The Basics of How To Press Loose Powders

The Basics of How To Press Loose Powders
The mechanics of pressing loose powders isn’t very hard at all, and doesn’t require expensive machinery just
to press for non-commercial use. You can press your own shadows, blushes, foundations, or just about any
other loose powder with just some minimal supplies found at TKB and/or a local hardware store. This is a
step by step demonstration of how to press a loose powder into a pan.
What you will need:
  Paper to cover your work surface (nobody said pressing wasn’t messy!) 
  Alcohol to sterilize your equipment and pans 
 Gloves and inhalation mask 
 Measuring spoons,
and ideally, an
inexpensive scale that measures to the .01 
 Pressable base mix of your own creation or TKB’s
MyMix Press Base. (the press base helps “glue”
the powders together.
  Small Ziploc bags 
  Liquid binder such as TKB’s MyMix Liquid Binder
  Pans, tamper tools 
  Sieve or mesh strainer 
  Microspatula or coffee stir sticks 
  Q-Tips or makeup brushes to test color transfer 
  C-Clamp if you want 
  If using oxides: mortar and pestle or small grinder, such as a coffee bean grinder 
 Optional: decorating tools: ribbon, craft stamps, fabric, etc to add a design onto the top 
Step 1: Create your color
Grind your base ingredients and any oxides together, using either a mortar and pestle or a small grinder.
In the example below, we mixed two TKB premade powders together in a Ziploc bag: Coral and Peach.
As a general rule, your pigment will be about 90% of the recipe and the pressing base will be about
10%. This can change though. If you colors are mostly made of oxides and ultramarines (the matte
shades) then they are naturally really sticky and you could reduce the amount of pressing base or even
eliminate it. If your colors are mostly made of micas and shimmers, these tend to not like to stick
together so you need to increase your pressing base up to even half and half.
It is easiest to put all your powder ingredients (press base, pigments and mica) into a small zip lock bag
before you add your liquid binder.
Step 2: Liquid binders
Add your chosen liquid binder to your colored
loose powder made in step one. The amount of
binder to add will vary by type of binder used,
particle size of the powder (matte, shimmer,
sparkle), & amount. Basically you are trying
To get to a texture of “damp sand” Using a Q-tip,
also spread the binder all over the pan.
Run the powder through a to
make sure that all of your
will help you get a more
sieve or strainer with a
paintbrush particles are the same
size. This uniform press.
Step 3: Pressing your loose powder
Pour 1/3-1/2 of your powder into the tin. Using a microspatula or coffee stir stick, spread the powder
somewhat evenly to all sides and corners. It doesn’t have to look pretty:
Cover the powder with part of your used Ziploc bag, or cover your tamper tool in plastic wrap. Press
gently over the tin. You don’t want to press too hard, or your first layer will not bond well to the second.
You just want to press with enough pressure to make some more room in the pan.
Add the remaining powder, making a mountain of powder in the center, then spread to the edges as
done previously. If you want a design on your finished product, place your texture (ribbon, in this
example) between the powder and the plastic bag, and place the acrylic disk on top.
If you want, place all three layers into a C- Clamp as shown.
Remove, and congratulate yourself!