With many products out in the market today, it’s hard to know the difference between baked, pressed and back-filled eyeshadow powders. This can often create confusion when finding the right component for your desired formula type. It’s important to consider the pan size and configuration you would like, and match that with your manufacturing capabilities. Below we explore the methods and processes that are important to think about when developing your eyeshadow products.

The most common fill types include:

  • Back Fill
  • Baked
  • Pressed
  • Loose

Back Fill

Back Fill is an eyeshadow that is injected through a filling hole on the backside of the components insert, while using a slurry, or wet process. To create the slurry, the cosmetic powder is mixed with solvent to make the mixture wet. The pan inserts can be molded into different designs and filled without the use of aluminum/tin pans. Once the solvent is pulled out from the upper mold, it goes through a drying process to become a powder.

Back fills are perfect for smaller pan areas or products where you want to create a unique design. When using a powder with a high pearl content, the back fill process is easier than the pressing method. Back fills usually have a smoother, softer, feel because the formula contains more air. Back fills also allow a safer filling environment because there is less exposure to powder dust.



Baked Eyeshadow

Like the back fill method, baked eyeshadows are also created with a slurry. The main difference between the two, is that the baked process pours the slurry onto a terracotta or ceramic tile and then it’s dried, or baked to transform to powder. You will usually find higher pearl content in baked products because the pearls create a bonding effect that hold the product together.

Baked eyeshadows are usually dome-shaped, have a smooth texture, and are multifunctional. Apply dry for a soft natural look, or  just add water to your application to get a more intense rich look.


Pressed Eyeshadows

Pressed powders start out as loose powder. A binding agent is mixed in, then the loose powder is dropped into a tin pan, where a cloth is placed over the powder. Once covered, the powder is then placed under a pressing tool and pressed into a hardened state. The amount of compression used can also determine the amount of payoff, or how intense the color will look when applied. Because of that, a high pearl content is usually harder to achieve in a dry press form. After the product is pressed, the pan is then glued into a compact or component of your choice.

Pressed powders are the most common method of producing eyeshadow and powder products. This method is also popular among consumers because of its cleaner and more controllable application.


Loose Eyeshadows

Loose pigments and pearls are mixed and usually filled into a type of sifter jar. These jars help to control how much product you use, or pour out to use. Loose powders often have a higher pigment level and a higher level of pearl. Dry application can create high-shine definition to the eye area, while a wet application can range from an intense shine to a foil finish.



Not sure which process is best for you? Contact us! We’re happy to help you find the right package and formula for your product idea.

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