Ladies, this is a big one. Despite the other depotting tutorials already out there in cyberland, in the past some readers have requested to know my method, so why not tell all of you!?!
(Warning, this post is photo-heavy.)
So here is a basic MAC eyeshadow in the normal pot:
I open the lid and shove thin tweezers between the little crack that holds the black plastic holding the pan of the shadow and the base of the pot. This will allow the black plastic pan to pop out:
Here is what it should look like with the black plastic pan holding the shadow popped out:
I then light a candle. Holding the black plastic with tweezers, I put the shadow over the flame to start melting a tiny hole in the black plastic. Be careful with this since you don't want to burn everything and end up ruining the shadow or burning yourself. I also recommend doing this by an open window because the plastic burning smell can be quite yucky.
Here you can see that the center of the black plastic has started to melt. The plastic has not melted all the way through, but it is quite soft.
I immediately take a semi-sharp object like a ball-point pen and press it on the melted spot to help push the metal eyeshadow pan out of the plastic. I try not to melt too much of the plastic, so if the shadow pan doesn't pop out right away, I try melting more plastic until I can pop the shadow pan out. Also, I usually lay a soft towel down while doing this so that when shadow pan comes out, it will hit a soft surface and not break.
The metal pan holding the shadow should start to come out of the plastic. At this point I lift the metal pan out of the plastic with my fingers.
Here is the shadow pan popped out of the plastic. The shadow is face down. Note the sticky glue on the bottom of the metal pan.
While the glue is still sticky, I like to remove the shadow label paper from the bottom of the shadow container so I can attach it to a magnet and attach the magnet to the sticky glue on the metal pan. In order to loosen the paper label, I hold the shadow container a couple inches above the candle flame for a few seconds. The heat will loosen the glue that holds the label on to the plastic container.
Once the label is a little warm, it should peel right off.
I then stick the label on a magnet.
I usually trim the magnet label in to a square that is smaller than the metal shadow pan. I have found that when I use a magnet the whole size of the metal pan the magnet is large and has so much magnetic power that it becomes hard to remove from a pallete.
Here is the final shadow pan. Pretty close to the shadow pans you can just buy from MAC, right?
Finally, I pop the little plastic piece that held the metal shadow pan back into the shadow container. Why? So I can Back-to-MAC it of course!
There it is! Hopefully you find this helpful!