Monday, May 16, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: How to Depot Shadows and Blushes

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!


  1. I have to say this is the least dangerous looking depotting tutorial that I have found so far! :D

  2. I use a straightening iron. I prefer it, because it doesn't involve an open flame. xP

  3. @Ki Yay! Glad you found this to be useful!

    @VijiiS How do you heat plastic with your straightening iron? By holding the shadow pan near the iron or actually touching it?

  4. Awesome tip! I have some shadows that need depoting. I have tried some of the other tutorials and ended up messing up some of the eyeshadows. I can't wait to try this out.

  5. @Kajal For the straightening iron, you put the shadow on the iron for about 30 seconds and remove it. Misschievous has a tutorial about depotting via straightening iron (which by the way, guess what I finally got? Yep, a straightening iron. I know, I know, I have straight hair...but did you know I have a teensy weensy wave? I got one when I went to the Ulta VIP event and the hairdresser showed me how to straighten my hair. Yes, the clumsy Autistic kid has an object that gets lethally hot. Be afraid, be very afraid.)

    What sort of palette do you put your depotted shadows in?

  6. This seems like a really easy, effective, "LETS NOT BURN DOWN THE HOUSE" depotting tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing! We just found your blog via Makeup & Beauty Blog, so we'll now be following. :)

    We'd love for you to pay us a visit sometime too & please drop us a comment! So nice to "meet" you!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  7. I depotted Rani but unfortunately I broke it a bit too :( which is a shame since it is an AWESOME eyeshadow :( Wish you wrote this tutorial before..I use the straightner method.

  8. @Katie Thanks for the tip! I will try that next time!

    @Jayme and Mendi Thank you dolls! I will def check out your site!!!

    @Adorable Boo!! Did you manage to save the broken bits? You can compress broken shadow back into a pan using alcohol!! At least you can try my method next time!

  9. @Kajal- You don't want to trust me on the time (I don't depot). Definitely check out Misschievous' tutorial.

    What kind of palette do you use to put in your depotted eyeshadows though?

  10. I use MAC palettes. I usually depot MAC shadows so use a MAC palette. If it is other than MAC, I have a MAC palette where I have taken out the shadow dividers, so I can put any size shadow or blush in there.

  11. Its not badly broken, a few flakes from the side came off. I don't want to use the alcohol method because it changes the texture of the eyeshadow. Mickey needs to come up with a newer collection soon :P

  12. Very very helpful!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing!

  13. hi my first coment here...very nice blog...and excellent tutirial...just tellme where to find that sheet of magnetic lable??



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