How to pick the right kind of colourant for your products?

Every cosmetic product’s essence is found in its colour, whether it be the colours of the lipstick, the bronzer, the radiance of the highlighter, the intensity of the blusher, or the intensity of the mascara. Cosmetic colourants have the power to change pale skin into a natural glow, and all it takes is one brushstroke, much like an artist can turn a blank canvas into a work of art with the ideal colour combination.


The two major categories into which cosmetic colourants can be divided are organic colourants and inorganic colourants. Organic colours are sometimes referred to as lakes and are composed of approved D & C (Drug and Cosmetic) colours. At the same time, inorganic colourants are made up of iron oxide, mica, ultramarine, and zinc oxide, which provide opacity and are, therefore, crucial for concealer and foundation.


The field of cosmetics benefits greatly from the study of colour theory. The approach is based on four fundamental components of makeup: Colour dimensions, Reflectiveness, Pigment, and Harmonies. Analysing cosmetics colour trends may be made easier by comprehending the function of these components.

  • Dimensions: Dimensions provide depth to colour by enhancing it with appropriate intensity, hue, and value. The brightness or measure of strength and purity is defined by the intensity, whereas the value determines how dark or light the colour is.
  • Reflectiveness: Colour wavelengths differ from one another in terms of reflectivity. As a result, restricted lake colours are frequently employed to provide a larger spectrum of tints with excellent reflectiveness and brilliance. The reflectivity range is similar to the shine of pigments.
  • Pigment: Any type of cosmetics, whether oil-based, water-based, mineral, cake-based, stick-based, or cream-based, falls under the first principle of colour theory, which is that pigments give the cosmetic its colour. The same hypothesis holds for all substances, regardless of their origin, source, mineral, or chemical composition.
  • Harmonies: A vital quality of pigment colours that contribute to their visual appeal is harmony. These can be colour triads (contour, palette, highlighters), divided complementary colours (blushers, illuminators, bronzers), and complementary colours that complement each other (eye shadow palette). For instance, a highlighter palette may provide numerous colour options like rose gold, warm beige, and peach honey, where combining all three would produce the ideal natural appearance.


When dealing with colourants/pigments, it is necessary to know & comprehend ‘colour charts’ from suppliers to identify which colourants to utilise. A colour bar between two given colours is usually visible. One is bright, while the other is darker. These are known as reduced shade/full shade:

  • Reduced shade – This is the lighter of the two hues and offers a visual reference for how the colour will seem when it is ‘diluted’. That is when less than 100% strength is applied to the basic product.
  • Full shade – This is the darker of the two hues and provides a visual representation of how the colourant appears at 100% intensity.


Measuring cosmetic colour pigments is critical for producing high-quality formulations that customers can rely on. Monitoring colour stability is also a crucial stage since even little changes in heat, or chemical composition can have an impact on the completed product.


At Neelikon, we understand the importance of particle size in final product inclusion, which is why we make our cosmetic lakes & pigments using a patented method that produces incredibly soft and small particles. All of our products comply with applicable cosmetics regulations, such as the US FDA, the European Union, India, China, and Japan. Our products are used in a variety of cosmetic product categories. With our products, we guarantee the colourful, gorgeous, and accurate portrayal you want!


To know more about Cosmetic colours, pigments and dyes, write to us at

Neelikon Colours Global