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DIY: Pressing Loose Eyeshadows

I love eyeshadow. It's so sparkly and happy. I have tons and tons of Bare Minerals loose eyeshadow...but I hardly ever wear them. I've never been fond of loose eyeshadow. It's messy and the color payoff is often less-than-awesome. So when I found this tutorial on Pinterest, I was over the moon with joy. Finally, a way to turn my pretty-but-basically-useless loose shadows into something I can actually use! Plus, I can get a palette to store these in and save myself some room!

I pretty much followed the tutorial, but here is my rundown. For science and all.

Step 1.

Assemble your supplies!

Loose shadow (from my Ipsy bag)
Penny for pressing
Two pipettes
Clean, empty pan
toothpick for stirring
(Not pictured: paper towels, alcohol, and glycerin)

Step 2:

Pour/shake a fair amount of the shadow into a bowl. Don't be dumb and do it on a plate like I did. Add a (very) few drops of glycerin* and stir. You kinda want it clumpy. 

see, clumpy. This would have been way easier in a bowl.

Step 3:

Add alcohol and stir until you have a paste. Without a bowl, this is the most fun part! You don't have to be as exact with this step, as the alcohol will evaporate. The more alcohol you use, the longer the drying time will be. But you want to use enough that you saturate all of the clumpy powder. Then spoon/scoop it into your pan. You might have to add another drop or two of alcohol to help it spread.

now we wait. 24-48 hours. Yeah. Totally gonna happen.
No way will I be poking at it an hour later. Nope.

Step 4:

Cover with a bit of paper towel and press. And press. And press. Bascially, this step is exactly the same as fixing a broken eyeshadow. Keep pressing with a clean, dry bit of paper towel until there is very little alcohol coming out. (it's worth mentioning that a square pan and a round penny don't make the best fellows when it comes to pressing. But it was all I had. I made some purple lip balm out of an eyeshadow a while back, so I had an empty pan...and we know I don't throw things away.)

Finished Product:

I'm super happy with how this turned out. It was a 30 minute project, max. It isn't the prettiest thing I've ever done, but it's perfectly serviceable. I definitely want to do this with all my loose shadows. I might even mix a few and create custom colors. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Swatches! The most important part!

I did notice that the color changed a bit after pressing. The shadow has a decidedly more peach tone to it. I'm actually happy about that, as frosty pink doesn't really work for me these days. These swatches were done while it was still a bit damp, so the color might be different tomorrow.

in my lightbox. L: pressed R: loose

Sunshine! L: pressed R: loose
*edit: It has now been 24 hours, and I think I used a wee bit too much glycerin. The shadow applies a bit foily. I actually like it, but next time I will definitely use about 2 drops for this small of an amount.


  1. Oooh this is great information! I'll hopefully be pressing some of my eyeshadows soon as well, so thanks for sharing this with us. :D

    1. Yay! Make sure you post pictures! It's dead-easy, really. Just use a round pan ;P and not too much glycerin.

  2. Replies
    1. I believe its a binding agent. If you just press loose shadow using alcohol, I imagine it would be really soft and crumbly. Glycerin seems to give it some "grip" to stick together.

  3. A lot of folks take the pans and glue them into a CD case :-) That seems to work well. I'm about to try this, so thanks for the tutorial! I was stumped on the glycerin/alcohol bit and you cleared that up for me.


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