Monday, September 30, 2013

Life Hack: $1 Magnetic Palette

I'm probably super late to the party on this little life hack, so I claim absolutely no ownership of the idea. I've seen it on countless blogs and youtube videos, and thought, "Well, shoot! That's brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?"

So, for those of you out there who also didn't think of that, I give you this post:


This is the E.L.F. Custom Compact. It measures 3x3 (perfect purse size), and costs a buck. I picked mine up from Target, but they're available online, and possibly at Walmart or Walgreen's, if your's has started carrying E.L.F. A couple of the stores in my area have.

And here's the inside:

Photo Credit: E.L.F. Cosmetics
I totally forgot to take a picture of the inside before I started this little project. Whoops.

Now, looking at the above photo, you see that the top half of the compact is a mirror, and the bottom half is sleek white with openings for four small pans and a tiny applicator. We're going to leave the mirror alone, and use a butterknife to pop that bottom white portion out. (It works best to slide the knife under the inside edge of one of the circles) Once you've done that, you'll be left with a shiny metal insert, and the inside of your compact will look like this:

The pretty shiny metal isn't attached to the compact, so you will want to use some super glue or hot glue to make sure it stays put inside. If you use hot glue, make sure that the glue is completely melted, waste NO time, and press the metal in as flat as you can get it. I waited a second too late, and my hot glue hardened enough to keep me from being able to press the metal down fully, and I couldn't get my compact to close when filled. It works now, but I got to spend a good ten minutes peeling and scraping out all of that thick glue, and let's just say that was less than fun.

Sticking in the de-potted pans was a cinch. There are two ways you could do it: A. Stick a full magnet sheet in the bottom, or B. stick magnets to each pan. Either way will work, but I chose to stick the magnets on to each pan. I thought it looked nicer. If you do decide to use the full sheet, you can skip gluing in the metal liner.

The finished compact isn't huge, but I was surprised at how much I could fit in it. Above, I have the three de-potted (de-plastic and cardboard-ed?) EM Cosmetics eyeshadows and lipgloss, an Urban Decay blush and teeny-tiny shadow from an old Face Case, and a Stila shadow from the Pro Artist Palette No.1. I honestly couldn't tell you how many, say, MAC shadows would fit, but this is great for all of those little sample sizes or fragments of palettes that most of us have lying around. I'm actually planning to take this on vacation with me, and this palette alone gives me multiple eye looks, as well as a blush and lipgloss. I may not have to take any other shadows, blushes or lippies. I probably will take more, but I don't have to.

I will warn you, though: the compact isn't the highest quality. It's sturdy, and I feel like my products will be protected in my purse, but the construction is not the greatest. The closure is flimsy and easily breakable. I also feel like a drop onto a hard floor would be catastrophic. That said, the mirror is huge and actually usable, and the lid stands up without having to be propped against something. Also, allow me to remind you that this thing costs a dollar! One dollar. One. A small Z-Palette, which is only marginally larger, runs $14 and doesn't come with a mirror. Also, taking the larger Z-Palettes I own into consideration, I really don't think it would be much more likely to survive a hard drop--at least, not without a few casualties.

So, there you go. That's my life hack o' the day. Has anyone else tried this? Any suggestions for decorating it? Let me know in the comments.   


  1. Awesome! I am so going to buy one and try it next time I'm near a Target! Thanks so much for sharing, I love it!

    Also, I tagged you in my Autumn Tag post! Feel free to check it out and post about your Autumn favorites!

    1. Oh! I'd love to see how your palette turns out! Thank you so much for tagging me, too. I'm so excited, and can't wait to tackle that post. :)


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