It all started when the Kat von D Alchemist palette was released in December and the whole discussion that followed of it being small and not that different from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild palette. In makeup groups on Facebook I read how for $1.50 you can get the starting products to make the exact same highlighter shades by buying micas at TKB Trading. Obviously I made a substantial order and set myself to make my own Kat von D Alchemist dupe highlighters.
To dupe the Alchemist palette, I decided to pick up the Hilite collection from TKB Trading. The collection includes seven color shifting micas with a transparent base that look absolutely stunning on the skin. I purchased the sample size, which contains six grams of product in these small zip lock bags. It might seem a small amount, but it isn’t at all.
Before I get into the fun part, the swatches, it’s important you know that micas are not ready-to-wear eyeshadows or highlighters. They are very light and volatile and will not stick to the skin as is. They are typically mixed in with some filler and base oxides that help with adhesion and slip, making them “stick together” if you will. This mixture is what you would normally call a pigment or mineral eyeshadow. More oil-base binder is then needed to be able to press the pigments in tin pans (read more on pressing pigments here). TKB Trading offers all these additive materials in their shop, and I went with their ready-made base mixes to transform micas into pressed powders. It is not a complicated process and a fun DIY to do in an afternoon, so if you are interested let me know and I’ll film a video on it.
I decided to press my Hilites in 44 mm pans to have big enough pans to pick up with a highlighters brush. Regular powder eyeshadow pans (MUG, MAC, etc.) are 26 mm in diameter, whereas Sugarpill, Suva Beauty and Neve Cosmetics offer 44 mm pans, just so you have an idea of the size. After pressing the mica+binders mix in these huge pans, I still have plenty left in my sample bags! It is amazing what you can do with 6 grams of product! As another reference, a regular 26 mm eyeshadows contain usually 1 to 1.8 grams, and Sugarpill shadows are 3.5 gr.
Back to the TKB Trading Hilite collection, once mixed and pressed, they are seven gorgeous multi-purpose powders. They all have a translucent base and appear white in the pan. These make them perfect makeup transformers, just like the Kat von D Alchemist palette is.
You can see in the swatches how the shift changes with the angle and with the base you use them on. These swatches are made with my finger on bare skin (no primer) and on top of a dry black liquid lipstick (Colourpop Ultra Matte Friday). Of course I built up the swatches to make sure you can see the color shift properly. Check out the video below to see the swatching in action as well as the shift at different
Now, the TKB Trading Hilite shades as they come are not exact dupes for the Kat von D Alchemist palette shades but since I have so much left in my sample bag, the next project is to mix the micas with each other and probably also with a white/satin base to achieve the exact dupes. Once I get to do that I will post the recipes and show you how to of course, but I’m going to do some experimenting first! Funny since I am a researcher and now I jumped from the lab and solar cells, to the kitchen and minerals, hihi.
I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for the results of my experimenting to find exact color dupes for the Kat von D Alchemist palette.
Would you be up for a makeup DIY or do you prefer to buy you makeup ready?