Pressed Mica Eye Shadow and Highlighter

Pressed mica eye shadow & highlighter is easy and a lot of fun to create. Your basic formula needs only a couple of ingredients: mica (color) and binder (powder and/or liquid with preservative.) I have been mixing my color recipe, mixing in powder binder (if used,) next adding a liquid binder and then pressing. For my liquid binder, I use glycerin with TKB Trading’s Preservative Cap-5.* You can also use a pre-made liquid binder or fractionated coconut oil. As with all DIY cosmetics, please be sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients used before trying. You can prepare your mixture in a plastic Ziploc bag or a small glass bowl/cup.

Pressing mica powders can be a little tricky. Depending on your formula, you may need or prefer to add rubbing alcohol to make pressing easier. I use 99% isopropyl alcohol because it evaporates much faster than 70%. If a couple of drops are added you can press after a few minutes. If you have turned your mixture into soup, you just need to give it about 4 hours to dry before pressing and if you have run out of room in your pan–do it in 2 presses. When you press out the rubbing alcohol, your amount of product will shrink considerably. For dry formulas, you can add your mixture to your pan and press in 3-4 steps with a plastic wrap covered tamper tool or coin. Wet formulas where alcohol has been added need to be pressed with a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture.

DIY Eye Shadow

DIY Eye Shadow

Pressed Mica Eye Shadow and Highlighter


  • Quart sized Ziploc bag or small glass bowl/cup for mixing
  • 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Paper Towel (as a work surface & for pressing)
  • Craft Sticks & Toothpicks for mixing
  • Jar lid for pressing in the 57 mm pans

TKB Trading:

  • Mica powders: TKB Trading’s sample size of 6 grams for $1.50 is a lot of product. That is the amount in each white container of mica shown in the video.
  • Base Powders:

– MyMix Press Base: a blend of powders that increase adhesion & pressibility of powders. Contains: mica, calcium carbonate, zinc stearate, kaolin clay, silicon dioxide, allantoin, and carnauba wax.

– C-SMAX: Sericite mica surface treated with carnauba wax. It is an easily spreadable satin powder that has excellent adhesion as well as water & oil resistant properties.

– Kaolin Clay: Pure white natural clay offering adhesion to cosmetic products. Also absorbs oil & is great for oily skin.

  • Pressing Medium: MyMix Clear Pressing Medium *In the video I used glycerin mixed with preservative. I no longer recommend glycerin*
  • Preservative: Preservative Cap-5 –Add 2-3 drops per shadow or 4-6 drops per highlighter
  • 26 mm & 57 mm pans
  • 26 mm Tamper Tool & Press Tile
  • Mini Spoon-5: measuring spoons set. Largest to smallest = Tad, Dash, Pinch, Smidgen, and Drop

Base Powders


  1. Sterilize pans and spoons with the isopropyl alcohol.
  2. Mix together your mica in a small glass container or place it into a Ziploc bag (close the powder into the bag & mix by rubbing it together with your hands.)
  3. Add base powder(s) and mix.
  4. Add liquid binder and preservative & mix thoroughly–to the consistency of wet sand.
  5. Transfer mixture to your pan 1/4 at a time. Place mixture in pan & then press with a plastic wrap covered tamper tool or quarter. Repeat until all of the powder is pressed. If your mixture is too dry, add 2-3 drops of alcohol to the powder filled the pan and then press. If you add a lot of alcohol before pressing or while pressing, give the mixture 4+ hours to dry and then press with a paper towel until no moisture can be pressed out.
  6. Let dry completely for at least 12 hours before use.

Pressing Mica PICS Pressing Mica PICS



#1: Pink Diamond (Metallic)

  • 1 dash Apricot
  • 1 dash Bishop’s Violet
  • 1 dash Diamond Cluster
  • 1 dash Tangerine Pop
  • 1 dash Hilite Violet
  • 2 smidgens MyMix Press Base
  • 5 drops MyMix Clear Pressing Medium

Pressing Mica PICS

#2: Golden Apricot (Foiled)

  • 2 tad Reflection
  • 2 dashes Cotton Candy
  • 2 dashes Apricot
  • 2 pinches Hilite Gold
  • 7 drops MyMix Clear Pressing Medium

#3: Silver-Mint (Foiled)

  • 1 tad Moon Light
  • 2 dashes Limerick
  • 1 dash Diamond Cluster
  • 1 dash Coral Reef Blue
  • 2 dashes Travel to Venus
  • 2 smidgens MyMix Press Base
  • 6 drops MyMix Clear Pressing Medium

#4: Bleached Bronze (Metallic)

  • 1 dash Bronze
  • 1 dash Reflection
  • 1 dash Golden Shift
  • 1 dash Flamenco Super Pearl
  • 1 dash Hilite Gold
  • 2 smidgens MyMix Press Base
  • 5 drops MyMix Clear Pressing Medium


#1: Steel-Blue

  • 3 dashes MyMix Peach
  • 2 dashes Hilite Violet
  • 2 dashes Winter Rose
  • 1 pinch Pink-Red/Blue
  • 2 pinches Flamenco Super Pearl
  • 3 pinches Coral Reef Blue
  • 2 pinches Travel to Venus
  • 3 pinches MyMix Press Base
  • 1 pinch SMAX
  • 16 drops MyMix Clear Pressing Medium

Pressing Mica PICS

#2: Gilded Champagne

  • 2 dashes Winter Rose
  • 4 dashes Flamenco Super Pearl
  • 2 dashes Hilite Gold
  • 2 pinches Cinnamon Sugar
  • 4 pinches Golden Shift
  • 2 smidgen Limerick
  • 2 drops Bronze
  • 6 smidgen MyMix Press Base
  • 1 smidgen Kaolin Clay
  • 1 smidgen SMAX
  • 18 drops MyMix Clear Pressing Medium

I have only been experimenting with pressing mica powders & pigments for a couple of months. I did not include any matte shadows because matte/pure pigment powders must be ground before adding to your recipe or they will not incorporate. I have successfully pressed matte shadow but I am working on the right formula. I love the shades I have created & some of the best ones were created when I wasn’t writing down the recipe.

Pressing Mica PICS

*Update 10/04/2016:

I have had such a wonderful response to this post & subject! When I first dabbled in pressing mica powder I used glycerin because I had a large amount on hand. I have had no issues with it but I want to encourage new make-up creators to use a different type of binder to avoid rust in your pans. TKB makes a liquid pressing binder that also contains silicone-based ingredients, which will help with spreadability of highlighters and eye shadows & increase smoothness. I plan on picking some up to try. My shadows & highlighters are still in use & one day I will create more. I have had no cracked product, color changes, rusting or problems.

I shared this project for fun. I do not sell or plan on selling homemade cosmetics. If you are thinking of opening up an online shop & making a profit from your handmade cosmetics: Please do adequate research, test your products thoroughly for a chunk of time, understand your ingredients & safety concerns! I hold no esteem for hastily thrown together products that are produced with no understanding of the ingredients, process, and shelf life. Be smart when ordering online cosmetics: make sure the ingredients are listed and that there is a safe way to purchase the make-up. IE: don’t buy your make-up through the DMs on Instagram.

Pressed Mica Eye Shadow and Highlighter Video

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