In this video, I walk through how to colour match cosmetics in the lab with a real-world example. In this case, I’m trying to colour match to a more generalized description, without the benefit of a specific product to colour match to.
This issue frequently surfaces when working with market or concept developers, or brand managers, specifically when developing lipsticks. A request may come in for a lipstick that is “more pink” or “more red,” for example. There are so many colour variations in the spectrum, as well as individual perceptions, that it can be beneficial to create several options to help guide further development.
If a specific sample is not available for colour matching, consider requesting a Pantone color as an example for your benchmark starting point.
Colour matching pro tips:
- Start with a large batch of plain base product, then use smaller portions to create your samples, so the base is always consistent.
- Use three-digit scales (e.g. 0.001g) to make precise measurements to will create reproducible large-batch results.
- Make sure the lab is wind-free (e.g. air conditioning or fans). Even the smallest amount of air can throw off the scales.
- Take notes about all your measurements and results to further ensure accuracy: base product, pigments, additives, etc.
- Start with very small samples (e.g. 10g) to present options, which will help conserve materials and determine the course of further development.
- When testing samples on skin, apply across the arm, so differences in skin tone don’t impact visualization.
- Keep comparison samples so when a choice is finalized, you can use it to scale up production.
- Be patient – colour matching often takes multiple samples to get the desired colour.
Interested in more colour matching information? See the second video in the series here.
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