The big declutter 2016: first attempt at depotting makeup!

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You may have seen me mention that I'm having a declutter moment lately at home, which means everything in the house is falling under the scrutiny of my junk removal eye. Makeup included.

I never used to want a Z-palette because I couldn't imagine why you'd risk damaging your makeup simply to store it in an overpriced container that could often look rather messy and disorganised (because it's pretty hard to arrange powders of different sizes in a way that doesn't look haphazard and unbalanced).

Also, Z-palettes have a clear lid so they're not good for keeping the light away from your powders to help them last longer, plus every time you open the palette, you're exposing all the contents to air, rather than just one or two items in their individual compacts. 

On top of all that, the idea of taking a lighter or straightening iron to my makeup didn't thrill me - surely that's not good for it, and it's a health hazard to boot. 


But not long ago I found myself looking out for a complete palette that included eyeshadows, a bronzer/highlighter combination and at least a blush or two, and I realised that I'd be much better off constructing my own with products I already had, rather than forking out the dough for more makeup that I really didn't need.

I did look at buying one of those pretty Unii palettes because they don't have a clear lid and I personally think they look much nicer, but they're not so easy to come by in Australia at a reasonable price and you'd almost be better off buying a pre-made palette with that kind of money.

I've also been looking out for a cheaper alternative and also considered constructing my own palette from scratch (you can find various videos on youtbe about how to do this with eg a magnetic sewing kit or a notebook), but I wasn't getting anywhere with that exercise and eventually decided that dropping $25 on a Z-palette was less of a headache in the long run.


I must say, I'm super glad I finally bit the bullet - and I've had more fun with the process than I could have predicted. There's something insanely satisfying about popping makeup from its container and turfing the packaging, and it's been part of my big yearly declutter - so already I've removed some junk from my collection that's been sitting around unused for ages.

I bought my Z-palette from Beautybay as a birthday treat for myself. The palette is sleek and sturdy enough (thank god), and it comes with a bundle of magnets you can use for any items that aren't already magnetised, plus a little set of instructions to help get you started.

I wanted to bring you guys into my first explorations with depotting makeup, just in case anyone else has been sitting on the fence like I have. I started out with the idea that I wouldn't touch my higher-end makeup until I had a better idea of what I was doing because I didn't want to ruin my more expensive powders, and this turned out to be a good plan: I've had some casualties in the process!

Here are the first three shadows I chose to depot:


Above is a So Susan quad and single eyeshadows from Girlactik and Glazel Visage. All three items were received in sub boxes, and I haven't been using them because I have better quality stuff to reach for, and eyeshadow singles can be annoying to use (it's easier to open one palette, rather than a bunch of singles). So while I'd kept these because I like some of the shades, they weren't getting used.

There they are below. I only wanted to keep the lavender shade in the So Susan quad, although I might have kept one or two others for now if I'd had better luck depotting them.


It says on the Z-palette instructions that you can depot makeup in a number of ways (I already knew this from watching youtube videos), and the first method I tried was by sticking a pin down the sides of the pans and trying to pop them out - apparently some pans aren't glued in tightly.

Unfortunately all of these were too well-glued to be removed that way, although I did later come across a couple of shadows that popped out with very little pressure. Whatever you do, don't apply too much pressure (and the Z-palette instructions warn against this): otherwise you can crack the shadow, as I did with the Glazel Visage product.

In the end I picked the oven method: you whack the shadows in an oven on low heat for a few minutes to loosen the glue, then pop them out. I wouldn't bake my expensive stuff, but I didn't mind attempting it with these.

Here's how I went:


I tried depotting the silver and dark purple shades from the So Susan quad first, which didn't turn out too well: the silver one cracked a bit because I didn't leave the product in the oven long enough to loosen the glue properly, and the dark purple shade was glued in so tightly that eventually I gave up (I wasn't that keen on it anyway).

Fortunately the only shade in the palette that I really wanted (the lavender one), came out easily enough and wasn't damaged in the process. But I'm glad I tried to pop the other two shades first so I could learn my lessons on those!


The Girlactik shadow was the easiest to remove by far: only a couple of minutes in the oven and it came out beautifully.

I could tell that the packaging was better on this because it didn't start buckling in the oven straight away, and the pan itself felt sturdier and less likely to bend under the pressure of my pin. It was also already magnetised, so I didn't need to use one of my precious magnets on it.


The Glazel Visage shadow was a bloody nightmare. It was in the oven for ages and it wasn't easy to fit the pin down the side (in part because the metal pan of course expanded in the heat), but once I did and was able to get a flat knife in the gap to prise the shadow out, things became easier. Mind you, the pan still buckled and the shadow cracked so I had to re-press it, which I'll go into in another post.

And below is the result - woot woot!


Three shadows saved, and three bits of packaging in the bin. Huzzah!

I can't tell you how much fun I had doing this, and it's started to become addictive. Already I'm scanning my collection to see what else I can depot.

Over the weekend I've managed to depot a few more items (I'll post on that soon), and my husband has watched and laughed at how intent I've become at popping out those pans and chucking the waste into the bin. It's become something of an obsession!

So there's my first attempt at depotting makeup. I've learned that a gentle hand and a truckload of patience are essential to this process, so don't do it if you're not prepared to take your time.

I'll check back in soon with updates so you can see how my palette is growing. 

Do let me know if you've ever attempted depotting makeup, and how you've found it if so. Any tips would be most welcome!


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