DIY: Pressing Pigments

Arts & Crafts 2Nothing brings me quite back to those good ole elementary days like some arts and crafts time. Those were the good days weren’t they? No data analyzing, writing, memorizing, or thinking really – just simple, hands-on activities. Maybe that’s why it felt so wonderful to create this interpretation of a pressed pigment pictured above.  I came up with this idea when I came to the realization I would probably never find an exact dupe of my all-time favorite eyeshadow: Sephora Shimmering Sand from the limited edition Prisme Collection. I picked this up literally years ago, and this was one of my very first eyeshadow purchases. Its yellow-golden hue is my perfect “my lids but better” color, and I love how shimmery it is. Since the product reflects light, my teeny asian eyes are transformed into bigger, brighter and more well-rested versions of themselves when I wear this shadow. Despite it’s many pros, this product unfortunately has a serious downfall: its packaging. Since the shadow is really more of a pigment than a shadow, it requires a deep pan, and something to keep it packed together, much like the L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows. As you can see from the photo above, it is quite clear that the packing is the exact opposite of this. The shadow originally came in a 3D block-like shape with a wave imprinted on the top, and was not really attached to anything, but merely sitting atop this odd plastic grate. Weird. Because of this, the shadow often fell apart and clumped up onto the mirror inside the lid, or escaped the packaging all-together and adhered itself onto anything and everything. The inside of my everyday makeup bag basically was a gold-glitter party. Not cool. Serious actions had to be taken.

I tried looking for another version of this shadow that had better packaging, but everything I looked at was either too golden and not yellow enough, or not shimmery enough, or too peachy. Then I read about using rubbing alcohol to fix cracked blushes, face powders, eye shadows etc. and figured, why wouldn’t this work for me?!

Arts & Crafts 1I started by taking the entire eyeshadow block out of its container and slicing off small pieces with a knife. Then, I started piling the little shavings into an empty MAC eyeshadow container. I was a little concerned that the container didn’t have a metal pan in it and that the shadow would just fall out, but it turned out completely fine! Pouring rubbing alcohol over the shavings made them softer and malleable, so then I was able to sort of smush them down into the container with a Qtip, and smooth it to the best of my ability. I repeated the shavings/rubbing alcohol steps several times until the container seemed to be about full, making sure to push down on the pigment with the knife to ensure the product was as dense as possible. After leaving it to dry over night, it was good as new! Check out the final product below:

Arts & Crafts 3Although the texture of the top of the pressed shadow isn’t completely smooth, it’s good enough for me! I kind of like how it came out visually, it’s as if it’s golden cork-board or something. It may not be clear in the photo, but everything is packed down so compactly that when you turn the container over, no pigment falls or anything: success!

It is so nice knowing I will have my favorite shadow in a handy little pot that is travel-friendly and completely mess free! Have you ever pressed your own pigments or fixed broken powders?

Matchy Matchy

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Since I’ve been on such a lip kick, I knew when I bought these matchstick jeans from J.Crew about a month ago that I would absolutely need to pair them with a silky white blouse and a bright pink lip that matched the print. Enter MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt, a bright pinky coral hue that makes quite the summer statement on the lips.  Because the formulation of the lipstick is an amplified, it is intensely pigmented and thick – definitely not a casual, sheer lip, this bad boy requires maintenance, although maybe not as much as a red per se. Truth be told this was both my first MAC purchase, and MAC lipstick, bought when I was only 17 and desperate to brighten up my pale winter face.

matchy 2I apply this lipstick straight from the bullet (in my book, it’s not dark enough to require lip brush action) and then use a Q-tip to smooth the edges and fix any imperfections. Does it last a long time? Eh, I mean it’s nothing to write home about and really depends on your eating/drinking habits. However, it is moisturizing, which is lovely if you’re spending the day in a moisture-sucking vacuum (thanks a lot air conditioning).

What do you think? Do you like matching your lipstick to your outfit?

MAC Paint Pots: A Review

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Ever since Thanksgiving I have fallen in love with Mac Paint Pots, especially these two: Bare Study and Soft Ochre. If you didn’t know already, paint pots can be used as either an eye shadow primer, layered beneath other shadows, or alone as a cream shadow.

Although for years I hadn’t allowed myself to purchase any, as I already an eye shadow primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion. I also didn’t see the benefit of cream shadow over powder shadow – why would you apply a colored base when it would just be covered by the powders over it? However, looking back, I don’t know how I ever did makeup without these two pots. Soft Ochre is the perfect base for any colored shadows, as it matches my yellow skin tone perfectly when blended in, thus creating a concealer/primer combo product that both evens out my skin tone and provides a great base for eye shadow. For those with more pink than yellow-toned skin, I would recommend the shade Painterly instead. Bare study is a beautiful pinky champagne color that illuminates the eyes. Its sheen reflects light on the lid, making your eyes look brighter and more awake. I love to use it on its own, with a bit of Urban Decay’s Buck eye shadow above it in my crease area as a simple contour for a casual and natural day look.

Left: Bare Study. Right: Soft Ochre

Left: Bare Study. Right: Soft Ochre

Left: Soft Ochre. Right: Bare Study.

Left: Soft Ochre. Right: Bare Study.

Both these paint pots are creamy and smooth, and glide onto the eyes like a dream. Plus, it seems as if they will last me for months – I’ve used them every day for about 3 months and have barely made a dent. Retailing for $18.50 and sold in MAC stores/counters across the country, I’d definitely recommend these puppies.

What are your favorite cream shadow bases?