FullyWashable asks…So, I know most of the questions here are chemistry and biology oriented, but I have a manufacturing question. I’m seeing a lot of lovely pressed powders where a scene or design of some sort is created out of different colors of powder. All I know about powder pressing is something like: Make liquid-goop. Put in pan. Squish with stamp. So how the heck do they get the powder goop to make these beautiful designs without just blending together.
The Right Brain replies:
I bet you thought you were just asking another beauty science question, didn’t you? Well, you were wrong. You’re actually blowing the cover off one of the most closely guarded secrets in the entire cosmetic industry.
Pressed powder prestidigitation
The secret is buried so deep, in fact, that I had to go to one of our underground sources to get more information. I’ll call him/her our “Make up Mole.” Here’s what our mole had to say:
“I would love to be able to help you here. But what this question is all about really involves some high tech work and certainly ‘trade secrets’. Intercos was one of the first companies with this pressing technique of multiple colors in one pan, swirls, geometric designs, etc. They kept their ideas closely guarded secrets but the whole industry flocked to Milan to buy their products. Some other companies tried to mimic them but the quality was certainly not the same and obviously less exquisite. They made money but it wasn’t Intercos.
The next trend was to ‘pour’ different designs into a pan which gave almost the same end result – different colors and designs in one compact. This too was a closely guarded secret but involved using a wet slurry with a volatile solvent and pouring it wet into the compact and allowing the solvent to flash off. When dry, it looked and felt like a regular pressed powder.
The processes are so good that I don’t blame anybody for keeping it a closely guarded secret. I wish I could help more but can’t …”
And that’s where the message ended. We can only hope and pray that Makeup Mole is still alive after revealing the secrets of Intercos. (Intercos even sounds like an evil organization, doesn’t it? “You’re doomed now, Mr. Bond. No one escapes the clutches of Intercos.”)
Anyway, since you can’t send flowers to Makeup Mole’s funeral, the least you can do is use our link to buy some pressed powder blush. All proceeds will go to the home for retired cosmetic spies. Okay that’s not really true, Sarah Bellum will probably just spend it on shoes or something.
Image credit: http://windylou.typepad.com