Monday, September 14, 2009

Pressing eye shadows: Liquid binders - fractionated coconut oil

I decided I'd try pressing eye shadows just out of curiosity, and found there are some interesting ideas out there on how to bind the eye shadow ingredients together. There are two main schools of thought - liquid and powder. The liquids consist of pretty much everything from water and glycerin to alcohol to oils and silicones. The powders are in two main camps - magnesium myristate and magnesium stearate. I thought the liquid binding would be easier, so I started there.

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!)

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.

My verdict?
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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For all your formulators out there... Desert Whale has a formulation guide that incorporates all of their raw materials into their formulas.

Check out the formulation guide here -

And their blog here -