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Friday, June 24, 2011

Lots of Info for Making Mineral Eye Shadow

Making mineral eye shadow isn't as easy as one would guess. It takes a lot of time and a lot of experimenting to achieve the perfect blend of slip, adhesion and opacity. You might create a great mica heavy super shimmery bright colored eye shadow but find that its gone with one accidental rub of the eye. That is because mica alone doesn't have great adhesion. Its easy enough to create a matte color with good adhesion (as long as you don't go heavy with rice powder (or Talc if you use that instead) or cornstarch. But matte colors are no fun! The shimmery shine of mica creates an awesome very natural shine on your eye lids. So how do you create shimmery eye shadow with good adhesion?

Start with an iron oxide as your base color. If you are going to make blue eye shadow use ultramarine blue iron oxide. Iron oxide colors have great adhesion but are quite bold.

In your grinder (yes you MUST use a grinder, hand grinding... not good) put your iron oxide the base color of your choice, magnesium stearate (most suppliers sell vegan magnesium stearate), and then maybe titanium dioxide and sericite depending on what you want for your eyeshadow. Titanium dioxide will whiten it and sericite adds a little better slip and helps with adhesion. Magnesium stearate is the best for adhesion. Grind the minerals and scoop out a little bit into your "tester cup" you can use your tester brush from your tester cup to check the slip, color, adhesion and opacity of the eye shadow.

Keep grinding and adding ingredients until you have the right color, adhesion and opacity. If you start with just oxides and magnesium stearate the color might be too bold. You want it to be a little translucent so it looks natural at this point add a small amount of rice powder (or talc but talc can cause irritation) until it has the right amount of opacity. You will know when you have added too much because the tester will rub off easily and maybe leave a little whiteness behind. Or it will make your color look too whitened.

Once you have the color you want from your oxides and fillers add mica for shimmer. Do not grind! Once you have added mica no more grinding! You'll ruin the mica if you grind it. Stir it up. I use a small whisk to stir it because it is easy to use and easy to clean between colors. Keep stirring and adding mica until nice and shimmery.

  • Keep testing your eye shadow as you add ingredients by using a sanitary testing system. (I use a small scooper to scoop it into a little testing dish and then use a testing brush on that to try it on my skin. The tester powder does not rejoin the rest of the batch.) 
  • Use an iron oxide base color for the color you want your eye shadow to be. That way you wont get a white base effect and your color will stick better. 
  • Magnesium stearate is the best filler for adhesion. 
  • Rice powder is a hypoallergenic alternative for better slip and opacity but don't go crazy with it!
  • Add mica last until you have the amount of shimmer you want. Don't grind the mica or it'll get dull and ruined. 
  • All fillers, additives and oxides but be ground up. I use a coffee grinder. 
Coffee Grinder for grinding mineral makeup: 
I use a coffee grinder that I found on amazon. I was going to buy a little mini grinder from one of the suppliers online but now I am really glad I didn't. I read reviews later on the mini grinder that said it doesn't hold a lot of product at all. Only enough for a few small jars worth of product. And the motor burns out really easy. The coffee grinder I got holds a lot of powder and is easy to clean. My only complaint is that the cable is too short. But it could just be me. It has a retractable cable and maybe I don't have it out all the way. I have really tried to get it to come out more. 

Tips for using a coffee grinder to grind your minerals:
  • Hold the button down no longer than 20 seconds. If you feel your grinder starting to get hot stop grinding and let it cool off. If you make it grind too long the motor can burn out.
  • Clean it out between each use. Buy a grinder that will be easy to clean because this will be a huge factor in how well it works for you. Any left over powder can effect the color of you next batch. 
  • Powder gets in all the nooks and crannies so it is best to have a little brush used only for cleaning out your grinder. You can buy small tester makeup brushes in bulk for pretty cheap rates online. 
  • Tap the sides to get the powder off the lid before opening. Powder will get everywhere when you open it if you don't.
  • Use a face mask so you don't breathe in powder or breath on the powder. Use goggles so you don't get any in your eyes. 
Wow this was very long. I hope it was at least a little helpful for someone! 

Thanks for reading. 

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