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Troubleshooting: How to Press Matte Powders

Pressing Matte Powders is different than pressing Mica Powders because Matte Powders are different than Mica Powders.

Mica Powders are pigments which are large largely made of Mica that have been colored with matte powders.  For example.  TKB's Oriental Beige is a blend of Mica, Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxide. 

Matte Powders are pigments which are either pure (100% iron oxide, or 100% Ultramarines, for example), or have very little added fillers (for example TKB's Monochrome Pigments).  

This means:

Mica powders tend to be lighter weight and non-sticky like sand.  So, when you press them, you need to add powders which will help the grains stick together when you press them.  We recommend our TKB MyMix Press Base or simply Zinc Stearate.  

Matte Powders tend to be heavy and sticky like clay or soil. This means that you do NOT want to boost their stickiness and so we discourage adding our TKB MyMix Press Base or Zinc Stearate.  Instead we suggest you add filler powders which will loosen things up and make the colors spread more easily.

If you don't, you end up with a cake which is really hard and gives no color payout.

One recommendation by our customer Linda, is a blend which is 68% Mica (yes, this will make the colors somewhat less matte), 15% Zinc Stearate, 8% Silica Microspheres and 8% Magnesium Myristate.  She has a Matte Color Wheel example found here.

Here are examples of a formula for a Matte pressed powder submitted by another customer, Kitza.  You will see that the designer included some colored mica to help loosen the product.

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