How-to: Fixing Broken/Cracked Eyeshadow

It’s a typical Monday morning: you’re running late because you couldn’t drag yourself out of bed on time. After you haphazardly throw an outfit together, you’re frantically trying to “put your face on” in the bathroom. One subtle elbow movement and you’re watching your favorite pressed powder falling towards the tile floor in slow-mo. Metallic pigment splayed every which-way on your floor, you sweep it up, pissed that you’ll have to repurchase that shade later in the week. Don’t fret: broken shadows ARE fixable. Granted, they won’t look as perfectly pressed and pretty as it did newly out of the box, but you won’t have to shell out that $16.50+ for its replacement.

Supplies needed:

    • ∞ Broken shadow
    • ∞ Rubbing alcohol
    • ∞ Toothpick/Q-tip with cotton tips removed (will be used as a tool to break up the powder even more)
    • ∞ Quarter (optional)
    • ∞ Paper towels
    • OPTIONAL: Eye-dropper, otherwise: CAREFULLY pour the rubbing alcohol
    • **NOTE: these instructions are under the assumption that your broken eyeshadow is a single compact, not part of a value-set with multiple individual shades. Though these are fixable as well—see photos for reference.

Bronze cracked shadowGold cracked shadow2

  1. Sanitize the tool you’re using to break up the shadow even more. You don’t want to be using a dirty tool as this could cause eye infections…and you will actually have to buy the shadow’s replacement after that.
  2. Using the tool, break up the shadow even more into a finer powder, focusing on the clumps, and making sure to not make a mess on your counter. Keep all powder contained within the shadow’s original casing.
  3. Taking a bit of rubbing alcohol, pour a bit into the cap (or have some ready in the eye dropper), pour a few drops into the eyeshadow (this amount depends on how much powder was in the compact). Put in a little at first—you can always add more. NOTE: if you do add too much, it’s no biggy, you’ll just have to wait a bit longer for the excess alcohol to evaporate.
    Gold adding alcoholGold mixing in alcoholGold goopy
  4. Using your tool, move the shadow/alcohol mixture around until it’s fairly mixed and the texture is goopy like a thick paste. Once you’ve achieved this consistency, put your tool aside.
  5. Taking the eyeshadow case, “drop” it unto a hard surface a few times to smooth out the goops and make sure the mixture is settled. This will ensure that the finished product has a smoother surface rather than bumpy/clumpy. Do NOT do this step if you are fixing a broken shadow in a palette—ONLY do this step if fixing a single stand-alone shadow.
  6. Set the shadow aside and allow for the rubbing alcohol to evaporate. This can take as little as 2hrs — I left mine overnight for convenience sake. Again, if you added a bit too much alcohol in step 3 you will just have to wait a wee bit longer, and overnight could be your best bet.
  7. To ensure that your shadow is dry to the touch, gently touch the surface with your fingertip—if the shadow gives in to the middle, and your finger has quite a bit of product transfer, it still needs time to dry. If it’s solid, not too too much product is transferred to your fingertip, and doesn’t collapse into itself you are now able to press the powder down even more.
  8. Take a tissue, folded twice, and lay it across the top of the now-dry shadow fully covering the pigment. Gently but firmly press your fingertips into the tissue to compact the powder down even more. If you would like the surface to be evenly compacted, you may also use a quarter. Place the coin ON TOP of the tissue making sure that it is centered, and press gently but firmly. If you press too firmly you can still damage the eyeshadow as it is not fully dry.
  9. Set this now compacted shadow aside to fully dry overnight, and you’ll be ready to use it the next morning. Voila!

Both dried shadows
If you’re more of learn-by-seeing type of person, here is the YouTube video I referenced.

One thought on “How-to: Fixing Broken/Cracked Eyeshadow

  1. Thank you so much for this amazing article my bronze eyeshadow broke into pieces when I first bought it and I don’t want to buy it again. Found your article in searching to fix it and I am so happy I came across your article

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