Fixing Broken Makeup With Alcohol-Does it Work?!

Fixing eyeshadow using alcohol
Fixing eyeshadow using alcohol
Hello, Beauts! So today’s post is brought to you by the unfortunate makeup mishap- shattered powder makeup. Cue the slo-mo “NOOOO!!!!”. I’m sure most of you have been there at some point! While I’m not one to really care too much about using a broken shadow or blush, it can get messy and quite frankly looks…crappy. And being careful to not get it everywhere is too much work. So here I wanted to share my experience of fixing a broken shadow by using the rubbing alcohol method. This method is pretty popular and by no means new-I just felt like playing around to see if it would actually work.

Things to note before starting-this is a messy process. Especially if it’s your first time. Use a towel or mat underneath it all to catch makeup that will inevitably get everywhere. There will be some product loss since all that tossing and patting will do that, but you’d probably lose the same amount if it were to stay broken anyway. Lastly, it may not look factory perfect after this process but heck if you want your makeup back in one piece, this could be worth a shot!

So here’s an E.L.F. shadow I ordered back in November that actually arrived broken. Isn’t that nice? I probably could have returned it or just bought another one since it wasn’t expensive, but I like a good project and had everything I needed to try this out. Even if a total fail, I didn’t have much to lose.

Broken E.L.F. dome shadow
Broken E.L.F. dome shadow
Materials used: bowl, butter knife or small spatula, towel, and 70% Isopropyl alcohol that you can find in any drugstore.

Here are the steps:

1.Take your broken shadow, dump it into a container, and crush. For this dome shadow I dumped in only the broken pieces. If you have a regular flat-pan shadow, you can crush up the entire shadow right in the pan. Yes you heard me right. Crush it up as much as you can until  you don’t see any huge chunks.

Crush broken shadow
Crush broken shadow into powder
2. Take a minute to cringe at the fact that it feels like you’re pretty much attacking an eyeshadow. Just hold your breath and get it over with.

3. Add 4-5 drops of alcohol into the bowl and mix. You could use a dropper if you want more control, but I didn’t. Stir it in. You can add more until it reaches an almost pasty/damp consistency. It looks strange seeing your makeup look muddy but trust the process. Don’t put too much alcohol in or it’ll get soupy. Remember that you want to be able to mold it.

Add alcohol to crushed shadow
Add alcohol to crushed shadow
Eyeshadow paste
Mix until it turns almost pasty
4. Take the makeup “paste” you made and use a spatula or some type of small, flattened object (I used a butter knife) to mold it into the pan, or whatever shape it was originally. Since this shadow was dome-shaped, I tried my best to form it that way. I recommend using a paper towel to press down on it to get out the excess alcohol and even it out. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be!

Mold shadow back into place
Mold shadow back into place
5. Clean up the edges with makeup wipe or wet napkin if you want it to look nice and neat.

Clean up edges with a wipe
Clean up edges with a wipe
6. Leave open to dry for about 24 hours. It might be dry before that but it might depend on how much alcohol is in there. If possible, I’d wait just to be on the safe side!

7. Use your newly fixed eyeshadow!

Eyeshadow ready to use!
Eyeshadow ready to use!
So did it work?!  I can say that I’ve used it after trying this and it’s kept its shape and the formula didn’t change when applied. This is a pretty good way to get your shadow looking functional again. As mentioned earlier, it’s not going to look or be exaaaactly like it did when you first bought it, but having my broken makeup together again beats out the hot mess crumble it once was. I’ve tried this with blush as well and with similar results.

I would like to add that after this process my shadow seemed a little more fragile, so I wouldn’t go at it too hard. Not sure if I needed to add more alcohol after all, or maybe less? I will have to experiment more, but hopefully I won’t have to try this process out too many more times if you know what I mean lol.

Update: So my eyeshadow, after having been fixed for a few weeks now, is mainly still in tact but I do notice some fallout/some crumbling and I haven’t really even used it since fixing. So again- it’s a good method to keep it from being super broken, but it will be more fragile and prone to breakage again with or without a lot of use from my own personal experience. Again, I may have to play around with the amount of alcohol used and see if that makes a difference, or maybe even the type of product.

Have you ever used alcohol to fix a makeup product? Was it the same method or different? How did it go? 

XX, Jen <3

8 thoughts on “Fixing Broken Makeup With Alcohol-Does it Work?!”

        1. There are different variations but all kinda the same idea- I wonder if there’s a step I didn’t do or something I didn’t do right ha! I had fun trying it out nonetheless!

    1. Haha right?! Crushing up makeup just feels so wrong! Hopefully the makeup doesn’t break again. I’m being careful with it! Thanks for stopping by!
      XX Jen

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