What Tools Do I Need To Formulate?

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What Tools Do I Need To Formulate?

This looks longer than it actually is!

Before you get started – be prepared and be hygienic. Always sterilise your equipment and containers before you begin formulating and when you finish with either isopropyl alcohol (99.9%) or pure alcohol that you can buy from pharmacies. Never be tempted to skip this part, it is for your safety and the safety of those you may be formulating for.

Firstly - you will need a protected surface to work on.

Secondly and this is important - you will then need to protect yourself.

  • a dust mask - necessary when grinding powders as the dust particles that are created are very fine and when inhaled can irritate your lungs
  • protective garment for your clothes - certain pigments can stain clothing
  • nitrile or latex gloves (some people can be allergic to latex) – the same pigments that stain clothing will also stain your hands
  • wipes or kitchen roll to mop up any spills

Below are the tools you will need if you are not using our pre-made bases.

Now you have to make one decision – do you want to formulate a loose or pressed powder.

Loose Powder Formulas

If you are formulating for yourself:

  • a container to put your finished product in
  • a mixing cup
  • a mixing spatula
  • a measuring spoon
  • wipes or kitchen roll to mop up any spills
  • a coffee grinder

If you are formulating for members of your family or friends, you may want to invest in a mini food processor instead of a coffee grinder. Keep this for formulating only.

Pressed Powder Formulas

You will need the following tools if you are formulating for yourself:

  • a palette to put your finished product in,
  • a mixing cup
  • a mixing spatula
  • a measuring spoon
  • wipes or kitchen roll to mop up any spills
  • binding and pressing fluid
  • a pressing tool
  • pressing ribbon (optional) - this is laid on top of your powder when you make your final press to customise the surface

The same applies for pressed powder if formulating bigger projects. A mini food processor works well for mixing the base powders before adding the coloured micas. Of course if you are using iron oxides these will need to be ground either separately or, unlike coloured micas, they can be ground togather with the base powders depending on your recipe.

Note: If using a coffee grinder a good tip is to put a layer of cling film over the grinder before replacing the lid. This helps to contain any powder that wants to escape out of the sides.

Remember: Never grind your coloured micas in any grinder or processor unless you want them to be matte. Grinding cuts up the surface of the mica and they will lose their lustre, just stir them into your prepared base.

 

That's it, you’re ready to formulate!