Testing Beauty Hacks: Re-Pressing Broken Powders

I had a lot of fun testing whether or not you can remove the sticky residue from NARS packaging, so tonight I wanted to try another makeup hack: repressing broken powders. Word on the street is that you just have to empty out the pan, crush the powder, mix it with rubbing alcohol to a clay-like consistency, and repress it with a paper towel. Once it dries (usually after a couple days) you can reuse it, good as new.

Now, I know that this hack works because I’ve seen lots of YouTube videos having to do with repotting makeup. The question I’m trying to answer is how viable this solution is. Does it make a decent final product? Do you compromise pigmentation, texture, blendability?

I’ve seen this done successfully, and I’ve seen this done poorly, so I wanted to try it out for myself with a couple products that got banged up. I had a mini blush and single eyeshadow that got cracked sitting around, so I got to work.

Spoiler alert: was was kind of successful, the other was a complete fail. Check it out.


The blush was more successful because it went into that clay-like consistency very easily. I had an easy time spreading it into the pan and pressing it down. However, when I test it side-by-side with another mini blush (same brand, purchased and opened at the same time), the pressed one is significantly less pigmented. They felt similar to swatch, but the pressed one is definitely more firm and less soft. Luckily, blush is the kind of product you want to build up slowly, so I think it will just take more time to get a good amount of color on the face, but overall I’m calling that one a success.

The eyeshadow was tricky. I know it’s hard to see because it’s black, but it was already very crushed up and required very little help getting it into a fine powder. But, it wasn’t responding to the rubbing alcohol in the same way as the blush did. I added a very small amount and it wasn’t mixing. I added a little more, and then it was suddenly liquid. I wish I’d had an eye dropper to add smaller amounts of rubbing alcohol at a time, because I’m not sure if I poured too much in or if this particular eyeshadow was going to have problems regardless. Whatever the case, it was a fail.

I think this hack definitely works, depending on the product you’re using. Some products will respond better than others, and it’s really easy to accidentally go too far with the rubbing alcohol and ruin it. And be prepared for changes in pigmentation and texture. The blush is definitely usable, but it’s not what it was before it was pressed (and broken).

Have you ever repressed your makeup? Leave some tips in the comments.

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