Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mineral make-up - Part 4: Why black is your friend.

When making mineral make-up eye shadows, black is your friend. Yeah, I know you're thinking that you're unlikely to make a ton of black eye shadow because black usually equals goth (or lazy Susan who forgot to take off her make-up last night!) but black is an essential part of your MMU palette. It's a great accent colour when you want to be dramatic, and it's a fantastic all around eye liner.

Note: To use any eye shadow as a liner, use a tiny eye liner brush -- you can wet it a little bit -- and put in the appropriate place on your eye. I haven't bought eye liner in years -- so you save money -- and you never have to worry about matching colours!

Yes! Black mica or black iron oxide makes a good base for greys, silvers, and dark colours. Adding a titch of black iron oxide or black mica to any colour -- yes, even pink! -- deepens the colour to a darker version. Be careful adding black, though -- too much and the colour can become muddy! (You can see an example of adding black to make a colour deeper in Tanna's recipe for making perfectly purple. Add some black, and you get a deeper purple!)

Here's my favourite recipe for a basic black eye shadow...
1 scoop black iron oxide
1 scoop black satin mica
2 scoops blackstar blue mica
3 scoops base (to find the base recipe, please read this post!)

Yes, we could make a basic black eye shadow using only iron oxides, but it's boring and looks like you've taken a Sharpie to your eye! So, as with any eye shadow, it needs some depth. I think of eye shadows in three dimensions. You have your basic colour, your depth, and your shine.

So for a black, your basic colour would be black. (Wow, is it obvious day?) But the depth and shine can't come from the black iron oxide. It's just too dull. So to get our depth, we want to add a little contrasting colour -- in this case, blackstar blue mica with blue undertones -- and to get the shine, we add black satin mica to give the whole thing a zing!

This is a key concept to MMU -- the undertone. (I don't know if this is the proper word for it, but it's the word I'm using!) For instance, with the black eye shadow above the black iron oxide we used is actually called "black-blue iron oxide" meaning it has blue undertones. Let's be honest -- I can't see the blue in it because it's really dark, but it tends towards the blue side of the colour spectrum. So it's more a cool colour, which is why I blended it with blackstar blue. The other black iron oxide we have is called "black-brown", which is a warmer colour. I recommend having both in your MMU kit!

For instance, check out the black mica here. Now check out the blackstar blue mica. Can you see the blue in it? That's what I mean by undertones. The colours underneath the colours. This will be an important concept when you want to make more complicated colours or blushes, foundations, and bronzers.

I'm sure you've seen this for make-up. Are you a cool or a warm? If you're a cool, you tend towards the blue side of the spectrum. If you're a warm, you tend towards the yellow or brown side of the spectrum. I always think of it as preferring silver or gold. If you're a silver girl, you're a cool. If you're a gold girl, then you're probably a warm.

So if you are like me -- a cool colour -- you'll want to use the black-blue iron oxide when you add black. If you're a warm colour, you might want to add the black-brown iron oxide when you darken.

Yeah, you can. Or you can adapt it to make it your own. For the recipe above, you could use
black-brown iron oxide
black satin mica
a dark brown mica to substitute for the blackstar blue
In all honesty, everyone can pretty much wear black, but it's fun to play!

Check in tomorrow for the fun and excitement of making Midnight Dusk, a black based grey!

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