How to Depot Makeup Palettes

How to Depot Makeup Palettes

Hi guys! I’ve done posts on how to make your own DIY Z-Palette and how to press loose or broken shadows before, so today’s post is about how to depot shadows that are already pressed and in a cardboard palette. This was part of my fall beauty decluttering project. Because of that, I’m using this for the Beauties on Fire collab for the Fall theme!

To start off, Beauties on Fire is a group of fashion and beauty bloggers who all write posts each week based off of a chosen theme. Votes are cast over on Twitter for each week’s poll, and you can check out the other posts by the link at the bottom of the page!

If you’re like me, makeup is always fun, and your collection can grow a bit unmanageable if you’re not careful. Right now, my living situation is a bit cramped, and so along with throwing away all sorts of makeup and beauty products (over 15 lippies that didn’t receive enough love, lots of body creams that I never got around to using, travel-sized products that were half-used but ancient, etc.), I decided to streamline a lot of my eye palettes. The changing of the seasons is a perfect time to reorganize!

What is depotting makeup?

Depotting means to take the makeup out of the original packaging and into something else to save space. This works well for single eyeshadows, blushes, etc. that can often be overlooked in favor of palettes. I mentioned loose shadows above, which generally have very bulky packaging and are a bit harder or more annoying to use. Most of the time, the products are placed into empty palettes, either a build-your-own palette or something with a magnetic back to hold the makeup in place.

Why depot a whole palette?

Palettes usually streamline packaging to a degree – they’re a collection of colors that usually work together well or have a theme, oftentimes by giving smaller sizes of colors than individual shades. I’ve found that some palettes have very specific purposes or are missing things like a transition or highlight shade, and so I personally don’t use some of them as much as others. Placing multiple palettes together allows for a larger range of colors to work together and counter these missing points, without having to search through a ton of different palettes.

Some palettes are also still packaging-heavy for the amount of product you receive (think old school Urban Decay packaging like the Alice in Wonderland palette).

How do you depot a palette?

Pans are usually placed in either cardboard or plastic inserts. These inserts don’t have to be the same material as the outside packaging -for instance, metal palettes like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palettes or Urban Decay Naked palettes usually use plastic inserts. Often, to get palettes out of plastic, you have to remove the insert from the main packaging and heat the insert and pans enough for the glue between them to melt. It’s a more involved process for sure!

The easiest palettes to depot are made from cardboard. Cardboard can be deformed quite a lot, so the shadows are easier to get out without using heat or without breaking the pan. I’ll walk you through it with my Urban Decay Smoked palette, which doesn’t get enough love because it pretty much only makes smoky eye looks rather than something more everyday, and because I didn’t have enough room to store it with the rest of my palettes. Also, the matte black shade, Blackout, was cracked from shipping and so always makes a mess all over the place, and when I got it, I didn’t know how to fix broken shadows.100_4218

You will need:

Newspaper to protect the surface below

Cardboard-based palette

A thin tool, preferably metal. I have a depotting tool, but have used a pocket knife before, as well.

Empty palette (and the appropriate magnetic stickers, as needed)

Q-tips and tissues for cleanup

Rubbing alcohol

A Sharpie

Step one:

Start by wedging the tool between the metal pan and the cardboard. I’ve found that there’s usually one or two sides with a bit more space between them. Start there. In the picture below, I’ve already made indentations along all of the sides of Freestyle, but there’s still a larger gap on the lower and right sides. With Mushroom, you can see that there’s a larger gap on the right of the lower side.100_4221

Step two:

Pull the tool back slightly, about 30 degrees max. You can see some of the marks I’ve made with the tool once it’s removed. Repeat this in different spots on all four sides. You want to go slowly to give some wiggle room to the pan. Moving too quickly will deform the pan and crack the shadow.100_4223

I made at least 3 passes on each side of these square pans (on either end and in the center). After each pass, the pan has a bit more give and can come up a bit easier. While this is a bit overkill, it’s better to be safe than to break the pan.

If you’re going in with a circular pan, I’d suggest maybe around 8 passes on each side, but of course it depends on the pan size! You might also be able to get away with fewer passes on smaller square/rectangular pans.

Step three:

Wedge your tool down and then push until the tip is under the pan. You can see that this ripped up the surface of the cardboard below the pan, which is fine. You can just pull the pan up farther with the tool. Some cardboard may come off with the pan (this top layer is glued to the pan) or you can try to peel it off the pan by separating the two with your fingers.100_4228100_4229

Step four:

Clean up the pan (sides and bottom) using rubbing alcohol and the tissues and Q-tips. The glue left on the bottom will come off with the rubbing alcohol, though you may need to rub a bit and apply more alcohol as needed.

Finish up by attaching any magnetic strips as needed, then writing the shade brand and name on the bottom of the pan with a Sharpie. Sharpie will come off with rubbing alcohol, if you want to reuse the pan in the future or something. Stickers also work, but I find that the Sharpie is easier.

Step five:

Place into your palette! I’m putting these shades into my large Z-Palette, and you can see that the shades all fit in the same configuration as the palette along the shorter side. If I filled this Z-Palette only with pans of this size, I could fit 45 shadows in it.100_4363

Did a pan crack when depotting? Check out my How to: Press Loose and Mineral Shadows and Fix Broken Pans post. You’ll already have a lot of the materials needed, so just break up the shadow into fine pieces and follow along!

I found that depotting several palettes together is really easy and saved me a lot of space. Each brand can tailor packaging specifically to a palette or series, such as the UD Smoked palette I used above being thick for the zipper close, so storing a group of different palettes is a pain. You can buy or make multiples of the same size palette to store everything in, creating a much neater collection.

At some point in the future, I’ll post about turning pre-existing plastic palettes into an empty magnetic palette (talking both about depotting from plastic and how to repurpose the palette).

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Beauties on Fire collab links, which you can find here!Beauties on Fire Logo

-xo, Andi


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