Computerized Measurement and Correction of Color Cosmetics

January 7, 2004 | Contact Author | By: Nick Morante, Color Science Laboratory, Estee Lauder Companies;and Stuart Axelrod, Presperse Inc.
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  • Keywords/Abstract

Keywords: color variables | spectrophotometer | L*a*b* color space | computerized color measurement | computerized color correction

Abstract: With a spectrophotometer and computerized color measurement software, the cosmetic chemist can do both basic color quality control and color formulation and correction easily in the lab.

The use of color has been a keystone of human creativity for thousands of years. Color has historically been a driving force in everyone’s daily life — progressing from the intricate artwork in the temples of ancient Egypt in the depiction of people and places, to the artisans of the Renaissance Period, and on to the age of computer-generated graphics in the 21st century.


The production and reproduction of color has traditionally been a painstaking process in industries such as photographic, printing, dyeing, paint, plastics and cosmetics. We all have a great deal to learn from these other industries and how they live and work with color. Color was generated, evaluated and reproduced by trained eyes. The advent of the spectrophotometer enabled us to instrumentally measure color, but adjustment to a particular shade was still the art of the color matcher.  Modern day technology allows the computer to assist or in some cases replace or free up the color matcher for most color matching tasks in many industries.