I can't even begin to count how many broken eye shadows & blushes I've thrown out over the years.
It must be thousands of dollars worth of makeup that just went right down the drain because I didn't know this easy way to fix broken makeup that will have any powdered makeup looking good as new in under a minute!
So you've gone and broken your favorite blush or dropped your Holy Grail eye shadow palette which was discontinued and now you're convinced the world is over and you're doomed to live the rest of your days without it....Don't Panic!!!
There IS an easy fix that will take under 2 minutes of effort and all you need is:
- your broken pressed eye shadow or blush
- rubbing alcohol (90% is the fastest, but you can use any concentration level)
- a small flat surface that will fit into the pan of the broken makeup (some people use a coin but I usually use a 2L soda cap because I can grab the edges easily with my stubby digits.)
Step One: Prepare everything-
Get your broken makeup, presser, and rubbing alcohol all in one place
Step Two: Get it Drunk-
Start by dropping a few drops of rubbing alcohol on your broken powder. You should apply generously but don't go crazy. After a few drops, you should start to see your eye shadow or blush appearing to dissolve which looks frightening-but don't worry.
Step Three: Press your powder-
Using your clean "presser", gently press & roll your powder into the bottom of the pan.
Note: If the presser is getting wet when you push on the powder then you applied too much alcohol. Set the broken powder aside and let the excess alcohol evaporate for about 10 minutes (until the powder is damp)
Step Four: Leave it alone-
Let the alcohol evapoate. Be sure to keep the compact or palette open so that air can get to the powder. You may notice excess powder on the sides or the occasional air bubble as the powder dries; if you do, just gently press it back into place.
**Optional Step: Press a Pattern**
If you have a ridged or grooved surface (again, I recruit a 2L bottle cap but I use the sides) you can gently roll the powder when it's about 90% dry in a criss-cross pattern. I find that this helps to remove any excess air bubbles in a gentle manner that doesn't disturb the rest of the pan. (It's also helpful if you have OCD and want the powder to be perfectly flat.)
Tip #1: I often will thoroughly
saturate my powder with alcohol and then just gently "swirl" the pan itself. This redistributes all of the particles of loose powder, but you will have to wait longer for all of the alcohol to dry most of the way. Once it's time to press it'll be much easier and you'll basically just have to push out any air trapped between the powder instead of rearranging the powder itself.
Tip #2: You may find that you need to repeat the process if you really smashed your makeup, you're working with a larger pan, or you really want the powder to appear absolutely perfect!!!
Why can't I just use my broken makeup as loose powder?
Theoretically, you can.....but....
First, it's important to understand how makeup in pressed powder form differs from makeup in loose powder (or broken) form. For the most part, there isn't much of a difference except that loose powder is loose and pressed powder is pressed into a compact, but there is a difference in how these types of powder makeup performs.
If you've ever broken a pressed powder eye shadow or blush, you may have considered keeping it and using it as a loose powder; and if you did try using a pressed powder as a loose powder you probably know that it's a totally different animal!
Pressed powder makeup is designed to be extremely pigmented and concentrated so that it's still effective when you use a brush or sponge and pick up a trivial amount of product. When this pressed powder is suddenly "released" and becomes loose, you're almost guaranteed to over-apply because you no longer have the compacted powder "holding in" the pigment. (Does that make sense? It's hard to explain if you haven't experienced it.)
Does this only work with cheap makeup?
Nope- it doesn't matter if you spent $2 or $200 on your powder compact. All powders will work equally well since they all have the same basic ingredients and they all go through a similar process when they get pressed by the manufacturer!
The only exception, would be if you have a powder that is formulated with emollients or moisturizing properties. Because alcohol is a solvent, you'll want to use as little as possible so that you don't dissolve the fatty emollients.
***Note: These powders are extremely uncommon.***