How to Fix Broken Eyeshadow
With eye makeup becoming a staple of our facemask makeup routines, broken eyeshadow palettes can be a major annoyance (especially if it was on the more expensive side). But don’t let it put a dent in your day: here are some tips on how to fix broken eyeshadow that will save you time, money and wasted product.
How to Fix Broken Eyeshadow
While the tools and ingredients you need may vary depending on the method used, most of them require a plastic bag (ideally something like a transparent freezer bag) in which to crush the product. Pulverising your already-broken makeup into smithereens might seem strange - but don’t worry, it will all make sense. Here’s how:
- Scrape out the eyeshadow into the bag, and - here’s the important bit - tip the entire product to the bottom, lying the bag flat.
- Smooth out the rest of the bag so there’s no air in the top part - you’re going to crush the eyeshadow inside the bag, so any air in there could cause the bag to pop, leaving you with a face full of eyeshadow - not a good look!
- Close the bag by tying it, or by using a plastic clip (avoid using the self-seal part if it’s a freezer bag as it may not remain closed for the next step).
- Next, use the back of a spoon to gently crush the eyeshadow in a circular motion, taking care not to break the bag. Keep going until your eyeshadow has a fine, powdery consistency.
We’ll start with the easiest method of all: for this you’ll need to follow the steps as above - and have a small jar or secure container to tip your product into. Broken eyeshadow can be turned into loose eyeshadow, or even loose pigment to be used on the rest of the face, depending on what shade you’re working with. While not as portable as pressed powders, the benefit to using loose formulas is that you have a little more control over how subtle or strong you want your look to be. Not only that - but you can also have fun mixing and matching powder formulas - combining colours or adding shimmer to give added dimension.
A lesser-known (but equally fun) way to save your broken eyeshadow is by turning it into lipstick. While it’s true most of the focus on faces has shifted to our eyes in recent times (we’ve got facemask makeup to thank for that) - face makeup overall has shifted towards the more experimental throughout the pandemic as a creative method of self-care and expression - meaning a shift away from traditional pinks and reds to shades from across the entire rainbow - so if your eyeshadow was blue, green, or even silver - don’t pout, turn it into a lipstick! You can do this by combining the powdered eyeshadow with an existing lipstick to mix colours, as this beauty blogger does here, or combine it with a lipbalm in a microwaveable bowl by gently heating it to a liquid formula. Mwah! Beautiful.
The Quick Fix
If you’re particularly clumsy you might consider having a dedicated makeup repair kit on standby for those “uh-oh” moments (yes, they really do exist!). These handy-dandy kits contain everything you need to put your crumbled eyeshadow back together: a container to blend your broken shadow in, a makeup press, a pick and scraper, eyeshadow pans and a binding spray - but if this isn’t available to you, you can always just…
Smash and Smush
This is by far the least attractively named - but possibly most cost-effective method. Binding sprays in makeup repair kits tend to be a combination of silicone and alcohol. While silicones are used in makeup to create a smooth consistency, the purity of alcohol helps to act as a binding agent without messing up the formulation of your eyeshadow too much - you want it to be usable after it’s fixed.
Of course, if you’re averse to using alcohol for any reason you can opt for water as a binding agent - it just might not be as effective at keeping everything in one piece. If you do use alcohol, opt for a couple of drops of hand sanitizer. In a pinch, you can use vodka, but save the pinot grigio (it’ll just smell strange and make your eyelids sticky). Gently smash up your eyeshadow as previously, and smush it (that’s the technical term) back into the empty pan with something firm that’s just smaller than the pan itself - like a large metal spoon. A word of warning: be very gentle (you don’t want to break it again!).
Break the Mold
One of the main problems with smashing your eyeshadow - especially if it was a pretty one - is the aesthetic value that gets lost. Even if it wears down over time, a particularly pretty product - one that is presented or packaged in a certain way - is infinitely more enjoyable to use than something you’ve obviously cobbled back together with your own fair hands. This is where eyeshadow molds come in - silicone shapers that can give your makeup new life. Alternatively, you can also decant your product into a little vintage compact - the old-style compacts have history, beauty and are - more to the point - far more durable than modern plastic designs. Seek these out at vintage fairs, Etsy, Ebay and anywhere else that sells antique or vintage items.
Broken eyeshadow happens - but it’s not the end of the world - nor is the end of your eyeshadow. Of course, you might not ever be able to restore it to it’s former glory - once you bind an eyeshadow back together it may still be fragile - and might not work in exactly the same way as before - but try experimenting with different methods to see what works best for you. Either way, broken eye shadow can still be given a new lease of life - whether as a prettily pressed shadow, a colourful loose pigment or a striking custom lip colour of your very own.