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Who created the first blush in pencil form?

I haven’t checked the history books but according to this vintage commercial Elizabeth Arden was the first to put blush make up into a pencil form. If that’s true it certainly counts as a make up innovation however there are trade-offs any time you change the form of a product.

If you’re formulating a blush or foundation in its typical form (like a powder or a cream) you can focus on delivering color in the best possible way. That means you’re free to fine-tune the formula to make sure it delivers the right type of color with the right degree of matteness or shine, without too much of a residual oily feel, and so on.

Delivering a foundation from a stick form does provided added convenience but it may cause tradeoffs in other formulation parameters because the product now has an additional constraint: it must be in a solid form. If the stick is soft enough to give you the right payoff when rubbing it on your skin then it may crumble or may melt in your purse. Conversely if the stick has the appropriate hardness it may not deliver color as well.

It’s the job of the cosmetic chemist to balance these trade-offs to create the best possible color make up product while providing the convenience of the pencil form. Yay Elizabeth Arden!

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  • Christina April 25, 2014, 9:01 am

    Stick foundations are appealing to so many consumers for it’s ease of use and convenience.

    Overall, I have not found a formula in stick form that outperformed a liquid until I used the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick.

    The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick has been my go to for quite some time however recently they changed the formula and now it performs like all of the other foundation sticks in the market.

    The original formula was easy to blend and build. The new formula has a drag to it and cakes easily on the skin.

    The new formula’s ingredient list:
    Glyceryl Triacetyl Ricinoleate, Octyldodecanol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polyethylene, Ozokerite, Kaolin, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Barium Sulfate, Bisabolol, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica.

    Try as I might, I can’t seem to find the original formula’s ingredient list.

    I’m not sure if the old formula had Kaolin in it but I can feel the kaolin this time around where as before I could not.

    Any insight?

    • Randy Schueller April 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

      I’ve looked all over and I can’t find the original ingredient list either. Damn Kaolin!

      • Christina April 25, 2014, 5:56 pm

        Thanks for looking! I will avenge you, Kaolin!