Top makeup artists share how they save their favorite compacts in the event of an untimely crack.

By Rebecca Norris
June 06, 2019
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We've all been there: We reach for our favorite powder, highlighter, or blush, only to find it shattered to smithereens when we lift the lid. At that moment, every perfect photo we took while wearing it, as well as the money we spent to actually attain it, flash before our eyes. It's at this point that we come to a crossroads: Do we do our best to use it without spilling it all over the place, or do we call it quits and toss it in the trash? While the latter may seem like the obvious answer (and the best way to avoid a major mess in your makeup bag), professional makeup artists will tell you to do otherwise. That's because they know all the tips and tricks to revive their favorite pressed compacts after an untimely mishap.

To extend the life of your favorite products like a pro, follow the steps below.

How to Repair Your Makeup in the Original Packaging

"Gather all of the broken pieces of makeup into its original container, and crush the whole thing up (even the parts that may not have broken)," says Carl Ray, Michelle Obama's makeup artist. In the process, only use what's still in the container, throwing away any of the product that may have fallen out. "Do not use any remnants that have fallen on the floor as it has been exposed to bacteria," Ray reminds. Next, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer to the loose powder and mix using a spoon or spatula to make a paste. Evenly spread that paste into the container's pan and cover it with a paper towel or cling wrap. "Let this dry overnight et voilà, you're ready to apply your favorite product again," Ray says.

How to Repair Makeup in Different Packaging

This method is best if, and only if, you're absolutely determined to save both the product and the packaging. "The pros to using alcohol is that it will be a quick fix if the product was just cracked," says MODA Executive Artist, Dominique Lerma. "The cons to using alcohol is that it can and may alter the formulation of the cosmetic. I rarely recommend doing this trick as alcohol dries out the skin and skin health is of utmost importance." If you're willing to forgo the appearance of your favorite compact, Lerma says to crush up the product and opt for transferring it into a small travel size jar or tube. "I love picking them up at Muji, The Container Store, the travel section of any Target, and Amazon," she shares. "Using a makeup spatula or butter knife, gently crush the product down until it turns into a fine powder and using the spatula or a spoon scoop all the product into the travel container." This way, you maintain the quality and pigment, ensuring that it looks the same when applied as it did when it was pressed.

How to Repair Lipstick

If compacts aren't your problem, but lipstick is, you're in luck! "My favorite way to fix a broken lipstick is to wind the lipstick up and break it off completely," Lerma explains. "Using a spatula, scoop out the remaining lipstick that is at the bottom of the tube and you can save that into a small travel size container. Then put the tip of the lipstick back into the lipstick tube and it will stick to the walls of the lipstick tube."

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