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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped a brand new compact or eyeshadow pallet and just stood frozen in my bathroom, wishing I could just go back in time and be less of a klutz. Fortunately for me, there are some easy steps I can take to salvage my broken makeup products, many of which can be repaired using stuff I already have lying around the house.
The best thing you can use to repair broken powders, blushes, bronzers, and eyeshadows is Rubbing Alcohol. Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long before you can use your product again. Plus, it can also have a sterilizing effect on something you’ve used for a while. Cosmetic chemist James Hammer goes on to say that “the alcohol will not introduce any bacteria contaminants” into your makeup, making even something that you’ve spilled all over the floor clean enough to put on your face again. And even though this trick will allow you to keep using your product, Hammer stresses that it’ll never be quite the same: “It may feel a bit softer in use and you may pick up a bit more than usual on your makeup brush.” Also, it won’t be as tightly-packed as before, thus making it prone to further breakage, so treat it with care.
So how do you use this trick, anyway?
It’s all relatively simple: first, you’ll need to collect your busted powder, and place it back inside its container. Once you have it in there, you’ll have to crush it down further, making the powder as fine as you can: the smaller the particles, the easier it’ll be to get them to come back together. Add drops of rubbing alcohol to the powder until it is completely saturated, and don’t worry too much about over-doing it -- it’ll just take a little bit longer to dry. Using a small spoon or tooth pick, smooth out the paste you’ve created and make sure that there aren’t any air bubbles that can compromise the makeup’s integrity. Smooth out the top of the makeup with a spoon, and then press down on it with a paper towel. This will sop up any extra alcohol and also leave the top of the product with a little embossed design in the pattern that appears on the paper towel.
Leave the product to dry for 24 hours, and then feel free to use it again! (Pro tip: you could try to add a moisturizer to a broken powder compact to create a tinted moisturizer.)
But what about lipstick? Well, that’s a little tricker, but you can salvage a broken lipstick if you have a microwave and an empty container. Simply scoop out what remains of the lipstick and place the broken top and remaining color in a microwave safe bowl and heat until everything is liquified. Then pour that liquid into an empty container or lip balm tube and let it dry for an hour. That’s all it takes to save a favorite color!