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A little bit ago I made a diy z palette. I had a few things to go in it but I also wanted to try de-potting a makeup palette. I first wanted to attempt this on something I wasn’t very attached to and in this case I had a hand me down just practically jumping off the shelf to be a participant in my experiment.

Do you remember this guy?


The sad remains of the Tarte 2010 Limited Edition Jewelry Box

So my sister cast off this Tarte 2010 Limited Edition Jewelry Box exclusive to Sephora and I grabbed it up. With a little internet research this is what it looked like when she first purchased it.


Surprisingly for it’s age the shadows were still really soft and creamy.


There were only a few shades I was interested in keeping so I cut apart the box. Using a large candle I placed the palette piece I wanted to extract a shadow from over top of the flame to heat up the glue holding the pans in. The plastic got pretty hot to the touch so I figured the pans would be ok to pop out. Using a nail file I tried to wedge them out of the plastic. It didn’t really go well. The pans were very thin and twisted up easily breaking the shadow. And I burned my fingers on the heated up plastic. This is what the shadow looked like after I was done extracting.


Broken shadows

So these can’t just go in to my diy z palette. I am going to have to re-pot these if I am going to keep them. I needed some new supplies if I was going to do this. I had to order empty makeup pans and for good measure I also got a makeup palette and spatula from ebay.


Makeup palette and spatula

I don’t believe I spent more than $10.00 on everything.


  • Empty makeup pans (magnetic ones)
  • Makeup Spatula
  • Small clean bowl
  • Alcohol (I used vodka)

First I covered my work space with paper. Since eye shadows can be heavily pigmented I didn’t want shadow to be potentially everywhere and staining things.

On my freshly covered work space I emptied a broken shadow into my bowl. The spatula came in handy for scraping out any little pieces that hung onto the old mangled pan.


Old mangled pan and fresh new ones waiting to be filled.

Using the spatula I broke up the big chunks of eye shadow until it was a fine powder again. A mortar and pestle would have been so much easier to do this!


Smoosh Smoosh Smoosh

It’s important to break up the shadow before adding the alcohol so you don’t add to much liquid and you want all the pieces to stick back together again. Now don’t get over zealous when adding the alcohol. You want it to be a thick paste. It will go back into the new pan the best that way and you won’t be waiting for days for the shadow to dry out. I added the alcohol to the powder a drop at a time until I had a nice paste. I think over all I added 2-3 drops.


Eye shadow Paste

Using the spatula I then packed the paste into the new pan. I saw online a suggestion of taking a quarter or flat object, covering it in plastic wrap, and then using it to help pack the makeup into the pan. I tried it with a quarter and I don’t really feel it helped me pack the product down or smooth out the surface. I just continued to use both ends of my spatula to pack and smooth.


Packed eye shadow

I set this to the side, cleaned all my supplies and started over again with the shadow. Depending on how much alcohol you add the drying process could be a few hours to quite a long time.

After a bit I got to load up my diy z palette. My re-potted tarte shadows are all lined up in the right corner and I added some of my Ipsy samples and my Strobe Cosmetics eye shadow to my z palette as well.


Getting Organized

I decided while I was looking at my handy work that my z palette would benefit from a mirror. So I took the mirror out of the dissected Tarte Jewelry Box palette and added it in to my z palette with duct tape.


Mirror installed!

Clearly the pans from Tarte were larger than the pans I ordered. So I have a few pans of some of the colors. I also didn’t want to waste extra shadow and I had a few colors that wouldn’t fill up an entire second pan so I added a second color to the pan. I figured this might be nice when traveling to have more shadows in less space. I would just have to make or purchase a smaller z palette to be ready travel.

I don’t think I would do this on a regular basis with my makeup. Maybe if I used up some things in a palette but wanted to keep the rest of the makeup and downsize it’s container. But it is relatively easy to do and now I have some of the supplies necessary to do this again. I do need to figure out a better way to remove pans from palettes to spare my fingers some pain.