Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pigment Pressing Experimentation!

Clockwise from top left: NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Yellow Gold Pearl, MAC Teal pigment, MAC Blue Brown Pigment, NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Walnut Pearl / MAC Naked pigment in a BYS Quad (Australia's version of E.l.f.).


So here is the result of some very messy experimentation with pressing using varying methods and with varying materials! Here are some of my top tips:
  • MAC pigments can be pressed with only isopropyl alcohol, most other pigments (like the NYX pearl manias) need a binder
  • Wear gloves (because I attended a tea party with teal pigment stains all over my fingers today argh!)
  • Practise first on pigments you won't miss too much

Now I'm not going to go into the detail of how to press because there are a gazillion tutorials on the internet, but i do want to talk about some different aspects of pigment pressing. First off I want to discuss the different binders. As said above, MAC pigments will work with isopropyl alcohol with no problems. My NYX Pearl Manias on the other hand did not successfully press with alcohol and I suffered the consequences when I accidentally bumped my eyeshadow palette into my draw (note how the pan with Naked / Walnut only has bits of walnut down the bottom? Well I still have pigment scattered over some of my other makeup, sigh).

Now binders to use in pressing pigments are available from TKB trading and coastal scents. TKB trading is much cheaper if you live in the U.S. but for international there is a minimum purchase and the lowest postage fee is quite high, so coastal scents may be a better bet if you are only after a few items. The main ingredients in these binders are silicones - particularly dimethicone (and I have read that cyclomethicone may be used too). A drugstore alternative is apparently BioSilk Silk Therapy which is to my knowledge not available to buy in Australia.


So the next thing I want to talk about is homemade eyeshadow pans! During my research on pigment pressing, I found someone (Holly/Beauty Newbie) describing how to make an eyeshadow pan out of aluminium foil - mega budget so it's right up my alley! Basically you fold the foil sheet over to get four layers on top of eachother and press it into the slot of an empty palette (being very careful not to break the foil). You then press the pigment while the foil is still in the palette and trim the edges of the foil after the pigment has dried. I recommend avoiding taking the 'pan' out of the palette too often because the foil is still quite flexible and might cause the pigment to crack and ultimately shatter (so if you are using MAC palettes, you really need the dividers in if you want to use foil pans). I really liked this cheap alternative but must say it's not as pretty or as durable as using normal makeup pans. My blue brown pigment pressed in foil is shown on the right.

Anyway I hope my first makeup related post was helpful to you guys and not too long!

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