DIY wet eyeshadow foiling medium and Pretty Serious eyeshadow swatches

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How to cite: Wong M. DIY wet eyeshadow foiling medium and Pretty Serious eyeshadow swatches. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. May 13, 2013. Accessed June 12, 2024.

Finally, a DIY post! 🙂

I really got into the bold eyeliner look in summer, and while it’d be great to have eyeliner in all the colours, I have way too many eye-safe pigments sitting around unused already. So I’ve been turning them into eyeliner by using them wet, and the results are amazing! Applying eyeshadow wet (also called “foiling”) instead of dry gives saturated, dense colour, and you can create sharp lines which last far longer.

The problem with using plain water is that the eyeshadow doesn’t tend to have great lasting power – that’s where using a foiling medium comes in. This is a water-based mixture which helps you apply dense eyeshadow with better durability.

I found a recipe for a DIY foiling medium, and luckily, it uses the glycerin you all have lying around from making the DIY gentle nail polish remover I posted here: simply mix glycerin with water in a 1 to 3 ratio. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything easily available and eye-safe that you can add to prevent bacterial growth, so it’s best to mix it fresh (I just mix one drop of glycerin with three drops of water on a piece of foil using the brush I’m using for the eyeshadow, but if you want to store it, it should last at least a week).

To show the difference between wet and dry application, here are swatches of some Pretty Serious loose eyeshadows I’ve recently added to my collection. From left to right, I swatched each shade by itself, over primer (I’m using Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer), and with the DIY foiling medium.

Morning Java – This is brown with reddish gold shimmer. The shimmer turns into a metallic gold sheen with foiling medium, but by itself, if you’re not too heavy-handed, it’s usable for an everyday look.

VT100 – Green with green and gold shimmer. The shimmer wears off very quickly if you apply it dry, but it’s super festive if you wear it wet. I’m loving emerald green at the moment, so this will be getting a lot of wear (damn you Pantone for being right!).

BSOD – Really, really bright blue, with blue shimmer. This is the most saturated blue eyeshadow I’ve ever seen! My swatch doesn’t do it justice – it practically glows.

I did a simulated wear test by gently brushing the shadow with a tissue to show the difference between the application methods:

Wet application definitely goes the furthest, but Etude House’s primer holds its own pretty well!

I scored the eyeshadows for $4.95 each here in Pretty Serious’s clearance sale, which is still going. If you’re in North Americans, you can still get Into Dreams, but unfortunately it’s sold out everywhere else (naturally I’m lusting after it quite hard now). They come in huge 5 g tubs (5 cm in diameter) and are an absolute bargain!

Do you wear wet eyeshadow regularly, or is it a special occasion thing for you?

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10 thoughts on “DIY wet eyeshadow foiling medium and Pretty Serious eyeshadow swatches”

  1. I have the saaaame situation as you – I love coloured eyeliner, but I have so many beautiful eyeshadows I’d feel very guilty buying eyeliner. I used foiled shadows several times a week. Sometimes I’ll use water, sometimes I’ll use pixie epoxy.

  2. I love coloued eyeliner too, and would like to use my eyeshadows for that.

    When I tried a while ago the water-glycerine mix I found for me that the lines were smearing too easy. (I used the same mixing method as you) so I’m thinking of mixing a little crumb of gummi arabicum in, what do you think about this… or do you have no problem with smearing the lines?

    Greetings from Berlin 🙂

    • I haven’t had problems so far – I’ve never tried gum arabic, so I can’t comment. It does seem to be used in quite a few eyeliners so it should be eye-safe, as long as your gum arabic doesn’t have any irritating impurities!

    • I have some (never used) gum arabic powder/flakes laying around from my cosmetic mixing days, but I have only ever used it for watrcolour making (I paint, although these days only on nails).

      So th powder I have is cosmetic quality. Ithink i, ll use it as soon as I can get my hands onn(unfortunately it’s in a store where I’m not) since these ays it’s not so easy to get.
      I think it could be good. But maybe my smearing was due to extra big glycerine drops…;-) because everything just stayed wet 🙁 but I tried it more than once, with changing mixing amounts.

  3. I always wear eyeshadow wet! I can’t use eyeliner due to a tiny scar on my right eye. You can’t see it, but liner loves to freak out around it. Wet eyeshadow doesn’t have that problem.

    • I love how it’s versatile – sometimes I want bold, but at the same time I’m never going to finish anything if I can’t tone them down a little sometimes!


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