Loose Pigments vs Pressed Eyeshadows

pigment vs pressed eyeshadow

When I first got into makeup, I used only pressed eyeshadows. That’s because I rarely saw pigments around as most stores didn’t carry them back then and I thought pressed shadows were more easy to use anyway. It was only about five years ago that I was introduced to pigments and since then I became addicted!

That doesn’t mean that I have abandoned pressed eyeshadows though. In fact, I still use them a lot asΒ  I don’t really think that one type of shadow is better than the other. They both have some pros and cons and which kind to use depends on what look you want to achieve and how much time you have to get ready.

Color payoff

Pigments are pure colors and therefore they are said to have better color payoff than pressed eyeshadows. However, that’s not always true. Some pigments contain fillers to help the color stick to the lid or to add shimmer, but they also reduce pigmentation. I have a lot of pressed eyeshadows that are very pigmented and pigments that apply sheerly and viceversa. So, personally I don’t think that pigments have better color payoff than pressed eyshadows in general. In the end, it all depends on the specific product in question.

The messy factor

Pigments can be very messy and for this reason, if I’m in a hurry, I avoid to use them. They usually come in jars or in those little sample plastic bags that are very prone to spill the powder everywhere, which doesn’t make them very travel-friendly. I always bring with me pressed eyeshadows when I travel as they don’t make a huge mess in my suitcase.

In addition, loose eyeshadows are also prone to fall out when you apply them, which almost never happens with good quality pressed eyeshadows. To reduce fallout, use an eyeshadow primer (a cream eyeshadow or a pencil will do too) on your lid to create a sticky base for the powder to adhere to. Also, use a brush with dense bristles to apply pigments and pat the color on. I also prefer to do my eye makeup first, so if there is any fall out I can easily remove it without ruining my face makeup.

Pigments are multi-purpose

Pigments are very versatile and can be used for several purposes. They can be used as dry or wet eyeshadows, or as eyeliners (but then so can pressed powder shadows), or on the face as blushes or highlighters. You can also mix them with glosses or nail polishes to get your own custom colors. The possibilities are endless!

But be careful as not all shades are versatile: for instance, some aren’t eye safe while others can be used on the eyes only. This information is usually printed on the label so make sure you read it before experimenting.

What type of eyeshadow is better?

I honestly don’t think one type is better than the other, I love them both equally. I like the versatility of pigments but pressed eyeshadows are more convenient to use especially when you travel.

What about you? Do you prefer loose pigments or pressed eyeshadows?

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  1. says

    I think I might give loose shadow a second chance if we have barryM or Sleek down here…most of the time those are just a pain in the rear to dig out for me and I always have to make sure I stick the holes with tape afterward or the loose powder will get on my nerve.
    .-= Citrine´s last blog ..I am on a mascara kick…again =-.

  2. says

    i agree with everything. what i like about pigments is that you can use it in almost everything!
    i even use it if i wanna deepen the color of my polishes!

    though it’s just messy…i actually prefer using pressed ones, but i also love pigments~

    i guess it’s a tie

  3. says

    excellent post! I agree with you all the way. When I started my venture into makeup, I mostly played with loose pigments (mineral pigments) because they were cheap but now I’m starting to have more pressed shadows. I like loose pigments still but I find that some minerals ones aren’t really pure pigments so they turn out really sheer and don’t give much pigmentation :(
    .-= Connie´s last blog ..Update: I’m Baaaaaaack!! =-.

  4. beautifulwithbrains says

    Citrine: I heard Sleek held a meeting with bloggers in the USA so hopefully that means that are planning to release their products over there soon. I love their pigments, they are almost as big as MAC’s but at a fraction of the cost and they are easy to blend. Not to mention the colors are beautiful. I think jars with sifters are more hygienic but they can be a pain and so can be sample bags!

    Thiamere: it’s a tie for me too! I like that I can use pigments in so many ways too but I wish they weren’t so messy!

    Connie: many mineral pigments contain fillers that water down the product so pigmentation isn’t that good. Apparently they’re added to help the powder stick better to the lid but I heard that pure mica works well as eyeshadow too so I don’t think fillers are always needed. But then there are lots of pressed shadows that are poorly pigmented as well. Personally, as long as the color payoff is good, I don’t care if the shadow is in pressed or loose form :)

  5. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dao: I agree that most pigments are easier to blend than pressed shadows too. Although, if the pigments apply sheerly I tend to use too much and make a mess!

    Jenn: thanks! Pigments can be really messy. It takes some pratice to avoid, or at least reduce to a minimum, fallouts. And you should try pressing them, that way you can use them without making a mess :)

    prettybeautiful: I used to have lots of fallout too. It’s getting better with practice but when I use dark colors they always end up on my face. That’s why I do my eye makeup first, so that I clean the mess and not ruin the rest of my makeup. Pressed eyeshadows are more convenient to use and don’t fly everywhere but if you wanna use pigments, you can always try pressing them.

  6. says

    I like both equally, but I tend to opt for loose powders when I can apply them wet, as it minimises the mess and gives me the best colour payoff.

    I’ve been looking for some of my favourite loose powder shades as a flat eyeshadow for ages, though.
    .-= Anastasia´s last blog ..When is an update not an update? =-.

  7. says

    Oh wee, I really like this post! :)
    I can’t agree more with you Gio πŸ˜€ I use both pigments and pressed e/s, depending on my mood πŸ˜› However, when I’m in a rush, I tend to use pressed e/s instead.
    Ever since you mention to do eye makeup first when dealing with pigments, I don’t have to worry about fallouts πŸ˜€ Thanks a lot Gio!
    .-= Shuu´s last blog ..Review: Etude House Mascara Remover =-.

  8. beautifulwithbrains says

    Anastasia: I forgot to mention that using pigments wet reduces fallout too, thanks for pointing it out. I wish I had the time to apply them wet more often, the color payoff you get is amazing! :)

    Shuu: thanks, I’m glad you like it. I agree that using pigments when you’re in a rush is a no-no. I tried that and I made a huge mess, it took me a while to clean it all up lol. I’m definitely sticking to pressed shadows when I don’t have much time now. And you’re welcome, I’m glad that helped. :)

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