Monday, May 27, 2013

Pressing Mineral Eye Shadows - Part I

Disclaimer: This post is not being sponsored by anyone. I purchased all of the materials used myself. I will be including links where you can purchase items, but they are not affiliate links. 

Hi ladies!

If you haven't noticed, I'm having a giveaway right now that you can check out here! I have to say that I'm thrilled with the turnout I've had so far. I hope all of my new followers stick around even after the giveaway is over.

I went on a pressing spree over the weekend and took some pictures to share with you. I love mineral eye shadows. The colors can be so unique, and if you shop indie, the prices are phenomenal. However, having tons of little individual jars takes up a lot of room. That's where pressing has been a great space saver for me.

If you want to try pressing your eye shadows, here's what you'll need:

  1. Paper towels (and lots of them)
  2. Toothpicks (or some other small stirring tool)
  3. Pressing medium
  4. Rubbing alcohol (the higher percentage of alcohol the better)
  5. Loose mineral shadows
  6. Pans to press the shadow into
  7. Tamping tool and pressing tiles (not necessary, but they make things a lot easier)
  8. Labels for the bottom of pans (also optional)
  9. Someplace to put your pressed shadows (you can see a few different options here)

I ordered the special pressing items that I needed (like the pressing medium and pans) from TKBTrading because their prices seem to be the best. I got the 2 oz bottle of the MyMix Press-It Binder, which is huge. Unless you have a ton of shadows to press, stick with the 1/2 oz bottle. I think I was able to press around 100 shadows with the 1/2 oz size. Another benefit of the smaller size is that it comes in a dropper bottle. I had to decant my MyMix into a smaller bottle that I had on hand (the second bottle from the left - it looks yellow because there is a old label on the back). The third picture is another dropper bottle that I decanted my rubbing alcohol into. I like the dropper bottles because they make it a lot easier to control the amount of liquid coming out.

Left to right: 15mm pans, 36mm pans, 52mm square pans

This is a look at the pan sizes that I have. For reference, I purchased the 15 mm size for my stash of Silk Naturals gift with purchase shades that come in 3g jars. Darling Girl petite sizes also fit in this pan size. The 36mm size is what I would consider the standard size. They are the size of Mac shadows. I use these for pressing 5g jars of shadow, which is the standard size for full size mineral eye shadows. The 52mm square pans were purchased to press some Everyday Minerals blushes that come in 20g jars. They are huge and aren't necessary for most projects.

Note: Nearly all of the pans that TKB sells are tin (there's one set that has aluminum pans), which means that they will stick to a palette with a magnetic base (like a Z Palette); aluminum pans will not. Tin pans are also sturdier than aluminum. If you order from someplace else, you might want to pay attention to the material of the pans. The benefit of aluminum pans is that they don't rust, and tin pans can if you aren't careful.

Pictured directly above the pans are the pressing tiles. The pressing tiles are pieces of acrylic that are cut to fit perfectly inside the pans. The ones in the picture above still have the brown paper covering they come with. TKB recommends removing the paper before you begin pressing, but I find it hard to get off, and I don't think it affects the process, so it stays on until it decides to peel off on its own. For the larger pan sizes, I didn't feel the need to use the pressing tiles. The tamping tool works well on its own. For the 15mm pans, using the pressing tile and just my finger for pressure felt the most stable for the initial pressing.

The tamping tools are at the top of the picture. They are essentially a pressing tile glued to a handle. As I just mentioned above, for the larger pans, I just used the tamping tools to do my pressing. Basically, use whichever method you feel more comfortable with.

TKB sells "press packs" that include a tamping tool, two pressing tiles, and 9 tin pans in a variety of sizes all for around $3-$4 dollars. I'm going to link you to their page that includes all of their pressing supplies here. If you scroll down, the press packs are some of the last items listed.

I'm also going to draw your attention to their Press Your Own Makeup: Beginner Kit. This is what I originally purchased when I wanted to see if I liked pressing my mineral shadows. It costs $14.95 (shipping for just this kit is $3.50) and comes with:
  • Two 4-well magnetic palette made of eco-friendly cardboard yet with good, durable finish (pick from nine colors!)
  • Eight 26mm round tins which fit inside the palettes
  • One Tamper Tool and one press tile for pressing your powders
  • 1/2 fl oz TKB PressIt Binder with preservative added
  • Pressing Ribbon
  • 8 zip lock baggies
  • TKB MyMix Press Base (this is intended for if you are making your own shadows, not just pressing them)
  • 2 scoops and 1 spatula
  • Pair of latex gloves
It gives you everything you need to try out pressing without being a huge commitment.Once you decide whether pressing will work for you, you can buy in larger amounts.

Stay tuned for Part II where I'll walk you through the steps for pressing.

Have you pressed any of your mineral eye shadows or blushes?

Disclaimer: This post is not being sponsored by anyone. I purchased all of the materials used myself. I have included links where you can purchase items, but they are not affiliate links. 


  1. Great post! I really want to press some of my loose shadows to condense a few drawers in my makeup collection so I definitely appreciate the lesson.

    1. I love that pressing saves so much space. I was able to empty out a desk drawer with my pressing over the weekend. I actually have a drawer for office supplies now! LOL I should have Part II up within the next couple of days. :-)

  2. Thanks for this post! I'd like to try pressing some of my loose eyeshadows and blush. I might try out the beginner kit.

    1. It's a great way to experiment with pressing without committing to a lot of supplies.

  3. great post! im a little confused, is the 52 mm the same as 38x38 that shows on the page? thank you

    1. Thank you. I'm not sure where you are seeing 38x38, but here is a link to the 52mm pans on TKB, which are currently out of stock: