusses their chemistries.
A part of cosmetics formulation that should not be overlooked is processing. It is critical your lab manufacturing procedure is reproducible to scale up. Mrs. Hollenberg reviews common processing techniques and manufacturing equipment necessary to produce typical formulations, starting in the lab and then moving to production. Shade matching, specifications, and stability are the final aspects detailed in each chapter.
Why should this book be in your library?
While my main focus is hair color and hair care, I found this text contained extremely useful as a formulator in any segment of our industry.
There is often a lack of basics to provide the building blocks necessary to fully understand the big picture of formulation. This textbook is a solid overview of cosmetic products that will get you from the beaker, past production. I highly recommend it for anyone new to the industry. It is a perfect supplement to the first cosmetic product text on my shelf, Coloring the Cosmetic World by Edwin B. Faulkner, which provides a detailed overview of cosmetic pigments and their regulatory status.
Valerie Patton is currently a cosmetic chemist specializing in hair color and hair care in Southern California. She is the 2016 Chair of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, California Chapter, and a board member at the College of Arts & Sciences at Kent State University. You can follow her on Twitter as @thelahobo.

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The job of a cosmetic chemist, or as they call it in the UK a cosmetic scientist, requires you to do a wide variety of things both in and out of the lab. Your main responsibility will be that of a formulator. This means you mix raw materials together to create cosmetic products like lipstick, nail polish, skin lotions, shampoos, toothpaste and any other type of personal care product.

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