When I recently pressed my collection of loose eyeshadows, I took some notes on what I did with different shades and brands so that I’d be able to discuss the process and results with some level of detail. Things turned out pretty well in general, and I have some notes and swatches from my experiences with Shiro Cosmetics, Concrete Minerals, Fyrinnae, Dreamworld Hermetica, and Victorian Disco Cosmetics to share.
I talked about the basic pressing process and the tools I used here. The shadow I used as an example in that post was from Shiro Cosmetics, so let’s start there:
4 drops of glycerin for a full size jar
Less than 1 drop for a free sample bag
I have 6 full size jars from Shiro (all from their Seven Kingdoms collection), and 3 sample baggies. For the full sizes, I pressed half of the powder into 26mm pans and wanted to keep half of them stored away in the jars for the time being. Two of the sample bags I received were also from the same collection, so I pressed them in 26mm pans as well, and the remaining sample was pressed into a 15mm pan.
Full size shades: I measured with the TKB measuring spoon labeled as .5 g. 2 spoonfuls (packed and flattened) seemed to be about half of the jar, and should be the equivalent of about .4 tsp. A lot of folks generally recommend adding 1 drop of glycerin for every quarter tsp, so I decided to add 2 drops of glycerin for each pan.
Samples: Shiro sample baggies are supposed to measure 1/8 tsp, but looked generous to me (sadly, I didn’t have a tsp spoon lying around to measure). I put one drop of glycerin in those.
The 1/2 full sized pan of Maiden Queen (green) looks comfortable in the 26mm pan, filling it about halfway. The sample of No Men Like Me (golden beige) is much lower in the pan and would have been more comfortable in a 15mm pan. This particular shade is kind of funny, and has a swirled appearance. The sample of I’ll Move That For You (deep purple) looks comfortable in the 15mm pan, and so that’s how I’d recommend pressing Shiro samples.
Ok, I meant to just swatch a handful to give you an idea of the results, but I got a little carried away and swatched all but one (you can see the remaining shade in my original review, if you like).
The shimmery and metallic shades (green Maiden Queen, bronze Climbing Chaos, orange I Loved a Maid, plus purple Mother of Dragons which is not swatched) were fabulous before being pressed and are fabulous after pressing, too. I think that pressing them brought out the metallic finishes and made them even more opaque with even a light swipe of my finger. The satin wine Women’s Weapons also turned out fantastic.
The deep shade Salt and Stone is nice, but changed a bit – in its loose state, it was essentially a brown but showed both green and red tones in it. Used dry, it showed more green than red. You can see in the swatch that it has a very pronounced red sheen, and has lost most if not all of the green. It was one of the samples and is a tad firm in the pan, so the free sample baggies may be slightly small for a full drop of glycerin. My droppers have very fine ends and in the future I may try for an even smaller amount. The other two samples, No Men Like Me and I’ll Move That For You, are also a tad firm but generally fine.
I have 2 mattes here: No Men Like Me and Little Bird. When I was mixing up Little Bird I could tell something was off, it was extremely sticky and gooey, so as soon as it seemed to be dry I tried to swatch it and found it really hard. I decided to try and mash it up again, add another spoonful of shadow from the original jar, and try one more time. It’s awesome now, very soft and pigmented. No Men Like Me actually swatches better than when it was loose (for some reason, it always swatched kind of uneven), but it was always a nice shade to use on the eyes. Like I mentioned above, I can just tell it’s a touch firm, but very usable nonetheless.
1 drop of glycerin per .5 g spoonful (approximately 1 drop per 1/4 tsp)
1 drop for a sample bag
The Concrete Minerals story is an easy one to tell because they all turned out great. Concrete says their full sizes contain 1.5 g, but I measured out 3 spoonfuls of my TKB .5 g measuring spoon to press (packed and flattened), and still definitely had some left in the jar. For those 3 spoonfuls of shadow, I used 3 drops of glycerin. Their sample bags are pretty generous, and I used 1 drop in each of those. The three spoonfuls of shadow fit nicely in the 26mm pans but leave enough room in there that I think the full jar would have also fit fine, and the samples fill up the 15mm pans about 70% or so (a lot more than the samples from other brands).
In the case of the shade Rocked, I actually had 2 sample baggies that I’d received in 2 separate orders, and I combined them with 2 drops of glycerin. In total, those two samples seemed to add up to just as much shadow in a 26mm pan as the three spoonfuls of the full size. I’ll also add that if any shade gets an award for “most improved” it’d be this one. I didn’t used to think much of it, but the pressing brings out the sheen and subtleties in the color.
Again, just wanted to give you a closer look at how well the amounts used fit in the pans. Sweet Catrina (pink) is 3 .5 g spoonfuls of a full size jar, Rocked (peach) is two sample baggies’ worth, and Kinky (blackened teal) is one sample baggie’s worth which looks great in a 15mm pan. I would guess that a full jar would still fit in one 26mm pan if you wanted to press the whole thing, and I think the 15mm pan is a perfect fit for the sample size.
Concrete shadows are always great, and they always apply easily and stick around on my eyes for a really long time. They just don’t tend to swatch amazingly on unprimed skin, and so the pressing actually improved this aspect of them because there’s a little something in there to help them adhere.
3 drops of glycerin per mini jar
1 drop for a free sample
My whole collection of Fyrinnae shadows was purchased in mini jars, and then I have 2 free samples that are packaged in the same mini jars but contain much less shadow. Other people on the internet seem to recommend pressing the mini jars into 15mm pans, so that’s what I did. The only thing is that Fyrinnae’s measurements seem to be a little inconsistent, so some of the jars fit wonderfully while others had a bit too much shadow for the pan and that made them a little harder to work with and press.
I used 3 drops of glycerin in each mini jar, and 1 drop in the sample jars. They really turned out well with that recipe.
Here you can just see that inconsistency in shadow amount. I was trying to not lose any product, and Dragon Wing is completely over the edges of the pan.
Here’s another case where I got a little out of control with the swatches and demonstrated almost all of them, but there you go. I mean, there isn’t a bad shadow in the bunch. And I was surprised and happy to see that the very small amount that you get in a sample (and it’s a really small amount) still works fine with a drop of glycerin and didn’t get too hard in the pan. If you’re curious, the samples in the collection were Luxury and Lucky Charmed, the first and third shadows on the left). All of the shadows look about the same as their loose versions, the only one where I think there might have been a subtle change is Monarch Butterfly (furthest on the right), which I think has a slightly more pronounced red sheen. The change is subtle.
3 drops of glycerin per mini jar
1 drop for a sample bag
Before I go into it, just a quick note: Ellie from Dreamworld Hermetica has been hard at work revamping her line, so the store is closed at the moment and I can’t link to the individual shadows. She’s posting new swatch photos to Facebook, though, and so far I’ve seen that many of these shades that I own will be coming back. Sounds like the website should be back in business on Halloween.
I had a smaller collection of Dreamworld Hermetica shadows, most of which were mini jars and a couple which were free sample baggies. Similar to Fyrinnae, all of these took to pressing incredibly well and even the very small samples work beautifully. Because the amounts of shadow were a little inconsistent across the shades, some got more glycerin than others and I just tried to eyeball it. Most of the mini jars have 2 drops, but Up from the Grave has 3 and Dark Mermaid has 4. All of the sample baggies have 1 drop of glycerin.
What I will say about these is that they’re forgiving. Grimm (2 drops) looks a little soft and powdery in the pan but I don’t experience fallout when applying it to my eyes with a brush. Up from the Grave (3 drops) might have hit a sweet spot, if there is one. Dark Mermaid (4 drops) makes for a very pretty swatch but when I swirl my finger in it, it doesn’t kick up any excess powder. I’d probably recommend just sticking with 3 drops if you don’t want to make decisions based on eyeballing the amount of powder in each jar.
The sage green Up from the Grave actually filled 2 small pans – I kind of feel like I should have put it in a 26mm pan, but oh well. I did put 9 Giants Waltzing into a 26mm pan simply because I like that shadow a lot and thought I’d enjoy having it take up more real estate in my palette. Dark Mermaid is in the very full 15mm pan.
Evil Witch and Girl with the Yabbos (first and fourth swatches from the left) were my two small samples, and I’m so pleased that they worked just as well as the other mini jars.
When all of these shadows were loose, I’d have to swatch them dry and wet in order to show what they were capable of, but now that they’re pressed they’re fantastic with one quick swipe of a finger. Pressing actually has made these more effortless to work with. I’m excited about having these at arm’s reach, because they’re such pretty fall-ish colors.
Victorian Disco Cosmetics
2 drops in each mini jar
NB: VDC eyeshadows are now packaged in 5g jars – I’d try 1 drop per 1/4 tsp or .5g
I own the full collection of Victorian Disco‘s Sailor Scouts collection in mini jars, as well as a couple of samples, and though there’s some inconsistency in the amount of shadow in the jars, the samples and mini jars contain similar amounts for the most part. Now, I have a lot of shadows that don’t seem to be available anymore, so I’m sorry about that. Victorian Disco no longer sells through their own website, but have released a reduced selection available through Shiro’s website as of earlier this year.
This batch contains the most failures for me. Well, none of the shades are completely ruined, but there are a few that just got hard and are more difficult to work with, and I don’t have enough of an emotional connection with them to work through it. I basically put 2 drops of glycerin in all of them, except a few based on how much powder appeared to be in the jar. Luna and Sailor Moon received 1 drop. Sailors Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus received 3 drops. Jupiter was one that got too firm, for sure, but beyond that the failures didn’t seem to be dictated by variance in glycerin. Perhaps the ingredients were less compatible with pressing.
I wanted to swatch a good number of these just because I have so many and there are some ups and downs amongst them. Above are a handful of the cooler colors. Sailor Jupiter (first on the left), Mojo (third), and Tuxedo Mask (last on the right) are all stiff and difficult to pick up from the pan. Sailor Neptune (second), Sailor Mercury (fourth), and Mistress 9 (fifth) are all really lovely.
This group of warmer and lighter shades fared much better, which is why I wonder if the issues I had have more to do with the ingredients of a particular shade rather than the pressing mixture. Unfortunately I no longer have access to the ingredients lists for the shadows since VDC doesn’t sell all of them anymore.
The last two on the right, Alan and Sailor Moon, are both sheer and don’t look impressive in the photo, but they were kind of like that before, too. I’m actually a big fan of the shade Sailor Moon, it makes for a gorgeous golden iridescent highlight. I like to use it sheer on the inner part of the eye, but would need a white base if I wanted it to look more opaque.
I think that about wraps things up! Would love to hear if you’ve had different experiences, or if you’ve tried other brands. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions!