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Your Guide to Depotting Eyeshadow

September 11, 2020

If you’re someone who constantly watches makeup tutorials online and has a plethora of makeup gurus circulating their Instagram feed, you’ve popular heard about depotting eyeshadow. This useful skill can make achieving your ideal makeup look that much easier—not to mention it leaves you with an eyeshadow palette that no one else has. Ahead, find your guide to all things depotting eyeshadow, including what it is and an eyeshadow depotting tutorial you can follow along with at home.

What Is Depotting Eyeshadow?

Let’s back up for a sec—what is eyeshadow depotting? When you get an eyeshadow palette, or single eyeshadow, each shade is in its own pan that’s inside a pot—aka container. Depotting involves removing each individual pan, then transferring them to alternate packaging.

Should You Depot Your Eyeshadow?

Depotting eyeshadow is useful for a few key reasons.

Depot your eyeshadow if…you want a more travel-friendly option. Sometimes, eyeshadow palettes (and even single shadows) can be bulky and designed for the aesthetic, rather than convenience. If you find your eyeshadow takes up too much space or isn’t as durable as you’d like it to be, depotting eyeshadow can let you transfer your favorite shades into more compact, hardy packaging.

Depot your eyeshadow if…you’ve “hit pan” on a few shades; this means you can see the bottom of the pan because you’ve used a significant amount of eyeshadow. Whether you still have some shadow left to use or you’ve completely run out, depotting eyeshadow lets you transfer new or barely used shades into their own palette. This way, you won’t have to carry around a full palette that’s actually partially empty.

Depot your eyeshadow if…you want to create a custom palette. Let’s be honest—there are usually a few shades in a palette you hardly touch. Not to mention, shades you constantly find yourself reaching for. Arguably one of the most enticing reasons to depot eyeshadow is that you can create one power palette with only your favorite hues. You can even take colors from different brands with different formulas and combine them into your very own custom makeup palette.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Depotting Eyeshadow

If you want to give depotting eyeshadow a go, follow the steps below.

Step #1. Heat It Up

Typically, eyeshadow pans are glued into their packaging. Start by melting this glue so the pan can easily be removed. To do this, you can use your blow-dryer to warm the container or even place it over a hot hair straightener. Just make sure your eyeshadow container isn’t flammable and that there are no flammable objects nearby.

Step #2. Carve It Out

Next, remove the pan from its container. An easy way to do this is with a sharp object, like an exacto knife. Alternatively, if the pan has already been loosened, you can use a pair of tweezers to remove it from the pot. If you’re having a difficult time removing the pan, you may have to heat the area more so the glue can loosen further.

Editor’s tip: The first time you try depotting eyeshadow, practice with a shade you don’t care about. This way, if it breaks in the process, it won’t be a devastating loss. That said, if your eyeshadow does crack or break, here’s How to Fix Broken Eyeshadow and Other Powder Makeup.

Step #3. Re-Pot Your Eyeshadow

After you’ve depotted your shades, it’s time to add them to their new home. We’re fans of creating a magnetic eyeshadow palette. To do so, you’ll need an empty metal palette and magnetic strips or stickers. Apply a magnet to the back of each eyeshadow pan and label the color. Then, pop them into your palette one by one. Alternatively, you can get creative with your DIY palette by placing your eyeshadow pans in an old CD case or even a crayon box.

Next up: If you love the idea of creating a custom makeup palette, we have another article you’ll want to read ASAP. Here’s How to Curate the Perfect Lip Palette.

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