January 18th, 2013

Angela Hix

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DIY: How to Fix Broken Eyeshadows

DIY: How to Fix Broken Eyeshadows


You dropped your favorite eye shadow and it shattered….

We pay top dollar for our makeup and there is nothing worse than dropping your eyeshadows and having it crack or break.
If this has happened to you, DON’T TOSS IT! In most situations it can be salvaged and saved, unless of course it shattered around your toilet or on something completely unsanitary (if it was dropped in someplace unsanitary, you’re gonna have to chuck it). If not though, try this easy DIY at home and attempt to save as much as you can!

***NOTE: you can use this very same method with broken bronzer, blush, compacts, almost anything that’s in powder form. You can also use this method for pressing your own pigments!! You’ll just need empty eyeshadow pans and magnets for the back if you’ll be popping these into your MAC pro pallets.

What You’ll Need:

– a clean towel or sanitized counter top
– rubbing alcohol (preferably 70% or higher. I use 99% to disinfect my brushes so I use it for everything. It dries faster too!)
people have a hard time finding 90% or higher, just ask your pharmacist at your local drug store for it. I buy them by the Litres and they keep those behind the counter.

– a small spoon (i used a 1/4 teaspoon) and makeup spatula (look to the next pic for something more around the house!)

– you can use the end of a tea spoon or table knife if you don’t have a makeup spatula


– something small to mix the shadows in (I used a shot glass – you’ll need 2), a quarter and a piece of fabric (like a cut up tshirt) or pantyhose (hello dollar store!)

– a clock or timer
– your broken shadows

 What to Do!

Ok, so you’ve gathered all of your supplies and it’s time to get to it!

1. Grab your rubbing alcohol, dish and quarter. You’re going to sanitize the quarter by dropping it into the empty dish and soaking it with about 2-3 tsp of rubbing alcohol. This way if you do happen to touch it it’ll be sanitized.

2. Let this stand off to the side for about 10 minutes. In the mean time you can carry on to the next step.

3. Grab your broken shadow and your second small dish or shot glass. Make sure the dish is sanitized with a couple drops of rubbing alcohol.

4. Take your makeup spatula or the back of a butter knife or end of a spoon, whatever your tool of choice is, and scrape the broken shadow into the clean and sanitized shot glass or dish. While scrapping you’re going to want to crush up the shadow even more so. I know! Why on earth would we crush it up and break it even more, trust me. You’ll need to do this in order for it to adhere better. Just stick with me on this….

5. Take your small spoon (a 1/4 tsp in the picture below) and pour about half the size (so about 1/8  tsp) of rubbing alcohol into the crushed eye shadow.

6. Take your mixing tool and mix the alcohol and eye shadow together. It should form into almost a paste like substance.

7. Use your small spoon again and put a drop of alcohol into the empty pan or container the eye shadow was in originally. This both gives the paste something to adhere to when you re deposit it into the pan as well as gives it a good sanitization.

8. Swirl the alcohol around so it reaches all edges of the pan. Don’t worry if it evaporates or spills out.

9. Mix the paste to one side of the glass so you can scoop it out easier. (The picture below shows what I mean by paste)

10. Scoop the mixture out and back into the pan or original container.

11. Smooth out the mixture as best you can. Pick it up and tap the container or pan on the table or a hard surface. This will help to get any air bubbles out of the paste and make it reach all the way to the bottom and every corner.

12. Now let it air dry for a little bit. I usually let it air dry for about half an hour or less, where I use 99% alcohol. I also use a tiny bit in my mixture so it’s not overly liquidey. This makes my drying time very minimal.

13. Next, get your sanitized quarter and piece of fabric. Place the quarter in the centre of the fabric and twist the fabric around the quarter so it’s nice and tight.

14. Take the quarter wrapped in fabric and place on top of your eyeshadow mixture while still holding the fabric tightly, press the quarter and fabric into the mixture. Be tight, but not too hard as you don’t want the mixture to spill out over the sides, but tight enough that it will press some of the alcohol out of the mixture and into the fabric.

15. When you remove the quarter and fabric, there should be an indentation into the mixture of the fabric pattern.

16. Now I usually let it air dry again over night, but you’ll just want to ensure it’s dry all the way through. Again this is another reason I use 99% alcohol. Fast drying time. I’m pretty much guaranteed able to use it in the morning.

17. After all is said and done, just pop it into your makeup collection! In this case it went back into the pro pallet I did for my friend. I also did the entire pallet execept 1. lol. One too many drops.

So remember what the pallet looked like at the beginning of this post?

Here it is all finished and freshly re-pressed!

That’s all there is to it!
It’s pretty simple.

If you were to do this for a bronzer or blush with a much larger surface, you’d still use the same method but you could easily also crush up the powder more just within the actual pan itself (place it in a zip lock baggy to make it less messy and easier to control) and just mix in a little rubbing alcohol.
You’d still use the sanitized quarter and fabric but you’d just press around liberally all over the larger surface.

I hope this helps everyone out. It’s a great money saving technique!
So give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!

Until next time.