Monday, February 11th, 2008

Exciting news, my dearest friends, Temptalia was invited to tour the Kryolan facilities in San Francisco!  Franchesca invited us to take a sneak peek at the show room, as well as take a tour of the on-site production facilities. Claudia Longo, led the tour, while Jake (showroom manager) introduced us to all that is Kryolan (and boy is there a LOT to see and play with!). Before I forget, I urge you to call 1-800-KRYOLAN to find your nearest retailer so you can check these products out!  You can expect more individual product coverage for the upcoming season; I have one hint:  waterproofing.

Kryolan is a brand that has been headquartered in Berlin Papierstrasse since 1971, but began in 1945, and they still have 90% of their production in Germany.  Kryolan is often known for their involvement in theatrical, film, and editorial, as the brand originally began because the founder was a theatre enthusiasist.  Arnold Langer, who was also a chemist involved in cosmetics, founded the privately owned company with the support of his wife Waltraud.  The philosophy of Kryolan is “To offer professional makeup artists of the world a system of products and services to better accomplish their tasks.”  This philosophy continues to exist as Wolfram Langer, son, works towards to expanding and improving the already established brand.  Kryolan distributes to over seventy countries, and they also do private label projects, which means you never know exactly where Kryolan products may show up.

Let me introduce you to some of Kryolan’s favorite and most known products, which there are many (and the line is so extensive). The DERMACOLOR system is known for its ability to cover discolorations and skin anomalies, including tattoos, birthmarks, or burn scars.  I really liked how this line is posited, because it shows its usefulness to those who have serious skin difficulties or have undergone trauma, and I feel this line is excellent in giving those people a way to discover who they are and feel better about themselves.

AQUACOLOR is a grease-free, washable makeup for face and body that is used in theatrical makeup quite often.  It is one of their most known lines, and it is something that makeup artists truly seem to rave about.  They are incredibly pigmented, easy to use, and Kryolan does not know the word “discontinued.”  If they develop and produce a product, you can be sure that it will continue to exist when you run out.

They also have a lot of special effects makeup available, ranging from latex parts to faux vomit to blood capsules.  I liked that they packaged some of this special effect smakeup and products into a line called Fun Faze, which are specially packaged, often with step-by-step guides, to achieving face masks or certain looks for parties, carnivals, or even Halloween.

One of the best things I have learned about Kryolan is that they’re a company that is on the cutting edge of development and product safety. Because they have a presence globally, and they tend to import the majority of their products from Germany, they often adhere to the more stringest standards and practices of the EU.  For instance, on many of their products, you will find a jar that has a number, such as “24m,” which indicates that the product is good for 24 months after it is opened.  I think that is so handy, and I hope they implement this in the US soon!

Learn more about my tour, plus see a ton of photos!

Kryolan has an amazing range of eyeshadows and eye products with every color one could imagine.  They have AQUACOLOR, but they also have loose and powder shadows available.

This is the “clean room,” where specially trained employees hand-package many of the Kryolan products.

They have three machines that are used to help in production.  The one on the right (and there is a second one behind the green machine) is used to produce the AQUACOLOR.  Claudia was explaining that these machines gride the pigments so they are micronized.  If you have ever taken a swipe of a product, and it changed colors on you, she said it is because the pigments weren’t ground fine enough.

Part of the production facility, looks kind of like a kitchen, doesn’t it?

An employee is getting ready to mix up a batch of a product.  Kryolan has their own recipes for each color and product, and sometimes there may be as many as four versions of it, depending on the country of distribution.

We walked through storeroom after storeroom of product!  They have so much warehouse space with shelves full of product waiting to be bought.

More and more products!

This is the craziest part — it makes you feel less like you’re in a beauty shop and more like you’re in a pharmaceutical laboratory.  It’s kind of fun and it’s great to see this side of cosmetics.  But yes, barrels and jars and containers filled with ingredients that will be later mixed and combined.

Look, a whole barrel of brush cleaner!

Liquid body base, anyone?  This was such a fascinating experience, because how many of us get to see the innards of beauty?

Kryolan also offers classes where you can learn various types of makeup and techniques.  They also rent out chairs to makeup artists and students.

Ready for class?

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40 thoughts on “Kryolan Tour, History, and Tidbits

  1. Shefali

    What a trip!! So weird to see everything packaged in barrels and huge containers when all we end up with is a tiny pot of eyeshadow or pigment or foundation, etc.

  2. That is soooo amazing to see and I want to go there! I have yet to try any Kryolan products but have always been curious about it. Regardless of brand, as a huge cosmetics lover I can truly appreciate this. Thank you!

  3. I love Kryolan! Even before I discovered MAC, I’d spent a decent amount of money on Kryolan products!!

  4. jasmine

    kryolan is an awesome brand! they are just as pigmented as mac at a fraction of the price. im glad you are calling this brand to peoples attention. i have a bunch of pigments from there, and their makeup shows up so well in film!

  5. Skyler

    This is why I love Temptalia. You have such awesome articles/insights! This was really cool; thank you for posting it. I LOVE Kryolan.

    Cosmetic-making is definitely fun! It can get technical/scientific, but I’ve been making my own lipbalms, perfumes, soaps and lotions for years… and you can have simple recipes, good ones, without all the chemicals, making it easier for the every-day person to create things. :) I’d love to go to a cosmetic company and see things being made though, especially MAC! 😀

    • Awww, thank you Skyler! What are some of your favorite Kryolan products?

      How great that you’ve been doing it on your own! I’ve always wanted to, but never looked into it.

      Next time I’m in NYC, I might get to go to the Clinique lab!

  6. Clover

    Have you ever used the aquacolor? I have some in AMAZING colors but I have no idea how to use them without extreme creasing.


  8. Beth

    Oooh, so lucky! Been hankering after some Kryolan for a while, but oddly, can’t find a stockist in the UK that has what I want… The little month dates are really useful for knowing when you should really get new products, but infuriating if it’s something you don’t use very often because there’s no ambiguity on whether you should throw it out. 😛

    • Hey Beth! How odd! Do they have mail order in the UK?

      As far as from what I understand, the clock starts ticking after you open it, regardless of how often you use it.

    • Claudia Longo


      I am very surprised to read, that you are unable to find Kryolan products in the UK. Pls contact our sister company Charles H. Fox, Ltd. in London.Tel. 207-240-3111.they can guide you to a dealer nearest you. They carry the complete Kryolan line. If there is a color you like, and they don’t have it, they can order it for you.

      All the best and thank you for your interest in Kryolan products.
      Claudia Longo

  9. patsgirl

    I was trained on Kryolan makeup and it is really a great line. The foundation is heavy for everyday use but beautiful on any kind of film. The range of colors are amazing and so deeply pigmented. They also all mix really well.

    • Awesome! It’s great to hear from some Kryolan users :)

    • Resa

      Hi, I noticed you said you were trained on the kryolan dermacolor. I wanted to get some more the last ones I used to blend is D5 and D13. I wanted to know which other shades they have that are slightly more yellow based in the richer tones it looks as though they’ve extended their shades. Thanks!!!

  10. Ruby

    I’ve only had one Kryolan eyeshadow, it was the lime green one. The smell was awful, texture very powdery…it was hard to blend and it did not transfer very well onto the skin. I don’t remember if I used a base w/it or not…and I can’t try now because I had to swap it. Maybe I just didn’t know how to use it? Nevertheless I was disappointed. :(

    I also had the aquacolors palette for a while…I couldn’t get it to work, so I gave up…now I’m wishing I still had it so I can practice some more!

    But I do have their Stargazer pigments..which are AWESOME TO THE MAX!!!

  11. Freya

    Hi, can you help me?
    i’m very curious about this:
    what’s different between Aquacolot, Supracolor & Eyecolor?
    Thanks :)

  12. Freya

    Thanks Christine,
    which one better?

  13. Beth

    Will you ever do an Aquacolor tutorial? I have two palettes and just can’t seem to get it right.

  14. TheresaM

    Hi Christine! I live in the lovely SF too and I passed by Kryolan today! OMG I never knew it was near Mission St O.O Which retailer do you go to buy their stuff or can we buy it at the place?

  15. Richard