Posted September 26, 2017
Heading down the Las Vegas Strip toward one of the town’s big-name attractions, the sights and sounds are just mesmerizing, the crowd’s energy adding to the excitement. At the show the view is as spectacular as the iconic neon lights of the city’s skyline.
Musicians, illusionists and acrobats alike are decked out from head to toe in costumes that say out loud: There’s no such thing as too much glamour and extravagance in Las Vegas. The show’s a work of art of its own, seen in the performers’ elaborate face makeup. One’s decorated like a fierce warrior; another like a majestic animal. The shimmering makeup fits so well in a city that itself shimmers with color and light. Let’s look at the ways energy plays a role in makeup and cosmetic products – whether it’s putting the sparkle on a Vegas showgirl’s face or simply helping the rest of us look our best.
The Foundation of Your Foundation
Purified oil and natural gas are key ingredients in theatrical cosmetics, from face paint and eye makeup to makeup brushes and hair products. The use of energy for these products serves many functions, including moisturizing, waterproofing, concealing, coloring and accentuating.
The best part is you don’t need to be a Las Vegas synchronized swimmer or acrobat to enjoy the benefits of oil and natural gas in beauty products.
Color Me Beautiful
Just as oil and natural gas help create the striking color you see on the performers in “Blue Man Group,” energy-based products also are good for that slightly more understated bronze summer glow. People have embraced color additives since as early as 1500 B.C. Historically, those colors came from more basic substances; today, manufacturers create color in a laboratory, with help from petroleum.
The synthesized color used by manufacturers since the start of the 20th century offer wider shading possibilities. In today’s beauty world, cosmetics such as lipstick, facial makeup, eye makeup and nail polish often include Black 2 – an FDA-approved colorant consisting of high purity carbon particles from petroleum oil feedstock combusted in a natural gas-fired furnace.
Behind the Pretty Face
Beyond giving your face and the faces of your favorite performers that pop of color, oil and natural gas play other crucial roles in cosmetics. Many makeup, hair, nail and skin products contain petroleum distillates and isoparaffins. These are clear, colorless liquids formed from hydrocarbons derived from natural gas and oil and used in the manufacturing process to dissolve other ingredients.
In addition to petroleum distillates and isoparaffins, mineral oil is another common ingredient used in beauty products. The oil is a clear, odorless liquid made from refining petroleum. Mineral oil is extracted and purified in a process similar to vegetable oil production. Both the texture and properties of mineral oil make it an essential ingredient in skin care cosmetics, bath oils and haircare products.
Beauty in the Details
Though most people are not painting zebra stripes and bird feathers on their faces every day, the importance of makeup brushes in a daily beauty routine cannot be underestimated. The bristles of synthetic makeup brushes typically are made with nylon, a polyamide made from petroleum, and polyester, a synthetic polymer also produced from petroleum.
Back out on the Vegas Strip, the street pulses with activity. Up the way, the Cirque du Soleil show is a display of color in acrobatic motion. Energy brings the color – on stage or simply in front of your dressing table mirror.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.