Lipstick holds the top spot in the hierarchy of makeup with its ability to completely transform appearance without the help of any other beauty product. One investigation by a beauty magazine concluded that the average consumer applies up to nine pounds of lipstick in their lifetime, so it’s no wonder that so much attention is focused on getting this little tube of oil / wax / colouring agent to perform consistently every time. The result not only needs to look good, with lasting results, but mustn’t bend, crack, crumble or break when applied.
The lipstick ‘bullet’ is formed by blending oils and waxes to create a moulded solid to which a colouring agent is added. Hard waxes give the stick its strength so that it doesn't snap away from the tube every time you use it, while softer waxes help to bind everything together and keep lips conditioned and well moisturised. From a cosmetic point of view the most important ingredient is the dye, pigment or other category of agent which achieves the desired colour; which may impact the physical performance.
It is therefore vital to control the formulation process to achieve a consistent texture that not only feels smooth on the lips but is resilient enough to withstand being applied firmly—irrespective of the shade chosen.
A key method to control the quality and consistency of lipstick is to measure its hardness by shear testing. This involves clamping the lipstick tube in a fixture and applying a cantilever force to push-down on the lipstick itself. The amount of force required to break it determines its hardness whilst how far the lipstick deflects indicates its brittleness. This data aids manufacturers to produce a lipstick which doesn’t snap out of its holder or crack when applied.
There are 3 distinct probe-types used to test lipsticks, all of which can be used with Mecmesin force testers:
- Hemisphere-type (to simulate the shape of a lip) and chisel-type for bend tests.
- ‘Cheese-wire’ to slice through the lipstick crayon.
- Needle probe to pierce through the top or side of the bullet.
Compressive force is applied to the lipstick at a constant speed by using a motorised tester. Force is measured by a loadcell and data is plotted on a graph, from which calculations are made to determine hardness, brittleness and stiffness.
The peak force indicates the hardness telling you just how much the lipstick can withstand before breaking—usually at the joint with the holder, breaking elsewhere would indicate quality issues with the homogeneity of the material structure.
The amount of deflection of the lipstick at break measures brittleness; with softer lipsticks deflecting further than harder ones. Stiffness is provided by calculating the gradient of the curve when the lipstick is being bent.
Monitoring these key characteristics during production allows manufacturers to identify defects in the process which may produce grainy or flaky lipsticks caused by the presence of unwanted air bubbles or incomplete colourant dispersion. A repeatable test procedure, quantifying the values for acceptable performance, also means in-house test standards can be created to benchmark new formulations. The R&D lab can then report pass/fail results for products created with alternative synthetic, natural, eco-friendly, vegan-approved ingredients that the market demands and those that a regulatory body such as the FDA or EMA demands.
- MultiTest motorised (plus digital force gauge) or software-controlled test stand
- Shaped compression probe or knife edge profile bend/shear anvil
- Custom Lipstick Bend Fixture for bullet testing
Tensile testing wire joining systems
Our customer's wire joiners and tensioners are used extensively in the Building Services, Agriculture, Civil Engineering, Viticulture and Seismic Construction sectors and feature award-winning solutions for clamping, seismic bracing, suspension and hanging systems. As part of the continuous improvement ethic, the Quality and Design Department wanted to review their in-house methods and re-evaluate the test procedures for measuring break loads in their cable components.
Extreme sports waterproof bio-textile mechanical properties
Amphibio Ltd develops bio-inspired materials technology for the outdoor and extreme sports industry. Amphibio wanted to quantify the strength and mechanical properties of various single fibres, multifilament yarns, woven and knitted textiles and fabrics.
Automated syringe break-loose and glide force system
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented demand on manufacturers of syringes and vials. Ramping up production of syringes has been a challenge which manufacturers have pulled out all the stops to meet. However, with increased production comes increased testing.
Edge Crush Test (ECT) of corrugated cardboard
Over the weeks of COVID-19 lockdown confinement, there was a surge of home deliveries, with even e-commerce giants struggling to fulfil demands. Beyond household deliveries, cardboard is also an object serving on the frontline of public health services, enabling mass deliveries of vitally needed medical equipment..
Release torque testing of Champagne and sparkling wine corks
The Mecmesin CombiCork is a Quality tool that allows Korbel to test cork materials, ensuring they match with Korbel’s stringent quality standards. Testing removes subjectivity from the uncorking of champagne corks, troubleshooting our process or material variation, so our customers are able to have a consistent experience every time they open a bottle of the finest Korbel California Champagne
Adhesive test on capsulated cork stoppers
A capsulated stopper (T-top, Bar-Top or Altop) is a natural or synthetic cork stopper where the end is glued into a cap of wood, PVC, porcelain, metal, glass or other material. Testing the quality of the adhesive bond between cork and cap is a fundamental check performed by manufacturers of capsulated stoppers and their customers
Vial stopper needle penetrability residual seal force and torque testing
COVID-19 vaccines, as parenteral medications, enter the body by injection through the tissue and circulatory system. Testing the physical properties of these vital drug container systems is a key factor in quality-control testing
Hand sanitiser dispenser pump testing
Sales of antibacterial gels have soared enormously following National Health Service advice telling the public to thoroughly wash hands in order to stay protected from Coronavirus. In fact, even before the 2020 pandemic crisis, the presence of hand sanitisers had already become commonplace, not only in hospitals but also in schools, restaurants and offices.
Adhesion peel strength of COVID-19 tapes and stickers
In the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, there have been clear guidelines issued to businesses on keeping staff and customers safe. These include wall signs encouraging people to follow hygiene guidelines through to purpose-made floor tape to help enforce social distancing rules. For successful long-lasting application to surfaces, they all rely on the stickiness provided by the humble self-adhesive.
Break-loose and sustaining force tests of pre-filled drug cartridges to ISO 11608-3
Mechanical pen injectors for delivering drugs, such as insulin, have found increasing acceptance over the traditional vial-and-syringe method. To validate new pen injector designs and maintain quality when they are mass-produced requires extensive testing.
Vaccine delivery device and packaging testing
As COVID-19 has rapidly spread around the world, there is a concerted global effort to find a vaccine. Whether administered via an oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intradermal, or intranasal route, vaccines need to be administered via a medical device, and these must be tested to esnure they are safe and meet stringent standards and regulations
PET preforms - repurposing production for COVID-19 test kits
PET preforms are typically blow-moulded to create the ubiquitous plastic bottles containing carbonated and still beverages. The production process to fill and seal these bottles with a screw-cap is a demanding one, so a number of tests are performed to ensure quality control specifications are met for this core packaging.
Probiotic drink packaging testing
As demand for dietary supplements continues to surge, immune-boosting products, such as prebiotics and probiotics, are amongst the most popular. Getting these liquid probiotic products noticed by the consumer relies on eye-catching innovative packaging which must be easy-to-open and reseal whilst remaining economic to use for the beverage producer.
Testing Ventilator and Breathing Assistance Apparatus Components
A ventilator (respirator) provides ‘mechanical ventilation’ by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs of patients unable to breathe sufficiently well unaided. Such fundamental hospital equipment is essential for all patient care where assisted breathing is necessary.
Face mask strength testing
Manufacturing masks is not as easy as you might imagine. International test standards exist to make sure the face masks can be verified to protect clinicians and patients from pathogens spread by blood, body fluids and secretions and now to limit the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
Pharmaceutical tablet crush and break strength
Many products come in tablet form, with a durability designed for both packaging and for use. Too brittle or too hard, and they may not be fit for use, or at best perform below expectation. The only way to determine consistency is mechanical testing of samples.
Lipstick tube force and torque testing
Testing the mechanical performance of the lipstick tube is a crucial part of the quality-control process for cosmetics manufacturers. Leading players in the cosmetics industry have come to rely on Mecmesin’s range of affordable force and torque testers to carry out checks on batches of lipsticks produced.
Mecmesin's materials testers
Testing the physical strength properties of materials, in accordance with international or in-house standards, is a key part of determining their characteristics to better understand the effects of process improvements. With this in mind, Mecmesin has designed a range of static-load Materials Testers powered by intuitive VectorPro MT software.
Top-load crush of plastic bottle with semi-automated test process
To guarantee their containers would perform as expected along customer production lines and remain intact during transportation and storage, US company, Silgan Plastics wanted to undertake top-load tests according to internal, customer and Supplier Packaging Information (SPI) standards.
Dispensing pump assembly testing
Mecmesin's customer manufactures a range of dispensing pumps for the cosmetic and beauty-care industry. A requirement was identified to measure the actuation force of the pump assembly and the pull-off force of the pump handle. The VersaTest motorised test stand was chosen as it gave the necessary repeatability and consistency independent of operator, which a manual stand could not.
Cosmetics brush pull-out testing
Our client is a major cosmetics company using a variety of brushes for all applications and wished to tensile test the integrity of the bristles. Gripping the awkwardly-shaped handles and bristle tips in a repeatable way, demanded more than a single standard vice grip...
Powdered drink container - Mecmesin's compressive strength & lid peel tests
An international supplier of a powdered hot-chocolate drink wanted to test several aspects of their packaging. The client was then able to use their Mecmesin universal tester for all four tests, with quick and easy exchange of fixtures, allowing rapid throughput of samples for testing.
Retort packaging 90 degree peel and lid strength testing
The food packaging industry has long had concerns about pinholes, flex cracks and leaks in the flexible materials and seals of retort flexible lidded packaging. A famous global food and drink maker needed to test the laminated retort (and other thin film) packaging solutions that protect products such as their popular microwaveable stir-in pots.
- Jo Webb
- Product Info
- Created 16 Oct 2020
- Modified 11 Nov 2020
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