7 Ways to Use MAC Pigments

I have received a few questions over the past couple months asking the difference between eyeshadows and pigments and why pigments even exist. Pigments are simply a loose form of intense color. When you purchase your regular eyeshadows from MAC, those are just pigments that have been pressed and packed together to make them easy to use as eyeshadow.

The unique thing about buying loose pigments is that you’re not limited to ONLY using them as eyeshadow. This loose form allows for a variety of uses! To discover the 7 different ways, and see demonstrations for each, I invite you to view the below video, or read on for more information.

And for a cheap way to try pigments, I recommend sample sizes for $2-4; I buy mine from this website. It’s a great way to try a pigment without committing to the full size; there’s enough if you like it and not much waste if you don’t!

Different Ways to Use Pigments

  • Applied wet for metallic eyeshadow

  • Eyeliner

  • Colored mascara

  • Nail polish

  • Lipstick

  • Blush

  • Highlighter for the cheeks, or the bridge of the nose

  • Mix in with foundation for soft, glowing skin

  • Create your own custom colors!

(Full demonstrations of the below methods have been included in the above video.)

Metallic Eyeshadow: Mix the pigment in with an eyeshadow transformer (I use the one from Jesse’s Girl here), MAC’s Fix+ spray or simple water and apply wet to the eye. This method can uncover hidden colors in the pigment and make more sheer pigments stronger.

Eyeliner: Similar to the steps with metallic eyeshadow, mix the pigment with a mixing medium and apply wet to the lashline(s) with an eyeliner brush.

Colored Macara: Two methods of doing this; use clear mascara or use disposable mascara wands dipped into an eyeshadow transformer with the pigment and apply to the eyes.

Nailpolish: Pour a small amount of your pigment onto a paper plate and pour out a similarly small amount of clear nail polish; mix together. After applying with the nailbrush provided, wipe the brush with nail polish remover and put it back into the bottle. This can stain the brush, so if you’re worried about that, I recommend buying a separate bottle of clear nailpolish specifically for using ONLY with pigments.

Lipstick: You can apply pigments to your lips by mixing them in with a clear lip gloss or a moisturizing lip balm like Carmex. Regular lipsticks can dry out your lips, but mixing a pigment in with your regular lip moisturizer means you won’t be drying out your lips, or sacrificing color.

Blush: To use a pigment as a blush, just pour a small amount out onto a dish or a small paper plate, swirl your brush around in it and apply lightly to the cheeks.

Highlighter for Cheeks: I like to use Blonde’s Gold pigment; apply a small amount to a blush or contour brush and sweep lightly onto the cheeks, bridge of the nose, collarbone or cleavage area.

Glowing Skin: Take a small amount of pigment, mix it in with your foundation before application and apply as normal.

Custom Colors: Another noteworthy benefit of using pigments is the ability to create your own custom colors. Just take two (or three!) pigments, mix them together and you’ll have your own custom color. The combinations are endless! I especially like to do this with lipstick colors. You can then use them in any of the ways above and have a color made especially for you that no one else is wearing!


12 thoughts on “7 Ways to Use MAC Pigments

  1. This is a really helpful article. Thanks Zabrena :o) . I’ve always wondered how to use pigments as nail polish but never been sure how.

    How do you normally apply pigments to your eyelid? Do you apply them dry or do you apply them wet? If you use them wet, do you use water or do you another product for this? I’ve read about people using Mac Fix+Spray for this but I don’t have it, so I was curious to see if it works well.

    1. Glad it was helpful for you, Saira! 🙂
      Typically I just put a little bit of pigment into the lid of the container of the jar I’m working with and apply it dry to my lids with the 239 brush. There is a tiny bit of fall out associated with that method, but if you are careful to put translucent powder under your eyes before application, you can just sweep it away after you’re done. You can also use a moist Q-tip to take it off your face, if need be.

      If I do apply a pigment wet, it’s usually to line my eyes. For that, I have an empty eyedropper bottle I use that I keep filled with water and use that to mix in with the pigment in a small dish. Then I apply it with my brush. I haven’t had any troubles with that method so I haven’t tried MAC’s Fix+Spray, but have heard that’s good stuff too. Either one will work – I just prefer the ‘el-cheapo’ method. LOL 😀

      1. Great, thanks so much for the information. I like the idea of mixing the pigment in a dish with a drop of water and then dipping into it with a brush. It sounds much better than soaking the brush and then putting in to the pigment.

    1. Hi Liz!
      It’s on the right hand side of the screen under my Favorite Sites section – it says ‘Buy LE Pigment Samples’ – hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Love MAC Pigments! They are truly unique. I have seen two brown pigments that have a green duochrome and a blue duochrome. Beautiful! It will be exciting when you get into pigments even more Lady Z! 🙂

  3. Wow thank you for sharing your awesome tips! I’m so excited to try out my new MAC pigments I just got in the mail.

    I’ve tried some of the colors but felt that the colors didn’t turn out as strong as I wanted them to be.

    Thanks again for sharing

    Best regards

  4. Loving the site, having a shadow overload, and a very loooong list, lol. I love the idea of pressing the pigments. I have a few questions.
    1.Do you press all your pigments, if not how do you decide which to press?
    2. What is the ratio for your custom Grape/Fuchsia pressed pigment and what is the color it becomes? That is really intriguing me. I think I would really like to try that combo.

    1. Hi Yvette!
      Welcome! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! 🙂
      I do press all my pigments, yes. I do it so I can organize them in my palettes and remember I have them LOL
      For the grape/fuchsia pigment, I believe it was something like 75% fuschia and 25% grape. I added a lot more fuchsia than grape to get that color; it’s a great one to try!

  5. Omg I never realised how versatile pigments could be! I just thought they were the same as eyeshadow but in a different form, I was very wrong haha! I was wondering if using just water to mix with pigmented would end up being sheerer than using something like Fix Plus? 🙂

  6. thanks for this information. i knew some of them but the others were really helpful.
    thanks for the wonderful work you’re doing.

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