Tuesday, 8 October 2013

How I use loose pigments without making a mess

Loose eyeshadow. So beautiful in the packaging, such a tricky blighter to work with! You can just apply it like you would a regular eyeshadow, put some on your brush and apply, but that causes tons of fallout and won't give you the best effect either. You could also use a sticky base so that it sticks better, but if you're clumsly (like me) the powder will still go everywhere before you're even close to your eyelid.

I wrote an article before about how you can press your eyeshadows (and thus making them easier to work with) but keeping them in their loose form has its benefits as well. You can easily mix colours this way, and it's also possible to get a more intense result. The colours also tend to change a little bit when you press them, and that's not always something you want.

With a bit of practise I developed a way to work with loose eyeshadows that isn't a pain in the bum, here's what you need for it.

You'll need a loose eyeshadow of your choice, a few eyeshadow brushes (the ones you were going to use to apply it with), a little cup with a bit of water and a bit of Glycerine.

Glycerine isn't totally  necessary if you already have a sticky base, but it's good for binding the product together. With just water, the eyeshadow will eventually dry up and fades much quicker than when you also add Glycerine.

Just put a little bit of Glycerine in the water though. For every 7 parts of water you'll only need 1 part Glycerine.

With your dry brush, scoop a bit of the powder into a little mixing bowl - or the cap just like I did - and leave it there for a bit.

Wet your brush with the mixture..

And tap it off. We want a wet brush, but not a dripping wet brush. We don't want too much water cause then the mixture will be too thin.

Now mix it in the little bowl until you have the consistency of pudding. So not like a liquid, but more like a gel. Make sure it's not too clumpy or powdery though.

Yes I do realise that this isn't very attractive looking, but I'll let the swatches speak for themselves.

From left to right: Mixture applied with a clean finger, Mixture applied with a wet brush, Plain loose eyeshadow.

As you can see, when you apply loose eyeshadow wet you get a much more intense result. It will of course be harder to blend this way, so you need to apply it and then wait for it to dry until you blend with a dry clean blending brush. It does allow for very opaque and precise application, and also there's no eyeshadow dust flying around! The pudding consistency keeps it pretty mess- and fallout-free.


  1. such a brilliant idea. :)
    I never tried the loose pigments but will def try this tip when I get to use them. :)
    and you have a cool collection.

  2. Thank you so much! I got all of these for my birthday, they're from Shiro and I absolutely adore them. Maybe even more because they were a present haha.

  3. This is very helpful, as I just got a #*&$^ton of Shiro pigments :) Thanks!

  4. How does this not change the color, when pressing the pigment does? Is it the pressing itself, or the use of alcohol vs. water?

  5. I think it might be the pressing itself! Or maybe because I accidentally used too much or too little of something. I don't know, all that I know is that it definitely does change the colour a bit, but not enough to make me not want to press them. :p

    I'm keeping these ones loose because then I can mix them with other colours or with gloss or something when I want to, the freedom with loose pigments is amazing.

  6. Ah ok, good to know. I just bought my first loose pigment and thought about pressing some of it and leaving the rest as it is, that way I get the best of both worlds =)

  7. Thanks for the tip! I always avoid loose pigments because they always end up eeeeverywhere.

  8. Can the water/glycerine mixture be applied directly to the eyelids, then use the powder dry?