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How to De-Pot MAC Eyeshadows and Blushes

Many people prefer having an eyeshadow palette so they can see all their shadows at once and keep them organized and in one place. Depotting MAC eyeshadows will allow you to create your own customized eyeshadow palette. Even better, you can return the empty shadow pots to MAC to get a free lipstick once you accumulate six of them under their Back to MAC recycling program. The same de-potting process can also be used on MAC powder blushes.

Taking the shadow pans out of the black pots that case them can be a bit tricky at first, but it’s quite simple once you get the hang of it. The hardest part is not breaking or shattering the shadow itself, but this is easy enough to avoid if you work slowly with a soft towel underneath to cushion any accidental falls. There are many different methods to depot MAC Cosmetics shadows. Many people use a flame to melt the plastic on the bottom of the pot but this can be downright dangerous. Some people use an iron, which is an improvement on the flame method. However, I find that the easiest and least risky method is using a hair straightening iron.

To get started, you only need a few items that most people already have on hand. You will need a sharp knife, a bit of wax paper, a soft towel, and a flat iron. You can use any type of flat iron as long as the plates are flat. Finally, if you are super organized, you might want to get some round sticky labels so you can label your shadows. The ¾ inch size works well on MAC shadow pans.

Color Week: Purple Eyes
Creative Commons License photo credit: wine me up

1. Lay the towel down on your working space to avoid any eyeshadow breakage disasters.

2. Open up the shadow pot and look for the line near the clasp where the shroud for the pan sits in the pot. Insert the knife into this line and gently wiggle it back and forth until you are able to pop out the shroud. You may be surprised at how easily the shroud pops out so work over the towel just in case! Set the pot aside and use it for Back to MAC.

3. Turn on your flat iron and rest it on one side, so that one of the plates is facing up and the other is facing down. Cut a piece of wax paper about four inches by four inches and place it on the plate that is facing up.

4. Set the shroud on top of the waxed paper, ensuring that it is positioned over the plate of the flat iron. You should leave it on top of there for several minutes so the heat can melt the bottom of the shroud and the glue a bit. How long this takes depends on your iron, but around five minutes should do the trick. Carefully check the bottom of the shroud and look for an indent in the middle. This signifies that it’s ready for the next step.

5. Stick your knife into the melted indent on the bottom of the shroud and push up gently. The plastic should be soft and the knife should slide right in. The pan should lift out easily. If not, let it cook a little more on the flat iron. You don’t want to push it out all the way- just lift it out a little.

6. Turn the shroud over and place the blade of your knife underneath the pan. Use the blade to lift the pan out and set it on the towel to cool. The metal of the pan will be extremely hot so don’t touch it! Once it cools, it’s ready to be placed into your palette. You can use cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to remove any extra glue that remains stuck to the pan. You can also attach a magnet or sticker if desired.

Now you’re all set to create your own custom MAC eyeshadow palettes!


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