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The Lowdown on Depotting

The Lowdown on Depotting
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If your collection of makeup products rivals an actual cosmetics counter, you’re probably already a pro when it comes to depotting. But, those of you who are only beginning to create your signature look might not have never heard of this hack. Either way, we are here to give you the downlow on depotting.

Depotting -- Defined

We could all use a little extra space in our bags when it comes to lugging around our makeup products and saving a few bucks when we need to replenish a product is always a plus. Depotting makes it possible to do both. The Huffpost claims Depotting is Makeup Hack That’ll Save You Lots of Money, and defines depotting as “the practice of removing a makeup product, such as eyeshadow, blush or lipstick, from its original container and placing it into more practical packaging.”


Less is More

Rather than pack half a dozen palettes, compacts, lipsticks and eyeshadows separately -- you can transfer them into one magnetic container, which saves you space but also showcases your favorite products in one spot. By carefully selecting your favorite products, you streamline your personal inventory while totally customizing your signature look.


Unlike some other makeup trends and techniques, depotting is simple once you get the hang of it. Like most things, practice makes perfect. Here are three quick steps to get you started and show you how to depot makeup:

Bring the Heat

You need a heat source to help loosen the adhesive holding the makeup in its original packaging. Using a flatiron is a fan favorite, but a hair dryer works too. Just apply heat to the packaging for one to three minutes, depending on how easily the glue melts.

Stay Sharp

Once the glue loosens up, use a sharp tool (check out our double-sided depotting tool!) like tweezers or a spatula to separate the makeup from the container. Set the pan aside and do the same with your other products until they are all detached from their original packaging.

Get Organized

Line up all your pans and figure out how you want to organize them into your palette. If your palette is plastic you can use magnetic stickers to hold the pans in place.  

Pro Tip

We’ve all had a favorite product or perfect shade that is impossible to replace because the label with the shade name has worn off or faded completely. Don’t let this happen to you. Use a Sharpie or sticker to label each of your depotted pans with both shade and brand so that refilling is a cinch.

Behind-the-Scenes Benefit

Depotting can save some green -- both money and the environment. Recycle your empty packaging after you’ve depotted and organized your products into your new palette. Forward-thinking brands like MAC even offer special incentives to do so. The Back-to-MAC Program gives customers a free lipstick of their choice in exchange for six MAC packaging containers. And MAC isn’t alone in their green ambition. Check out these other major brands that recycle makeup products.


Do some good as you depot, but make sure you have the right tools and accessories to get started.