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Perfect Pearls

Reported by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

I need to make a confession. Even though I’m a pretty hard-core multi-crafter, I’d never tried Perfect Pearls. Sure, I’ve used straight-up pigment powders for stamping and on polymer clay and I like those just fine. However, Perfect Pearls boasts that it has a built-in resin to help it stick to surfaces, and I thought it was high time to give them a go.

First off, I’ll say I like the “kit” factor- PP’s are packaged to give you 4 colors in a family, plus wide brush for dusting, and fine-tipped brush for watercoloring or working in small spaces. You also get a stamping square of Perfect Medium, which seems to be like a pigment stamp pad but without any pigment (kind of like a VersaMark pad, if you’ve seen those).

For my testing purposes, I decided to try stamping on different colors of paper to test the vibrancy of the pigments.

(stamp by Inkadinkadoo)

I stamped the 4 pieces of cardstock with the Perfect Medium, and then blended the blue and green colors from the “Aged Patina” color family, right on the paper. If you notice, I used both glossy and matte cardstock in white, just to see if it would stick well to the glossy.
Surprise, surprise! It stuck VERY well… and I loved how easy it was to brush off the excess. With the matte pieces of cardstock, I had to vigorously brush the excess pigment off, as it tended to cling. The good news is that even with vigorous brushing, the Perfect Medium kept the pigments right it place.


As you can see with this sample, the colors are incredibly vivid on black. Stunning! And what you can’t see is the lovely iridescent factor.

Next I stamped some waterproof ink on watercolor paper, and added some water to the Perfect Pearls to make watercolor paints. The blue and green maintained a translucency- but the gold became almost opaque (note the butterfly to the far left).

Here’s a sheet of white Premo clay that I embossed with a texture. On the left side I burnished some Perfect Pearls on with my finger. In the middle and to the right I used the big duster brush. What a great way to bring out texture in clay- and to change the color of the clay!
Same technique as above, but with black clay. Like the black paper, the result is stunning. I really like better on the dark shades than on the white!

Lastly, I had some stray powder on my watercolor paper, so I spritzed it with some water and played around with it. Again, I noticed that the gold was more opaque, while the blue, green, and silver colors were more translucent. I think I’d like this for backgrounds- and cheaper than those glimmery sprays, too.

I still want to try Perfect Pearls in Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel, but for my first day’s play with it, I’m impressed.

Here is the nitty-gritty:

Pros:

  • Comes as a kit, with everything you need to get going!
  • Color families are nicely coordinated.
  • Resin is built-in, so you don’t need to add gum arabic to make watercolor paint. Just add water!
  • That resin factor makes it really merge with polymer clay to make a durable color.
  • Multi-use makes it a good value!

Cons:

  • Can’t purchase colors individually, which means A) you’ll end up with a lot of extra paintbrushes and stamping spots and B) you can’t singly select the colors you want.
  • Kind of pricey, between $10 and $14 dollars retail.

Have you been playing with Perfect Pearls? Have a tip or technique to share? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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21 Responses to Perfect Pearls

  1. Avatar
    Melanie February 23, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    I have a set or two and never use them! But now I have the itch, lol. I do think you can create your own glimmer mist with these. Just add them to water in a tiny spray bottle. Or even mix in some alcohol inks. But then I may have the products wrong? Tim Holtz talks about it a lot.

  2. Avatar
    Scrap Jaci February 23, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    I have recently discovered the Perfect Pearls and have ordered some. Waiting for them to arrive…(toe tapping lol). You might want to check out Jennifer McGuire on you tube she has 3 videos about perfect pearls and how to use them. Here is video #1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk4tchh1VwA

    I learned a lot from them.

  3. Avatar
    rachel johnson February 23, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Really great review! I am not huge stamper or polymer clay crafter, but I would love to try these out in my paintings… hmmm.

  4. Avatar
    Debbie February 23, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    I have made several colors of mist with the pearls…I used distress ink refills…few drops…& then a little spoonful of the perfect pearls…it’s very pretty on backgrounds. I have all the colors except the patina…I see a purchase in my future!

  5. Avatar
    Karin February 23, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    You can buy them separately, I have bought several colors that way.

  6. Avatar
    Vel February 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Yep, you can definitely buy them separately. Joann.com has a bunch right now and all are on sale. Great way to get the colors you need. I love making my own mists with them.

  7. Avatar
    Sally February 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks for your review. I have not used Perfect Pearls on clay but I have used it on paper. I find is is more impressive on dark colors than on white but the bolder colors are great on white too. Most of what I have done is color in open spots of a heat embossed stamp on paper. At first I found the color brushes off if used just with perfect medium. I got a tip from somewhere to use the pigment with Futura floor wax and apply into the open spots. This works and the pigments don’t brush off after dry.

  8. Avatar
    Jenny February 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    A note from Jenny:
    In order to make the resin activate you DO need to mist it lightly with water. Just using the Perfect Medium alone is not enough to “affix” the pigments. However, once you mist with water you do NOT need to affix with a spray (like Workable Fixitive) to make the Perfect Pearls stick on permanently. Hope this helps!

  9. Avatar
    Christine February 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Great review! I actually have a few pots of these that I haven’t yet broken out. Definitely want to compare the homemade sprays of pearls and Distress Inks vs other manufactured sprays. A great place to buy them individually is at Ellen Hutson. I believe her store carries all the different colors.

  10. Avatar
    Janine February 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Great review! I love Perfect Pearls but I only have the Jewels and Metallics sets so far. Can’t say I use them for every project but lately I have been reaching for them more & more as I’m getting more comfortable with what to do with them.
    Over on YouTube, RangerInd has a great video they posted recently from CHA—Dyan Reaveley Feb 5, 2010. She shows a technique using a stencil with the Perfect Medium cube and Perfect Pearls. The results are stunning.
    Thanks for the review and showing us how you’ve used PP!!

  11. Avatar
    Clare February 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    This is a very interesting review. I haven’t used Perfect Pearls on Polymer clay before, so I will give this a try.
    I buy Perfect Pearls in individual pots rather than in the sets.

  12. Avatar
    Cherie February 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Seems like all of you have had pretty good results. I’m wondering if my perfect medium is old as it just sort of globs on the paint brush. I’m going to give it another try. Tks!

  13. Avatar
    Fun Mama - Deanna February 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    I’ve had Perfect Pearls for years, and used them for a while. I had kind of forgotten about them. Thanks for the reminder!

  14. Avatar
    Elaine A February 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Jenny –

    Perfect Pearls can be bought individually, just do a search on “Perfect Pearls Open Stock”. In addition, it you take a Ranger Mini Mister and just a small bit of the Perfect Pearls, some water and shake, you will get a lovely glimmer on your paper. If you want colors, add some reinker drops to the water and you have your own homemade Glimmer Mist.

    Elaine Allen

  15. Avatar
    Greta Adams February 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    here’s a quick tip..don’t rub your PP medium on the sides of paper because you will eat up that pad in a new york minute and then you have ruined it…i wanted to dust the edges of my paper and that was not a bright idea to do with the medium

  16. Avatar
    Jeannie February 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    I found how to make glimmer mist with PP on Splitcoaststampers. I made six different colors of glimmer mist with PP, rubbing alcohol, gum arabic and some water and the results were awesome! I, too had purchased PP and there they sat for the longest time. Thanks for mentioning the ability to buy individual colors. PP is so versatile and I appreciate all the crafts you tried with it.

  17. Avatar
    Chris K February 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Love my perfect pearls and they are available as single colors. My LSS stocks them both ways.

  18. Avatar
    Rachel February 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    There’s also a black Perfect Medium which gives you all the pop of using it on black paper, but you can use it on white or pastel paper. I teach a whole 3 hour class on these fabulous powders; they’re so versatile!

  19. Avatar
    DeborahD February 23, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    I have also used Perfect Pearls most recently with water or alcohol to spritz on projects. I have purchased them separately at Marco’s (www.marcopaper.com). They really add that little something that gives the WOW! factor.

  20. Avatar
    paperqueen February 24, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    I love them and have a ton! I especially like using them, as others have mentioned, to make my own glimmer mist. The results are limitless, depending on the color reinker and PP you use.
    Oh, and you don’t use alcohol inks…my understanding is that you don’t want to spray them (something about toxicity!)
    Eileen

  21. Avatar
    Deb in Texas March 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Pricy but you can use a 40% or 50% off coupon at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or Joanns to off-set the expense.