Monday, July 30, 2012

'Cause Duct Tape Was Too Sticky: DIY Eye Shadow Repair

I'm a klutz, pure and simple. I've fallen down stairs so many times I've lost count, and once, the stairs fell out from underneath me. Folks, that takes talent. I am so accident-prone, I've elevated it to an artform. 

Because I have a tendency to drop, throw, and generally mangle objects, I've had to learn how to either deal with or repair the end results. Over the weekend, I learned how to salvage broken eye shadows, and I thought some of you might be interested. I like to think that the world is full of other klutzy people, too.

Left: Cranberry. Right: Woodwinked.
Here are two of my favorite MAC eyeshadows, Cranberry and Woodwinked. Woodwinked has been broken practically since I bought it ages ago, and Cranberry bit the dust a few months back. Both have become increasingly difficult to use, and I was considering replacing them. The thing is, both are still full of product, and it seems like a waste of money to repurchase something that you still kind of have.

So, instead, I stabbed them. Hacked them right to pieces! I just grabbed a kitchen knife and went to town!

Okay, so, really, I just broke the shadows into smaller chunks, so when I get to the next step, they'll be dissolve more quickly and be easy to stir.

That's where the alcohol comes in. Everyone drink up!! Next round's, wait, nevermind. Wrong kind of alcohol...sorry.

For this DIY project, you'll need rubbing alcohol, with the highest percentage you can find. The higher the alcohol content, the faster it will evaporate. The faster it evaporates, the sooner you can use your eye shadows.

Add a drop or two of alcohol at a time to the broken shadow, and stir. I used a clean, sanitized bobby pin to stir with, and that worked really well. Keep adding alcohol and stirring until the shadow is completely dissolved. My alcohol bottle came with a spout, but an eye dropper would probably work as well, if not better (most likely, better).

Once the shadows are dissolved, you just have to wait. Make a sandwich. Check your Facebook. Write a novella. Call your mom. Clean your room. Have you seen it lately? It's a sty. You can barely tell there's carpet underneath all the clutter. Just wait until your father comes home, young lady! 

*Ahem* Sorry about that. After a few minutes, when things have started to solidify slightly, give the bottoms a tap or two to help smooth out the surfaces. You might want to repeat this several times throughout drying, but it's not something you need to worry about too much. I tapped the bottoms anytime I walked by the table, and forgot about it, otherwise.

This is my finished repair. Sure, the surfaces could be smoother, but for my purposes, they're just fine how they are. If it means that much to you, though, you can press the surfaces by laying a paper towel across the tops of the shadows, setting a coin the size of the surface area on top of the towel, and applying pressure. To me, that just seems kind of unnecessary. I'm just going to mess it up with a brush, anyway. All told, this took about ten minutes (maybe) to prep, with a drying time of about four hours.

Top: Woodwinked. Bottom: Cranberry.
In case you're wondering how this affects the shadows, themselves, here are swatches of the final products. The lighting is horrible, which makes the Cranberry look kind of orange, but I think you can tell from the Woodwinked that they swatch beautifully. They're as good as new, with no change in color.

Small Pans. Left: Pink Opal, Right: Deck Chair.
I also learned that this method works amazingly on MAC pigments. Normally, those are packaged loose, in big, non-travel friendly pots. I added a small amount of pigment to an empty pan I got with my Z-Palette, followed the same instructions, and ta-da! I now have palette-friendly, travel-friendly sizes of Pink Opal and Deck Chair (discontinued. I'm sorry). I popped a magnet on the back of each and tossed them in my Unii Palette, since I use it more often. You could even use this technique to mix together your own custom colors, if that's your thing. It's worked so well that I'm planning to purchase some pigment samples from All Cosmetics Wholesale to DIY myself an eye shadow palette.  

Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

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