Pressed highlighter drop stability

Hi everyone,

I'm currently working on a formulation for pressed highlighters to broaden my color cosmetics skills and I've run into an issue that I'd love to get some feedback on.

(As a quick disclaimer, I'm mostly experienced in skin care so my color cosmetis skills are still very much "under construction".)

So I have a highlighter formulation that I'm overall very happy with. It's predominantly mica-based, with Magnesium Stearate added for adhesion and slip and then a mix of MCT and dimethicones used as binder. 

I press the highlighters at 3000 PSI.

I'm happy with the highlighter in every regard except drop stability. I understand that highlighters a fragile in general, but I've drop tested store-bought highlighters and they all performed better than mine.

I have of course tried higher concentrations of binder, different binders, more pressure, some commercial pressing aids, using Mica with smaller particle size, etc. but I can't get the drop stability to improve.

One thing I noticed is that when I dig into store bought highlighters vs. mine, there is a noticable "crunch" which mine doesn't have. Also, while my highlighter and the comparison ones have about the same level of lustre when swatched, the store bought highlighters appear much more matte in the pan. 

I tried to replicate this by adding different fillers, but it all came at the expense of opacity and with no noticable effect on drop stability.

Any suggestions or new avenues to explore would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks in advance!
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