Bespoke beauty – chameleon cosmetics

Published: 10-Jul-2012

Colour changing cosmetics have been around for decades. However today, in a market where the consumer expects more from their products than ever before, beauty brands are beginning to recognise their relevance once again.

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As more brands revisit the potential benefits and limits of colour adjusting cosmetics, a new wave of beauty products has been hitting shelves. Lucy Copp reports

In the 1970s ‘mood lipsticks’ were all the rage, boldly claiming to change colour in sync with their wearer’s emotions. In actual fact, fluctuating pH and temperature levels were responsible for the colour change, giving the impression of a mood responsive formula through a basic chemical reaction. In the years that followed, the colour changing category saw very little innovation, passed off as a gimmick in favour of cutting-edge beauty developments and the latest trends.

That is, until recently. Over the past few years the colour changing category has made an unexpected revival, albeit not in exactly the same vein as before. In today’s market, where the demand for cosmetics to suit all skin tones and colours is becoming increasingly apparent, beauty brands are beginning to revisit and rework these formulas. As a result, a new range of modern, colour adjusting products has been hitting shelves, not just for lips, but for the face, eyes, cheeks, nails and body too.

BB cream breakthrough

This resurgence of interest in colour changing products primarily began with the rise of the BB (blemish balm) cream. Dubbed a ‘hero’ multifunctional product by beauty experts and editors, BB creams began to dominate shelf space in Europe last year, after selling with huge success in Asia. Originating from Korea, BB creams combine a range of features in one such as coverage, moisturisation, anti-ageing and SPF protection. But it didn’t take long for scientists to begin innovating again, aiming to add yet another dimension to this multipurpose product – a colour adjusting formula.

According to a Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) report from 2012, South Korean R&D company Biogenics made an industry breakthrough in colour adjusting formulations with the development of CCM (colour cap mixture) technology, which was first used commercially in 2009. Under the banner of BioGenic Magicolor, the formula features iron oxides and titanium dioxide held within a capsule, which contains white, red, blue, yellow and green pigments. Once the capsule is rubbed into the skin, the colour of the iron oxide appears and develops matching the user’s natural skin tone.

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