I’ve had a small box of makeup set aside for a de-potting project, and I finally got around to buying a few small tools to help me with the job. It’s my first time breaking open my stuff, but I had a few products that I was eager to put in magnetic palettes in order to help me use the shades inside more often.
I didn’t get through all of my makeup that I had set aside for de-potting, but I did get through my favorite stuff that I’ve been wanting to have on hand the most. The stuff I bought and/or gathered for the task include:
– A hair straightener for warming up the glue on the bottom of the pans
– A cosmetic spatula to help pry the pans from the palettes; I bought this one from Amazon (other household tools could do the job, but I thought the spatula was really handy)
– A sharp pair of scissors to help break down cardboard palettes
– A bottle of goo remover to get rid of adhesive residue; I bought Goo Gone from Amazon
– Isopropyl alcohol to re-press shadows that may have broken as well as clean off any oily residue the goo remover leaves behind
– Metal stickers to magnetize aluminum pans (tin pans will stick to magnetic palettes on their own); I bought the Z Palette rectangular metal stickers from Amazon
– A little dropper for the alcohol
– Some white labels to stick to the bottom of the pans
– A fine point Sharpie
– Magnetic palettes to put my newly de-potted products; I purchased mine from Another Soul on Etsy (see my review)
I already had the alcohol, dropper, labels, Sharpie, and palettes from when I pressed my loose shadows. My tiny rectangular labels ended up being the perfect size for the smallest pans that I de-potted today, so I lucked out with those. I also think that the rectangular magnetized stickers are preferable to the circles if you think you’ll need them for any other size besides 26mm circular pans, I just think they’re a little more flexible.
Anyways, one thing I realized was that de-potting is quite a bit of work, and after finishing with my first attempt it gave me a new level of scrutiny for which products deserve the effort. The first pan I de-potted was a Nyx blush, and then I ended up tossing it when I was annoyed with how stubborn the glue was on the back of it. Ultimately I found myself falling out of love with the shade the longer it took to free it from the compact, and I don’t need to be hoarding pans just because.
The other products I focused on ended up being cardboard packaging. That was an accident, they just happened to be the things I was most excited about freeing up. The next thing I tried was my BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic palette (review), but after removing one of the shadows I tested it in a palette and found that the baked dome made it too tall for my standard magnetic palette. I knew that was a possibility but wasn’t sure, so I had held off from buying a deep palette made to accommodate baked products until I could confirm.
Ok so the palettes that I DID end up successfully de-potting this time around were:
My number 1 palette for de-potting had to be this 2012 holiday collection from Too Faced called Sweet Indulgences. I really enjoy the stuff inside (and there’s a lot – 16 shadows, 2 bronzers, 2 blushes, 1 highlight), but it’s in this massive tin and is formatted in two layers of cardboard that literally just sit on top of each other. It takes up a ridiculous amount of storage and counter space, and it’s by far my least practical makeup item I’ve kept around in my collection. All the Sweet Indulgences pans were magnetic, so they stuck in the palettes without any additional help.
The 1028 Visual Therapy Brownie Eyes palette is a Taiwanese product that I enjoy (and reviewed here), and when I started pressing my colorful loose indie shadows I knew that these neutrals would be great additions to my DIY palettes. The empty tin case is kind of cute so I’m keeping it around for the moment, too. These pans required the metal stickers for magnetization.
Lorac Uptown Allure is a slim little palette that was a Nordstrom Rack exclusive (I think?) back in 2013. I reviewed it back in the early days of the blog. I ended up choosing to de-pot this because, again, those neutral shades will be great to pair with my more colorful pressed shadows. I ended up just freeing up the first, third, and fifth shadows and leaving behind the other two, just based on what will be the most useful for me. These pans required the metal stickers for magnetization.
I went back and forth about the Urban Decay Ammo palette because I didn’t want to accidentally break any of these shadows and the packaging is nice enough, but ultimately I never reached for this palette because I had trouble creating looks with it. While I like all of the individual shades, I don’t feel like they coordinate all that well with each other, so ultimately I figured they’d get more use if I was able to move them around. These pans were magnetic.
In terms of process, that 1028 Visual Therapy palette was crazy easy to de-pot. The plastic insert popped out of the tin, and then the plastic was so flexible that I could basically pop the shadows out just by carefully pressing them from behind. The Lorac palette was also quite easy, as the whole front section of the cardboard came right up. The shadows just needed to be carefully pried from the base.
The others were larger cardboard palettes, and my process was to basically take the cardboard layers apart as much as I could before then trying to gently press or pry the shadows out. Ultimately, my personal take is that the hair straightener is only really necessary for plastic packaging. I didn’t reach for it at all for the cardboard palettes.
It takes patience and care more than brute strength or problem solving, and I was a little surprised by how long it would take me to pull apart the cardboard construction (though it got a little quicker with each one I tackled). I had 2 cracked shadow situations. The first was that pan from my Galaxy Chic palette, as baked shadows are typically quite soft and at one point a big chunk of the shadow just popped out of the pan. I basically tried to re-press it very gently with a few drops of alcohol placed between the leftover shadow in the pan and the chunk that fell out. I’m not positive whether that will hold up in the long term, but I’m satisfied with the repair for the moment, at least.
Also, when prying one of the Too Faced shadows, I got a little crack through it that worried me. So I ended up gently shaving some of the top layer, wetting with a few drops of alcohol, and then pressing with a paper towel. Still, more of a quick-fix than a full re-pressing, but it seems to be in good shape now.
I’m so pleased to have all of these products freed up. I’ll be spreading the neutrals around between my different DIY magnetic palettes, and then probably keeping all of those Too Faced shadows together as they really do work well as a cohesive palette. The Sweet Indulgences breakdown also marks the first time I have face products to add to my magnetic palettes, which is great.
Have you tackled this kind of project before? I’d be curious to hear what your favorite products that you’ve de-potted are, or if you have any tricks.