How To: De-pot MAC Eyeshadows

I believe I was 14 when my mom purchased me my first ever MAC eyeshadow. Long story short, this 1 eyeshadow quickly grew into about 50. No, I’m not kidding. Some may call it excessive, but I like to think of myself as a collector. Some people collect art, I collect MAC shadows. I say this to justify my insanity. Now, as you can imagine, it is quite hard to store 50 single pots of MAC eyeshadows. I don’t live near a MAC Pro store and had never seen the palettes that they sell to consolidate eyeshadows. A couple of years ago when I started to religiously read beauty blogs, I kept seeing these palettes pop up again and again, so I went to MAC’s website (they do not have them on MAC counters, only online and in pro stores), found them, and ordered one. When I received it in the mail, I unpackaged it and thought to myself, “OK, how in the hell am I supposed to get these into the palette?” I browsed the Internet for all sorts of ways to de-pot MAC eyeshadows and tried a few, but quickly figured out the easiest way to do it. A lot of people like to use the flat-iron trick, but I much prefer to use the candle method. Now you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about when I say candle method. In this post I will explain the step by step process of how to de-pot the eyeshadows, accompanied by photos.

I should also mention that you can buy the eyeshadows in pan-form online, and they will come with a magnet already on them. This how-to is for people who already have the eyeshadows in pot-form, and want to put them into a palette.

Tools you will need:

  • Knife
  • Tweezers
  • Candle (preferably one with just 1 wick)
  • Lighter (to light the candle)
  • Scissors
  • Magnetic tape

Step 1: Take your lighter and light the candle.

Step 2: Take the knife and insert it into the groove below the top pan of the eyeshadow. Wiggle the knife side to side until the plastic pan pops off.

Wiggling the knife back and forth

What it looks like after you’ve popped the top pan out

Step 3: Take your tweezers and grip the side of the plastic and hold over the candle. Make sure you don’t get too close to the flame. I hold mine about 4-6 inches above the flame. Hold it there until the bottom of the pan starts to bubble in the middle.

This is what it looks like when the plastic starts to bubble

Step 4: Once the plastic has bubbled up, take your knife and push the tip of it into the middle of the bubble. The metal eyeshadow pan should pop out. If it doesn’t, return the plastic pan to the candle. When popping the metal pan out, be careful because it will be hot. After you pop it out, place the pan, eyeshadow down, onto the counter.

Pressing the knife into the bubble

Popping the metal pan out

Step 5: In order to label your pan that you just popped out, you will use the sticker label from the bottom of the container. Hold the eyeshadow container over the candle at an angle so the flame is heating up the glue under sticker. The heat from the candle warms up the glue that is holding the sticker to the container, making it easy to peel off. Holding it an angle works better than holding it directly above because it heats the side of the sticker, into the middle, which makes it easier to peel off.

Holding the container at an angle. You can see the sticker starting to bubble in the middle.

Step 6: Take your tweezers and peel off the sticker.

Peeling the sticker off

Step 7: Place the sticker on the bottom of the eyeshadow pan. Make sure that the sticker lines up with the pan, so it doesn’t fold over the sides. Press on the sticker to make sure that it stays. The warm glue will then dry and keep the sticker adhered.

Sticker pressed onto the bottom of the pan

Step 8: Cut off a small piece of magnetic tape and place it under the name of the eyeshadow.

Cutting the magnetic tape

Magnetic tape placed under the name

Step 9: Insert the pan into the palette.

In the palette


So there you have it! How to de-pot MAC eyeshadows. It is tedious work, but effective.

Xoxo, Sarah




3 thoughts on “How To: De-pot MAC Eyeshadows

  1. Pingback: Haul: MAC, Oribe, Garnier, & More! « Beauty Down South

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