a custom smokey eyeshadow palette

July 22, 2015  |  Beauty, DIY  |  No Comments

After the success of depotting my Urban Decay Naked 1 palette, I naturally started looking around for other packaging I could shrink down. The first thing that came to mind was actually another Urban Decay palette – Smoked. Not to be confused with their new Smokey palette, these shadows were housed inside a case with a fiddly zipper enclosure, which made accessing them kind of annoying…especially when I was in a rush!

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Aside from Smoked, I also chose to re-home my Urban Decay 500 point perk from Sephora and some Make Up Store eyeshadows to round out the colour selection in this new palette. That’s the carnage on the left, and my sleek new case on the right:


What a difference, huh?

I put a lot of thought into how I’d like the colours to be arranged in their new home, and eventually decided on a down-the-middle split. I stuck the neutral tones on the left and the more dramatic jewel tones on the right with the two middle squares acting as a divider that would work for both groupings. Of course I’ll mostly be mixing and matching across the whole palette, but I find it’s always good to have complimentary tones together for days you don’t have time to think.


I made the palette very similar to the last one, with plastic sleeves and ribbon pulls. This time however, instead of glueing the pans directly to the plastic I used sheets of sticker-backed magnets. Since the pans are removable, I labelled the back of each pan with its colour name.


All in all, I’m super happy with these custom palettes! I love how much space I’m saving, and that I’m able to group similar colours together for no-brainer colour matching. I also feel I’ll get better use out of a lot of these colours, now that they’re easily accessible.

I can’t wait to do a full look with this. Stay tuned!


how to make a custom eyeshadow palette

July 9, 2015  |  Beauty, DIY  |  No Comments

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!

how to fix broken eyeshadow

May 9, 2015  |  Beauty, DIY

Sometimes, bad things happen to good eyeshadows. And although a broken eyeshadow is still useable, the loose pigment can be messy, inconvenient and frankly a bit of an eyesore in an otherwise pristine collection. Thankfully, rescuing a smashed shadow is super easy! Here’s how I get my makeup mishaps looking good as new:


Step 1: Gather your supplies. You’ll need rubbing alcohol in the highest percentage you can find (at least 70%) as well as some toothpicks and a small spatula. You’ll also need either a tamping tool or something the same shape and diameter as your eyeshadow pan that can be used to press the powder back into shape. I’ve got a wax seal stamper and a bottle of nail polish here as examples, but feel free to use anything that fits.


Step 2: If your eyeshadow broke into chunks, crush it up into a powder and then add the alcohol drop by drop, stirring with a toothpick till it clumps together like wet sand.


Note: I like to leave the eyeshadow in its original packaging till this point so that there’s less chance of powder going everywhere, but once it starts sticking together, remove the pan from its casing or palette before continuing.


Step 3: Pat it down gently and smooth it over with your spatula, then let it dry for an hour to let some of the alcohol evaporate.

Step 4: Firmly but gently, pack the mixture down with your tamping tool to flatten the surface. Be sure to use even pressure so that it’s smooth and level.


Step 5: Take a small piece of pressing ribbon and a small piece of paper towel, and place them over the eyeshadow with the paper towel on top. Now, press down firmly with your tamping tool. Leave the ribbon in place, but replace the paper towel with a new piece and repeat the pressing until all the excess alcohol has been absorbed.


Step 6: Clean up the edges of the pan and replace it into its original casing or palette, allowing it to sit open and dry out overnight before use.

And there you have it – six quick steps to erasing any cosmetic casualty. Don’t you wish everything in life could be fixed so easily?