TEST-Could one imagine a fascinating, puzzling journey into the jungle of colors used in cosmetics, so charming that you are brought to read it in one gulp, including the tables and the methodology details? In Coloring the Cosmetic World, Edwin Faulkner leads us on an enchanting adventure, where the special cosmetic category of pigments is fully described.
The author takes a multi-sided approach, exactly like a formulator of color cosmetics should do. First, he describes the identity of the color ingredients from a definition point of view, followed by their chemical composition, disclosing all structures, which in turn support the next aspect to hurdle: stability. Faulkner’s discussion of stability is rendered as a compendium of direct experiences in the field together with a clear explanation of “why X could happen.” The aesthetics of color selection are then described, which underlines to my eyes that color cosmetics are a form of creative art, and like any art form they combine technology with pleasure and communication. But the book continues to challenge our attention: it tells us how to get the maximum from our color materials; in other words, it teaches us the art of obtaining a masterful dispersion of pigments, avoiding the common traps and getting an optimum result. All that without the implication of mathematical formulae. Can an artist be unconnected with money? Even Michelangelo had his own accountancy booklet! In all the chapters, the economic considerations of pigment selection accompany the description of technical advantages of an ingredient or a process. Also, when color quality evaluations are described, the explanations are simple and attention-catching.
The book ends with two opposite overlooks: the recent present, signified by surface treated pigments and special pigments, as well as a very illuminating look at the gathered experience of the author, which presents his past journeys in the “cosmetic villages” of the modern industry and encourages us to dream of trying something similar.
One final point that the entire book is filled with tables, schema, and references that all serve as orientation maps through the scope of the book. Have a good reading!
Dr. Luigi Rigano, Director of Rigano Industrial Consulting & Research, and ISPE Laboratories – Milano.