Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tip Tuesday: How to Press loose eyeshadows

Do you have jars of loose eyeshadows or pigments that you never use because they are too messy or inconvenient? I did! I had been keeping a lot of loose eyeshadows in a case for 3 years and had barely touched them. Some even still had stickers over the sifters. I prefer pressed eyeshadows, so I decided that I would press my jars of loose eyeshadows. Here is what I did, and advice I learned while doingit!

What you'll need:
  1. Rubbing Alcohol (The higher the percentage, the better!)
  2. Loose eyeshadow
  3. Magnetic pans
  4. A coin that will nest inside of your pans (or a pressing tool)
  5. A pipette (or a medicine dropper - most pharmacy's give them to you for free)
  6. A cosmetic spatula
  7. A small dish
  8. A pallet for your eyeshadows once they are pressed
  9. Paper towels 
  10. More paper towels
  11. A sharpie to write on the back of your pans
 The first thing you need to do is cover your workspace. Things WILL get messy, so make sure you can clean it up easily. Some eyeshadows can stain. Then, you need to grab one of your pans, and label the back for reference. This eyeshadow I'm showing was from Everyday Minerals and it was called "Twilight Kiss".

Now comes the fun part. Make sure you wash your hands. Then grab the jar of eyeshadow, unscrew the cap, and remove the sifter with your fingernails. Be careful not to pry too hard, it shouldn't be terribly difficult to get off. Then empty the powder into your clean dish.

 Squeeze some alcohol into your pipette, and start dropping it into your eyeshadow. Only do a few drops at a time. Then you are going to start mixing it together with your spatula.

 Keep adding drops of alcohol and stir until you have the consistency of wet sand. You want it to clump together, but you don't want it too wet.

Now, start to carefully scrape the wet eyeshadow into your pan.

Once you've got it in there, you need to grab a paper towel and place it over your pan of eyeshadow, then place your coin on top and PRESS HARD.

Take of the paper towel carefully, and that's it! You're done with the hard part. Now you just need to let it air out for a solid 24 hours so that all that alcohol dissipates. My shadows were dry to the touch after about 3 hours, and didn't smell like alcohol at all, but I still waited to use them just in case. I'd say after 24 hours you will definitely be okay to use them.

A few things I learned while I was doing this:

  • All of the shadows I used were "mineral" eyehshadows, however some of them did not bind very well with only alcohol and crumbled after they dried. If this happens try mixing them again with a few drops of biosilk or another silicone-based hair styling aid and the alcohol. I had to re-press about 7 of the 20 eyeshadows I did with biosilk.
  • Try to get the eyeshadow in the pan as evenly as you can. I didn't with some, and thought that by pressing with the coin it would even out, and I was wrong. There were holes where I didn't place the product. 
  • This didn't happen to me, but I read on a website that magnetic pans are made with tin, and non magnetic pans are made with aluminum. Since mine were magnetic they were tin, and tin will rust when contacted with water for an extended period of time, so using a higher percentage of alcohol will reduce the risk of rusting. If you can find 99%, then get it. My drug store's highest was 91%, and I have yet to see any problems 1 week after pressing. 

This was such a fun project, and I feel like I got a brand new pallet of eyeshadows, since I wasn't using these anyway in the jars.

Make sure you keep your jars! I'll be showing you what you can use them for in following weeks!


  1. I'm so completely amazed at your mad cosmetic skillz.

  2. Where did you find the magnetic pans?

    1. You can get them at Beauty.com or tkbtrading.com. I've ordered from both, and TKB has a better value, but I feel like they don't hold as much product as the Z Pallet brand that you get from Beauty.com.

    2. Oh, if you order from TKB, you'll need the 26mm round size :)