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Beauty by Bailey: The delights of de-potting

By Bailey Morrison

In the past year, the makeup industry has grown exponentially. Makeup artists and brands have collaborated and released palettes ranging from contour, eyeshadow and blush palettes. With this, makeup lovers like myself have run out of room for these palettes. I myself have a shameful number cluttering my bathroom. A solution has presented itself: de-potting.

What is it? De-potting is a simple process that reduces the clutter of packaging. Each palette comes with individual pans that hold the product and de-potting is the process of taking those pans out of the palette by melting the glue, allowing for palette customization.

Items you will need:

• An empty customizable palette (brand suggestions: Makeup Forever, Z-Palette)

• Magnetic tape (optional)

• A hair straightener

• Parchment paper

• Paint spatula (any tool with a small, Kat and dull metal end will do the job)

Step 1: First pick the palette you want to de-pot. I suggest that, on first attempt, you pick a palette you wouldn’t mind losing product from. Many come with bulky packaging and the best thing to do is to rip off the paper or plastic backing that covers the base of it. Some palettes even have a seam to make this step simpler. All you have to do is take the spatula tool and pop out the tray that holds the individual pans. While this is happening, turn on the hair straightener.

Step 2: You will need to take a piece of parchment paper and wrap it around the base of the tray that holds the pans of makeup. Rest the parchment-covered tray on the hair straightener for roughly 30 seconds. Some glue may be stronger and will require more heating. Use your best judgment.

Step 3: Take the spatula tool and wedge it between the metal pan and the tray of the palette. Slowly pry the pan from the tray. If the glue isn’t melted enough the pan will start to bend and the shadow, blush or contour will start to crack. There’s something fun and cathartic about being able to destroy a palette without sacrificing any makeup in the process.

Step 4: Next, determine whether the pan you removed is magnetic. If it is, place it in the empty palette. If it isn’t, take a small piece of magnetic tape and connect it to the bottom of the pan.

Voila! You are on your way to customizing your own palette in four simple steps.

Disclaimer: You will be melting plastic and it does smell funky. If you are clumsy like I am, make sure you’re careful not to burn yourself on the metal pans or on the straightener!


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