Saturday, April 04, 2009

Tutorial: Pressing mineral powder/pigments

Decided to press some of the mineral powder/ pigments I have. So here's a quick tutorial on how to do it.

1. Get ready the following items:

- a scoop/spatula (this came from Silk Natural foundation kit. It's very tiny)
- your pigments/powder (I'm pressing my Everyday Minerals powder)
- a dropper for dripping alcohol (got this from Daiso. It's inside their cosmetic jar travel kits)
- metal pans (from Coastal Scents. Cheap if you just buy the pans. But it's better if you have a compact for storing them so you can consider their custom compacts too.)
- Isopropyl alcohol ( it makes you high! :D kidding....)
- toothpicks (missing from photo)

2. Sterilize your tools with cotton bud with isopropyl alcohol. Let them dry.

Warning. I use the "flooding" method and I don't try to press them until it's a full pan. I find it fuss-free. But the end product might not always be nice. I'll explain later.

3. Scoop powder into the pan. Then spread it evenly. Try to fill half of the pan.

4. Using the dripper, drip isopropyl alcohol into the pan gently (or else powder will fly up). Keep adding until you think it's enough to "melt" the powder inside.

5. Using the toothpick, stir the powder and the isopropyl alcohol. Keep stirring until the powder can no longer be seen, as if everything has "melted". You have to make sure it's stirred thoroughly or else when it dries and you use it, it will return to powder state.

6. Sit it aside and let it dry.

7. When it is about 80% dry, place a kitchen towel over the pans. As these are eyeshadow pans, place a 20 cent coin over the kitchen towel and press hard. This will force excess moisture out and make the pigments be pressed tight. (I didn't do this part because when I returned, they look super dry)

8. Leave them to dry overnight. If you are afraid of dust, use something to cover over them.

9. Put them in a nice compact. Tada!

Left side: Everyday Minerals concealer in Pick Me up Pink and Peach.
Right Side: Simply Naturals pigment in Sweetheart. Everyday Minerals concealer in Lavender.

I love the end product. But when I swatched it, it didn't turn out well. I'll wait for it to dry thoroughly and use it tomorrow. I've pressed them in pill box before and generally the Everyday Minerals concealers work fine when pressed.

I used the "flooding" method because it's neater that way. But it's a waste of isopropyl alcohol. And sometimes the powder doesn't get mixed up thoroughly. You can compare with the other method which requires you to mix separately in another jar until it's a paste form before spreading it on the pans. It's mentioned in this tutorial.

Pressing pigments (to me) depends on the brand of the pigments too. And sometimes luck.

For Everyday Minerals, isopropyl alcohol alone will do the job.
For M*A*D Minerals, it's not enough. The powder will crumble. You have to mix one drop of glycerin as a binder in the isopropyl alcohol (pour it out for mixing).
For Joppa Minerals, do the same as M*A*D. But it's not fool-proof all the time. Joppa doesn't seem to stay pressed well.

Generally, if you want to start, test with a pigment which you don't really like first. So that if it fails, you wouldn't feel so much of a pain. If you want to fill it to a full pan, try to press twice like in the youtube video. This will help to ensure that the entire pan is dry.

Good luck. :)

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