If you’ve ever dropped an eye shadow palette, blush set or contouring kit, you know the heartbreak when you pick it up only to find it’s turned into an unusable powdery mess. Not only is makeup pricey, but certain sets and brands can be difficult to replace. Luckily, your makeup isn’t lost for good! Here, experts share how to fix broken makeup with tricks that work for powders, lipsticks and more.
How to fix broken makeup in compacts
From eyeshadow to blush to powdered foundation or concealer, just follow the below tips to resuscitate it fast:
How to fix broken makeup if there’s just a little breakage
Small cracks or tiny broken pieces can typically be repaired with little fuss, promises professional makeup artist Maya Adivi. “Just guide the loose bits, if any, back into place using your applicator and very gently press down on any cracks with a makeup sponge until it forms one solid piece.”
How to fix broken makeup if the whole thing has crumbled
Does your makeup look like an earthquake hit it? Simply choose one of the two simple options below to repair crumbled cosmetics:
1. Grab a toothpick
“Simply pour the broken bits into a small container with a sealable lid, then use a toothpick to gently break apart any larger pieces until everything is an evenly sized powder,” advises Adivi. “When you want to use that color, simply dip your makeup brush into the powder and apply as usual.” Pick up empty makeup containers at the dollar store or find them on Amazon. One option: Veaide Refillable Cosmetics Makeup Jars (Buy from Amazon, $6.49).
2. Grab a spoon
If you prefer to keep the makeup in its original container, just push the broken pieces and any loose powder back into its slot, then press it into place using the back of a clean spoon or the end of your makeup brush.
To see how well it works, just check out this brief video below from Shrutistry :
“If it doesn’t seem solid enough, you can also add a few drops rubbing alcohol — 90% works best — to help the powder rebind. Once it dries, your palette will be good as new,” adds Adivi
What *not* to use when fixing broken makeup?
Avoid using water. “I’ve seen advice online to use regular or micellar water to help makeup powders rebind, and I cannot stress how bad of an idea that is,” warns Adivi. “Using anything water-based can cause bacteria to breed in your makeup.”
And important to note: If you dropped makeup in a glass container and the container itself broke, it’s not worth the risk of applying tiny bits of broken glass to your face. The same goes if the contents of the makeup fell out of the packaging and onto an unsanitary surface, like the floor.
How to fix liquid eyeliner and mascara
If you accidentally forgot to tighten the top on your liquid eyeliner or mascara and it’s wound up dry or clumpy, try these tricks:
1. Put it in hot water
Add enough water to a pot so you can submerge the mascara. Once the water is boiling, place the closed makeup tube in and let boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove and let cool before using. The outside heat will help re-liquify the formula inside.
2. Lubricate it with oil
If the eyeliner or mascara is still clumpy, try adding a drop of olive oil to the container, and stir it around using the applicator. No olive oil? Eye drops or contact solution will also work in a pinch, as seen in the video below from Victoria Jameson:
How to fix broken lipstick
A lot can seem to go wrong with lipstick — the stick itself can break off or melt if left in a hot place for too long. Or the tube can stop rising like it should. Luckily, there are easy techniques to handle each situation:
How to fix broken lipstick if the wax broke
“This is an easy fix,” says makeup artist Matthew Waitesmith, former VP at MAC Cosmetics, who advises placing the piece that broke off back on top of what remains in the tube and pressing it down very gently to help the two pieces stick back together. Then place in the fridge overnight to cause the fissure to harden and re-bond and help the lipstick become one solid piece again. If the lipstick doesn’t seem to want to re-adhere to the contents left in the tube, you can also try scooping out what’s left in the tube and sticking the part that broke off directly into the container, as seen in the video below from Megans Makeup Musings:
How to fix broken lipstick if the wax melted
Simply pour the melted lipstick into an empty palette or small container, like the one recommended above, and let it re-solidify, Waitesmith suggests. “You’ll need to use a lipstick brush to apply it, but it will still look and feel the same in the end!”
How to fix broken lipstick if the tube broke
In this case, you can purposely melt the lipstick by breaking off the wax and placing it in a metal spoon. Hold the spoon over a lit candle until the wax melts, then use the spoon to pour it in to an empty palette or small container. Check out the video below from Shonagh Scott to see how it’s done:
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