Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kat's First Successful Pigment Pressing Attempt

About a month or so ago, Winnie of all styled up sent me a bunch of samples of MAC pigments. I hadn't tried MAC pigments before so it was new and exciting. All of the colors that she sent are so pretty but the one that I fell in love with was Violet. In fact, I loved it so much that I ended up at the MAC store and picked up a full jar of it. I had heard that you can press pigments into pans which makes it much more portable and less messy to use. Thanks to Google and YouTube, I searched around, read up and watched different tutorials and decided to take the plunge as it seemed simple enough.

First step products used:

First step was deciding what I wanted to press it into. I didn't have any empty MAC pans and I wanted to press it into something smaller than a MAC pan since this was my first time doing it. I didn't want it not coming out right and feeling like I wasted a whole bunch of pigment. I decided to depot a tin from an old eyeshadow palette that I haven't used at all (it's at least 5 years old). Again, having read up on all of the depotting methods, it seems that the heat method is the best but I think that it's pretty scary using a candle or any form of fire. I came up with the idea of using my embossing heat gun instead. This is a craft item that is used to melt embossing powder when you're doing rubberstamping projects. (You rubberstampers out there will know what this is.) Similar to a hair dryer but it blows air concentrated onto a smaller area and it's very hot air. As I used the heat gun on the back of the palette, you could see the plastic starting to warp. That's when I stopped and used the cuticle nail scissors to lift out the pan. I used alcohol to clean off any residue glue on the back of the pan, broke up the unwanted eyeshadow and cleaned the inside of the pan to remove any traces of the old eyeshadow. Using the 70% alcohol, I pour some into the plastic container and throw the pan into the alcohol to sanitize it. I also use an old, clean, t-shirt which I have cut up into a small section and I spritz that with alcohol as well to sanitize it. Pictured is a Coffret D'or (I think) lipstick which closely fits the size of the pan. Normally with MAC pans, you would use a quarter to press it.

There is a pretty, raised design on the cover which does imprint into the pressed pigment. I also sanitize this cover with alcohol.

Next step products:

I also sanitize everything that I use in this step with alcohol. I really feel you can't sanitize too much since you are making something that will be used on your delicate eyes. Here I have a blue shop towel (it's basically a paper towel but it doesn't shred or break apart, a small plastic cup, 90% alcohol, wooden craft picks, pipettes and my MAC pigment. I forgot to take a picture of the cotton pads that I use. I didn't use cotton balls because I didn't want wisps of cotton to be left on anything that I used and then get pressed into the pan as well. I used the cotton pads, which were soaked with alcohol,  to clean the inside of the cup, the outsides of the pipettes and wooden picks.

Basically working over the shop towel,  I poured some pigment into the cup, using the pipette I drop 90% alcohol into the cup and mix it using the wooden pick. In this step I used 90% alcohol instead of 70% because it makes your drying time a lot quicker. 70% alcohol can be used instead of 90%. You want to try to get the consistency of the pigment/alcohol mixture to be almost a very slightly runny pudding consistency. Just keep on adding drops of alcohol until you get the desired consistency. If it's on the more liquidy side, that's okay, it'll just take longer to dry. Fill your prepared pan with the pigment. On a hard surface, you'll want to tap your pan to even out the mixture as this will also remove any air bubbles. Set your pan aside for approximately 45 minutes to an hour (or longer) depending on how wet your mixture is. Test your pigment by gently rubbing your finger over it. If it's powdery, then it is ready for pressing. If it still is damp, then you'll need to let it dry longer.

To press, I pulled the cap off of the lipstick and tightly wrapped the t-shirt piece over it, making sure that it was smooth on the bottom surface where it will be placed on the pan. With the pan on a hard, flat surface, I place the cover over the center of the pan and pressed down firmly several times.

Sorry, you can't see the design of the cover in this picture because I already used it. I forgot to take a picture of the final product before using it. I then set it aside over night. The next day I cut a piece of magnet tape and applied it to the bottom of the pan along with a sticker with the name of the pigment.

I was really happy with this first attempt being successful. I found that by pressing the pigment, I didn't lose any color intensity. My MAC pigment is now travel friendly and I find that I actually use it more than trying to remember to use my pigments.

Another travel-friendly hint for pigments if you don't want to press it is to use contact lens cases. I use it for storing my cream concealer, cream foundation and have put Barry M pigments into it. In fact for my cream concealer, I actuallly use a lighter color for under my eyes and a darker one to conceal my spots. I put the lighter color in the "L" compartment, which then makes it correspond to "light".  When Winnie sent me the different MAC pigment samples, she also sent it in contact lens cases, which you can see in my post here. I don't wear contacts so I buy lens cases at the drug store.

Next I want to try to learn how to press Barry M pigments as I have a couple of them. There is a different procedure for doing it and it seems like it might be a bit more complicated.

Since I'm also a crafter, I think that it was easier for me to utilize some of my crafting supplies into doing this pressing project. As I had mentioned, the heat gun is used mainly in rubberstamping and I have a ton of pipettes because I was doing a lot of melt and pour soaps before. If anyone is interested in purchasing pipettes, please let me know. I was going to put it up into our Galpal shop but haven't done so yet. Of course, you don't need to use a pipette for the alcohol, but since I'm used to using pipettes, it's what I find easiest and most sanitary.

I hope that this was helpful for anyone else who has been wanting to try to press MAC pigments but hasn't tried it yet.



Yumeko said...

i havent pressed any pigments before..ok i admit i am lazy XD but i loved seeing how u did it

i look forward to ur steps on barry m pigments!!

galpal.hi said...

@Yumeko--Thank you! I have to admit that it was more out of curiosity that I pressed it more than anything else. It wasn't too bad as far as it being time consuming and this was quite easy. Otherwise, I'm lazy too.


misselainnio said...

OMG! This is awesome though I haven't quite figure out how to press pigments. But, I love to try it out. Thanks for the post ;)

tiffyama said...

Ooh! Love this idea! I don't own any pressed pigments, but have always been curious on trying one. heh heh. Love your detailed description on how you made yours work. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Nic Nic said...

I;ve tried it a few years a go and it was successful.. but I actually don't like using pigments so I avoid buying pigments :P It's a great idea to use that lipstick lid - it would make a nice shape too! A job well done!

Miss Kei Kei said...

Well done. I can imagine it would of looked pretty with the lipstick end embossed. I have always wanted to do this but I don't really have many pigments. Making a custom palette is great and I have seen empty larger pans turned into eyeshadow quads using 4 different pigments!

galpal.hi said...

@misselainnio--Thank you! Using the MAC pigments, it was surprisingly quite easy--almost fail proof. As you are a crafty person, I don't think that you'll have any trouble.


galpal.hi said...

@tiffyama--I was so excited that it actually worked out that I had to share my experience so I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you!


galpal.hi said...

@Nic Nic--Next I really want to try pressing the Barry M pigments that you sent me but I have to figure out how to do it. K knows how and I'm waiting for her to do a tutorial on it.


galpal.hi said...

@Kei Kei--I've been on a depotting rage lately so adding pressed pigments into my palettes is a wonderful thing. Thank you for your comment!


evie said...

reading about pipettes makes me think of my time in the chemistry laboratory ^_^.love the way you press the pigment and indent it with the lipstick cap!.thanks for the tutorial on pressing pigment. tried it once but it was a success/failure as after a few months the pigment crumpled in the pan*sighs* but going to try it again too,as its quite fun!XD in a non wind environment though as the first time i tried there are some tiny pigments flying about. oh RYC: I can send some sample of the foundation for you to try!but i only have shade53(using mac studio fix pwd in NC35) and it suits me fine.Would you like to try it? or if you would like another shade I could mail it to you!XD

galpal.hi said...

@evie--Ooohhhh, I guess that I'll have to use it and see what happens in a few months then. Oh my, yes please do it in a non windy environment.

I will message you but thank you so much for the offer! You are so sweet but I think that I'll wait a bit to do more research on it.


Vanity-Fashionista said...

Thank you for the tips and tutorial, I only have one pot of pigment, as I find it messy to use. But this idea is really good if you find some really pretty pigments! :)

I must put my contact lenses case in good use for travelling :) xxx

Blair said...

I was really into pressing pigments a few years back. I bought a pressing medium, pipette etc.. and like you, I find that a pipette is really helpful!

I don't use the pigments that I have pressed though.. *my effort is wasted =.=*

BV said...

I've ruined about 15 eyeshadows during my last attempt to press pigments. Since then I've given up the ghost... but I may try again.

In Australia you can't buy 70% alcohol as apparently it is used in backyard speed labs. I got crazy looks when I asked at the chemist. *sigh* I guess I will just look on in awe at yours.

Great job

K said...

Ahhhh thank you for reminding me that I definitely need to do a post on pressing pigments!

galpal.hi said...

@Vanity-Fashionista--I love being able to try utilizing products in various ways. I have found contact lens cases are quite handy!


galpal.hi said...

@Blair--OMG! You don't use your pressed pigments? I've been using the one that I made but I don't think that I'll go crazy and buy a lot of pigments and press them.


galpal.hi said...

@BV--I hope that my pan stays nicely pressed and doesn't fall apart. Maybe the ones that you tried to do needed a binding product like the Barry M pigments.


galpal.hi said...

@K--No rush but I'm really looking forward to when you are able to spend time and write a tutorial on it.


Brianna said...

Thanks for this tutorial! I have a bunch of pigment samples too, I think if I try this I will probably use them more often than I do now.

galpal.hi said...

@Brianna--Hopefully your pigment samples are enough to make a small pan. Surprisingly, it uses quite a bit of pigment to make a pan. I read one tutorial that said it's takes about 1/3 of the pigment container to make a MAC-sized pan. Not too sure how accurate that is.


Mona said...

what a great idea with the lipstick top imprint!

galpal.hi said...

@Mona--Thank you! It just happened to work out that it was the only thing that I had that was pretty much a perfect fit for pressing the pan.