I've seen both alcohol and glycerin suggested as binding agents. I'm not trying either of those ingredients. Alcohol is going to evaporate over time, and it seems like a pain to try to press it based on the videos I've seen (and I don't have any alcohol, so I'll have to get some and I already have too many supplies!) Glycerin is going to require a preservative - and how do I preserve 10 ml of glycerin? - and it's a humectant. I really don't want to attract water to my eye shadow, so that doesn't seem like a good choice to me.
So I'm going to use an oil and a silicone. (Edited to add: I am going to try alcohol in the name of fun experimentation! I am still worried about evaporation, but I shouldn't dismiss something so easily!)
BINDING WITH FRACTIONATED COCONUT OIL
I chose fractionated coconut oil because it is very light and has a really long shelf life. But how much to use? I found a recipe at Suds & Scents that suggested using 10 to 15 drops of jojoba oil to 5/8 tsp powder, so I figured 1/2 tsp would require 15 drops. But what exactly is a drop? I decided it would be 15 drops from a 3 ml pipette.
How to mix it? I've seen suggestions that you should mix it in the bag, so that's where I started. I added 1/2 tsp paradise gold eye shadow (because I had a ton of it around) to a little bag, then added 15 drops fractionated coconut oil to the bag. I squished it quite a bit, but it wouldn't come off the sides. I must have lost half the powder to the bag.
I poured it out into the lip balm container - again, I had a ton of these around - and tapped it down so it would be as even as possible. I put a quarter in some plastic wrap and used that to press down as hard as I could! My nails got in the way - I have to cut them soon! - so I used the end of a spoon to press down harder. And it pressed pretty nicely. I left it to dry for a little bit, then used a brush to see if I could get it to come away from the bottom. It did, but I had to work at it.
It pressed well, although I should have started with far more. You can see how little is left in the picture at the top.
It worked well with my brush. I could get a decent amount of colour on it with only one sweep.
Fractionated coconut oil is a good choice. Any other long lasting oil would work as well - jojoba oil, shea oil, and so on.
15 drops was a good amount for 1/2 tsp.
I still have to see if it will morph the colour over time.
Join me tomorrow for binding with dimethicone!