Tip: How to Foil Shadows without Smudginess, Lumpiness, Flakiness, or Unevenness
For those who like dramatic, metallic shadows and liners, foiling (liquifying) a shadow or pigment and applying it like a paint is a technique that can give you the most beautiful results.
And depending on what medium you use, you can make the color and effect more intense, and last all day as well.
Popular mixing mediums:
- Water: Plain, simple, literally free. Works adequately well on most products but does not suspend and spread all pigments equally well.
- Water-based mixing mediums: Things like non-alcoholic toners and MAC Fix+ can be used to foil shadows and pigments. You can also make your own by mixing 1 part glycerin, 3 parts water. Similar to many commercial water-based mediums. Color is moderately intense, and has good adherence to skin in normal conditions, but this is highly soluble, so it will not be sweat- or water-resistant.
- Eye-drops: Cellulose in eye drops is a water binding agent which makes it slightly sticky, and this is what allows it to bind shadow pigments and keep it on the skin longer. However this is also not water-resistant although it tends to make shadows more metallic looking than plain water.
- Eyeliner Sealants: Many artist brands like Mehron, Ben Nye, Kryolan etc have water-resistant sealant liquids containing acrylates that you can use as an eyeliner mixing medium. These are also fantastic for foiling shadows, and will give you the added bonus of very long-lasting shadow that doesn’t come off with normal activities.
The problem with sealants:
- The pigment and sealant mixture can get lumpy
- The mixture dries quickly and is hard to blend
- It’s not always easy to get an opaque, even layer in one try
- Layering the mixture will give you crinkly texture that flakes off
Quick Tips for using Sealants:
- You can dip a wet brush into your shadow if it is in loose pigment form but don’t dip mixing medium into pressed shadow it will seal it over, which means you will not be able to use it dry again after that.
- When using a sealant, don’t drip the formula right into the pan. Pick up a generous amount of powder with a fluffy brush and then add a drop or two of sealant right onto your brush bristles. If yours comes in a spray bottle, mist your brush bristles directly. Then apply straight to your lids.
- If the shadow goes on too sheer, quickly pick up more dry shadow/pigment and pack it right over the still-moist layer on your lids, instead of adding more sealant onto your brush. This will quickly intensify the look without giving you that heavy, cake-y, layer that will wrinkle and crack like dry clay.