How to re-press pressed powder

With apologies to my male readers: Today’s post is uncharacteristically girly (and truly random). But perhaps you’ll want to read anyway, in case you ever need to cheer up a dejected woman who has accidentally smashed her expensive makeup to smithereens.

A few years ago, I was ecstatic to find a pressed powder light enough for my Casper-like complexion. Still, I had two complaints: First, it was expensive; and second, I hated how a little bit of powder would always cling to the almost-empty compact, just out of my brush’s reach. It seemed like such a waste to throw out that last bit of powder …

But a few months ago a makeup-artist friend taught me a nifty trick, which has already saved me $60. Disclaimer: I can’t guarantee that it will work for all brands/formulas of pressed powder. Still … if you have some slivers that you’re going to toss anyway, it’s worth a shot.

What you’ll need for this experiment:
• Leftover bits of pressed powder
• An X-acto knife
• A small spatula
• A small custard bowl
• Some isopropyl alcohol

Step 1
Using the X-acto knife, scrape the powder remnants from several compacts into the small bowl. Pulverize any large chunks of powder with the knife.

Step 2
Add a bit of alcohol, and stir to create a paste (shoot for roughly the consistency of toothpaste). Stir until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Don’t worry if it seems a bit too runny; it’ll take longer to dry, but it won’t make a difference otherwise.

Step 3
Spread the paste into one of the empty compacts. Don’t worry too much about trying to make it smooth.

Step 4
Gently tap the compact against the table several times, to remove air bubbles.

Step 5
Let the compact rest for about an hour. Touch the powder with your fingertip. If the paste is still wet and the powder sticks to your finger, check back in another hour. Repeat as necessary. (Hint: The powder below is still *way* too moist.)

Step 6
Once the powder no longer sticks to your fingertip, you’re ready to set it. Place a paper towel over the powder and press down gently, with steady pressure. Don’t worry if the paper blots up a bit of the alcohol.

Step 7
Remove the paper towel and let the compact sit overnight so the powder can fully dry. Voilà! You now have a brand-new (if somewhat handmade-looking) pressed-powder compact. This technique works with most eye shadows as well, by the way.

So there you have it … another truly random HBlog post. As always, back with something completely different tomorrow!


    • Ahahaha ! Tu viens de découvrir pourquoi, chez moi, c’est l’épou que fait la cuisine ! Merci pour me faire sourire, Mo, et très bonne journée à toi aussi, Monsieur Sunshine. 🙂

  1. I can’t decide whether this is *really* cool or just a little weird. Do I love any make-up enough to go to all that bother for the sake of saving a bit of cash? Hmm, I suspect I’m too lazy – although the children’s TV ‘How To..’ aspect is quite appealing. I guess the deciding factor is what brand the make-up is. For Mac, yes, I too might consider doing something like this. You odd girl, you. 😉

    • Can we agree that it’s both cool AND weird? (I think that’s how my friends would describe me, anyway …)

      For most people, this odd pastime would probably be a waste of, um, time. But for your friend h and her extra-shiny complexion, it’s been a godsend. Plus, it keeps me from attempting any *real* cooking, for which I’m sure my husband is grateful. Grin!

    • Congratulations — you’re now officially my friend! Personally, I don’t mind being a little weird. It’s better than being boring … 🙂

  2. Are you using MAC pressed powder?
    Thanks for this though I’m too lazy to go through all those steps. I usually take something sharp and pointy and loosen the powder. It might shave a few minutes off your process. Thanks!

    • I did this with MAC pressed powder and it turned out wonderful. I’m not close to a MAC store and didn’t want to waste what I had left. Plus my daughter just informed me that you can turn in 6 empty MAC containers and get a free lipstick or eyeshadow. So now 3 empty containers and only 3 to go.

      • I’m so glad to hear this worked for you, too! Although it’s totally worth the cost, this powder is getting so expensive that it can really pay off to economize. And I’m glad your daughter informed you about the recycling program, too — I’ve gotten some fun colors that way I wouldn’t have sprung for otherwise. Enjoy, and thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

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