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
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!