Sunday, March 13, 2016

Eye Shadow Pressing

Hey everyone, long time no blog :p

Anyways, I've recently gotten into indie makeup, especially eyeshadow. Most indie shadows come in loose form, and since I'm a total klutz and not great at manipulating loose shadow,  I've taken to pressing it.

I get almost all my materials from TKB Trading, they have fast shipping, reasonable prices, and I can get everything in one place. I've linked the stuff I use in the materials list.

  • Loose Shadow for Pressing (I'm using a mini of Femme Fatale Lady of the Red)
  • 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Shadow Pans 26mm (This set includes pressing tiles and a tamper, which are very helpful)
    • 26mm pans are best for mini or full size shadows
    • 15mm pans are for samples or extra from pressing a larger size
  • Pressing Medium (I buy this in the 1/2 oz size, since it's already in a dropper bottle)
  • Preservative Cap-5 (Again, I use the 1/2 oz size because of the dropper top)
  • Pressing Ribbon (You can wash and reuse this stuff)
  • Pipettes for Alcohol
  • Mixing Spatulas
  • Paper Towels
Helpful Tools:
Assemble your materials. 
If it's your first time pressing, add 20-25 drops of preservative to the binder.
Mix well.
Add a few drops of alcohol to each pan and let evaporate to sanitize them.
Peel the label off the shadow container and put it on the bottom of the pan.
If the label won't peel off, you can soak it in a bit of alcohol to loosen the adhesive. You will need to use a bit of glue to get it to stick to the pan though.
You can also make your own label with the label stickers and sharpie.
Carefully pry the sifter off. If you aren't gentle, you will get a huge poof of shadow everywhere.
Use your nail or your depotting tool to pry up the sifter around the edges until it pops off.

Dump the shadow into your mixing jar.

Add 3-5 drops of binder for a mini size.
Mix the binder!
Use a chopping motion to get rid of the lumps.
Your mixture should have lumps this size or smaller.
Add about 10 drops of alcohol and mix.
Add about 10 more drops and incorporate 
Continue to add alcohol, 2-3 drops at a time, until the mixture sticks to the stir stick.
It should not look dry, but shouldn't be dripping off the stick either.
Try to get it to look like a blog of silly putty.
Poking the shadow to show the correct texture. The dents should be slightly visible and it should wiggle a bit like jelly.
Scrape the shadow into your pan.
Drop the pan on the towel a few times to spread the shadow.
If it doesn't fully spread, add about 2 drops of alcohol to help the spreading.
Continue dropping and tapping the pan until the shadow is evenly spread and level in the pan.
If the pressing ribbon picks up color with light pressure, it's too wet to press. 
When the shadow is still slightly damp, but there is minimal color transfer with light pressure, it's time to press.
Make sure to press as hard as you can, before carefully removing the tamper.
If you pressed it correctly, it will have nice crosshatching from the ribbon :)
Let the shadow finish drying for at least 24 hours before using. 

  • If you're pressing a full size shadow, fill the mini pan first, then use the rest for your 26mm pan. 15mm pans are great for travel, or to introduce your friends to indies!
  • Matte shadows are temperamental when pressed. You should press these when they are still pretty damp (aka have color transfer to the ribbon) which will keep them from cracking as much as they might otherwise.
  • Shadows with ultramarine do not press as well. This doesn't stop me from pressing them since I suck using loose powder, but if you can avoid it, then do.
  • If you add too much alcohol and get a soupy mixture, you can either scrape and pour it into a pan, or you can let a bit of alcohol evaporate off first.
  • While you're waiting for your shadow to set, clean off your spatulas, I use alcohol and paper towels. 
  • If your shadow never seems to dry, or is soft/squishy, you're adding too much binder. Use less.
  • While you need to press the shadow really hard, be careful your hand doesn't slip. I took a huge chunk of the pad of my finger off on the edge of the pan. It bled everywhere, and effectively ruined that shadow. 
  • I usually press 5-6 shadows at a time. When they're all panned, the first one is usually ready to be pressed.
  • Cover your area with a plastic trash bag or paper towels, it gets messy.
Brand Tips:
  • Fyrinnae shadows are already semi-loose. DO NOT add binder to these. I usually mix in a drop or two of preservative though.
  • Shiro samples are super generous, and can usually fill a 26mm pan.
  • Samples other than Shiro tend to only work in 15mm pans, and usually don't fill them. If your tamper isn't working to press them, use the ribbon, a layer of paper towel, and your finger.
Any questions? Post them below!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Just placed my order on Sephora using the 20% off discount. But hurry! It only works through tomorrow (11-10-14)!

Use code GIFTVIP for 20% off. To receive an additional 4% off, shop through Ebates (I never buy online without shopping through ebates first).

Ebates is currently offering 4% back on Sephora purchases. If you don't have an Ebates account already, click HERE to sign up! I usually get about $10-$30 paid into my Paypal every three months.

Ebates works as a referral website. Ebates gets paid by companies for store referrals, and then gives its users a percentage of their profits. Cash back percentages range from 0.2% (Apple) to up to 50% (Proactive). Most beauty websites give you a return of 4%- 10% of your total purchase. There are always double cash back specials, as well as website coupons, and other offers. It's free to sign up, and free to use.

Comment below if you grabbed anything during the sale!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Butter London Bric-A-Brac

Bric-A-Brac is the last of the 5 polishes that I swatched on my mom. It is a full coverage red with "flaring shimmers in saffron red gel-like base" as described by Butter London. This is the only polish in the Steampunk Ball Collection Fashion set that is not a new color. Bric-A-Brac was originally released with Brick Lane Collection, and then released in full size. 
L- Lightbox no flash, R- Lightbox w/ flash
This is a beautiful glow-from-within polish, or as my mom called it a "Ruby Slippers polish." You can see this in the swatches after the break.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Butter London Barkers

Barkers is probably my favorite of the polishes that my Mom helped me swatch from the Butter London Steampunk Ball Collection. Barkers is described on the Butter London website as an "opaque, grey with magenta-green shimmer."
L- Lightbox no flash, R- Lightbox w/ flash
For the last two polishes in this swatch session, the light really started to fade. You'll see the orange-red of the setting sun in the first swatches after the break.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Butter London Brass Goggles

Today's Butter London from the Steampunk Ball Collection is called Brass Goggles. Brass Goggles is the only glitter of the collection. While there are tons of glitters floating around out there, I'd say this one is pretty unique.
Lightbox, no flash
Check out the swatches after the break!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Butter London Full Steam Ahead

This is one of my favorite Butter Londons from the new Steampunk Ball Collection. It's called Full Steam Ahead and is a gorgeous grey cream.
L- Lightbox no flash, R- Lightbox w/ flash
This was my moms favorite of the collection. We ended up doing a full mani with Full Steam Ahead after we finished swatching.

See the swatches after the break.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Butter London Pinkies Up

Today is Butter London Pinkies Up from the Steampunk Ball Collection.Pinkies Up is described by Butter London as an opaque pink shimmer. I would describe it as a champaign color that could be considered a neutral.
L- Lightbox no flash, R- Lightbox w/ flash
See the swatches after the break!