March 31, 2010

Beauty Experiment: On Pressing Mineral Eyeshadows with Aloe Vera and Throwing them into the Mail

About half a year ago, I tried pressing my Silk Naturals eyeshadows with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and FOTE Aloe Vera. It took a while to get the mixture right -- I figured out that shimmery eyeshadows need a little more aloe vera gel for better hold -- but the end result was this.

One week and a few hokey pokeys later (I tried shaking the pans, dropping them on the floor, tossing them into the air... everything short of throwing them at the wall), the pigments were still holding together. I even popped a palette of them into my bag to carry around campus and the pigments emerged intact.

Last month, I decided to put them to the ultimate test and popped 3 palettes into a box I was sending back home.

If regular post isn't a test for eyeshadows, I don't know what is it.

The result? Two palettes survived but one did not. The pigment in the top right hand corner pan shattered and spat out a poof of pink sparkles when I popped the lid open.

Thank goodness it's a colour I don't use often.

After careful inspection, I realised that the Silk Naturals matte, satin and dark shimmer eyeshadows press and hold together better than the lighter hue shimmer eyeshadows. The lighter shimmer eyeshadows showed some flaking while the rest were holding up well after their bumpy journey. Perhaps the shimmer particles don't hold together well or the aloe vera + rubbing alcohol isn't the right mixing medium for these eyeshadows.

If you want to give this mixing medium a go, the ratio is 1/3 of aloe vera gel to 2/3 rubbing alcohol for matte eyeshadows. You need a little more aloe vera gel for pressing the other eyeshadows so 3/7 aloe vera to 4/7 rubbing alcohol (i.e. the aloe vera should be a little less than half of rubbing alcohol) should do.

Another tip: Cover your finger or coin in plastic instead of tissue or a paper napkin before gently pressing the loose eyeshadows into place. There is good reason for this as (1) Tissue gets stuck to the wet eyeshadow, and (2), any red pigments will get soaked up by the paper napkin, making your eyeshadow incredibly hard (it's like working with a brick once it has dried). Plus, the colour is never the same again.

On a random note, all of my loose mineral eyeshadows which I carried in my luggage home ended up exploding all over the place. I have no idea how 10+ lids managed to loosen themselves during an 8 hour flight and make such a mess, especially after I screwed all the lids tight before packaging them. Thank goodness I put them in tupperware. This is goes beyond reason, I swear.


Askmewhats said...

I have never pressed any of my e/s and never intended too, I am a klutz :) you still managed to pull it off :)

Connie De Alwis said...

ooh. I'll try the alcohol + aloe vera gel. I didn't like the outcome with glycerin. slight tendency to crease and the shimmer didn't show up too nicely

The Undercover Gypsy said...

I have the patience and attention span of a gnat, besides being extremely clumsy. I'll need no help causing explosions of loose pigment in case I decide to press them... ;)

But I like the pallettes. They look very sleek, yet functional (the large mirror and the not-so-shallow pans).

Kahani said...

OOH must try this. At last Eli you hath shared your recipe!

Eli said...

Nikki: Thanks! You should have seen my table after the first few attempts though. I quickly learnt to line the place with newspaper afterwards.

Connie: I tried glycerin at first too and my eyeshadows ended up like bricks. Could not pick up anything with an eyebrush.

Undercover Gypsy: The palettes are from e.l.f. cosmetics! They fit MAC eyeshadows as well if you are looking for a cheap and compact palette with a huge mirror...

Kahani: I am expecting to see your results next. =P

Anastasiya Verevkina said...

Hi! Thx a lot for sharing the recipe! Could you, please, let us know which method you actually prefer? Do you still do pressing with alcogol and aloe gel? Have you tried the same with pigments from other brands? Also, how do you like the quality of the outcome?