MAC Pigment help?


Hey girls! 

I am a bit of an eyeshadow virgin and I need a little help. I just bought a MAC pigment pot from a MAC sale (its called Jardin Aires and is a coppery gold shimmer) but I realized when I brought it home that I actually have no idea how to apply it! 

I tried straight out dipping my eyeshadow brush into the pigment but that made a huge mess on the bathroom counter AND on my cheeks with little bits of shimmer everywhere.

Then I got the clever idea to mix the powder on the back of my hand with a little (face) primer, to make application easier but it kind of muted the shimmer and that's not what I want.

Any suggestions? I know its kind of a silly question but the extent of my eyeshadow experience is pretty much copying what I see Carmindy do on What Not To Wear, or following the "paint by numbers" guide on the back of Maybelline cases ha ha ha

Mar 20, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

4 Replies


Pigment application

This is a great question and I once too struggled with this issue. Pigments can be a little tricky to work with but it helps if you use the right eyeshadow brush and application. I would suggest using a brush like MAC's 239 Eye Shading Brush, or anything similar to it. The densely packed fibres will make sure the pigment stays on the brush instead of falling all over the place.

In addition, you can also try dipping your brush in the pigment and then spraying some Fix from MAC, water, or eyedrops such as Visine onto the brush, which will make the pigment stick much better to your eyelid and the color will seem more vibrant. Prior to this, you may want to apply a primer such as Urban Decay's Primer Potion and a creamy based eyeshadow in a similar color as your pigment. It will allow it to stick to the eyelid much easier than just the bare lid.

If you want more interesting tips on how to apply makeup in general, you might like to watch some videos on YouTube, which feature qualified makeup artists that guide you with step by step application of eyeshadows, lipstick, blush, etc... I've been subscribing to a few makeup gurus on their YouTube channels and I must say, my technique has improved quite a bit. Hope this helps and have fun looking pretty!
Mar 21, 2010 @ 03:52 pm

There are a few diff ways

first of all... I think i was at the same mac sale! ahhaha : ) Anyways... Depending on the pigment, i have several different methods. I always, always have a base...usually MAC paintpots on before i do anything. If I know i'll be using pigments or colours with more fallouts, I tend to pat on a little bit more for grip. Sometimes, I can get away with patting on the colours rathe than dragging and spreading. This takes a bit more patience i guess but generally with any eyeshadow or pigments, It builds up the colour nicely and prevent fading.

I also use several types of liquid to mix the colour with. The one I like the most is MAC water base Mixing medium. I think it's only available in the Pro store. Urban decay and Lise Watier also makes a decent one. They basically turn your shadow into a liquid/cream shadow or into an eyeliner. What you do is you dampen your brush a little with the mixing medium and you sort of mix it in the cap. Remember you need very little and the colour will turn very vibrant. This technique is also called foiling.... I you're not ready to invest in one yet, try it out with water and see if you like it. If you are wanting the gold shimmer to show up, when your eyeshadow is still a little bit damp, tap on a little pigment directly on the area. It should grip nicely and give you the shimmer. I've also tried after applying the colour first with or without the pigment and pressing it in with my fingers.

Since jardin aires is a champagne/shimmery colour, you can also try using a similar cream shadow underneath to really bring out the colour. Off the top of my head, something like the MAC cream colour base or benefit cream colours would work.

I haven't really played around with jardin aires much, but i've had it for a while... I think i'm going to go back and try it out. Let us know how it worked or if you've figured out a new way to apply it. Or perhaps you can even post a picture here : )...Or better yet, you can be a model for our beauty school series.
Mar 22, 2010 @ 09:05 am


Thanks so much for the detailed tips ladies! I really appreciate it! I will definitely try some of them out and let you know how it goes.

As for being a model for the beauty school series, I would LOVE to! Where do I sign up? he he
Mar 22, 2010 @ 10:06 am

Just so you're aware........

You don't have to spend loads of money on foiling mediums, etc. I use some MAC pigments and have found that no matter what you put under it, cream eye shadow, eye shadow pencil, even cheap lip balm, the pigments stick to it like glue. Instead of MACs shadow sticks, try the new Covergirl ones. They're double ended and shimmery. Some of them are lighter and neutral in color and others are darker. Rimmel also makes these glossy shadow sticks. They're the fat ones that have an iridescent paint on the utside. Those work GREAT under any kind of pigments, MAC or otherwise. They never fail to produce results, and killer ones at that.

The other thing is, MAC is not the only company selling pigments. Try going to The company is called Coastal Scents and is in Florida. They have a huge amount of pigments, along with all sorts of other makeup. You can buy a sample baggie of each color, which will fill about 1/2 to 3/4 of a MAC pigment pot, which will last you FOREVER. The next size up is a massive ounce, which you could split with 4 or 5 people and still have loads left over. Stay away from their lip glosses, though. They're the worst I have ever tried.

Oh, and brushes?? Don't waste your money on MAC brushes, seriously. They're nice, sure, but HIGHLY overpriced! Coastal Scents sells LOADS of brushes and yes, THEY ARE KILLER. I've bought about 35 brushes from them and out of all those, I was extremely happy with all except for 2. The rest absolutely rock. And yes, they work just as well as MAC, for a tiny fraction of the price.

They also have massive palettes, for about $20 to $25. 88 colors, mind you. In each. Eye shadow palettes, blush palettes, contouring palettes, etc. Then they have separate eye shadows, blushes, empty eye shadow palettes that are the exact same size as MAC and are magnetic like the MAC palettes. But they cost next to nothing. And even the empy magnetized pots to press your own shaodows into.

In regards to customs charges because they are in the States, I've never been dinged customs charges once. If you're worried about it, order $20 or under worth of product. If you want to order $100 worth, split it into 5 orders of $20 each. Then customs won't charge you any fees. And yes, ladies, this is a fact. Their shipping charges are also OUR OF THIS WORLD! The most I've ever paid is about $4 for shipping. And the products arrive in days! They are also wrapped very nicely and you get a free sample with each order.

Oh, and for a foiling medium, if you really must have one, Google Silk Naturals. I think it's just at or something like that. They are a mineral makeup company and have one that's only $2!! $2!! Can you believe it?? You can use it for foiling or for making your pigments into eye liners or whatever else you want. Check out their other products while you're there too. MAC is going to get left in the dust at some point, as much as I love their products. Their days of robbing their customers is going to come to an end soon. More and more women are fighting back by creating high quality products themselves, educationg other women, selling their products at reasonable prices and making a buck while doing it. More power to 'em!

Check it ll out. It'll save you a LOAD of money! For the price you spend on one MAC brush, one MAC foiling medium and one MAC pigment, you can get a whole bag of products that are of high quality.

Good luck :-)
May 07, 2010 @ 03:34 pm

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