broken makeup homemakerchic.com

How to fix broken makeup – Pinterest WIN!


Another Pinterest Win! I saw this one a long time ago and tucked it away in my little pin bank for the right time. I finally had the opportunity to test it out when I unfortunately dropped my Mac Powder Compact. Gah! Do you know how many times I’ve broken a compact or eye shadow and just had to throw it away because I had no idea that it could be fixed? In comes Pinterest to save the day! This is a real win, and will definitely save me tons of money! No more replacing perfectly good make-up that’s all cracked up.

All you do is pour a few teaspoons of plain ol’ rubbing alcohol over the cracked make-up. (Isopropyl Alcohol can be found at at your local Pharmacist or Chemist. It might go by a different name if you’re not in America. Or you can just buy it here.) Stir and break up the chunks until all the makeup is dissolved. Set out on a flat surface overnight. The alcohol dries up and you’re left with perfect and fresh makeup! Oh Pinterest, where were you with this little gem 15 years ago?!

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161 thoughts on “How to fix broken makeup – Pinterest WIN!

  1. Cookie Dough Katzen

    Ah that is brilliant! I seriously don’t know how I lived without Pinterest. There are so many great tips. I actually switched over to lose powder makeup a while ago because I kept dropping mine! :)

    Reply
      1. Lauren Horner

        If you look up rubbing alcohol on the skin studies have proved it is really bad for it so even though this is a cool idea, if there was a way to avoid the alcohol it would be better.

        Reply
        1. Homemaker Chic Post author

          That is a good point but the alcohol does completely evaporate out before you’re using the powder. If the alcohol is still wet, you will need to wait longer for it to completely dry.

          Reply
  2. thebeadden

    I never thought I would join Pinterest. Now I’m hooked! Such great ideas. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

    Reply
          1. Holly

            Saline solution is a good option for some things (I use it in my drying-out mascara) because it’s sterile, but it has salt in it, so if it dries out (like for the compact) it might make a haze or “crust”. I wouldn’t recommend it…but who knows!

            Reply
            1. kariseparkman@gmail.com

              Hey I love your tip and it is definitely useful!! But is alcohol bad for your skin??? And will it smell like alcohol??? 😜😜😘😘

            2. Homemaker Chic Post author

              The alcohol completely evaporates out of the product so should not affect your skin. And there was zero alcohol smell for me after it dried. Hope this helps!

  3. Nicole

    It works well with less alcohol also. If broken in bigger peices you don’t need much just a few drops and press powder with clean finger or tissue. That way you can still use right away.

    Reply
    1. bunny

      At a pharmacist/chemist or WalMart type store. You can get rubbing alcohol just about anywhere in America. It is a very common first-aid products. Used to clean shot/injection site by medical personal etc.

      Reply
      1. Callie

        Isopropyl Alochol is the more “technical” name for it- some places may not label it as rubbing alcohol…that might make it easier for some of you to find it. You can find it in almost any store (in the US anyway) in the Health and Beauty or First Aid sections :D Such a great idea- I will definitely be using this from now on!!

        Reply
    1. rootbeeriiz

      Walmart sells it in their first aid section. Target and most any grocery store sells it also. And it’s VERY inexpensive :)

      Reply
  4. shaelamariahdaiella

    Would the alcohol make the product drying to the face, or cause breakouts at all? I have sensitive skin and have heard about this “remedy” for broken makeup.. But I have been hesitant to try it! If anyone knows, fill a girl in ;)

    Reply
    1. Callie

      It should evaporate completely so I don’t think it will cause breakouts. Rubbing alcohol can cause dryness (I have heard of people using it to dry up acne- which I don’t recommend because it will dry the skin out too much) Anyway, you shouldn’t notice any issue from it…if anything, you may need a smidge more moisturizer in your daily routine, but I doubt it.

      Reply
  5. Melanie

    Wow! What a great tip!! Can’t wait to repair my broken powder, I´ll let you know the results.
    Thank you so much for sharing!!
    Love from Venezuela.

    Reply
  6. thechichicho

    This is great! I have seen this before but I have always thought that the powder needed to be pressed down to firm it up, but you have showed me that that isn’t needed!!!! this changes everything

    Reply
  7. deedee

    Hi I was just wondering if there was something else we could mix it with besides rubbing alcohol? My sister just recently broke hers and didn’t want to buy a new one but shes allergic to rubbing alcohol. Was there something else we could possibly use?

    Reply
      1. Mia

        It does not completely evaporate out. Some alcohol molecules remain trapped in the makeup. It’s not bad as long as you moisturize and thoroughly wash your face.

        Reply
    1. Gemma

      Vodka works just as well, I dropped my prof eye shadow palette, and flavoured vodka was all I had, use the exact same procedure as above, it hasn’t changed the colours at all, it has no smell at all.

      Reply
  8. Kaitlin

    This didn’t work at all for me :( I don’t know what I did wrong. I tried it with a broken pressed powder (it was almost brand new) and now it’s like cement. No makeup will come off on a brush or sponge. Oh well.

    Reply
            1. Homemaker Chic Post author

              I’ve had cheaper makeup do that on their own without using this method to fix it. That’s why I asked. I didn’t have any issues fixing my MAC compact and it was probably a year or two old.

      1. Laraina parker

        Alcohol comes in percentages 70% to 91% I wonder if the watered down stuff could cause a problem

        Reply
          1. Steph

            I have used this method and also had my make up turn to cement. It worked wonders with my mac blush and powder, but my sephora brand didn’t work :/

            Reply
  9. Kristina

    As far as skin problems, this would probably be beneficial more so than harmful. The alcohol would also kill bacteria in the makeup. Make up artists spray makeup with rubbing alcohol to disinfect them between clients. So its sort of a win win :)Anyone with dry or oily skin issues should look into jojoba oil :) It’s an awesome skin moisturizer, that I use, that is good on all skin types. I’m sure it doesn’t work for everyone, because we all react differently to things, but it’s worth a try :)

    Reply
    1. Sonya

      I do not believe rubbing alcohol kills bacteria but it does prevent it from being able to spread it destroys the membrane of the cell wall which is used for repopulation and reduces the size of the bacteria but it does not kill it. I’m just saying :)

      Reply
  10. sbahamon11@gmail.com

    This is probably a weird question but cuz i saw in your picture that you barely had much powder left it really just helped to basically remake a new one?

    Reply
  11. Kitty Walker

    This is a great tip, but why would people throw out their broken make up? I still used my broken make up as I was told never to waste.

    Reply
  12. France

    I’m so sad to say that I’ve tried this and it completely failed, at first use my compact crumbled again… maybe I had too much left, more than you did. Any tips?

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      Maybe try pressing the powder with your finger to sort of compress it again. And use a bit less alcohol. It won’t be 100% like it was from the store but it should be a vast improvement.

      Reply
      1. France

        I’ll try it again (nothing to lose now)… it was a MAC makeup and Isopropyl Alcohol I used … I’ll make sure it’s totally completely dissolved this time…. I have absolutely nothing to lose now! Yours looks so good!!! Thanks for the reply. I’ll try to give it a go this weekend and report back. Otherwise it’s back to the MAC counter!!! Which is never a bad thing, except for the wallet!! =)

        Reply
          1. France

            I had let it set overnight. I think the problem is that I had too much powder, and when it dried, it cracked. I tried a 2nd time and it was very well blended and totally cracked overnight. So I did a bit of research and on youtube I found a few videos that show how to press the powder/alcohol mix in the compact. I had to do that a few times during the drying process, but voilà! I now have a new compact! I had to press the powder, to soak up some of the alcohol about 4 or 5 times, each time I saw a little crack happen I’d press again. It worked! I watched a few videos and went from there. I think your technique works well if only a bit of stuff is left (like your picture) as that way the alcohol dries quickly and doesn’t leave time for the powder to crack! This said, if I hadn’t found your post I probably would have ended up throwing out my compact! Now I can save all the broken ones :D Thanks!!

            Reply
  13. Pernilla

    When I fixed an eyeshadow with this method, I used a coin wrapped in a paper towel to compress the pigments and soak up some of the alcohol, worked like a charm!

    Reply
  14. Pingback: How to fix Broken Make-up « Live More Daily | Live More Daily

  15. Beth C.

    Tried the witch hazel. Not sure if it works yet, but it was hard to mix. Makes a pretty decent concealer when it’s wet though!

    Reply
  16. Beth C.

    Well, I wasn’t expecting fast results, but so far it just has the texture of gritty mud, almost clay-like. Hopefully, it sets, otherwise I’m going to have to purchase a new bronzer. Lol

    Reply
  17. Laurie

    2 of my MAC containers broke in my makeup bag while flying somewhere. The clear part just broke loose. Has anyone had that problem with MAC before?

    Reply
  18. Kylie Jefferson

    I tried this with my N.Y.C bronzer that had been crumbled for a year now. When I poured some of the rubbing alcohol in it the alcohol did not mix and just kind of rolled around the powder. I tried the coin in a tissue to pack it and I tried using a little spreader knife also. But over all it didn’t work for me :( is there something that I am doing wrong? Please help me! D:

    Reply
  19. Kristin Johnston

    I tried this and it worked great. I had a almost new bronzer that broke. I have hung on to it for a few months as a back up. I read this two days ago tried it and it worked. Soooooo happy. Thanks for the tip

    Reply
  20. Taylor

    Hi! I have some cover up that broke it has alot left its just so broke it would be hard to use. Does it work with alot left?
    Thank you! :)

    Reply
    1. Taylor

      Its basicly just broken on the side, its not to bad. Sorry! I thought it was really bad but i havent used it in awhile. Should i just keep using it and if it breaks even more, then try this?

      Reply
    2. Homemaker Chic Post author

      If you read through the comments I think some people have found that it works better when there’s less left. When there is more you really want to compress the powder and don’t use too much alcohol.

      Reply
  21. Michelle

    I have very dry skin and didn’t want to try it with the rubbing alcohol so I used contact solution and it worked amazingly! I think anything would work as long as it will evaporate properly.

    Reply
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    Reply
  23. Natalie

    I put Hydrogen Peroxide in my eye-shadow, thinking it would help fix it… could i just put alcohol over the top, or did i completely ruin it…

    Reply
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  25. Tiffany

    I tried doing this and it didn’t work much. How much alcohol are you supposed to put? I only put a little bit and it made my makeup all chunky. Was I supposed to drown it in alcohol? I’m using a MAC powder as well.

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      I used about a teaspoon or so but I only had a little makeup left. You want enough so your makeup is a thick liquid. Like the consistency of liquid foundation.

      Reply
  26. Jill

    Oh Wow, the tip that’s gonna save me a lot of money plus save my favorite shadows that I love. let’s face it make up isn’t cheap anymore.

    Reply
  27. Soccorsa Hoggard

    Noelle, has anyone commented on Mineral makeup? I did your redo of my compact this morning followed your instructions to the T. Not sure what happened but the blue/purple tint of my pink blusher came through and settled at the top of the blusher. I just went to check it’s almost dry…but the shades of blue/purple are still there. I’m not sure what happened…if the Minerals and the rubbing alcohol had a reaction???…but it looks awful! I’ll try it in the morning and will message then to say how it actually looks on my skin. For now…just FYI…thought you’d want to know.

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      I think it could, but the main thing you would need to do is COMPACT the powder. So you’d need to really press it hard with something smooth and flat. I’m also betting there is some sort of binding agent in compacts that keep the powder in one block. I’ll have to research it and see if I can come up with an answer.

      Reply
  28. Pingback: Compact Doctor & NYE | missylouniverse

  29. Julie

    Would if work the same if you are running out of makeup and need more? Because I’ve been looking for the same one I have rite now, everywhere and I can’t find it! :(

    Reply
  30. Nicole

    I think I did something wrong. Seemed like it worked at first but I put the shadow back into my pallet and traveled with it and it completely turned into loose powder. 😢

    Reply
  31. Nicole

    Never never never, may I stress again, NEVER use this trick for eyeshadow. I used this trick to fix my favorite eyeshadow. The next day I wore the eyeshadow for my senior photos. My eyes were watery and irritated the entire time and I could not keep them open. Needless to say my photos turned out horrible.

    Reply
  32. Sherrie Smith

    OMG! Read all the responses people & stop asking the same questions.I’m trying to read new info & all I keep reading is will it dry out my face? What is alcohol? Geez people read the article, then read the alreadt posted questions & answers before asking the same questions!

    Reply
  33. Cheryl

    I agree. It’s terrible when you spend good money on a compact, only to drop it and break it or get it banged up in your purse. However, this method has never worked for me… even using higher grades of alcohol. The only method that has worked for me is a binder like dimethicone or isopropyl myristate.

    Reply
  34. Brittany

    Be careful doing this as it can change the formula and completely ruin the makeup a little goes a long way don’t need to completely dissolve… But it is an awesome trick to try

    Reply
  35. katiecimone

    This is amazing! I wish I knew about this sooner… the number of times I’ve watched a compact fall to the floor and it’s broken my heart while shattering everywhere, is uncountable. I’ve posted a link to this article on my new blog as well! Thank you Noelle :)

    Reply
  36. Suha

    Hi
    Thx for the great tip! But i have couple of concenrs, by alcohol do u mean the normal stuff we use when we want to paralise somthing!?
    And the other is it even ok to put so much amount of alcohol( i knw that it dries the broken crumps) but is it ok to put it on our face?

    Reply
  37. Tee

    OK… sooooooooooooo, could you add it to a loose powder to make a compact? I’m just asking because I use two different colors and blend them when applying.

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      I don’t think it would be pressed as firmly as a compact. You would probably have it crumble unless you found a good way to compress it. I’m also thinking there might be some sort of binding agent added to compacts to keep them solid.

      Reply
  38. Kalee

    This is a great idea, if you arent worried about caking your face with alcohol. Nobody wants it in their hair and facial cleansers so why in your makeup?

    Reply
  39. Ashley

    Omg people… this is an amazing tip but READ what she says… everyone keeps asking what kind of alcohol. She says right in the instructions, RUBBING ALCOHOL. Do you just look at the picture or do you just not know how to read?

    Reply
  40. Sam

    Can you break up the makeup that builds up in the sides of the powder holder that you can’t get with a brush than do this trick?

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      Yes you can! It won’t be pressed like it was before, so the texture might be different but it definitely works. I have done this with two different shades that were almost empty to create a new shade as well.

      Reply
  41. Meg

    I have done this as well I’ve been doing it for over ten years! I have so many tricks and saves! I also like your blog or website and would really like ask you a few questions and share some ideas.
    Also P.S
    ! I just broke my new Mac compact and Mac blush! id love it you could you email me at meggiepoppins@icloud.com
    Thanks
    Megan

    Reply
  42. Heather

    My mom started doing this back in the 70s/80s! I remember as a kid (born 1980) watching mom fix her bright blue shadows with this and witch hazel. LOL

    I have used it since I first started wearing makeup. Witch hazel and rose water are also amazing! Plus vodka works well. I buy clear empty containers, (basicly eye shadow pods but round) and use it to mix custom eyeshadows, powder lipstick, (put it on your lips and top with a gloss or Chapstick & it stays put!), custom blush, bronzes and brow powder.
    Sometimes it’s hard to find that perfect color or it cost to much so it’s a great way to mix and match what you need. I wish I could post pics of some of the beauties I’ve made. LOL
    I also buy natural powder dyes at whole sale places or soap making sites. This way I know exactly what Is in the product and no allergry issues. You can also buy them and mix with coconut oil to get nice cheak and lip stains. ;)

    Alcohol does kill bacteria and germs, that is why it’s used in hospitals, for cuts, and hand sainitzers. Makeup artist use spray makeup with it daily as well as it is used in most makeup product for that very reason so bacteria doesn’t grow in the products on the shelves.

    So have fun with this tip and make all sorts of fun makeup as well as saving those you break. ;)
    If your allergic use witch hazel or rise oil. You can google how toos on it as well.

    Reply

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