Carbon in Brow Pigments

by Teryn Darling May 06, 2022

There has been some concern regarding the presence of carbon in organic pigment lines.  When it comes to an organic pigment line…in order to create the darker shades…carbon must be added.  This is the only way to create the dark shades we need for some of our clients.

Carbon black has the highest lightfastness, strongest UV durability and long-lasting power.  It has the ability to outlast anything and this can potentially be problematic when it comes to our brows.  If carbon outlasts all the other colorants…that leaves a gray, blue or gray/blue eyebrow just depending on the type of carbon used and how the pigment was formulated.   Artists are concerned with how much carbon is being used in organic brow colors and this is a valid concern.  We also shared this concern, we were laser focused on this concern and this is the exact reason it took so long to formulate and launch a full organic line of brow colors…Loaded®. 

By the time we were ready to start developing Loaded®, Li Pigments® had been performing Research & Development on this very topic for several years prior. Through that R&D, successes and failures…Li had figured out a formula that would allow a more stable aging when using carbon black.  Loaded® was three years in development and testing following the R&D conducted.

It starts by choosing the right carbons. There are 100’s of different types of carbon.  Remember carbons can either have a blue base, an ashy gray base or a truer black base.  A truer black based carbon is going to allow the brow to age to a softer version of itself rather than turning blue or that dreaded battleship gray.

Yes, it is fact that all carbon black has the ability to outpower and outlast anything…unless an appropriate blend of yellows and reds are used to counter and balance this ability.  Li has created a blend of yellows and reds to help stabilize the aging of its organic brow pigments containing carbon. Yellows not only come in different lightfastness…they also come in different weights.  Some yellows not only have a higher lightfastness but also weigh more than other yellows. The weight of the yellow used proved to be very important.  Multiple cool, neutral and warm yellows that carry a specific weight in combination with certain warm reds, create that perfect balancing blend.  Once a perfect blend is created, the colorants along with the carbon are milled, mixed and fused together so they can coexist with each other.   This is how a more balanced aging process can be obtained using carbon. 

The darker browns in Loaded® contain carbon…that is how the darker browns are created.  With the processes I mentioned above…a more stable aging and cohesive fade is created.  It is knowing and understanding all the different carbons, using a blend of specific carbons if needed and pairing the unique carbon blend with the right blend of yellows and warm reds.  It’s a balancing act…a serious balancing act.



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