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Frequently Asked Questions


Our most frequently asked question ishi i just recently found your company online and i'm interested in buying from you, i was just wondering if the colored mica and matte colors were already ready to use as pigment eye shadows or do you have to do anything special to them to be able to use them as eyeshadow? 

And the answer is:  TKB Trading sells ingredients for you to make your own cosmetics.  Our only actual "finished" products are in the MyMix section of our website. 

Having said that, there is no particular harm in using our eye-permitted micas and pigments directly as an eye shadow.  The problem is that the results will probably not satisfy you.  The mica will fall off too easily, or the pigments will be to strong in color and too draggy on the skin. 

Color additives are usually texturized with something.  In the case of a powdered eye shadow, our TKB Matte Texture base is a good option.  

Our SECOND most frequently asked question is: which of your colors are natural?

And the answer is:  People call all kinds of things natural, but as there is no regulation on what that means, they personally choose to draw the line and how they communicate with their customers.  With regard to color additives, you can view what the fda allows in cosmetics here:

If you click on the 21CFR Section Code hyperlink at the above referenced page for the color you are interested in, you will confirm that iron oxides and ultramarines are synthetically manufactured items.


  Click here to answer these questions
  Click here to answer these questions
 Emails Received  Below are copies of questions and answers to recent emails received.  I've gotten so many emails with the same questions lately, I've decided to just start tossing them here, for now, until I can organize my thoughts.  -- Kaila


I'm trying to recreated a specific color for a foundation that I unfortunately had a bad reaction to,and they listed the type of iron oxides they used on the label. I am unfamiliar with with these sorts of things and this would be first time attempting to create a mineral foundation so I was hoping you could make sense of these numbers. The Iron Oxides on the back say they're CI 77491,CI 77492,and CI 77499. Your colors do not mention anything about CI's as far as I can see,so I'm a tad confused.


If you click on the More Details hyperlink of any color, it will list the details, including CI numbers.  CI means "Color Index" and in this case they are as follows:
CI 77491 (Red Oxide),CI 77492 (Yellow Oxide),and CI 77499 (Black Oxide).
However here is your problem:
1)  On an ingredients list for cosmetics, color additives all fall behind the "May Contain" clause.  So your product may or may not contain any or all of these color additives.  This is so that cosmetic companies don't have to have a million different labels for each hue.
2)  There are different shades of each of these colors.  For example, for red oxide, we have about 7 possible variations that we sell.  So Red Oxide is a generic name for a red iron oxide, but the actual shade varies widely.  Here is an example of different red oxides
I bought some pearl powders (both hydrolyzed & micronized) and I noticed there's a weird smell... is this normal? Just want to check since it's my first time to try pearl powders.

I'm also thinking of buying pearl & silk powders in larger quantities - would you be able to guarantee a minimum shelf life of 18 months from the date of purchase? I've heard that pearl powders generally have a 2 year shelf life, is that correct? I just got the pearl powder I ordered last July and I saw that the expiry date is 9/11, which means I now have less than one year to use it - I was hoping for a little more time.
A smell is normal because they are animal products.  They are not odor free.
My vendor gives me a one year date for shelf life, and I reorder regularly, but sometimes my staff forgets to update the label.  Hopefully they are now all trained.
Anyway, the shelf life is one year from my purchase, and I reorder about every three months.  Hydrolyzed pearl is more problematic as if it is exposed to air it can begin to degrade. For this reason, you should only order in the bulk size, (kg) because then we are not repacking it and it is most stable.
Is the Z-Cote Zinc Oxcide safe for sensitive skin?

I have very oily sensitive skin that burns from even from sunscreen specially formulated for the face.

Will daily use of Z-cote zinc oxcide damage my skin?
Sunscreens can contain chemicals which alter and make harmless uv rays and these chemicals may be what you are reacting to. SunBLOCKS contain no chemicals as a general rue because they block the sun. Instead they rely on zinc and titanium.

So there is a good chance the zinc might work for you but of course proceed with caution and do a patch test. 
Can I mix the versagel and the lip balm base together to make lip gloss less sticky?
You can mix them together but it will mke the product more sticky not less. See the recipe section of our website for examples.
Hello, what is the difference between lip balm base and lip stick base? I bought the lip stick base because the lip balm base was sold out at the warehouse sale. The ingredient list looks the same? Thanks for any help!
The balm base just has less wax and more oil.  It is just different percentages.
Which powder products are vegan?
Your main concern is for anything which contains Carmine.  Carmine is a pink color and found in many of the reds, pinks and purples.  If you shop only in the "soap" section of the website you will avoid carmine because carmine is also not stable in high pH that soap has.
Alternatively, under the photo of each color is a More Details hyperlink which you can click and which will tell you the ingredients.
As a final fail-safe you can include in your comments at checkout "please triple check all vegan".


What are your jars made of and how can I get printing on them:

The jars are made of polystyrene (PS).  I don't have a printer to recommend in particular, What you are looking for is a pad printer e.g.  Pad printers print on uneven surfaces, which is what the lid is (not perfectly smooth).  The particular company in this link is in the San Francisco Bay Area like we are, but I don't really know anything about them. 

Question :  What determines whether a mica mix needs grinding or not?  Looks like almost all matte ones do, but shimmers don't.  Is that right, or do all blends need mixing to avoid streaks?
Answer:  Mica is actually uncolored, or slightly amber colored mineral.  What you are calling Mica is really "colored mica".  It is mica which has been processed in such a way to include layers of colors such as iron oxides, or dyes.  Because these colors have been made lighter and fluffier by the mica, they do not need any grinding.  In fact, grinding can also damage them because if you grind colored mica you can cause the mica and color to separate and therefore get a little duller.

The ingredients which are used to color the mica, such things as iron oxide, ultramarine, blue #1 lake and so forth, those are the pure pigments.  Those are the ones which need to be ground in order to avoid streaking and to bring out the color.

Two simple tests to tell if you are holding a pure pigment or a mica:
  1. Look at the ingredients list.  If it has the word Mica, you are holding a mica.
  2. Rub the product between your fingers, if it is a little sticky or very staining, it is a pure pigment.
 Question: You also had questions about pressing powders.

Answer: First, with regard to pressing powders, we have two ebooks on this subject.  The first numerous pages of those books are free to view and I encourage you to go look at them. 
Here is the link to the basics of pressing powders:
And, here is the link to the recipes book:

If you look at these books you will see that when you press a powder, we suggest you use both a liquid binder and a dry pressing medium.

For our recipes of color blends you will need our three recipe scoops or our metal 5-scoops.  I recommend the metal spoons because they last longer and are a better deal.

You asked about Matte Texture Base.  This is a product we offer to help improve the adhesion and texture of the micas, but it does effect their color, tending to make them more pastel.  You can use it or not.  It is a good "starting place" and a lot of customers buy it, but it is not the perfect solution for everyone.  What makes it nice is you can shake it together with the micas in a bag, no grinding, and you are good to go.

If you want a deeper color, you should probably blend your micas with one of our matte tones.  Anytime you work with the matte tones you are going to need to use some kind of grinder, like a coffee bean grinder.  A video explaining this can be found here:

Matte colors and micas can be blended together to make a deeper, darker color, and matte tones are naturally sticky so they also help improve the adhesion of the mica.  I think this is probably the direction you want to go.  But, you may also want to add a couple things to texturize the final product to make it less draggy.  I would suggest as an easy answer the Silica Microspheres.  Just about 10% to the recipe will make it go on much more smoothly.

Question:  I got my order and have been having lots of fun with it--thanks! I also realized I forgot to order a few things so I'll add them to my "next time" list.
I have been doing a lot of reading about mineral makeup and recipes and such and have a question. What is the difference between sericite and mica? Sometimes I see "serecite mica," sometimes just "sericite," sometimes just "mica." Are they different? What are the differences? 

Answer:  Sericite is a kind of mica, different than Muscovite mica.  I "think" it has to do mainly with where they are mined from but I'm not sure about that.  Regardless, sericite is what is commonly used in makeup.  When labeling a product the INCI (international nomenclature for cosmetic ingredients) for mica, regardless of the type is simply 'mica'.  So that is why you typically see just mica on the labels.

Question:  What colors do you recommend for CP soap?

Answer:   Very common powders used by CP soapmakers are these:  It is a basic set of natural looking pigments for soap.

For more colorful soaps, consider the Cosmetic Fluorescent colors.