• Chemistry
  • The raw colors in your makeup.

    Photo of raw makeup colors in lavender, blue, yellow and red

    A chemist and a makeup artist are standing in the lab. Sounds like the intro to a joke! Actually, what usually happens is a lot of squealing, swirling, swatching and glittering. Today’s fun was showing makeup artist Fatima Olive some of the pretty pigments in their raw form, before any processing had been done to […]

  • Chemistry
  • The Secret World of Makeup

    Most people assume that their makeup is designed by a makeup artist, but this isn’t often the case. The secret is that chemists make most of your makeup colors, usually guided by a marketing department, who is usually guided by a trend report. Occasionally, a makeup artist does pick the colors, but it’s not done […]

  • Chemistry
  • Adventures in Chemistry: Beer!

    Last night, I had the opportunity to tour Summit Brewing Company with a bunch of other local cosmetic chemists. I met some really cool people, including a new chemist that just moved to town from India, and also the scientist that creates another local brand’s lipstick colors. It was interesting talking a little shop with folks, and it makes me grateful that we don’t have a marketing department that decides our formulas based on a marketing plan. (Heads up to marketers: What you’re asking for isn’t always chemically possible, or feasable, or stable!)

  • Chemistry
  • The Chemistry of Nature: Blueberries

    Blueberry harvest

    It’s blueberry season in Minnesota, so I went blueberry picking with Carol from The Temple of Pie. It was nice to be out of the laboratory and back in nature, even if only for a few short hours. Other than dreaming about pie, I started thinking about the medicinal qualities of blueberries, and the wonderful […]