How To: Press Your Own Pigments


Hi my loves!

Today I’m here with a little DIY project I did a few days ago! As I was looking through a bunch of my loose pigments I thought to myself how pretty they were but also how I didn’t use them half as much as I should – just for the sheer fact of them being in their loose form and how it was more of an inconvenience half of the time to whip them out. I then took to the internet and saw some posts on how people have been pressing their loose pigments and how EASY it really was! Let me tell you – once you start pressing them you will not want to stop. It’s kind of addicting actually. Here’s what you’ll need:


If you don’t already have these things in your house, you can find them easily available on Amazon (I have them linked below)



In this demonstration I chose to use one of my older M.A.C pigments in “Jardin Aires”. I purchased this quite a while ago so I am not sure if it’s still available but you can use any pigment you like really, from any company! Don’t be afraid to experiment and just have fun with it. You can also mix pigments to create your own personalized shadow. I even pressed a glitter and it came out great.


I wrote the name of the pigment on the back of the pan with a sharpie marker just so I can remember what I used when I’m applying my makeup.


So to begin you have your empty shadow pan with your pigment(s) ready to go. I fill the pan about 3/4th the way with rubbing alcohol (you can use a dropper for this) and then to the rubbing alcohol I add about 2-3 drops of the vegetable glycerine. The vegetable glycerine helps bind the pigment and keeps it nice and solid when the rubbing alcohol dries out finally. Some people say you don’t need the glycerine if you are pressing M.A.C pigments but I still use it just to be safe and find it really makes pressing the pigment much nicer and the final product is lovely! Once you have the rubbing alcohol and glycerine together in the pan you slowly add your pigment.






You want to add enough pigment so that the texture is almost like a really thick and glossy lipstick. I find that when it’s a thicker consistency it presses much nicer. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more pigment because you can always just add a bit more of the rubbing alcohol to the mixture if it’s too dry. If your mixture is too watery then just add more pigment as well!


I used a Canadian “Quarter” (what’s up my Canadians?! lol) to press my shadow because it fit my shadow pan the best (the Loonie was a bit too large. You can get creative and find other things that fit etc, totally up to you! Some people say to wait at least 30 mins – 1 hour before you press the pigment but I find that if the consistency is thick enough (a shown here) then you can just do it right after. I didn’t wait and mine came out just fine, but again, whatever you think is best.


I just used a toilet paper tissue to do this, but you can get creative and use other cloths or textured papers to add unique designs if you like!


I just placed my coin on top of the tissue and pressed down with my hands. You will probably do this a few times and change the tissue paper each time so it keeps absorbing the alcohol. You can press it until you see it’s quite solid and that most of the liquid has been absorbed.


It should begin to look more solid the more you press (you can see here it’s still a bit lumpy, but the more you press the more solid it will get)


Ta-da! There’s my final product. You can see it’s nice and solid now.


Definitely leave the pressed pigment out for 24 hours to air dry because after it’s pressed it will still be moist.



These are a few of the pigments I’ve pressed so far.. how pretty are they?! You can throw them into a magnetic palette and have all of your pigments easily available and way more travel friendly.


There is the pigment “Jardin Aires” swatched. They’re super pigmented and you definitely do not loose any beauty from the pigment for sure!


Here was a limited edition M.A.C glitter I pressed. It came out so well!



There it is swatched completely by itself. The glycerine helped to bind the glitter so it doesn’t get messy and it stays put.



Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you have tried it or are going to!

XO Julia

6 thoughts on “How To: Press Your Own Pigments

  1. Yeah, Canada represent! This is so pretty pressed! I’ve wanted to try pressing some of my loose pigments / eye shadows one of these days. I never seem to reach for them in their loose state even though I like the colours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s