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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Color and makeup Pressed shadows Failing drop test

  • Pressed shadows Failing drop test

    Posted by Christychurch on July 22, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Hi all, 

    This is embarrassing to ask on such a detailed forum but I don’t know where else to turn. I have been producing eyeshadows for around a year now and met with my first larger order. 

    I have gone to press my mixed batches of matt  formula eyeshadow as before and they are cracking from the edges of the pan in a drop test. Also it appears like it’s it’s creating a top layer that lifts and cracks off on the second drop and I do not press In layers. They appear to be just too dry to press. Or something isn’t mixing within the shadow and creating these multiple layers within itself?

    Recently my air conditioner has failed and the mixed batches have been reaching high temperatures. 

    Is the the current heat/humidity likely to be affecting my powders? My wet binder is caprylyl glycol and I wondered if this could somehow dry out? I assume cosmetic powders have no water content and humidity would only cause them to dampen thus become easier to press?

     Appreciate there are many variables but nothing in my process has changed, aside from the heat and the large batches being sat for longer than usual (1 month)

    windyr replied 3 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Colorfuljulie

    July 24, 2019 at 11:27 am

    How are you pressing them? With an arbor press and plates? Are you pressing a larger number of pans at once than before? Or the same? Usually matte shadows will become too hard so that’s unusual. I would include some sort of oil as your wet binder along with your preservative. Silicones work well for me. You would probably have to change the rest of your formula though to increase your fillers so they loosen up a bit though. If you post your formula perhaps I would have some suggestions of things to try. I would fix my A/C or buy a dehumidifier to run constantly in the closed room where they’re being produced. I’m in Texas on the Gulf and a dehumidifier can be a lifesaver! Can’t make a bath bomb without one?!  You may also try pressing them in multiple layers. Also if you have purchased pans from a different supplier but use the same pressing tiles, the new pans could be a tiny bit larger making the edges remain unpressed. That happened to me once, and the tiny amount of difference made pressing a pain in the butt. I had to press one at a time and move the tile the minute amount around the edges of the pan before each press. Not conducive to making large quantities! If you buy your pans in bulk from the same supplier always, but you bought more tiles it could be the same problem in reverse.  

    There are so many methods of pressing them yourself you may want to post your method also.  I usually use 99% alcohol to wet and mix my matte formula then allow to dry out completely before pressing. Even tiny pockets of unmixed pigments in a matte formulation can result in an unevenly pressed cake! I’m not a pro chemist- I’m just someone who makes almost all of my own makeup and sells some in my salon, so you may listen to what the pros here have to say. Hope this gives you some things to consider and your large order goes out in time. ??

  • Skylark

    August 2, 2019 at 1:51 am

    @Colorfuljulie made some good points, but I just want to clarify that you’re using caprylyl glycol as your wetting agent and not caprylic/capric triglyceride?

    Caprylyl Glycol is normally a preservative and only used at about 1-2% by weight. It is an emollient, as well, so I guess it could be used as a wetting agent (maybe?) but Caprylic/capric triglyceride is pretty common. You’ll obviously want to include caprylyl glycol as part of a preservative system if you’re using that, though.

    Also, the type of pigments and ratios of filler may have an impact. Inorganic pigments want to stick together, so brittleness wouldn’t be an issue unless you’re using too much filler (the opposite, usually, as Julie mentioned). If you’re using organic pigments or color treated mica, then you may not be using enough filler. Then, if you’re using mica as a filler and it isn’t surface treated it may be too loose, but some surface treatments may be too tacky if you’re using inorganic pigments and you’ll get a brick in the pan…batch size could also factor in if you’re producing larger quantities, as Julie said, with the the components not getting evenly coated…there’s a lot of variables on top of inconsistent conditions where you’re producing - if you’re not able to control the temperature and humidity - but I’d start with the formula, then your measurements and scale-up, then environment. Just kind of process of elimination, y’know? But start with the liquid binder and the ratio/application process of that.

  • windyr

    August 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Try changing the binder as recommended. Any light oil such dimethicone, isopropyl isostearate, etc. would do. The trick is to balance the pressing pressure with the level of binder. Try 5% binder then keep adjusting the pressure.