Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Matte Liquid Lipstick Formula Gone Wrong!

  • Matte Liquid Lipstick Formula Gone Wrong!

    Posted by equilibrium604 on May 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I’m completely new to this forum and this will be my first post! I’m from Vancouver, Canada and I’ve had a steady online business for over 2.5 years now. I handmake and design jewellery and recently I decided on adding my own handmade cosmetics to my online shop. I’ve put in many hours of research on FDA label regulations, ingredients, and wholesale cosmetic resources.

    Right now I’m struggling with my liquid lipstick formula. My goal is to make a pigmented, liquid lipstick that goes on wet but dries to a complete matte. I’d like the formula to feel light and as non-drying as possible on the lips. 

    This is the formula I’m currently working with (ingredients I put together on my own after studying many different formulas in various liquid lipstick brands):

    PHASE A  (Heated to 80 degrees celsius + for melting point of wax)
    Carnauba Wax  5% 
    Jojoba Oil 15%
    Iso-Dimethicone 40%
    Glycerin (vegan) 5%
    Mica Spheres 5%

    PHASE B (mix powders until no clumps)
    Lakes/Oxides 3%
    Titanium Dioxide 3%

    Magnesium Stearate 4%
    (Wait for formula to cool down to 50 degrees celsius or less before adding the following)
    Cyclo-Dimethicone 12%
    Phenoxyethanol 1.5%
    Benzylalcohol 0.5%
    Vitamin e 1%
    Kaolin 3%
    Fragrance 2% (which I’m definitely changing because the scent was way too strong!!)

    Also, I add Phase A to a heat resistant beaker in boiling water on my stove at home with the vent hood on, my kitchen window open, and a mask on. So here’s the problem: after mixing this formula, I came up with a very liquidy, watered down substance that looked clumpy when swatched. A week later, the formula became extremely clumpy at the bottom and watery up top. Here are some photos: 

     I am feeling like an extreme noob at this. Any help or advice as to what I can do to make this formulation successful would mean a great deal to me and would be much appreciated!! Thank you (and my apologies for the longest post ever.)

    Bobzchemist replied 9 years, 1 month ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • equilibrium604

    May 20, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Someone please help :(

  • Bobzchemist

    May 20, 2015 at 4:25 am

    There’s too much wrong with that formula to fix it. 

    Use pre-made powder dispersions, unless you have a 3-roll or ball mill.

    Start with formulas that are known to be good, and adjust/customize from there. Wait to start formulating from scratch until you have several years of experience.
  • equilibrium604

    May 21, 2015 at 6:01 am

    @Bobzchemist - Thanks for your response and info. Which parts of the formula are incorrect? Are they all of the ingredients themselves? I know many liquid lipsticks have at least 90% of these ingredients in their formulas, but of course the percentages of each are unknown.

    I was thinking though that I would have to get predispersed colours, however. Thank you for the links.

  • Neha

    May 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Hey Equilibrium..!!

    Try using pigmented dispersions in the formula.. and some volatile fluids silicone or volatile liquids in place of oils n dimethicone. obviosly along with the waxes and mattifying agents(u already using silica so thats enough i guess).
    Keep updating :)
  • Bobzchemist

    May 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    The percentages, some of the ingredients, and all of the procedure.

    If you are new to this, your best bet is to start by taking one of Perry’s courses. Alternatively, buy a pre-made base, some pre-dispersed pigments, and experiment. 
    Please don’t forget to follow cGMP and do all of the needed testing before offering anything for sale in the US.
    Cosmetic Chemistry/formulation is extremely difficult to learn if you’re trying to teach yourself. Most professional cosmetic chemists have put in at least 6-8 years learning how and why to formulate.

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