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One of my favorite things to do, before I go to bed, or if I’m not feeling well and need to lie down, is to peruse beauty blogs and forums at random on my iPad. I had come across “de-potting” info before, but I really fell down the rabbit hole, so to speak, a few weeks ago and did quite a bit of reading up on the process.

What is de-potting makeup, you ask? According to Wiki Answers, “It means to take the product, an eye shadow, for example, out of the container it came in and put it into a palette along with other eye shadows to save space.”

Now, I don’t have a TON of make-up, but it always seems like I can’t remember what I have. I tend to do the same type of make-up looks over and over and buy the same shades of make-up, because I forget that I have a bright purple shadow way in the back of my drawer, etc. De-potting the shadows that I do have was appealing to me – one, because I’m in the middle of a no-buy month and putting together a “new” palette seemed like shopping without actually doing the shopping. And two, I’m massively OCD and having everything all lined up and ready to go in one spot was just too appealing to pass up.

I would advise doing a lot of reading up before you dive into a project like this. I found great resources on various beauty blogs and also in the MUT forums. You can google any combination of “depotting”, “makeup”, “palette”, “beauty blog” and should be able to come up with quite a lot of reading material. Here are a few of the blogs that I came across that were super helpful (thanks, ladies!):
Peace, Love And Glitter
Pretty Gossip
Enjoyer of Grace
Funny Face Beauty (she has a whole series on de-potting!)
What Is A Bailey

Armed with this vast amount of knowledge, I embarked on my de-potting journey on a cozy Friday night at home, with plenty of “What Not To Wear” and “International House Hunters” on the DVR. Consider that Helpful Hint Number One, actually: set aside time for this project! This is a slooow, tedious (yet enjoyable! to me, anyways) undertaking. This is not something you want to try and squeeze into a busy weekend or do quickly before a night out.

First, gather your de-potting materials:
Depot_1This picture doesn’t show it all (because I’m not a helpful beauty blogger like that!), but I used the following:

Rubbing alcohol – to clean the bottom of the makeup pans
Narrow metal tool – I used the file on an old pair of nail clippers
Small metal container – this is what your new palette will be housed in. I found the cute black & white one pictured above at Michael’s – its original intent was as a gift card holder, but it is the perfect size for a palette.
Cotton balls, q tips, paper towels – this is messy, yo.
Magnetic adhesive tape – I found this at MIchael’s as well – the roll pictured above was $1.99.
Palettes to disassemble – I took apart an old Tarte palette (big black bulky one in pic), an old Stila palette, a MAC single eyeshadow, a Cover Girl single eyeshadow, three Lancome single eyeshadows, and an old Revlon creme eyeshadow quad. I also had a cheap-o eyeshadow palette that I bought for $0.79 at Walgreens. This was invaluable, as it was my practice palette and allowed me to get the hang of the process. I *tried* to depot the NYC palette pictured above, to no avail.
Small candle – fire! I’ll explain later.
Scissors – they come in handy for cutting up cardboard palettes to get to the “goods” and various and sundry other tasks.

Every palette/container is different, but the main gist of this is using your metal tool to pry the pan of makeup out of the container. Oftentimes there is glue on the bottom of the pan, so you’ll want to work slowly to avoid ruining the pan or breaking the shadow. There are various heat methods (flat iron, candle, etc) that you can use at this stage to melt the glue and make the process easier.

I approached each container differently – you kind of get a feel for what will or won’t work for each one after awhile. I failed spectacularly at first, cracking eyeshadow all over the place.

Depot_2This was my cheap-o palette, so no big deal. It gave me a good idea of how to approach de-potting, so for 79 cents, that was worth it.

More to follow – I have so many pictures and things to say, this will be a three-part series. Look for my next post on Friday of next week.

Cheers – and happy de-potting!