Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to: Salvage powdered makeup

Oh pinterest, how I love thee...

I have a train case full of make-up, mostly thanks to my days of working in an office..and not just any office, but for a Doctor that was triple boarded...One of his boards being a plastic & reconstructive surgeon. It was important to look the part for our cosmetic patients, so when I started working for the Doctor, my make-up repetoire turned from basic mascara (on a good day)to the works. It wasn't mandatory, but I just felt like I fit the part a bit better with a bit more make-up on...and my stash of make-up grew. I am like-so-in-love-with-Sephora now, I could spend an entire paycheck there if I wasn't so cheap.

Anyways, back to my train case full of make-up. A while back, I dropped my entire case. Most of my makeup survived, but a few of my favorite MAC shadows broke into small pieces, and I have been scared to open them for fear of losing all of their glittery goodness on my vanity counter. Sometimes I get brave and try to dab a little bit of the shattered powder onto a brush, but to be honest, more ends up on the floor or counter than on the brush. It's maddening...yet, I won't throw them away or buy replacements...why?? Because again, I'm cheap.

And am I ever thankful I held out and kept those powdered shadows. Pinterest came to my rescue last night, and resurrected my two favorite MAC shadows. Hallelujah!

How'd it happen?

Here's how:

  • carefully open broken powder compact ( works for any powder, including foundation, bronzers, shadows, etc)
  • drop a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol ( mine was 70%) into your compact
  • You'll see the powder start to soak up the alcohol
  • Use a clean finger or the back of a spoon to mix the powder/alcohol until it makes a paste
  • spread evenly throughout your compact
  • leave open to dry out overnight ( the alcohol evaporates quickly). 12 hours later, and mine was dried out and ready for use.

    And that's it. It may look ugly, but it works!

Here's the pinterest tutorial link I followed....
Happy salvaging!


  1. what a great trick! thank you, i was just last week wondering what i was going to do about one of my gold shadows. gotta love pinterest!

  2. You know that with MAC if you turn in 6 empty/used makeup cases (any of them, eye shadow, lipgloss, concealor...) you can get a free eyeshadow. If you go to a MAC counter in a department store you can get a free lipgloss or lipstick for the 6 cases, but if you go to a free standing MAC store, you can exchange the 6 used cases for either a lipgloss, lipstick or eyeshadow. I almost always get the shadow =)

  3. (the above comment is from your cousin Laura Z =D)

  4. That is genious! Thanks for sharing I have sooooo many broken powders that I love too much to toss. Thanks for sharing :)

    Katie - For the Record

  5. ooh Laura, I thought it was an urban myth (= How exciting that it's actually true! i have 2 empties right now, so I will surely save them and turn them in once I have 6. yay!

  6. It's funny that you did a make-up post and mentioned Sephora in it...

    So here is a random question: Have you ever used them for make-up tips or anything? I'm make-up ignorant (mom never taught me how to apply, what is best to use, or how to choose colors...) and I typically don't wear anything. Post-pregnancy hormones have wreaked havoc on my face, so I am going to have to invest and I was going to go to Sephora.

    Any favorites for make-up or recommendations?

  7. Danae, I'm not a makeup whiz or anything, and I've only had my makeup done at MAC which, at the time was super intimidating and embarrassing ( the girls that work at our MAC are more pieces of art, than the day-to-day makeup types). Every time I have gone to sephoraCom, it's been a comfortable experience, and the thing I like best is that there are multiple brands to choose from. An experienced consultant should be able to help you choose makeup that works for your skin type, lifestyle, and level of comfort. I prefer bare minerals foundation, however, pregnancy is also brining on dry skin and the lovely "mask", and the bare minerals isn't covering as well with this new complexion. I also love NARS brand and makeup forever. Good luck and don't be scared!