Metallic Makeup

Jyle Cäcilie Garleff, Product Manager Personal Care & Cleaning / Kimberly Kern, Director of R&D
Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH / Sandream Impact LLC

Jyle Garleff, you are working with a new principal - Sandream Impact. Can you briefly introduce this company? 

Sandream Impact is a leading manufacturer and supplier of innovative effect pigments and unique cosmetic active ingredients, based in the U.S., offering colour matching, new colour development, formulation advice, dispersion and blending and surface treatment services. We were appointed as distributor of Sandream Impact for the cosmetic markets in the German-speaking DACH region, Eastern Europe and Turkey in 2018. Sandream’s portfolio includes more than 800 products, representing an incredible variety including natural and synthetic mica, borosilicate glasses, bismuth oxychloride and aluminium as pigment substrates. It also comprises Ecoperse product range, which are pigment dispersions based on ECOCERT-certified octyldodecyl olivate. As a distributor, we stay up to date with current trends; for example, metallic makeup is experiencing a remarkable comeback from the nineties and is a trend here to stay. Partnering with Sandream Impact enables us to build upon this demand to include an extremely interesting range of pigments. 

Kimberly Kern, you are the director of R&D at Sandream Impact. Can you explain what creates metallic finishes in cosmetic applications and what exactly ‘metallic’ means? 

Metallic appearances can be developed through several avenues – whether it be by utilizing small particle high chroma pearlescent pigments, colour shifting pearls composed of synthetic fluorphlogopite or borosilicate substrates, aluminium-based pigments, or super-sized iridescent silica flakes, to name a few. Sometimes the final effect is a result of combining different types of colourants to achieve a synergistic multilevel phenomenon. Whatever the customer’s choice may be, we provide highly innovative and cosmetically approved pathways of achieving dramatic looks.

Which parameters are critical to a pigment’s appearance?

There are three parameters critical to a pigment’s appearance: type of substrate, metal oxide layer thickness, and the lateral size of a particle. The smaller the particle size, the more opaque the coverage. The larger the particle size, the more transparent and sparkly the finish will be. The thickness of the metal oxide layer determines the reflected interference colour. A wide variety of shades and degrees of lustre may be produced by incorporating multiple surfaces and layers of reflection. Certain substrates, such as glass, synthetic fluorphlogopite or silica-based pearls, also possess more inherent shine and transparency to produce metallic finishes. 

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Ms Garleff, how can you assist formulators who need pigments at every price range?

As a distributor of speciality chemicals, we work closely with our customers to meet their requirements. Thanks to our technical know-how and our laboratory work, as well as our decades of experience, we can offer advice and tailored support to find the right pigment for our customer’s application – at every price range, of course. If a lower-cost metallic finish is what is desired, our Sandream Impact portfolio has plenty of natural mica-based pearls that will do the job well. Available in every colour group and particle size, mica pearls can deliver high sheen and reflectivity. Interference mica pigments can be used in conjunction with straight colour pearls to enhance the chroma effect. The traditional metallic colours are abundant in this category: golds, coppers, bronzes, silvers, etc., and Sandream Impact provides the truest and brightest shades which can be utilized across all makeup and personal care applications.

How do you meet the ever-changing needs of the cosmetic and personal care industry?

At Biesterfeld we are in a unique position, working both with the manufacturing raw material suppliers and also with manufacturers for the personal care industry. It is part of our DNA to monitor market developments and work with our innovative partners to meet the current market demands. It is one thing to stay fashionable, but quite another to provide state-of-the-art products that are manufactured effectively and comply with current regulations. Last year, Sandream Impact introduced two innovative pigment collections – SilikMira Variable and SilikMira Ice. One of the first of its kind, it is globally approved for cosmetic use and we are already experiencing a strong demand.

Mrs Kern, what is special about the pigment collections SilikMira Variable and SilikMira Ice?

These are mesmerizing saturated colour travel silica-based pigments, produced via vacuum deposition, delivering unheralded colour shifts that flow seamlessly into one another. The fine particle size and high chroma effect create ground-breaking flops which are intensified in liquid and cream systems. The SilikMira Variable collection consists of six unique and dramatic shades. The use of vacuum deposition allows thin layers of metal oxides to be vaporized and deposited onto a silica substrate. The result is an exquisitely smooth finish created by the stacking of multiple thin layers. Variations in structure (silica thickness/metal oxide thickness and combination) will lead to a range of pigments with a variety of colour travel behaviours. 

Jyle Garleff: We are thrilled to be working with this ground-breaking collection as well as all of Sandream Impact’s innovative pearlescent pigment lines.

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