Cornelius Innovations Laboratory: Leading the way in cosmetics innovation for 20 years


 Cornelius Innovations Laboratory: Leading the way in cosmetics innovation for 20 years

(Posted on 30/03/17)

* This blog was updated 03/05/2018

Since its introduction in 1997, the Cornelius Innovations Laboratory has worked on many innovative formulations that have been groundbreaking and ahead of their time. The Cornelius Care Team has put together its top highlights from the last 20 years in this trend-setters timeline. Top marks to those who spot all the cosmetic industry ‘firsts’ in our eye-opening, behind-the-scenes timeline.

1998: Multi-phase bath oils. Perfect for luxury bath and shower, these high-end bath oils have excellent phase separation and clean interface.

2001: Face Contouring. Well ahead of the trend, Cornelius created a nose-slimming contour block. In 2012 (a whopping 11 years later!) Kim Kardashian created a phenomenon by posting her well-known before and after picture, and by 2013, contouring had gone mainstream. Today there are many contouring kits on the market including L’Oreal’s Infallible Sculpt Contour Palette. 

2001: Face Lock Spray. Back in 2001, Cornelius used Pecogel S1120 in an aqueous solution to help hold makeup in place. Urban Decay was the first to market with the ‘All Nighter’ and following its success further solutions emerged such as Barry M’s ‘Mist & Fix’ launched at the end of 2016, which included an anti-pollution shield.

Top tip: Cornelius predicts the combination of pollution protection and make-up wear in one spray will take off as a trend this year. We are currently formulating so watch this space… 

2002: New water resistant mascara. Cornelius tested a variety of raw materials in 2002, to find an effective new water-proof formulation. We have revisited this work many times over the years when asked to recommend water-proofing ingredients. The pictures below demonstrate how each mascara fared after being soaked in water for 30 minutes.

2003: Eyebrow Styling. Our first foray into making the eyebrow a statement feature involved glittery gel. We were also ahead of the game in terms of the recent bold brow trend sparked by Cara Delevigne’s thick and glossy brows, offering various solutions to boost the brow. Every major make-up brand now includes some form of wax, powder or crayon brow styler in their collection. 

2003: Water Free Wash. Back in 2003, we had the idea for a water-free wash to offer an eco-friendly alternative face wash. Our first exploration of this was an oil based product with secondary surfactants to aid blooming and rinsing. Cornelius has re-visited water-free as a concept several times over the years, creating oily and powder formats. Water free oil-based cleansers were at the height of their popularity during 2013. And water-free in powder format grains became big news in 2014 when many versions of washing grains, such as Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator, hit the shelves. 

2006: Mattifying spray for bald heads. We created this as a vehicle to ascertain whether a nano-particle zinc oxide could reduce annoying shine in 2006. Again, this was very much ahead of its time. 2017 also saw a rise in recommendations from key influencers for mattifying products for bald men. 

2007: Bath Sushi. Cornelius was one step ahead of the ‘spathroom’ trend in 2007 with gelled aloe vera sheets with encapsulated pearl pigments rolled into sushi shapes providing a melting effect.

2008: Painted Pressed Powders. Cornelius took the bold step of free hand painting on pressed powders in 2008, a trend which today has become very popular with brands such as Paul & Joe. 

2009: Fluff It Powder Hair Styler. Originally packaged in a shaker pot, Cornelius reformulated the hair styler four years later and packaged it in a spray pack. The styler gives roots a lift and creates undone tousled styles. There are now many versions of this on the market. It’s been a popular mainstream haircare product since around 2010.

2011: Gel Oil Cleanser / Jeesperse Powder Cleanser. In 2011 Cornelius addressed water free wash products again but this time using Jeesperse’s unique functionality. The instant cream with a just add water claim fits perfectly into the ‘shift’ trend that is currently everywhere (cream to powder, oil to cream). 

2013: Stevia Sweet Tea Lip Balm. 2013 brought about the creation of an entirely natural formulation with a unique sweet taste. Although there are many flavoured balms out there in the market, this was the first we had seen one with a genuine food substance incorporated.

2014: Colour Pop Pillow Blush. A first in the UK but slightly behind the Korean market, where a sponge soaked with foundation was launched, the Cornelius sponge product is pre-dosed with sheer bright liquid blush and a very popular addition to the Cornelius Textures kit. Since 2014, sponge soaked foundations have become a trend. Award-winning Lancome Miracle Cushion foundation is a great example.

2017: Silicone Elastomer Replacement. Our lab technicians worked on replacing silicone elastomers by using entirely natural raw materials to achieve the same soft, powdery skin feel.

To find out more about Cornelius expertise and how of our trend-setting can benefit your business, contact us and be sure you keep an eye out for more industry ‘firsts’ coming out our of our Innovations Laboratory. 

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