What's Cooking in Color

Marsala, or Pantone 18-1438, has been named the 2015 Color of the Year by the Pantone Color Institute. When I read this, I envisioned a rich and savory meal simmering softly on the stove, gently enhanced by Italian wine. Apparently they got the name right, as this was the impression they were targeting. As Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the institute, described this color choice in a press statement, “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, and exudes confidence and stability.”

Of course, food on my face doesn’t sound so attractive, so I was happy to read on to learn that for cosmetics, “marsala is an appealing and sophisticated shade that is flattering against many skin tones.” It is said to complement peach and pink, and “sparkles against antiqued gold metallics, for lipstick and blush options.” It also can be used in a range of smoky and neutral color combinations for eye shadow, and is described as a “go-to finishing touch on nails.”

According to the institute, choosing the color of the year takes into account socio-economic, fashion, entertainment, art, travel and other factors. Influences may also stem from technology, textures and effects that impact color, even upcoming events that capture worldwide attention. Therefore, the process is a complex task with multiple variables—much like formulating cosmetics.

This collection of articles is focused on key technical challenges in developing color products; for example, formulating to improve pigment dispersion and shade-matching in lipstick. Research on progressive steps toward comfortable wear and transfer-resistance in makeup is described, as well as improvements in the durability, color and drying time of gel nails. In addition, the annual Color Directory and Formulary provides an update of the latest technologies launched for color cosmetics.

The color cosmetics market is simmering hot. According to a NPD Group market report*, sales in prestige makeup in the United States between April and June 2014 vs. the same period in 2013, have reached $1 billion—an increase of 8%, stirred up by facial products, which were the main growth drivers. Notably, eye and lip products accounted for ~46% of the category sales. Spicing up your color cosmetics with the latest bold technologies

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