Read-the-Label: FACE Atelier Lip Glaze

Today I wanted to do another lip product and I choose the Lip Glazes from Face Atelier.

FACE Atelier Lip Glazes are available in 10 beautiful and versatile colors: Clear, Ice, White Gold, Flamingo, Peach, Cameo, Dianthus, Primrose, Plum and Shiraz and come in generous tubes of 15 ml/.5 fl.oz. at € 21,50. An enduring industry staple!



What’s in the product?

Polybutene, Octyldodecanol, Petrolatum, Beeswax, Ozokerite, BHA, Trihydroxystearin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii, Silica, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalene.

May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Carmine, Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 33      Lake, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 36 Lake, Red 21 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Tin Oxide, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate.

Polybutene is a polymer that is used for lubrication and thickening. It ensures that the application is even and smooth. Octyldodecanol is an alcohol, which is a surfactant. It is used as a thickener and emulsifier. It also gives the product a bit of opacity and provides lubrication. Petrolatum can form a film and is also used as a thickner. Beeswax is a thickening agent with some moisturizing capacities. It is made by bees, so this product isn’t vegan. Ozokerite is a mineral that is a thickening agent.

BHA, betà hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid (aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, and thus closely related), is an exfoliant which is probably used in a concentration of 0,5 to 2%. BHA has the ability to penetrate into the pore, and therefore can exfoliate inside the pore as well as on the surface of the skin. Trihydroxystearin is a mixture of fatty acids and glycerin and is used as a moisturizer and thickening agent. Ascorbyl Palmitate is the stable form of Vitamin C, and acts as a anti-oxidant. Tocopheryl Acetate is also a vitamin and anti-oxidant, Vitamin E. Butyrospermum Parkii, also known as Shea Butter and should be listed as Vitellaria paradoxa, is a thick butter that is renowned for it’s moisturizing properties, but can be used as a thickener as well. Silica, a mineral is used as a thickener.

Methylparaben and Propylparaben are the preservatives which stop the formula from going rancid. They are the most safe and effective preservatives. Retinyl Palmitate is better known as Vitamin A, an anti-oxidant and Squalene is an oil which could be derived from sebum, plants (mostly olives) or shark liver. It’s a natural component of the skin, and thus can moisturize the skin. It also has antioxidant and immune stimulating properties.

Now onto the “may contain” list. Keep in mind that the ingredients in this section are added in such low quantities, that is has no other effect than to color the product. For instance, Titanium Dioxide has some thickening properties, but because of the low concentration, it only acts as a white pigment. Same for iron oxides, a group of chemical compounds with have range of colors such as yellow/orange/red/brown/black. Mica is white as well. Carmine (derived from bugs), Red 7 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 33 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 36 Lake, Red 21 Lake are pigments used for their red color, Yellow 5 Lake is yellow, Blue 1 Lake is blue, Tin Oxide can give the product, in stable form a blue-black color or in metastable (the stability is long, but not infinte) a red color. Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate is another preservative.

It is a bit weird is that a polymer is the major ingredient. No water or any kind of (cheap) oil is used as a carrier for the other ingredients, but then again, based on the ingredientlist, this is a quite a thick liquid, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Until next time,



Read-The-Label: FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation PRO

Below you will find Dymphy’s review of the ingredient list, but let me give you some background on FACE Atelier first. I started reselling FACE back in 2009, and I’ve had the very good fortune and privilege of meeting CEO and founder Debbie Bondar when she came down to help me pull together my first appearance at The Makeup Show in Berlin in 2011. Yes you read it right. She came down all the way from Canada to help yours truly and I’m forever gratefull that she did, because I had no clue whatsoever and without her I would probably not have survived. Debbie: if you’re reading this: you are the definition of girl power and my inspiration!

Debbie Bondar IS FACE Atelier. To read more about her, the brand and the philosophy behind it (including views on animal testing (Peta approved) click here

The focus of todays post is the line’s star product: Ultra Foundation Pro. The “pro” refers to the packaging more than the product, because the same foundation is also available in 30 ml glass bottles for personal use.

The Pro version however, is housed in 20 ml lightweight, compact and unbreakable containers (shown below), made specially for the makeup artist on the go. Debbie lightens our load (literally) and we love her for it.

Other than that, this foundation is a staple in my own kit. It’s versatile, can be mixed to create every shade under the sun from white to almost black, and above all: it won’t budge!

Dymphy: take it away!

It’s a coincidence that Tanistates asked me to review a foundation – Monique asked me the same a few days before. Reader requests take precedence, so this post moved up a week and instead I reviewed the Ben Nye foundation and concealer.

This week it is time for FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation PRO.

Here’s the ingredientlist:

Cyclomethicone, Water, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl Dimethicone Copolyol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Cellulose Gum, Nylon-12, Tribehenin, Lauroyl Lysine, Tristearin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. May Contain: Ci77891/Titanium Dioxide, Ci77492 Ci77491 Ci77499/Iron Oxides, Mica Ci77019

Cyclomethicone is a silicone and also the main component of the product. It’s responsible for the smooth application of this product. After applying, it evaporates. The other main component is water.

Glycerin (E1520) is a moisturizer which was traditionally obtained from animal fat or tallow. It can be made by adding a caustic, or highly alkaline substance to animal fats or vegetable oil, resulting in the formation of glycerin along with soap. Glycerin and parabens are two of the traditional cosmetic materials that have been used for many years, because they are safe and effective. Heck, it is even safe enough to eat, the FDA lists glycerin among the sugar alcohols as a caloric macronutrient.

Although glycerin is a good moisturizer, it isn’t a very good idea to put pure glyerin or too much glycerin on your face: the glycerin sucks the water from the lower layers of skin to the upper layer of the skin. In a foundation, it softens the skin. In eyeshadows, glycerin holds pressed pigments together.

Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate (E1452) is a powdery thickening agent. It absorbs and can also be used as an anticaking angent.
Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate is an emmolient/surfactant that keeps the formula together.
Cethyl Peg/Ppg – 10/1 Dimethicone is a silicone that moisturizes the skin (and doesn’t evaporate).
Hexyl laurate is a moisuturizer, and is a mixture of hexyl alcohol and lauric acid.
Cethyl Dimethicone Copolyol is a mixture of cetyl alcohol and dimethicone, which doesn’t dry out the skin, but instead moisturizes it.
Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate is a glyceryl ester and acts like an emulsifier.
Propylene Carbonate is a solvent and a film-forming agent.
Quaternium-18 Hectorite is a suspensing agent and also has emulsifing properties. Cellulose gum, or Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is a thickening agent that can be made synthetically or derived from plant cell walls.
Nylon is an absorbant and a thickening agent. Please note that nylon is a plastic and therefore not suited to be flushed down the sink.
Tribehenin is a moisturizer that is composed of a mixture of glycerin and behenic acid.

Lauroyl Lysine is a moisturizer. It contributes to the product’s texture by helping as a gel solvent and is very stable.
Tristearin is a fatty acid which has three tails, together with a head of glyceryl. It makes a great emulsifier.
Phenoxyethanol is, together with Methylparaben and propylparaben part of the preservative system that keeps the formula (texture) stable and keeps the nasty bacteria away. Those three are the safest and less irritating preservatives.

Then on to the ‘may contain’ section. As you might already know, Ci77891/Titanium Dioxide, Ci77492 Ci77491 Ci77499/Iron Oxides and Mica Ci77019 are pigments. They are used in such low levels, that they don’t provide any protection from the sun.

Face Atelier is a silicone based product, with a lot of moisturizers and some emulsifiers to keep things together. It’s a good formula, although I wonder why so many moisturizers are used.

Until next time,


Read-the-Label: Yaby Pearl Paints

Yaby is the number one in the field of an organized kit. Ok, Z-palletes are great as well (great transparant front!), but only Yaby combines palettes and products.
Today, I picked the Pearl Paints to look at the label. They are available in 15,5 mm refill pans and can be used in either 40-well palettes, freestyle palettes or Zpalettes.

The ingredientlist is actually quite short:
Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Phenyl Trimethicone, Talc, Magnesium Stearate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT.

May Contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarine Blue, Manganese Violet, Chromium Oxide Greens, FD&C Red No.40 Al Lake, FD&C Yellow No.5 Al Lake, FD&C Blue No.1 Al Lake.

Mica comprises a group of crystallized minerals that naturally occur in thin, separated sheets. It is used as pigment in most mineral makeups (and many other products like eyeshadow, blushes and powders) to give it colour and to add a luminescent shine. The colour of mica ranges from pale green to black, and colourless. Mica has a nearly weightless and silky texture. Mica can be the ingredient that most people with oily skin dislike: it can interact with the oil in the skin, making the colour look darker and make the skin shine. It also enhances wrinkles and fine lines.

Titanium Dioxide: also known as Titanium white, Pigment white 6, or CI77891, provides the enhanced coverage and a matte finish. It can also act as sunscreen and as a thickening agent. Because of it’s gentleness, it is great to use around the eyes. While it can provide sun protection, but in these doses only at a very low level. The titanium dioxide particles used in sunscreens and other products have to be coated with silica (sand) or alumina (aluminium oxide) because titanium dioxide on it’s own creates free radicals which are carcinogenic. If you happen to be allergic to silica or aluminium oxide, it is wise to avoid titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is occlusive and can clog pores, so it can either cure acne or breakouts, or worsen it (note: what may work for one, may not work for another).

Phenyl trimethicone: Ding, ding, ding, we have a silicone! Silicones are not bad, see my previous article about silicones. It provides the silky-smooth touch, and a breathable barrier for the skin. It has a ‘drier’ finish than dimethicone.

Talc: Most people will say that talc is a filler, however, it can also absorb excess oils. Some people think talc can cause cancer, but a study in 2006 showed that there is no evidence for the relation talc – lungcancer (source: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 2006, pages 4–9).

Magnesium Stearate: Magnesium stearate is often used as a carrier, the diluent in powders. Therefore it can be found in eyeshadow, blush and even medical tablets. It also has lubricating properties. Manufacturers love it because magnesium stearate prevents ingredients from sticking to the manufacturing equipment during the compression of chemical powders into solid tablets.

Methylparaben & Propylparaben: If you have read last Friday’s article on parabens, then you know that you don’t have to worry about or avoid them. They are one of the most effective and least harmful preservatives. Luckily, in this formula, titanium dioxide is also used, which gives you some protection against the sun. And, for a short recap: methylparaben is the one with one carbon atom added, and propylparaben is the paraben with three extra carbon atoms added.

BHT: Butylhydroxytoluene, an anti-oxidant with antiviral properties. It is therefore mostly used as a preservative.

Then, over to the pigments; I think, some of the colours are derived from mica (for instance, I guess that there’s mica in the colour “Emerald Green”). Unfortunatly, there is little information about pigments, so we have to trust the manufacturers on this one.

I have to say; most of the eyeshadow and other powders are the same. Mostly, a combination of mica, titanium dioxide and talc form the base of the majority of eyeshadows and blushes. Then preservatives are added, in this case, methyparaben, propylparaben and butylhydroxytoluene. What is very unique (at least, for me) is the silicone (phenyl trimethicone), I haven’t seen it before in a powder. I guess that’s why this product receives so many raving reviews all around the world.

Until next time,


As always, if you liked this post let us know! If you have more questions, let us know also! 🙂

A closer look at: Silicones!


Recently, there has been a lot to do about silicones in the cosmetic industry. Everybody (well, except for the part that is well educated and reads scientific papers) assumes that silicones are pore-clogging (also know as comedogenic), cause cancer (carcinogenic) and dry out the skin.
So, I think the time has come to dive in deeper in to the world of silicones to see whether or not it would be wise to avoid silicones. Let start with the basics.
What are silicones?
Silicones are a group of lubricants that can be easily spotted in an ingredientlist by looking for the -cone(s) addition at the end of a particular substance. The Beauty Brains published a list a good while ago at If you scan the list, note that the most common properties are “lubricates, conditiones and film forming”. I’ll get back on it later.
Silicones are made from sand (yes, sand; scientific name: silica) and consist of at least a silicon and a oxygen atom. Most of the silicone forms are polymers, meaning that a lot of silicons en oxygen atoms bind together as a large string. You can even compare it to a necklace, with a unit of a silicon and oxygen atom as bead. The only point is that a polymer doesn’t require a string. The beads are connected to each other.
Left: dimethicone; a polymer who clearly shows the “bead” structure. The “n” shows that the structure between the hooks is repeated. Mostly, “n”goes into the thousands or even millions. Try drawing that.
Right: cyclomethicone. Some bead structures form a ring, “cyclo” means “ring”. These two are the two most common silicones.
Silicones are made by letting a silicon or silicon-containing molecule (the precursor) react with water. For industrial uses (for instance, paint) dimethyldichlorosilane (yes, I can pronounce that!) with water. However, since chlorine can be very drying and because during production, the very hazardous hydrogen chloride gas (something you don’t want to inhale, lol) the chlorine atoms in the silane precursor with acetategroups, which will lead to a production of the less dangerous acetic acid as a byproduct. Extra branches or cross-links in the polymer chain structure can be added by using different precursors.
Silicones can be divided into two large groups based on volatility. The first group, in which cyclomethicone falls, vaporizes quickly after applying. These silicones are mostly added to spread the substance out evenly. Even honey will go on like water when a silicone is added from the first group. Because they vaporize quickly, hair dries quicker when added to, for instance, a serum. The reason it evaporates, is because of the weak links between the atoms and the whole, small structure. The second group, with dimethicone as major ingredient, doesn’t evaporate (polymers usually have stronger links and are larger). That group is mostly used because of its conditioning properties.
I have given a small hint about how silicones are used. The first group (with cyclomethicone) is mostly used in liquid make up/skin care/make up to provide slip and gives a silky on the skin. Besides the emolliency, it also enhanced a product’s lifespan and effectiveness. Next to serums, cyclomethicone are common in foundation. Have you ever wondered why silicone-free foundations don’t provide even application, dry quickly and sometimes stain? That is all because there is no cyclomethicone is added.
The next group, the non-vaporizing silicones, are a little more abundant; so instead of trying to cover everything (you can always request an ingredient), I’ll try to highlight some common properties. Most common is the water resistant (film forming), sebum absorbing property (basically, most of the oil on your face – which is good if you don’t want too much  of it, ie if you have oily skin or even acne) and lubricator, conditioner, solvent or carrier properties.
Dimethicone forms a film to lock moisture and other ingredients in. Does that mean that it suffocates hair? No. There are two reasons for it: a) hair is dead, so it can’t be suffocated (ever tried it on a corpse, probably doesn’t work either :P) and b) because of the open structure, air can pass easily. The last reason is also the reason why silicones can’t cause acne. It even improves acne, because the skin can breathe. The film also fakes the shine (because the refractive index is close to the refractive index of hair) and glues some split ends together temporarily. Please note that after rinsing, the split ends will re-appear.
A lot of people (well, it appears to be a lot of people because I hear a lot of it, recently) are worried that silicones penetrate the skin. This is not possible, especially with hair. Silicones are too large to enter the skin or your hair. In fact, the only scientificaly proven substance that can enter hair, is coconut oil.
I got a tip from Monique that FACE Atelier is not only open about using silicones; the brand even based their entire product line on the properties of silicones. After a look at their website (header “trade secrets”) I found this statement:
The use of silicone has also revolutionized pressed and loose powder products. That is why silicone can be found in all of FACE atelier’s Ultra Powders, Blush and Bronzers. The addition of silicone creates a longer-lasting product that neither creases nor looks cakey. The pigments in these products are surrounded by the silicones, enabling them to go on smoothly while at the same time creating a barrier between the powder and the skin. Unlike a talc-based product that falls into creases or skin imperfections, these powders float on the surface of the skin. The silicones create a cushion between the powder and the skin, no longer emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles. 
Quite refreshing, a brand that is open of its use of silicones. Halleluja. I find it quite ridiculus that people fall for the non-substance A or non- substance B claims on a packaging. I mean, if we want to avoid a certain ingredient, we just have to look at the ingredientlist. It is a very effective marketing trick and as someone who loves to dive into certain ingredient (labels), I find it hugely irritating.
Now, the big question is whether or not silicones are bad. If you have read between the lines you probably know the answer. Silicones are not bad for you. They can be easily washed out of you hair. They don’t create build up. They don’t clog pores. They don’t cause cancer (where did that come from?).
Oh, and did you know; silicones are also used in scar reducing treatments? Perhaps you might have heard about silicone masks for burn wound patients. So, if doctors even recommend silicones, isn’t it logic that silicones are good for your skin and hair?
Until next time,