How To: De-pot Eyeshadows

In the midst of spring cleaning a couple of months ago, I decided to remove some of the clutter and de-pot some shadows. I haven't done this in over a year (whoops) so it was definitely time! This is a really easy process and can help streamline your collection.

W H A T  I S  I T ?
  • "To de-pot eyeshadows" means that you're removing the shadow (or blush, highlighter, bronzer) from its original container into a storage palette.
W H Y?
  • It saves space, prevents clutter, prevents breakage, is great for travel, and is essential for professional makeup artists.
H O W  T O:
If you have a single shadow, like the one pictured above, you can pop it out of the container.

See the black casing around the shadow disc? 
I need to remove it so it will fit into an eye shadow magnetic palette. 
The glue holding the disc to the casing has to be heated up so it can be removed.
I like using a flat iron, with a piece of wax paper on top, and then placing the shadow on top.
Heat for about 10-20 seconds.

If the glue is heated enough, pop out the shadow with a pin or knife.
If it's not heated enough, repeat the heat process.
Place into palette.

  • If you want to de-pot a palette, like Wet N Wild, remove the paper from the back and heat over a flame very carefully. The shadows will pop out.
  • MAC shadows aren't easy to pop out, so heat them and then use a pin to push through the plastic in the back to pop them out.
  • If your palette or single shadow isn't magnetic, apply magnetic tape to the back.
  • Some shadows are encased in flimsy metal discs, so be careful when removing, as the shadow could break.
Best for round shadows--most round high and low-end shadows will fit in it.

Best for square/odd-shaped shadows/blushes, but anything will fit in here.

Here's a tiny one I received in an Ipsy bag. I use the magnetic case to hold bobby pins, too!



  1. Oh wow, this had never occurred to me! Having everything together in a customized palette would be great...I almost never buy palette collections because usually there's always one or two shadows that I run out of and then one or two shadows that I don't touch at all...so I think the palette is a huge waste of money! Instead I prefer to buy individual eyeshadows...but then yeah, they're all over the place and hard to organize.

    Do you know if these eyeshadow pots are standardized in size?

  2. This is something I won't try, as I have few palettes and eye shadows.. but it's a good idea though, for the times when I'll pile up the stuff!

  3. what an awesome, awesome tip!!! thank you. I had never heard of this.

  4. Ha! Smart. I was actually thinking of starting my own MAC pallette :)

  5. I must admit I hate de-potting:( I do love the Z-Palettes.

  6. THANK YOU! Totally going to do this today!

  7. I never thought about de potting eyeshadows but this makes sense!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  8. You must have been reading my mind, because I've been wanting to do this and get one of the Z palettes!

  9. Pinning this baby! Right now I keep my shadows all individually, but I've been thinking about switching to a palette for ease of storage and travel! This will be very helpful if I make the switch.
    grey et al

  10. I had NO idea that you could do this. What a great tip!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  11. This is great to know!! I love having the palettes to carry instead of individual shadows.

  12. I used to depot all my shadows and blushes, but then I started thinking I buy this stuff because of the pretty packaging and I'm depotting it? So needless to say I stopped and while I have loads of gorgeous packing now I also have a lot of clutter. I guess you can't have it all right? Haha.

  13. great tutorial. Good idea to have all your fav colors all in one instead of carrying all of them.


  14. I've never known how to do tho Elle! So thank you! I have an oversize flat iron that I wont be able to use if ever. Now it has a purpose!

  15. This is such a good idea! I've fixed eye shadows that crumbled before, but I've never tried to de pot a shadow. Totally have to find a pretty palette now!

  16. this is really cool!


  17. I love the idea of Depotted shadows but I get angry about 3 or 4 in and quit. Then wait awhile and depot more later hehe. Thanks for doing the post though it inspires me to do it again soon!

  18. So COOL! I love that you're basically making your own palette. Also, a magnetic case for bobby pins is such a great idea.


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