What’s the Difference Between A Pressed Pigment and an Eyeshadow?
Is there really a difference between a pressed pigment and an eyeshadow? We know you’ve been wondering, and we have answers. Though shadows are a certified mainstay on contemporary beauty counters, the term ‘pressed pigment’ has been popping up onto the scene with increasing regularity. Today on the Arch, we’re breaking down just how these two products diverge. Because one thing’s for sure: a pressed pigment is definitely NOT the same as an eyeshadow.
WHAT’S THE COMPOSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRESSED PIGMENTS AND SHADOWS?
Think of eyeshadows as a blend of ingredients while pressed pigments are the star ingredient served on its own. Whereas shadows consist of synthetic or natural materials held together by some sort of binder, pressed pigments are exactly as their name suggests — pressed pigment. Which is to say, a sourced, pure color pressed into a pan and ready for use.
WHAT IS PIGMENTATION LIKE IN EACH?
The difference of ingredients turns out to have a major effect both on the color and the payoff. When binders are added to shadow, they become easier to hold in a pan and easier to blend. The downside is that they sometimes dull down the color. When applying shadow, it’s typical to build and blend to achieve intensity. That is, requiring several passes to reach the desired color or opacity, though allowing for soft washes or subtle gradations. Meanwhile, since pressed pigments are already in their purest form, they are vibrant and incredible opaque straight out of the pan, allowing for that same built-up level of intensity with much, much less product.
WHAT DIFFERENT TOOLS ARE NEEDED FOR EACH MEDIUM?
Rather than using your typical fluffy blending brush to apply a pigment, they preform much better when used with a small, dense packing brush and tapped onto the eye. Not only does this technique get better payoff, it’s also a very controlled way of handling a product that performs best with precision. It takes a moment to get the hang of, but well worth the practice.
In addition to a new technique, you’re also going to want to invest in a quality primer. While always encouraged for regular shadows to promote longevity and payoff, it’s much more of a necessity with pressed pigments. An eye primer ends up pulling triple duty by giving the pressed pigments something to adhere to, increasing blendability, and creating a barrier to help prevent the potential staining of your skin.
ANY SECRET USES FOR ONE OR THE OTHER?
One of the biggest perks of pressed pigments is that it’s much like being handed the raw ingredients, meaning, why not create something new? As already discussed, they’re in their purest, true color form, theoretically allowing for them to be mixed to create custom colors. Say hello to your new signature shade: for lids, blush, or even eyeliner.
IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER, WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW?
As a beginner, there’s no denying the ease of starting with shadows. But that doesn’t automatically mean that pressed pigments should be reserved solely for the masters. Keep in mind a few pro tips: go easy on the pressure when picking up product, mist the packed brush with a setting spray if you want an even more intense color payoff, and use ultimate control when packing onto the lid. Blend and repeat!