Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mineral make-up: Making an eye shadow (tutorial)

I'm having one of those mornings where everything that can go wrong will go wrong, so instead of the post I intended for this morning - which was NOT saved after a ton of work (and yes, I did hit "save now" quite a few times) - I bring you this tutorial on making an eye shadow. I will return tomorrow with using pigments...

Making eye shadow or blush or foundation is a fairly simple process from a mechanical perspective. Make base, try colours, put into container, love. But coming up with the base and the colour is the time consuming part. I can spend hours in the workshop trying different bases or colours and not have a single thing done at the end of the day. But, I figure, at least I know what doesn't work! I make a point of writing down everything I do in my notebook, so I won't make that hideous thing again!

So let's make a lime green eye shadow!

STEP ONE: Assemble your supplies!

For this eye shadow I'm going to need...

Eye shadow base: I like to make big containers of it in my Magic Bullet (or coffee grinder) and keep it around so I don't have to haul all that out again!

Micas: I'm using apple green, strawberry, and lemon pop.

Spoons: I like to use 1 cc and 0.15 cc, but I also have a set of 1/32, 1/16, and 1/8 spoons I keep around.

Plastic bags: I use the 3 x 4 jewellery bags from Michael's or the jewellery store. I don't use the dollar store ones - they will explode on me and I hate being covered in colour!

Containers: I prepare my containers at the side of my workbench, tops open, sifters off, so I can pour it into the container when I'm reader.

Small funnel or scoop: To get the colours into the container. If you are going to make large batches and make 3 or 4 eye shadows, get some condiment containers from the dollar store (3 for $1.00) and squeeze it very slowly into the container. I find this is very effective.

SUB-LIME - this will fill one 20 ml eye shadow container
4 scoops basic eye shadow base (click here for basic base and alternate base)
6 scoops apple green pop mica
12 scoops lemon drop pop mica
2 scoop strawberry pop mica
1 scoop magnesium stearate (for extra adhesion or to press it into an eye shadow container - optional)

Spoon each of the ingredients into a plastic bag and seal it well. Squish squish squish until the colours are combined well - 30 seconds to a minute. Do not take the colours on the outside as an indication of the colour you are creating. As you can see from this bag, there's yellow and pink and green all over it, but the colour will end up being a really nice lime green.


Take a Q-tip and put it down to the bottom and try it on your hand. If I like it, I'll squish a little longer - maybe another 30 seconds - and try it again. If I still like it, I get a little scoop and pour it into my container.


If I don't like it, I try to figure out what I don't like. It is too green (never a possibility for me) or too yellow or too light or too dark.

If the colour's too bright - add more base or add some titanium dioxide.

If it's too light - add more colour.

If it's too bright - add a little black iron oxide or black mica. For this recipe, I wouldn't add more than 1/2 scoop (1/64 tsp) black iron oxide to try to darken it. You could go as high as 1 scoop (1/32) for the black satin mica.


As I mentioned above, get a small scoop and scoop it out of the bag.
Or pour it from the bag to the container.
Or, if you're making a ton of eye shadows, pour the bag - using a funnel! - into a clean, newly purchased mustard or ketchup dispenser from the dollar store and let it drain from the dispenser into your container.


Yep, you're done. And you have a lovely eye shadow that will be the envy of your friends and passersby (get it? Envy? It's green!)

This process is the same for blush, foundation, bronzer, and so on. You can make anything that doesn't contain micas in a coffee grinder or magic bullet if you want to make bigger batches, and you can make any bases in the Magic Bullet as well. (If you're using Micronospheres blend it all, then put it into a dispensing container and shake like silly to incorporate!)

You can use larger bags if you want, just make sure they seal well.

Join me tomorrow for fun with pigments (finally!)


Mich said...

Sometimes I think computers are plotting against us. I can sympathize! (I try to tell myself, it will be even better the next time around!)

Linda said...

Hi! =)

Where did you find that cute eyeshadow container?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mich! Although my husband is a computer experty type of guy, they still rebel against me! One day the computers will obey me...until then, I will just have to plot silently against them and hope they can't read my thoughts!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Linda. Which one? The one in the top picture I bought from Suds & Scents, but you could buy them from pretty much any supply shop that sells mineral make-up items. The one in the bottom picture is a compact type and I bought it at Voyageur. It isn't suitable for powdered eye shadow - you'd need to press it to get it to stay in the container!

Lisa said...

Love the site Susan! It's been so long since we talked. Lots to update you on...I must email you.

Lisa :o)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lisa! E-mail me - I've been so busy getting married and working and the like, I've been negligent in writing to anyone lately!

Kathryn said...

Hey there!
I was just wondering where you get your sericite mica from.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kathryn! Voyageur Soap & Candle!

Kat Langford said...

Do you have any suggestions for pressing mineral eye shadows? (: Thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kat! Yes, you can find a number of posts on that topic on the blog by either searching or looking at the MMU link on th right hand side of every page.