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Don’t Cry Over Spilled Product: How to Save Broken Lipsticks, Powder Compacts, and More

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People talk about praying for the best when their iPhone hits the pavement, but there’s absolutely nothing worse than dropping your favorite brand-new makeup product on the bathroom floor or counter and hearing that stomach-churning crack.

If your brand new (and expensive!) powder compact happens to crumble, don’t panic. We have all the beauty hacks and tricks for repurposing and repackaging your favorite beauty products. Whether you have a broken blush, cracked lipstick, or shattered highlighter, makeup and lash artist Sara Edward Wayne shares her best tricks on how to salvage your precious product.


About the Expert:

Sara Edward Wayne is a makeup and lash artist and owner of OUTLAW COSMETICS.

Crushed cosmetics,Mineral organic eyeshadow,Blush and cosmetic

How To Revive Your Broken Powder

First thing’s first. If you really want to put together a broken powder compact in its original packaging, it is possible, but it’s kind of annoying. There are tons of TikTok tutorials available on how to do this. Plus, you have to add an extra ingredient to the product which some people might not be a fan of. Here’s exactly how it goes down.

  1. Scoop out the product and crush it into a fine, even powder consistency. 

  2. Add rubbing alcohol to the powder one teaspoon at a time.

  3. Once the product forms a wet paste, place it back into the original packaging.

  4. Pat the top dry with a clean paper towel.

  5. Let the product sit and dry for 12 hours. The alcohol will evaporate and absorb into the product, creating a powder consistency again. 

However, Wayne has another hack. If you don’t want to go through that trouble, just turn your broken powder compact into a loose powder. “When this has happened in the past, I used plastic disposable compact makeup powder containers that professional makeup artists use to store loose powders in different colors,” she says. “You can crush the powder even more and turn it into a fine loose powder and store it in [refillable containers].”

Lipstick bullet tips in a row

WEKWEK / Getty Images

How To Revive Broken Lipstick

  1. If your lipstick breaks from the tube, take a lighter and carefully heat up the product that’s still attached to the tube.

  2. Once the product appears melty in the tube, push on the top part of the lipstick that has fallen off.

  3. Twist down the entire lipstick tube, and leave it alone to set for at least eight hours. 

  4. Once it’s dry, you’ll be able to use the lipstick again!

If you’re not into playing with fire, Wayne suggests “using a small pallet to store your broken lipstick in by crushing down the lipstick,” then you can apply the lipstick with a brush like professional makeup artists usually do.

Mascara swatch on off white background

Photo by Jamie Grill / Getty Images

How To Revive Dry, Clumpy Mascara

  1. Wayne says you should always store your mascara at a temperature no higher than 75 degrees. 

  2. If your mascara is looking clumpy or has dried out, Wayne says you can “try adding a drop of castor oil, vitamin E oil, or pure hyaluronic acid and mixing it in the tube as a temporary fix.”

  3. Taking out the wand and cleaning it with hot water can help too.

  4. “On set, I've used drops of saline solution on the mascara wand before placing it in the tube to help add moisture,” adds Wayne.

Tips on How To Prevent Broken Makeup

  • Don’t Be Too Rough: Sometimes in a pinch, you want to push down harder on your lips when using your lipstick tube, but this can only cause the product to separate. Try lightly adding the lipstick to your lips and repeating if you want a darker hue.

  • Always Store Makeup in Optimal Temperatures: Wayne says you should store your product in heat no higher than 75 degrees. Keep this in mind when you leave your house in the summer and keep the AC off. It might be best to pop your products in a cool, dark, dry place when you’re gone.

  • Check Expiration Dates: Make sure to toss old makeup. Here’s the typical shelf life guide for each of your products. 

Beauty and makeup tools and products on light blue background

When Is Broken Makeup Not Fixable?

Wayne says broken makeup is never fixable when it’s expired and that “trying to save eyeshadows is too complicated.” If your product isn’t expired, “I say toss broken eyeshadows and try to save the rest using disposable plastic makeup containers that the pros use,” says Wayne.

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About the author
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Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated April 10, 2023 12:00 AM