How to De-Pot MAC Eyeshadow

In my professional make-up kit, I had loads of individual eye-shadow ‘pots’.   However, the sheer volume of individual eye-shadow pots in my collection was causing problems of late, namely:

  • Din: You know the noise that a box of Lego makes when you dig your hand into it?  My eye-shadow kit created a similar racket.
  • Delay: Trying to find the exact shadow I was looking for was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
  • Damage: Even though the packaging on most individual eyeshadows is excellent, I found, after a while, that the eyeshadows were getting damaged from being tossed about in the make-up kit.
  • Disorganisation: I’m a neat freak and hate any kind of mess.  28 individual MAC eyeshadows clattering around in my make-up kit equals one great big mess, in my mind.

In light of the above, I decided that the only solution would be to remove the eyeshadow pans from their original plastic casing, and reorganise them in a new palette.  After watching a few Youtube demonstrations on how to de-pot eyeshadows, I figured that it looked quite easy so I gave it a go.

For the purposes of this exercise I used MAC eyeshadows; however the same technique will work for many other make-up brands.


What You Will Need

  • Large, clean surface area to work on
  • Individual eye-shadows
  • Empty magnetic storage palette + magnets*
  • Straightening irons
  • Greaseproof paper
  • An old tweezers
  • Scissors (to cut magnets and greaseproof paper to size)

*I used UNII Palettes in this demonstration shown, but I will be doing a review of both UNII and Z-Palettes very shortly.

Step 1: Separate the Casing

  • You will notice a small crevice along the clasp of the eye-shadow casing.  Work the flat end of the tweezers into this crevice.  Then twist the tweezers clockwise, which will force the inner ‘pot’ to pop out of the outer casing.  See photographs below.

Step 1 - Remove Inner Casing

Step 2 - Remove Inner Casing

Step 2: Remove the Eyeshadow Pan from the Casing

  • Pre-heat your straightening irons.  Once fully-heated, place a square of greaseproof paper over one of the metal plates (this is to protect your straightener from melting plastic or glue).  Then, place the inner casing containing the eyeshadow on top of the greaseproof paper.  Leave for approximately 1-2 minutes.  See photograph below.

Step 3 - Heat Inner Casing

  • After 1-2 minutes (check regularly) remove the pot from the straightener and place it upside down on a fresh piece of greaseproof paper.  Press the base of the pot with the opposite end of the tweezers, which will loosen the metal eyeshadow pan underneath.  If the pan doesn’t release, put it back on the heat for another minute.  See photograph below.

Step 4 - Press Inner Casing

  • Once you feel that the pan is loose, flip the pot back over, and then, with your tweezers, carefully grab the metal edge of the eyeshadow and ease it out of the plastic casing.  Caution, the metal will be HOT so don’t touch it.  See photographs below.

Step 5 - Remove Pan

Step 6 - Remove Pan

Step 3: Attach Magnet & Label

  • Remember the outer casing that was left over from Step 1?  You will notice that this has a sticker with the product name on it, which you will want to put on the eyeshadow for future reference.  So, place the outer casing (sticker-side down) on the heated straightening irons for 1 minute.  See photographs below.

Step 7b - Heat Outer Casing

Step 7 - Heat Outer Casing

  • While you are waiting for the above, turn your attention back to the eyeshadow pan.  Now that it has cooled sufficiently to touch, turn it upside down and affix a magnet to it.  See photograph below.

Step 8 - Affix Magnet

  • Back to the outer casing again – remove it from the straightening irons and turn it upside down.  Remove the label with a tweezers. (If the label isn’t soft enough to manoeuvre then put it back on the heat for another 30 seconds.)  Then affix the label the the base of the eyeshadow pan (place it securely over the magnet).  See photographs below.

Step 9 - Remove Sticker

Step 10 - Affix Sticker

Step 4: Finishing Touches

  • Place the eyeshadow pan in the magnetic palette.  Et voila, fait accompli!

Step 11 - Insert Pan in Palette

  • If the shadows used are MAC, then be sure that you don’t throw the leftover casing away.  Simply snap the leftover inner casing back into the outer casing, and, once you have 6 ‘empties’ collected, you can exchange them at your local MAC counter for a MAC lipstick.

I hope this tutorial was of interest to you.  As mentioned above, I will do a review of the UNII and Z-Palettes very shortly, which will be of benefit to you if you plan on overhauling your own eye-shadow collection!

Leave a Reply


© Style By Caroline 2017