How to repair/repress a broken powder

Blog, The Bella Edit

This was so not a post I wanted to make.

I’d seen post like this floating around the beauty world (mostly on Instagram), and each time I’d thought something along the lines of this: Okay, that’s good to know but I never want to have to use it.

I mean who purposely breaks their makeup?

These people. Ok seriously, check out that YouTube channel, it’s super cool and they have a video specifically on BECCA champagne pop here.

Anyways, I was taking photos of the BECCA highlighters I own which are champagne pop and the two highlighters from the BECCA x Chrissy Teigen palette (review here). I had just finished and was carrying them back inside when I noticed that the cover of the BECCA x Chrissy palette has a sort of sticky surface where the BECCA compact would stick to top of the palette.

I began to tilt the palette to see if the compact would stay on top, and it did- for like two seconds. It crashed to the floor and product spilled everywhere. I had a moment of silence for my poor $38 compact, then used a fan brush to sweep all of the broken pieces into the compact. I didn’t lose too much product, but my floor had shimmery marks on it for the rest of the day.

So whether you too have broken your precious highlight (I should start a club), or any pressed powder, here’s what you’ll need.

  • Isopropyl alcohol or really any rubbing alcohol.
  • A bowl big enough to fit the product.
  • A spatula/toothpick/anything to crush and stir the mixture. I used the end of a paintbrush.
  • Cardboard (not pictured).
  • Scissors (not pictured).
  • Sharpie (not pictured).
  • Paper towel (not pictured).
  • A spoon, preferably a disposable one (not pictured).
  • Q-tip or other kind of cotton swab (not pictured).

1. Transfer the product into the bowl.

Self explanatory.

Yes, this is how badly mine was broken. I took this photo before I even began to begin breaking this up.

2. Clean out your compact. 

After I broke my powder, the compact had glittery dust everywhere. I just wiped it out with some water and a paper towel to clean out the pan and the compact. This insures you have a clean surface on which repress the powder.

3. Trace out the pan onto cardboard.

Trace the shape of the pan onto a paper towel and then onto the cardboard (I used the top of an egg carton). Cut out this shape from the cardboard. This is what you will use to press the product back into the pan.

 4. Check to make sure it fits into the pan.

Remember, you’ll be using this to press the product into the pan. In retrospect, I should’ve made my circle a little bigger, but it turned out fine.

5. Crush up the broken pieces into a fine dust.

I used the end of a paintbrush for this, but you can use really anything. Try and make sure there are no large pieces left over. If you want to keep this a loose powder, stop here and put it into a jar or old loose powder container.

Isn’t it cool how rosy champagne pop looks all crushed up? Don’t worry, once it’s repressed it’ll return to its natural peachy-gold shade.

6. Add the alcohol.

I added a few drops, then stirred it, then added more. I’m not sure exactly how much alcohol I added total, but when you’re done it should look like this:

7. Transfer mixture from the bowl to the pan.

If you’re repressing a powder you broke, put it in the same pan it originally came in. If you’re repressing a powder on purpose, put it in the pan you want it to be in.

8. Spread out the mixture.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to look perfect. It simply makes the process easier if it covers all sides of the pan. This is where it’s probably more helpful to have an actual spatula than the end of the paintbrush.

9. Press the product into the pan.

Because you’re doing this manually and not with a machine, keep in mind that there is simply no way to do it perfectly.

Lay the paper towel over the product and use the circle you cut out to press down the powder. Make sure you slide the circle around the pan to pack down all sides of it. I find it helpful to lift the paper towel every now and then to check and make sure you can get the most even surface as possible.

10. Use a damp Q-tip to clean the container.

I also find this helpful to do again after the powder has dried.

11. Let it dry.

I let mine dry overnight with the compact open and in the morning it was completely dry and didn’t smell at all like alcohol. Just be patient with it.

Some tips for trying this with a drier powder such as a face powder/blush

  • Do not swatch it while this is drying. That creates a hard pan which you will have to scrape off or else there won’t be any pigment.
  • If you are repressing a face powder, the color will change drastically when you add the alcohol. Do not worry. This isn’t permanent and it will return to it’s original shade.
  • 99% of the time, the color and texture don’t change noticeably. If it does change, check how long you’ve had this powder for. It may be time to purchase a new one.

If you follow all of these steps and you don’t get a result you’re happy with, let it dry and try again. Or (depending on how expensive it was), sometimes you just have to buy a new one. I hope this helps, and good luck!

See all my posts on repressing makeup (thus far) here!

Ciao bella!






*A note

All products discussed in this post were purchased by me.

This post contains affiliate links.

Read more about my affiliate link/PR samples policy here.



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