Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ever wonder how your makeup is made?

Have you ever actually thought about where your makeup came from? Or how it was made?
Well it all starts somewhere!

I recently got an insider look when I was lucky enough to get a top secret tour of one of the huge facilities where many of your name brand makeup is made. Brands such as Milani, Mac, Smashbox, Maybelline, Flirt and many more are mixed, baked, tested and packaged at plants like this.

I arrived mid afternoon for a meeting with one of the managers there, she greeted me with a warm smile and as I walked into her office I noticed her walls covered in empty makeup pans (like the one below) to the left and shades upon shades of shadows, blushes and powders to the left. Every size and color your can imagine, behind her desk bins and bins of sample products. As you can imagine I was in heaven and don't think I stopped smiling the whole time I was there.

She talked about the step by step process that goes into producing some of our favorites even before they can hit the shelves. From the sales pitch to the lab testing to the mixing of ingredients its no simple process Ill tell you that!

After we chatted she offered to take me down to the plant for a tour. As you can imagine cameras were not allowed in order to protect the brands being made there and the companies secrets. She passed me a lab coat and a hair net and I was told to take off every single piece of jewelry I had on, although I felt silly I was happy to see they had such strict codes in place.

First stop, the lab. As the door swung open I saw the smiling faces of the lab technicians as they mixed and tested the products. I saw lipstick in its liquid form, sparkle being added creating a beautiful color and I noticed a hand blender being used to mix a sample of foundation which I thought was funny yet very practical!

(images provided by company)

Next stop, the plant. We arrived in the middle of shift change but was able to see a certain liquid shadow being poured into the compact and pressed to make it into a solid form. We then walked by a bakers rack full of trays with baked shadows and blushes on them, either waiting to be baked again or waiting to be packaged.

(images provided by company)

She also shared with me something I didn't know, that about 95% of the makeup industries "pencils" you see out there are made in Germany... why? Well apparently they have the special machines for it... that and the fact that they have been doing it for so many years that they now dominate the pencil market.

The experience really made me think about where my makeup comes from and how much goes into making it work for us, the consumers. The amount of testing and trials, hand packaging and raw ingredients really opened my eyes.

I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes look into this secret world and now I'm able to share my experience with you all. I would like to thank that one special manager for meeting with me and for sharing all the behind the scenes info that goes into making some of the products that help me with my career :)

So have you ever wondered about where your makeup comes from? Where it starts and what exactly goes into it?

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Ally on June 29, 2010 at 9:38 AM said...

Omg i would lvoe to have the privilige of seeing a make-up lab of thats cale! Lucky lucky! I knew about the German pecils, if you look at most pencils they say made in germany and they all look pretty similar too. (Milani, L'oreal, Urban Decay..) Lovely post!

Jill-O on June 29, 2010 at 9:42 AM said...

I was told years ago by my makeup teacher that you would only find liners that were made in Germany. I'm noticing a few are now made in the Czech Repb and I was shocked that Vasanti actually made theirs in Canada (I knew they were Canadian, but I had never seen a company make it in Canada before).

Thanks for all the great info :)

Ella Pretty on June 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM said...

That must have been so much fun to see!

Are a lot of "high-end" and "drugstore" brands made at the same places? Do they use different quality of ingredients? I've always been curious about that.

rasilla on June 29, 2010 at 2:57 PM said...

i always wondered why my pencils all said germany XD
nice to know~ must have been amazing!

Mary on July 12, 2010 at 7:12 PM said...

Neat! I found your post from Ellie's link on The Wholestyle Network. Did they talk to you at all about what goes into the makeup? I'm trying to learn about natural makeups, and I wonder if you have any info on that.

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