Are Mica mixtures standard?

JbloreJblore Member
edited November 2015 in Color and makeup
I want to purchase a variety of coloured micas, my question is are mica names or types of mica mixtures all standard? Example, there are micas with the names "bronze mica", "colorona bordeaux", "coral reef blue", some as bizarre as "be my valentine" etc. I have found many distributors who supply micas by these names. Are these standard micas that are typically used in formulas or are these uniquely made? I am ok with custom mixing plain mica with pigments to create colours of my own but if these mica mixtures are standard then I would prefer to skip the step of starting from scratch.

Comments

  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Short answer: no.

    Longer answer - something like "Colorona Bordeaux", which is a trade name, is made by EMD, and will be the same no matter who you buy it from - it's like asking if Tide HE laundry detergent will be the same thing no matter which supermarket you buy it from.

    For anything else, try searching on UL Prospector for the name and you might get enough info to make a decision.
    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 Bob, that does help. 

    However a question I do have is that if I used one of these coloured micas on it's own without any other pigments or micas added to it, can that become a problem in terms of "copying" their colour? I don't plan to use one colour on it's own because I want to have a unique selection but it's something I want to keep in mind. Of course my formula as a whole would be unique in terms of the other ingredients but at this point I am concerned about colour.

    I appreciate your feedback.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Much of your confusion is coming from your need to use distributors. Maybe I can clear this up for you. 

    The first thing to know is that making colored micas requires some really expensive production equipment. As a result, there are only 4 or 5 manufacturers of micas. The major ones are: EMD (formerly Rona), BASF (Formerly Mearl), Sun Chemical, and Sensient. There are also manufacturers in China and Mexico, but they're harder to deal with. 

    The next thing to know is that there's a second tier of manufacturer. These companies buy plain micas and/or colored micas, and process them further. These companies include Cardre, Charles B. Chrystal, Cosmetic Specialties, Creations Couleurs, KOBO, Lipo, 
    Miyoshi Kasei, Natural Sourcing, Nihon Koken Kogyo, Nikko Chemicals, Presperse, U. S. Cosmetics, Ultra Chemical and a number of others.

    All of these companies make sure that the colored products they sell come out the same every time they make them. Generally speaking, a consumer won't be able to tell the difference from lot to lot, so if you make the same formula, you'll get similar products every time you make it.

    Now, that's not to say that you won't get some subtle color changes - unless you control your manufacturing proce

    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."
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    process very, very tightly, each batch of product will come out a little different. The good news is that the vast majority of consumers won't notice.

    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."
  • Just the answer I was looking for! Another big concern was creating a unique collection of eyeshadows and a manufacture being able to replicate it. Now having an understanding of finding the right distributor gives me alot of clarity.

    Thanks again.
  • @Bobzchemist another thought came up regarding this discussion while looking at the distributors you suggested. These appear to be distributors for mass production. I am still in the early stages of creating my prototypes and I came across a site called TKB trading and I noticed they offer smaller batches of mica. 

    Do you know much about TKB trading? Also back to my concern about mass producing my 
    prototypes, will I be able to replicate my "colours" with using TKB as an original source?

    I would hate to create something to find out that I would have to start from scratch because I can't get the same ingredients for mass production.

    Thanks again for your expertise, I know I have been bombarding you with questions!
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I don't know anything about TKB, but they appear to be OK.

    Some of the mica names I recognize, some I don't. The thing to do is to contact the three top level manufacturers (EMD, Sun, BASF) and ask for a product list, then only purchase micas off those lists. That will guarantee that you get micas available for mass production.
    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."
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    TKB Trading is essentially a "repacker" who purchase from manufacturers/distributors and repack into small sizes targeting the DIY consumer.  Highly unlikely that you will be able to exactly color-match TKB micas unless you know who are TKB's suppliers.

    For small batches, I would recommend you start with wholesalecosmeticpigments.com
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Thank you! @MarkBroussard!
  • @MarkBroussard, do you know who the distributor for wholesalecosmetics? Again I want to make sure that in the future I will easily be able to recreate larger batches. 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    You can contact them directly
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • CandaceCandace Member
    edited December 2015
    My advice for long-term success is NOT to purchase from re-packers (distributors) such as TKB, unless you only intend to formulate as a hobbyist. 

    I started out as a hobbyist, purchasing ingredients from TKB.  All of the sudden, my formulas were "off".  I thought I was going crazy!  Eventually, I found out that they changed suppliers for their red oxide without letting me know.  I was inexperienced, and wasn't aware how many varieties of "red oxides" there are in terms of density, particle size, shade, etc. 

    Then the same thing happened a few years later with yellow oxide.  Let me tell you this is a PAIN! I was dreading reformulating all my shades AGAIN, so set out to find a perfect match.  Eventually I did, but it took scouring the world over to find it. 

    I began to purchase directly from the manufacturer at this point, which I highly suggest right from the beginning.  If only I would have known. ;)   EMD Chemical and Sensient are my favorites.    

    If you are looking for a small re-seller who discloses who the manufacturer of each item is, I recommend http://www.mineralmakeupsupply.com/
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