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Make your own eye shadow

Written by Chelsea on March 14th, 2020.      31 comments

Make your own eye shadow blog

Eye shadow is probably the most fun to make because you get to work with fantastic colours. Sure you're probably going to want to make some beige and brown shades as they're the most commonly worn but have some fun and push yourself out of your comfort zone! Maybe you're a purple person and you just don't know it yet!

What you'll need
Dust mask - because we're working with loose powders.
Mini measuring spoons - you can wing it without them but you'll struggle to recreate the same shade again.
Mini scales
Butter knife
Baking paper
Coffee grinder - it's worth investing in a cosmetic specific grinder, you don't want to be using the same one for makeup and foodstuffs. They're readily available and not too expensive. Try and find one with a flat top because we're going to be covering it with baking paper to contain the mixture... photos will clarify what I mean.
5ml pots - you may have something else you want to put your finished powder in, these are what I've been using.
Eye shadow brush

We're going to make 25g of base to start and then take 2.5g out of that for every individual shade we want to make. We're doing this mostly because it's easier to make more than less! Any less than 25g and we would be working with such small amounts of product that it becomes difficult to measure properly. Also it saves time and means less pressure, if you're not happy with a shade you can toss it out and you've got plenty more base to try again. You can save your excess base in an old jar it's there whenever you want to quickly whip up a new shade!

For the sake of ease we're going to be weighing our base ingredients then using mini measuring spoons when it comes to adding colour. Some colours are so light and we're using so little of them they may not even register on the scales.

Eye Shadow Base Recipe
(Makes 25g) 

4.25g | sericite mica
5g | boron nitride
1.25g | magnesium stearate
0.38g (18 drops) | cococaprylate
0.38g (15 drops) | squalane
0.025 (3 drops) | vitamin E

(Photos are from several different making sessions so don't be thrown when the colours change from blue to purple, they represent the correct phase in the process.)

IMG 9784
Making the base

1. Put on your dust mask! Weigh your powders and place them in your grinder.

Eyeshadow adding liquid

2. Drop your liquid ingredients onto the powders. Spread them out and avoid the sides of the grinder and give the grinder a light shake to cover them with powder before you start mixing, it's hard to incorporate liquids back into the mixture if they end up on the edges. You may even want to do it in stages. Add the first of the liquid, grind, add the next of the liquid, grind, etc.

IMG 9673

3. When you grind place a piece of baking paper between the grinder and the lid of the grinder, this contains the mixture and means you don't lose any in the lid. Plus, easier clean up! 

4. Before you open up the grinder give it a good tap with your knife to get the mixture off the sides. Leave it a minute so that the dust settles. Give it a stir with your knife, make sure to scrape everything off the sides and from under the grinder blades and incorporate it is best you can. Grind again. Repeat this until you're convinced everything is well combined.

5. Store your base in a container (mine's in an old, well cleaned, coconut yogurt jar) and you've made your base!

Adding colour (aka, the fun part)
This feels a lot like being in art class. Remembering your primary colours and how to mix them. Don't forget you can make any colour with yellow, blue and red! (Then lighten it or deepen in with white/titanium dioxide or black. Add only the TINIEST bit of black at a time as it's very strong.)

Primary colours

Let's just quickly talk about pigments vs micas.
are your oxides and lakes, they're very concentrated colour, so you don't need much, and they're what's going to give you your depth of colour. We're going to mix these in with the grinder.
Micas are what will give you your shine and sparkle, and a bit of colour, but we're going to mix these in by hand at the end as putting them in the grinder can, well, grind them up and they can lose some of their shimmer, and we want that shimmer intact!

Take notes! Every spoon you add should be recorded so that you can recreate your ideal shade the next time you make it. Once you know your recipe the whole process is so much faster because you can just plonk it all in and grind away!


1. Weigh out 2.5g of your base and pop it in your grinder.

IMG 9787IMG 9797

2. Now we're going to add pigments. Use one of my suggested colour combinations below or make up your own! Choose the colours you want and add them in small amounts at a time, it's easy to build up colour and pretty much impossible to correct if you add too much so just be patient. 

IMG 9713

3. Add colour, grinder, tap with your knife, wait, stir and repeat. Test the colour on the back of your hand with your eye shadow brush until you're happy with it.

IMG 5892

4. Once you're happy with the shade you've reached with pigments place your mixture in a bowl and add your micas. Same deal, add them slowly and build up until you're happy.

IMG 9808

5. Once you're happy with what you've got scoop it out and place it in your eye shadow container.

You can use this eye shadow loose or press it if you prefer. You can use a coin and some baking paper to press your powder in tight. My Dad made me this nifty little device which is a 20c coin superglued to an old pen cap! It works really well to get right down into the pot. If you're pressing your powder do it in stages, add some powder, press, add more, press again, etc, until you've used all your powder. Mica's won't press like pigments and the base recipe will so if you have a mica heavy mixture you may find it just "puffs" out from underneath and won't agree to being pressed, in which case just use it as a loose powder.

IMG 9810IMG 9813IMG 9817

Shade Suggestions

Yellow gold

1/4 + 1/32 tsp | titanium dioxide
1/2 + 1/8 tsp | yellow iron oxide
1/2 tsp | gold satin mica
1/2 + 1/16 tsp | gold sparkle mica

3/16 tsp | ultramarine blue
3/16 tsp | red rouge

3/8 tsp | ultramarine blue
1/16 + 3/8 tsp | titanium dioxide
1/64 tsp | chromium green oxide

1/4 + 1/16 | brown iron oxide
1/8 tsp | red iron oxide
1/16 | yellow iron oxide

1/4 tsp titanium dioxide
1/64 tsp | black pigment
1/2 tsp | silver satin mica

IMG 9750 copyEye shadow recipe copy 2



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