Adventures in Pressing: Storage Options and Comparing Round vs Square Pans

*Update! I'm so sorry to be writing this but I've just checked the TKB Trading site and saw that the Freestyle Palettes have been discontinued. I have listed other options for storing your pressed eyeshadows*

So now that you have your pressed eyeshadows, you have to find a place to store them! If you want to read the other posts in this series, click on the "Pressing" tag under the set of tags below the Archive or under this post.

I'd been using my MAC Palette with the insert taken out to store my pressed powders and my depotted eyeshadows but I was really intrigued by the TKB Trading Freestyle Palettes. There are lots other storage options you can try including the MAC Palettes (you can take out the insert to store more eyeshadows), the Z-Palettes, the UNII Palette, and the gorgeous Book of Shadows palettes!

The TKB Trading Freestyle Palettes are a pretty good value. The Large palette retails for $7.95 each or ten for $69.00 and the Small palette retails for $4.95 or ten for $39.50. As of 3/25, the listing says that the large palettes are out of stock for a couple of months but hopefully they'll come in stock soon. These unfortunately have been discontinued, but TKB Trading do sell palettes with premade wells so you still have other options for storing your eyeshadows. This palette stores 26mm round pans and this palette stores 36mm round pans.

There are several sizes for the MAC Palettes but the Pro Eyeshadow Palette and the Blush Palette are the same size, just with different inserts. The Eyeshadow Palettes seem to have inserts that are much more difficult to remove. The Blush and Eyeshadow Palettes both retail for $16.00 and you can remove the insert to create more space for your eyeshadows. I'll talk about the MAC Palette later on in this post.

The Z-Palette comes in three sizes: Small, Large, and Pro. They do come in a wide variety of colors but you do pay the premium. The Small is $14.00, the Large is $20.00, and the Pro is $28.00. It's a very basic, no frills palette.

The UNII Palette is the most luxe and fancy looking of all the palettes but it is quite expensive relative to the space it can hold. It's $26.00 and seems to only hold 14 26mm round pans but it seems to be well made and looks like it can handle being dropped.

The Book of Shadows is very similar to the Z-Palette and the TKB Trading Freestyle Palettes in that it's also a cardboard palette but it's definitely got much more variety in designs. There are one sided and double sided palettes available in addition to water resistant ones. The one sided non water resistant palettes retail for $12.99 while the water resistant palettes sell for $15.99. The double sized non water resistant palettes sell for $19.99 whereas the double sided water resistant palettes retail for $21.99.

I don't own a Z-Palette, UNII Palette, or a Book of Shadows Palette so I can't speak to the quality. Luckily if you're wondering how the Freestyle Palettes compare to the Z-Palettes, Jill of Just Peachy does has done one post visually comparing the small Freestyle palette that TKB Trading offers to the Large Z-Palette and another post comparing the large Freestyle palette to the Large Z-Palette.

Anyway, onto talking about the Freestyle Palettes!

.

I started wondering about how many pans of eyeshadows I could fit the TKB Trading palettes, especially since TKB Trading carries so many different pan sizes to press your powders in. I then started wondering how economical it was to use rectangular/square pans versus round pans and the math behind it.

I'm glad it's spring break because I spent a lot lot of time figuring out the calculations to see how many pans of each size will fit into the Small and Large freestyle palette. I especially wanted to do this to show that rectangular/square pans are much more economical than round pans. I went really in depth with this but I do hope it helps someone!

Unless noted, the rectangular pans will fit most economically when arranged like this:
how to organize pans

Here's what each label in the table means
  • Pan Size refers to the size of the pan
  • Number it fits refers to the number of pans of that size that will fit across and how many rows. For example, for 27x13mm pans, they fits four across the palette and five rows so that means you can squeeze in twenty pans of that size into the palette.
  • Area of the pans refers to the area of the pans in palette.
  • Excess space filled with 27x13mm pans refers to the excess space in the palette that couldn't fit that specific sized pan and so was filled with the 27x13mm pans. The 27x13 was the best option to fill the excess space compared to the other pan sizes.
  • Total pan area refers to the area of all the pans in the palette. You can use the number to compare how economical having a palette of those pans are relative to the inside area of the palette.
I hope you don't mind the metric units, I couldn't find my tape measure that has Imperial units so I had to stick with my metric tape measure. It worked out quite well when doing calculations though.

For the TKB Trading Small Freestyle Palette:

The inside of the palette has a total area of 7560mm2

Pan Size

Number it fits

Area of the pans

Excess space filled with 27x13mm pans

Total pan area

54x26mm

2 across 1 rows

5616mm2

1404mm2

7020mm2

52x52mm

2 across 1 rows

5408mm2

1404mm2

6812mm2

27x13mm

4 across 5 rows

7020mm2

n/a

7020mm2

26x26mm

4 across 2 rows

5408mm2

1404mm2

6812mm2

24x21mm

4 across 3 rows

6048mm2

n/a

6048mm2

57mm round

1 by itself

2250mm2

1404mm2

5670mm2

44mm round

2 across 1 rows

3039mm2

2808mm2

5847mm2

36mm round

3 across 1 rows

3052mm2

2808mm2

5860mm2

26mm round

4 across 2 rows

4245mm2

1404mm2

5649mm2

15mm round

7 across 4 rows

4945mm2

n/a

4945mm2


1404mm2= Four 27x13mm pans
2808mm2= Eight 27x13mm pans

Note: The numbers for the round pans is if you have them in straight rows and columns, if you tesselate them, you can fit in more!

If you're the type of person that prefers having pans of all one size in your palette, the 54x26 or 27x13mm pans are your best bet for being able to squeeze as much space as you can in the palette. Just to compare the 26mm round vs square, there's a 1163mm2 difference between the two in the amount of pan area you get. If you go with the 26mm square, you essentially an extra 1.7 square pan of pressing space.

For the TKB Trading Large Freestyle Palette:

The inside of the palette has a total area of 20304mm2

Size

Number it fits

Area of the pans

Excess Space filled with 27x13mm pans

Total area

54x26mm*

7 across 2 rows

19656mm2

n/a

19656mm2

52x52mm

3 across 2 rows

16224mm2

2808mm2

19032mm2

27x13mm*

14 across 4 rows

19656mm2

n/a

19656mm2

26x26mm

7 across 4 rows

18928mm2

n/a

18928mm2

24x21mm*

8 across 4 rows

16128mm2

1404mm2

17532mm2

57mm round

3 across 1 rows

7651mm2

7020mm2

14671mm2

44mm round

4 across 2 rows

12158mm2

2106mm2

14264mm2

36mm round

5 across 3 rows

15260mm2

n/a

15260mm2

26mm round

7 across 4 rows

14858mm2

n/a

14858mm2

15mm round

12 across 7 rows

14836mm2

n/a

14836mm2


*You will be able to fit this many pans by laying them down this way:

how to organize pans 2

1404mm2= Four 27x13mm pans
2106mm2= Six 27x13mm pans
2808mm2= Eight 27x13mm pans
7020mm2= Twenty 27x13mm pans

Again, the 54x26 or 27x13mm pans are your best bet to get as much space out of the palette as you can. Comparing the 26mm round vs square, there's a 4070mm2 difference between the two in the amount of pan area you get. If you go with the 26mm square, you essentially get 6 more square pans of pressing space. That's a pretty huge difference!

The moral of the story is that round pans are nice looking but aren't that economical in space. I hadn't realized how space saving the 27x13mm pans were though!

Quality-wise, I was actually surprised at how sturdy the Freestyle palettes feel. The outside of the palette is a matte black and the magnet feels strong enough to hold the palette shut. It's got a clear, stiff, plastic window so you can see the colors of your pressed powders underneath. There's a magnetic bottom so a magnet isn't necessary if you've got tin pans. It's deep enough though that you should be able to put a thin magnet underneath your aluminum pans to make them fit!

A big reason why I wanted to get the Freestyle palette was because it's made out of cardboard. The MAC Palette I have that used to house my eyeshadows is made out of plastic and I got worried that on the offchance that I dropped my palette, the plastic wouldn't properly protect my eyeshadows. I'd read somewhere that the cardboard palette is better at preventing your eyeshadows from shattering when dropped because the cardboard would absorb some of the impact after falling. Is it true? I'm not sure and I don't want to find out but it makes a lot of sense to me.

I hope you find the information I presented in this post useful! I was really surprised at how many pans could fit into the different palettes and what a difference there was between using the rectangular/square pans versus the round pans. I'll be sticking to my Freestyle palettes over the other options!

I should have my troubleshooting post up soon, I'm revising my method for pressing matte eyeshadows so I have to finish that before finishing up the post. Hopefully I'll be done soon!

Disclaimer: I know I've been mentioning TKB Trading a lot, but I'm not affiliated with them at all. They probably don't know who I am, I just really like their stuff!

10 comments

  1. Great post Mai! So much good information! I couldn't agree more that the rectangle pans are the way to go when it comes to storage. In hind sight, I wish I would have bought them instead of the round pans when I got into powder pressing. And I don't have any MAC palettes for comparison, but based on the Z-Palette vs TKB Freestyle palette, I would completely agree that the TKB one is the way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was at the Makeup Show and they had the Z=Palettes on sale but I figured the TKB Freestyle Palettes might be just as good and I'm glad to read that they are!

      Delete
  2. Wow, you REALLY went in-depth! You must naturally be a very calculating person :D I admire that! Good job!!!! This is a great post. I have a small Z-Palette that I use for Urban Decay shadows before the Naked palette(s) came out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was so sad the large palettes are sold out on TKB, I went back to try and buy a second last night after I filled my first one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know :( I'm really hoping that they'll get them in sooner than expected!

      Delete
  4. I have MAC palettes and Z-palettes. What I like about the Z-palette is the ability to see the colors that I have stored in them, but that is about it. I prefer to keep the insert in my MAC palettes because I like to have my shadows spaced out (it's just more aesthetically pleasing to me), even though it's a pain to not be able to see inside the palette. I may have to label them (I think, including palettes for blushers/contours, I have about 7 or 8 total MAC palettes?).

    I *have* dropped my Z-palette before, when I had shadows in it, and unfortunately there were a few casualties. I've also dropped my MAC palettes, but haven't experienced any damage to my shadows/blushes. I don't know if it's just luck on my part, or people exaggerating on the damage they get because they want to promote a jaded perception of MAC, or something else. Maybe it's a combination of many factors, who knows!

    But I do like the MAC palettes for uniformity in storage (again, something aesthetic) although I will probably attempt pressing and will just use my Z-palettes to hold onto my pressed shadows -- which I will use square pans. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm waiting for TBK to re-stock the big palette.
    But I have never heard about Book of Shadows before, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting, I love reading every single comment and try to respond to each! Please do not leave your blog link or url in your comment. If you'd like me to check out your blog or if you have a question for me, feel free to contact me via my Contact Me tab.