Sorry my column is late this week! You see, there’s this boy… and I think I like him, and we’ve been hanging out and all. Which makes the weekend fly by and before I know it, my mom is nagging me about Teen Corner and why haven’t I written my entry because there’s readers waiting.
To this, I laugh. Because I highly doubt there’s anyone out there waiting for my Teen Corner entry! (And if there actually was someone interested in what I have to say, she’s probably very happy for me that there’s this boy…)
What I did have time to do this weekend is experiment with pressing MAC pigments into pans. Every time my mom receives a package from the MAC PR department with samples of the new collections, my sister and I go nuts. Bonkers , really. And then Mom says no, we can’t have this, or we can’t have that because she wants to give it away to her readers. (No offense, readers—but if you were in my position, you would want to keep it all for yourself, too!)
In the end, she let us keep a few pigments and some brush sets.
MAC pigments and I have a love/hate relationship. I love how they apply smoothly and allow me to vary the color intensity with layers. I hate how the powder gets EVERYWHERE (I’ve spilled more bottles of pigment than I care to admit). The other issue I have with pigments is that my sister and I like the same colors. This means there’s a lot of stomping from my room to hers (and her room to mine) to snatch back a pigment that we each like to think is exclusively ours, even though we’ve been given strict orders to share . (Sharing is not something either of us is fond of.)
So this weekend, as we were fighting over who was going to keep the Sweet Sienna pigment from the MAC Royal Assets holiday collection, I suggested we press the pigment into pans so we could each have our own. I’m so clever!
If you’ve never tried pigment-pressing, here’s what you need:
- Empty pans (I used ELF Cosmetics pans for $1 each, but you can also use old MAC eye shadow pans)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Quarter (or, a Chuck E. Cheese token, which is a little larger and fits better into the ELF Cosmetics pans—a quarter is perfect for the MAC eye shadow pans)
- Cheesecloth or some other thin cloth (I used a Kate Spade handbag dust cover which threw my mom into a tailspin when she saw that I had cut it up! Word of Advice: If you want to use a dust cover from your mom’s closet, you should probably ask first .)
- Toothpick, bobby pin or some other small object for stirring
- Optional–small spray bottle for alcohol
In your empty eye shadow pan, mix alcohol and pigment–stirring with a toothpick or bobby pin–into a paste. (I used a baby medicine dropper to add alcohol in small amounts.) Fill the pan to the rim with this paste and let dry.
While I was waiting for this to dry, I fixed all my cracked eye shadows—which made me soooo happy. I now open my MAC palette and see perfectly perfect eye shadows. It’s amazing.
Here’s how I fixed them: With a toothpick, break up the cracked portion of the shadow and smooth out. (For your much-used shadows where there’s a circle of pan showing at the bottom, break up the remaining shadow and smooth over the entire pan.) You’re pretty much making your eyeshadow look like pigment powder. With a small spray bottle (the kind that sprays a fine mist) filled with alcohol, spray from about 18 inches away until the shadow is damp, then you can get closer with the spray bottle to soak the powder with alcohol. (If you go too close before the shadow is damp, you’ll blow it all over creation with the pressure of the spray.)
Wait a minute or two and press hard with a quarter wrapped in fabric. The fabric will absorb any excess alcohol and you’re left with a perfectly smooth eye shadow–no cracks!
Because the pigments are saturated with alcohol, they take a lot longer to dry. I waited a full day before pressing them with my Chuck E. Cheese token (I was using the Elf pans for my pigments). I made the mistake of trying to press Sweet Sienna after just a few hours, and this is what happened:
In addition to the alcohol, the cloth also soaked up blue dye from the pigment. Oops!
So I made another pan and here’s how they turned out:
The funny thing is, both of these Sweet Sienna pressed pigments look NOTHING like the original pigment.
Here’s the swatches:
I think it’s safe to say that I messed up on that one. The good news is that I now have two new shades of eye shadow—I’m calling them Sweeter Sienna and Sweetest Sienna !
All was not lost, however. I did end up with several pressed pigments that turned out good:
Sweet Sienna and Forest Green are my two favorite pigments from the MAC holiday collections. They are even more gorgeous than they appear in these photos.
If some chemist/mad scientist out there knows why my Sweet Sienna turned blue after adding rubbing alcohol, I’d really like to know (especially since I can’t detect any blue in the original pigment)!
PS- Here’s Bailey and me in our Fook Mi and Fook You Halloween costumes: