Nine Cosmetic Technology Trends From Asia-2017 + A Valentine Special :-)


As silicone valley is the technology hub. Asia is the beauty hub. I just came back from several major trade shows in Asia and pleased to inform what’s happening in the world of BEAUTY:

  • Freeze-Dry technology! The latest trend is to freeze dry your lotion or cream into balls for ease of travelling. When you use, just add water! Cool, right?
  • Peel-Off technology! Peel off brow tint, peel off lip tint, peel off mask.Anything peel-off is IN. Why? Peel off products in color have staining power and in skin, you can expect extra clarification benefits.
  • Fermented technology! This is a Korean driven trend which the belief is when ingredients are fermented, they work better for penetration.
  • Water technology! People no longer just want to use water for cosmetics. They want coconut water, bamboo water, apple water, and quartz water! These provides additional nutrient boost for your regular skin essence.
  • Foams. Foams. More Foams! Sensory is a big key in modern cosmetics. Cleansers with dense stable foam are seen every where in Japan. The product by Kao-Elvira Beauty whip soap is such an art foam as you dispense the product- you pump out the shape of  rose!
  • Skin Whitening! Most of the skin brightening products take time to see results.There are products using titanium dioxide, the white pigments to give the instant skin whitening effect. The most advanced ones actually use encapsulated titanium dioxide and sparsely spreading in the cream to achieve a natural insta-bright look.
  • Double Eyelid Glue! Asians have been longing for the super big-eyed look. When you have double-folds on the lid, your eyes just look bigger and more alert. The first eyelid glue I personally have used and loved was from Kiss Me. However, there are eyelid glue mask now you can sleep with it and wake up with double eyelids!
  • Hand-held LED lights! DIY spa-inspired treatment for firmer and more lifted skin. As a cosmetic chemist, I usually do not like to rely on devices as it takes the fun out of product development. But since the size of this device is as small as a palm- I bought one and have been religiously using it since Feb 01! I will keep you posted on progress.
  • Compressed Mask! Yes, masks are still hot. There are now compressed mask which you can just add your own essence and it spreads out like a sheet mask.

As you read this, have you seen the common thread? All new developments are aiming at easy on-the-go (freeze dried/ compressed mask), at home treatment (hand-held device, double eyelid treatment),  longer lasting results (peel off products/fermented ingredients) and instant gratification (insta-bright/high dense foam).

These trends actually are screaming at one of my formulated product-Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting mask! It’s an easy on the go , at home spa peel off mask with long lasting results and instant SMART (smooth, moisturizing, anti-aging, redness-reducing, toning) benefits! Oh, that feels pretty good to be ahead of curve :-).

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, if you use the code Sweetheart2017, you will get a 20% off when you check out at www.grandcentralbeauty.com 

xo, Ginger

New Master’s Degree For Fashion & Beauty Entrepreneurs & Intrapreneuers


The Rutgers Business School Master of Science In Business of Fashion is  new program bridging the gap between creative passion and business acumen. I am honored to be teaching the special topics classes by bringing industry elites to help shaping our next generations of leaders.

If you are interested to sharing your industry experience, I’d love to talk to you for Spring 2017 (limited space), Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.

If you are interested in enrolling this master’s degree program, please reach out admissions directly at Rutgers Business School. Deadline for Spring 2017 is Jan 2, 2017.

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Key Drivers To Eternal Beauty


As a cosmetic chemist, I am constantly on the look out for the latest innovation in ingredients for the pursuit of eternal beauty. What constitutes to eternal beauty- there must be some clinical evidence or folklore history that proves the efficacy.

Here are some notable ingredients that recently excited me and offered through Toyota-Tsusho America Inc.  (T.A.I.) . Yes, the Toyota as the famous car maker, they have a cosmetic ingredients division along with many others such as textile, food, diagnostic division just to name a few.

Are you ready for some breakthrough in anti-aging? Read on!

  • Sialic acid– Sialic acid is the key component found in Asian delicacy Bird’s nest. Asian women have been eating this delicacy (from bird’s saliva) for centuries due to its folklore belief for better health, skin brightening and improved complexion. There are bird nest extract available on the market however, it is only 1% active. The sialic acid offered through T.A.I. is obtained via biofermentation of yeast so it is a natural identical. There is clinical proof to show at 0.5% dosage, it gives skin brightening effect and at 1% dramatic wrinkle reduction is achievable.  This is a WOW!
  • Kahai oil– This non-greasy, super luxurious oil has proven to be better than Argan oil with 50% more vitamin E content and 3 times more vitamin A than Rosehip oil.  A clinical is done to show 45% of wrinkle reduction in 4 weeks. This oil is ecocert natural and cosmos approved. You can use it on your salad if you like. I have made extreme pampering face creams and super moisturizing lip glosses with this oil. The results are simply MARVELOUS!
  • Hydro Balu– Seriously the most legendary anti-aging story I have EVER heard.  Most of the people know that Okinawa island in Japan is known for people living over 100 years old. However, this Hydro Balu from Colombia trumps anything and everything you have EVER heard. This giant Edamame like Colombian bean harvested in San Bernado island, not only gives people the average lifespan of over 100 years old, but after the people die, they MUMMIFIED naturally without preservation or treatment. There is a museum documented the natural mummification is due to this Balu bean for natural preservation of skin and hair. This is the ULTIMATE anti-ager one can possibly find! This is EPIC!

For more information or sample, you can contact cosmetics@taiamerica.com

What are some of your most favorite eternal beauty anti-aging ingredients?

Until next time,

Ginger

 

 

Making Of Lipsticks In Japan


Yes, I have made lipsticks. No, I have never made lipsticks the way I did in Japan or have analyzed lipsticks the way I did in Japan.

In USA, making lipsticks in most of the cases are simply blending of waxes, pigments, melt, pour into mold, chill, case it, heat gun over. done. What I did in Japan is something else.

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Japanese tend to be very meticulous in everything they do. The product I was making is a new wax-free clear lipstick which I weighted out everything and melt. But before I poured into the mold- the Japanese chemist actually “warmed up” the mold first to prevent “temperature difference” during pouring which can results in uneven stick structure and cause some pigment droplets to kick out. In theory, this makes perfect sense; however, it is not that practical in actual production for scale up.

Prior to pouring the pigmented mixture to the mold, the mixture was put under vacuum suction for two minutes to ensure there was no aeration during mixing. This step is also attention to detail which I have never done it in USA. Usually when the temperature is high enough, air bubbles do not usually get trapped in the mixture. With this vacuum step, it is a double insurance.

Moreover, the mold was cleaned and applied a drop each of ester to ensure easier release of the lipstick bullet when the product is harden. Oddly enough, no chilling table was used to hasten the cooling process for the same reason- ensure product uniformity. In USA, our fast food culture, we would send off the mold to chill quickly so we can go to the next steps.

Once the product is set, the bullets are inserted into the lipstick case waiting to be flamed. Prior to this step, some lipstick bullets are cut off the top layer with a fishnet string if it goes into a supported slim line case. In USA, we do not use open fire in the lab. The most we do is using a heating gun to lightly warm up the surface to ensure the product looks shiny and smooth without nicks or scratched. In Japan, they actually used alcohol lamp for flaming and you have to do it very quickly to avoid fingers being burned.

The lipsticks are then checked for bending strength (to make sure it will not break when you apply with force on your lips), friction (to ensure the product will go on your lips smoothly), and hardness (to ensure it will not melt in disaster under high temperature especially if you left in the car). In USA, we do these tests more from sensory points of view but in Japan, they have an instrument for every analysis!

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I made four batches of lipsticks- two with the new clear stick technology and two with the traditional lipstick. What kind of lipsticks do you prefer?

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There are difference in making products in USA and in Asia. Neither one is better than the other. We ought to appreciate the thoroughness of other culture and also always think how we can translate what we learn in scale up environment and ensure quality.

Ginger

 

The Small Yet Mighty Tool To Complete Your Beauty Look


When I was a teenager, my mom would never go out with me If I do not wear a lipstick. She thought a colored lip means a healthy look and to her dismay, I tended to use really dark colors to look cool but it made me look older.

When I go out with my 11-year-old son now, he would always ask me to put on eyeliners. As he thought the eyes are everything. The bolder the eyeliners, the bigger the eyes appeared.

Sure, the lips and eyes are major when people look at you but don’t forget, you need some blush to complete the LOOK!

Here are my seven pointers on blush:

  • If you only use a lipstick, your skin tone may look shallow. If you do have some foundation on, you can still look wiped out. Some blushes can add that healthy glow to the look.
  • Although as a cosmetic chemist, I never want people to use blushes as an eye shadow because some pigments may not be good for sensitive eyes. However, a dab of a pink eye shadow on the middle of eyelids give you instant “cuteness”. I particularly favor Clarins  Eye,Cheek & Lip Cream Blush.
  • Some ethnic group looks gorgeous with deep red color blush. However, unless you have a darker skin tone, stick with a pink color blush to look natural.
  • Match your lipstick with blush? Sure, if you have a warm tone lipstick on, you can use a coral tone of blush. If you have a cool tone lipstick with blue in there, stick with a pink blush so the colors do not crash.
  • To have a natural look, pink is always the best bet because the idea of using a blush is to imitate the natural skin flush for that baby-like natural redness. It’s never brown or violet or copper.
  • Cream blushes tend to stay on better than powder blushes and create less streaking issues.
  • How you apply blush also matters. Usually you would smile and apply blushes on the “apple” of the cheek. If you do it with round stroke, you can look more youthful.  If you do a slant motion, it can be more of a contour to emphasize on your cheek bone.

So, when you are putting on your “eyes”, “lips”, do not forget the small yet almighty tool- BLUSH to complete your look.

Until next time,

Ginger

 

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Advice To Cosmetic Brand Owners :-)


Yes, I am a cosmetic chemist but I am also a makeup artist and a skin care expert. I do, still to this date dabbling around the cosmetic retail counters to keeping pulse with the consumer trends in the industry. Here are my observations and advice (more to the owners of the brand). If you do want to start your own brand, avoid these mistakes as well :-).

  • Do not print your product name on a holographic background:  It is bad enough to read the small print for the product names, let along the holographic or high shine silver or gold background as it is making it worse for any beauty advisors to find the stock among the hundreds of shades.
  • Do not use hot-stamping on your product name especially if it is going to be placed on the bottom of the products: How many times do customers nicely bring a bottle of foundation or compact powder for replenish and the writing on the product name is GONE. The beauty advisors will have to rematch the shade.
  • Do not just give a shade name without a number to it. There can be a million shade called rose but chances are the customers do not remember if it is silky rose or soft rose or romantic rose. Assign a number to it. It’s even more importantly that when you talk to the press, you show both the product name and number! Case in point- a well known brand just launched a beautiful lipstick shade Vision. However, when the customer go to buy the product, all the lipsticks go by designated number on the top of lipstick package instead of shade names!
  • Do not use white caps in packaging if all possible. Yes, white denotes purity. However, some of the white caps get dirty easily even with cleaning. How many times have you seen a dirty white cap on top of a cleanser, lotion or even a sunscreen? They are dirty because chances are the beauty advisor’s hands are full of the makeup residue and got transferred to the caps. The same will apply to foundation bottles.
  • Do not change packaging for the sake of restage. Cosmetic companies continue to improve packaging either for better cost or better efficiency or because a new marketing head was hired and wanted to make some changes. There are customers who only recognize the packaging when they buy. When you change the packaging, they assume the juice inside is different and they will not buy it. People are creatures of habits. If you are upgrading, upgrade everything!
  • Do not run several promotions during the same period of time. It is the internet age, people do buy more on line. However, to keep your brand ambassadors- the front line to your customers, you need to be sensitive to keeping them. How many times when your favorite beauty advisor called to tell you about the Gift with Purchase promotion, and on the same time period, you are offering 20-30% discount when they buy directly on line from you? Retail is going down the hills but do not forget your beauty advisors are your brand ambassadors! You take good care of them, they take great care of your customers! On-line shopping is good when people know what they want. It’s the OLD business, OLD products you are getting. Your one-on- one beauty advisor spreads the latest new innovation and the TOUCH to your customers to generate the NEW business for you. Do not ever forget that!

Retail is detail. All the points mentioned seemed to be no big deals at a glance. However, these can certainly be the points for improvement. The more your beauty advisors appreciate you, the better your NEW business will be.

To your success!

Ginger,Beauty Industry Consultant

 

How To Take Good Care Of Your Skin In Your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and Beyond!


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When is the best time to start taking care of your skin? The best time is really start from 6 months old! Yes, 6 months old babies should start wearing sunscreen. Sun damages are accumulative so start early! Of course a baby can not BUY a sunscreen themselves, thus you as a reader/parent can help to make it happen.  This blog post will be more specific on 20’s and above that you can take the control of your skin’s destiny!

In general, all skin care products should really do three things- protect, comfort, moisturize. No matter if you purchase your skin care in drug store or in premium beauty retail. What differentiate the pricing lays in the packaging, the active ingredient used, and the clinical promises that how it will make your skin looking more smart and beautiful.

In your 20’s– all you really need is a basic hydrator and a sunscreen. At this time, your skin should be either oily or oily-combination. Chances are you are active and may lose hydration due to active exercise and moving around. Make sure not only you are drinking 8 glasses of water, you should also do the same to quench your skin thirst. Look for ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, watermelon or honey to keep your skin hydrated.  Wear SPF 50 if you are outdoor a lot.  Prevention is easier than treatment. If you take care of your skin early, you have less issues down the road.

In your 30’s– You may start experience early signs of aging.  It’s time to use a more sophisticated moisturizer with good lipid replenishers and an eye product.  Products contains squalane, triglycerides, argan oil, coconut oil, avocado oil are all good choices to help moisturize skin. A light weight eye cream or balm or gel should be added to the daily regimen especially if you tend to have dark circles due to lack of sleep. Ingredients to look for in eye products are buckwheat, or caffeine to help reduce puffiness, licorice, vitamin C, or algae to help with dark circles. It’s also a great time to add in skin perfecting polisher to help exfoliate the skin so your moisturizers can penetrate better. Once a week skin perfecting mask is also suggested for the extra smart move!

In your 40’sIt’s serious skin game time! Not only you have preventative work to do like when you were at 20’s and 30’s, you may have some corrective work if you haven’t been so diligent doing your skin care work. So what does it entail? Amp up your exfoliation game- you may want to increase exfoliation to 2-3 times a week as skin cell turn over can be sluggish if you don’t help it going. Pay extra attention to the eye area– that crows’feet, that hallowing under the eye may start to show. You will need a powerhouse eye cream packed with peptides, retinol-like actives, algaes, lentil extracts, green banana extracts for extra firming and moisturization.  Since the skin underneath the eyes is similar to our lips, yes, go ahead massage in the leftover eyecream on our fingertips to your lips. It’s also time to add in a skin serum treatment under your moisturizer as serum is packed with the highest level of actives possible. When you use a serum, do not just slap it on. Try to PRESS the serum on to the skin with outward motion to enhance penetration and follow with a moisturizer to seal in all the greatness of the serum.  Oh, and don’t forget to treat your neck as well! Neck is the area even cosmetic surgery will have a hard time to correct once you have that Turkey neck. Protect NOW. Of course, a weekly skin perfecting mask will also help to keep your complexion glowing.

In your 50’s & beyondAre you hopeless at this stage? Absolutely not! The skin care work at this stage will involve intensive night time skin repair and continue to avoid sun exposure with great sunscreen during the day. My absolute love sun product is Clarins UV plus 50- best invention ever. It’s non-greasy, non-whitening, and smells absolutely fabulous (so you WANT to put it on).  At 50 and above, for women, it’s menopausal stage and you will experience hot flash, loss of collagen and elastin so this is the last opportunity to really turn back time.  This is also the stage age spots tend to pop up on your cheeks or even hands, so take absolute care with vitamin C or licorice infused products along with gentle physical exfoliation such as cellulose beads or fruit peels from Alpha hydroxy acids or Beta Hydroxy acids. The Skin Perfecting Polisher by Grand Central Beauty is a great combination of both physical exfoliation and fruit acid peel.  Just like when you are at 40’s, use your eye creams, serum, and anti-aging moisturizer. You may upgrade your moisturizer at this stage for intensified anti-aging results. You may find ingredients that sooths hot flashes or calming desirable such as alpha bisabolo or chamomile. Multi-peptides, multi-antioxidants, multi-collagen and elastin inducers are much needed at this stage. Check to see if the products have any clinical support on their claims. Again, don’t forget about your neck area, and even hands at this time.

Bottom line for skin care is exfoliation + moisturization + sunscreen and you should have a glowing complexion no matter the age!

 

Smart & Beautiful Skin To YOU!

Ginger