Beauty DIY

how to make a custom eyeshadow palette

July 9, 2015

I love the idea of custom palettes, but I held off on making a custom eyeshadow palette for a long time. The best way to make one is to depot – remove eyeshadows from their original packaging and place them into a blank palette. As a detail-oriented perfectionist however, I’ve never been a fan of the concept. I like packaging to look intentional and depotted palettes always seemed a little messy to me.

Then a little mishap with my beloved Urban Decay Naked palette made me rethink depotting and re-imagine what a custom palette could look like. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the results though. Isn’t it pretty?

custom eyeshadow palette 5

Looking back, I suppose it was a happy accident that forced me to re-home all my eyeshadows but oh, the anxiety it gave me at the time! Gouging out pans of eyeshadow for the first time was just nerve-wrecking.

custom eyeshadow palette 1

After all that, I wasn’t just going to stick my eyeshadows willy-nilly into any old case. I searched around for a long time and did way too much measurement math before a solution finally presented itself…in the form of a $2.90 Muji pencil case.

With a little bit of careful spacing, the Naked eyeshadow pans fit in very nicely. And because it was so deep, I could put another row of eyeshadows on the top lid as well. Since the Wet ’n’ Wild Comfort Zone palette complimented the colours of the Naked 1 eyeshadows (and came in a flimsy plastic case which was likely to break soon anyway) that’s what I decided to go with.

custom eyeshadow palette 3

I used an industrial strength double sided mounting tape to adhere the pans to the palette. While magnetic palettes are a popular option, I didn’t really foresee myself wanting to rearrange these particular shadows at a later date so I just stuck them down permanently.

custom eyeshadow palette 2

Anyway, to prevent pigment fallout and colour contamination, I decided to put clear plastic dividers between the two rows of eyeshadows. I cut them from a stiff sheet of clear plastic, and scored them so they’d open and close like doors. I made little ribbon pulls as well.

custom eyeshadow palette 9

custom eyeshadow palette 10

Because I wanted the names of my Naked eyeshadows to be visible, I cut a strip of balsa wood to fit under the shadows and wrote them on there. I wrapped the balsa wood in gold washi tape first, to match the colours of eyeshadows and also to make it easier to clean.

custom eyeshadow palette 8

Finally, I finished the palette with more washi tape on the outside. I chose a map print for this one, because I intend to use it for travel.

custom eyeshadow palette 4

Now that I know custom palettes can look (almost!) as polished as original makeup packaging, I’m a total convert to the art of depotting. In fact, I’m already eyeing up my stash of eyeshadow singles and planning more depots this week…maybe with magnets this time. Wish me luck, and if you have any good tips on depotting or custom palettes I’d love to hear them!

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