Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mineral make-up - Part 12: Using ultramarine blue

Ultramarine blue is a great way to get a light blue colour without all the awesome power of blue iron oxide. You can use a little more, and if you already like the blueyness of it, it only takes a bit of base or mica to make this a sparkly treat!

Compare the ultramarine blue on the left, the blue iron oxide on the right. You can see how the blue iron oxide is going to be a blue-black colour, whereas the ultramarine blue is going to be a more blue colour.

Ultramarine colours (like ultramarine purple, pink, and blue) tend to be more pastel type colours (although the one I have is more a basic blue than a pastel colour), as opposed to the intensity of the iron oxides. So you can't do the 3/4 tsp to 1 scoop ratio to get a light, matte, base kind of eye shadow. We are going with the 3:1 ratio of base to colour because it is much lighter than the iron oxide.

3 scoops base
1 scoop ultramarine blue

This is going to give you a very matte, light blue eye shadow.

If you get an ultramarine blue like mine above, try a 6 scoops base to 1 scoop ultramarine blue ratio to start.

PERIWINKLE BLUE (slightly shiny)
3 scoops base
1 scoop ultramarine blue
2 scoops silver mica or arctic blue mica
or 2 scoops starlight blue mica (picture to the left - scroll down to the bottom if you click on the link!)

The starlight blue mica is a white mica with blue tinges, so it will add a blue sparkle to your eye shadow as it lightens it. This is not a picture of the finished eye shadow, but a picture of the mica.

Yes, I am slightly obsessed with periwinkle blue as my mother likes to wear it, so I've done a ton of experimenting, but it is a lovely colour. So how does this differ from the other periwinkle blues? It has no periwinkle blue in it! The other periwinkle blues had the mica in it - we are using the base to get our colour, then we add the micas for the shine!

The easiest way to get colours that go well together is to create your base colour - 3:1 base to ultramarine blue - then add your micas.

Using this 3:1 base to ultramarine blue ratio, try adding a scoop of each of these micas and see what changes! Heck, add 2 and get some serious sparkle! Or mix and match!

1 scoop periwinkle blue for a more periwinkle blue with a touch of sparkle
1 scoop blue sparkle mica for a more sparkly, more blue-y blue
1 scoop hydrangea highlights for a light blue with a lot of sparkle (and a bit of colour shifting!) - look right for this colour!
1 scoop aztec aqua for a blue with green highlights
1 scoop splendid turquoise for a blue with turquoise highlights

or try
1 scoop aztec aqua with 1 scoop hydrangea highlights - hint of turquoise with shape shifting qualities!

As I've done many times before, experiment! Make your blue base with iron oxides, ultramarines, or micas and play with your blues! And let me know if you discover something new and interesting you want to share!


Tina said...

OMG - I just have to say i love love love your blog !...its truely the best for everything bath and body !

Thank you SO much ! ...i have learnt so much from this blog [complete newbie...just recently found your blog ....reading everything from the first post ;-) ]

Thanx !

I was wondering if you've recieved my email. Please do let me know.

Kind Regards,


SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

Thanks for the kind words. I've just responded to your e-mail and hope it answers your questions!

Anonymous said...

what about Natural ultramarine made from lapis lazuli, do we have to add mica in it or that can be used without mica, because it already has brilliance and shine in it. please reply me at

Sarah said...

Hi Susan! I've been experimenting with ultramarine blue mixed with manganese violet for a nice navy blue. The color is awesome but I can't get the adhesion right. I've tried sericite mica, carnuba wax coated sericite, and magnesium stearate. If I don't keep the color matte, and add some mica, it helps but it's way too translucent. I already have titanium dioxide and some zinc oxide in the recipe, but I'm afraid adding more will mess with the color and lighten it. I have boron nitride and magnesium myristrate coming in the mail on Tuesday to experiment with. Is there a trick to getting these colors to adhere with full coverage without affecting the color? Matte colors seem to be the only thing I'm having trouble with so far, and I feel like I am missing something important.

Thank you!!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sarah. The key to making these eye shadows is to create a base that will offer great adhesion, then playing with the colour until you get what you want. That's the art part of this process. Based on what you've written, you're at the point of trial and error, playing with the colours to get the balance just right. I'm afraid there's nothing more I could suggest as you're doing what needs doing!

Let us know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I was just wondering if there is some sort of limit how much ultramarine blue is safe to have in eye shadows?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous! I'd be happy to answer your question after you've updated it with your name. A short "bye, (name)" is all I require. Thanks!