We feel your pain – we hate it when we accidentally drop a compact or eyeshadow and the powder cracks. It’s also a downer when lipstick breaks. Lucky for us, we know celebrity makeup artists who stay calm in a crisis. They taught us how to fix broken makeup like a professional.
In this article, we’ll describe how to repair shattered makeup with alcohol, micellar water, and no liquid at all. We’ve included tricks for dealing with broken makeup instead of putting it back together, plus we discuss the pros and cons of each method. Towards the bottom, we describe how to fix broken lipstick and revive dried-out mascara.
Let’s get started with the most basic trick – how to flatten broken makeup.
- 1 How to flatten cracked makeup
- 2 How to fix broken makeup with rubbing alcohol
- 3 How do you fix broken makeup without alcohol?
- 4 How to fix broken powder with water
- 5 How to fix broken makeup with micellar water
- 6 How to fix dried-up mascara and eyeliner
- 7 Are professional makeup repair products worth it?
- 8 How to fix broken powder makeup
- 9 How to fix broken lipstick
- 10 Don’t bother fixing this kind of makeup
- 11 How to keep makeup from breaking
How to flatten cracked makeup
Before you begin, wash your hands. You don’t want to contaminate the makeup.
Now, imagine you see a crack running through your eyeshadow. Your most basic instinct might be to press it flat and hope that the fracture fixes itself. Weirdly, this might work.
Begin by gently tapping the back of the compact to see if the makeup is loose and if the broken part is worse than you thought. If it really is just cracked, you can try smudging it with a makeup brush or pressing it flat with a clean finger or a clean coin.
However, if you use a liquid like rubbing alcohol or distilled water, you’re likely to get better results.
How to fix broken makeup with rubbing alcohol
Our favorite broken compact powder hack is using rubbing alcohol. It fixes everything from pressed powder to eyeshadow, blush, and broken highlighter.
But first, you need to cause more damage! Seriously, take a toothpick or the opposite end of a makeup brush and break up the product as small as possible. Grind it into little particles. If it’s in a palette, be careful not to spread the powder into the other compartments.
Next, add a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol (or as much as a teaspoon if it’s a compact) to turn the makeup into a paste. Smooth and press the product until it’s uniform then let it dry for an hour (but it’s best to wait overnight).
What’s neat about using rubbing alcohol is that the alcohol evaporates and doesn’t leave a residue. It simply helps the makeup bond back together and then goes away. You don’t need to be afraid about putting alcohol in the makeup because it’s not going on your skin – it’s evaporating while it dries.
Moreover, rubbing alcohol is sanitary and might just kill any unwary bacteria lurking in the makeup.
Solimo 70% Ethyl Rubbing Alcohol
Is it just us or have rubbing alcohol prices gone up? At least this one is still pretty cheap plus it comes with a satisfaction guarantee. How often does that happen?
Notice that it says 70% ethyl alcohol on the label. It’s not isopropyl alcohol – it’s a little gentler to the skin. Still, it kills germs and will fix your shattered makeup. There’s also a bit of water and other added ingredients that the US government requires that manufacturers add to rubbing alcohol to prevent people from drinking it.
How do you fix broken makeup without alcohol?
What if you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand and need to put an eyeshadow palette back together? Don’t worry, just check out the options below.
How to fix broken powder with water
Distilled or filtered water can be used to put broken makeup back together. Just like you would with rubbing alcohol, smash the product into a fine powder before adding a drop or two of water to turn it into a paste. It shouldn’t be runny, just damp enough to shape. Press it down and let it dry overnight.
Obviously, the bigger the product, the more water you need. It’s tempting to use tap water, but we recommend against it because unfiltered water from the sink contains impurities that will be left behind when the water evaporates.
How to fix broken makeup with micellar water
You can also use micellar water to repair shattered makeup. Use it the same way as you would rubbing alcohol or distilled water by smashing the product completely, adding a couple of drops, and pressing the paste flat. Add the least amount possible because micellar water contains dissolved solids that will be left behind when the liquid evaporates. You may not be able to see them, but they may affect the texture and performance of the makeup. (This is one more reason to try rubbing alcohol as it evaporates).
However, if your makeup has cracked but not shattered into pieces, try adding a single drop of micellar water to smooth it over.
What’s handy about using rubbing alcohol, distilled water, or micellar water is that you can keep the eyeshadow, blush, etc. in the original packaging.
Bioderma – Sensibio – H2O Micellar Water
There are many brands of micellar water and even specific types designed for dry or oily skin, sensitive faces, and so on. We prefer Bioderma’s Sensibio because it’s mild enough for acne-prone and rosacea-prone skin but strong enough to dissolve water-resistant makeup. It’s very kind to dry faces
The water cleanses the skin of impurities without dehydrating it. Don’t believe us? Then do a comparison. You’ll see a dramatic difference if you have naturally dry skin. Cleanse one cheek with micellar water and the other with tap water – don’t use any face wash or soap at all. Wait five minutes and look in the mirror. It’s astonishing how much smoother and softer the micellar water side looks and feels.
If you tried using micellar water on waterproof mascara, you already know that there is a trick to doing it right. Soak a cotton pad and hold it for twenty seconds against your eyelid. Then when you wipe the eye, the waterproof mascara comes off.
Moreover, micellar water is perfect for fixing makeup mistakes. Wet a cotton swab and use it to swipe off excess eyeshadow, lipstick, and so forth.
If you’ll be using this micellar water to repair makeup, be aware that it contains extra ingredients beyond plain water and they may alter the texture and performance of the makeup. On the bright side, the formula is fragrance-free and paraben-free.
How to fix dried-up mascara and eyeliner
You might be tempted to use contact lens solution to fix broken makeup, but remember that liquids like these contain ingredients that remain behind when the water evaporates. Instead, use contact lens solution to revive dried-up mascara and liquid eyeliner.
The good part is that contact lens solution is sterile and tested to be safe for use in the eyes.
Put a couple of drops on the mascara brush and insert it into the tube. Stir it and screw on the cap. Roll the tube between your palms vertically and horizontally a few times. (It helps if your hands are warm). When you pull out the brush, the mascara will hopefully be smooth and ready to use. If not, add two more drops and repeat. But don’t overdo it because the mascara will become runny.
You can do the same thing for liquid eyeliner if you can open the tube.
Contact Lens Solution by Renu
There are many different kinds of contact lens solutions – feel free to try whichever you please. You don’t need to buy a new bottle if you already have one you use.
This solution is loaded with three disinfectants to clean contact lenses. However, it dissolves protein, so use the minimum amount to revive dried-up mascara.
Are professional makeup repair products worth it?
You might’ve heard about Moon Mousse and Fixy as those are professional makeup repair kits. We didn’t review Fixy because other reviewers said it didn’t seem to perform as well as hoped.
Moon Mousse Makeup Repair Kit
This kit includes a specially formulated mousse plus four pressing tools that are shaped to help you fix broken makeup. The theory is that it helps glue together the shattered pieces so you can make the makeup look like new in the original packaging or in a different container.
It’s described as having natural ingredients, but reviewers say it takes up to two days to dry. That’s much longer than if you used rubbing alcohol. Worse, we saw plenty of reviews saying that the mousse changed the finish and texture of the makeup.
It seems like rubbing alcohol is still the best option for fixing broken makeup.
How to fix broken powder makeup
If you dropped a compact with pressed powder, treated the same way you would shattered eyeshadow. Smash the powder into tiny bits and grab the rubbing alcohol. Make a paste and smooth it into the compact then let it dry.
Nevertheless, that’s not the only option for fixing powder. Why not grind up the powder and pour it into a travel container? Then it becomes loose powder and all you need is an applicator puff or brush to use it.
Accmor Makeup Travel Containers with Lids and Mini Spatulas
Travel containers are a handy replacement for the original broken compact or makeup palette. This particular assortment has both small and large transparent jars with a selection of spatulas. You can clearly see what’s inside of each container.
If you choose to smash up the makeup further instead of repairing it, pour it into a jar and you can still use it with a brush, puff, finger, or sponge.
How to fix broken lipstick
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve had lipstick or lip balm break off. It was so annoying until we learned these tricks.
First tip: place the parts of the broken lipstick back together in the tube and place it in the freezer overnight.
Second tip: as freezing the lipstick might not solve the problem, try melting it. If the tube is completely plastic, not metal put the microwave on half power and try to melt the lipstick for five or ten seconds at a time. Be very patient as it will turn to goo if you overdo it.
Third tip: (this is our favorite – works like a charm) Wind up the lipstick completely and pull out what’s left. Then replace the largest piece in the tube and wind it back down. The broken part can go into a travel container or a replacement lipstick tube for use with a brush.
Dual End Lip Brush Retractable Applicators Set
Speaking of brushes, these dual-ended makeup applicators is perfect for dealing with broken makeup that you’ve transplanted into a travel container.
There are three retractable brushes in the set with different colored handles so that you can distinguish them. Use them for eye makeup or lipstick.
Don’t bother fixing this kind of makeup
When should you give up on fixing makeup? One celebrity makeup artist says to throw out shattered glass containers because it’s too difficult and dangerous to remove all the shards.
How to keep makeup from breaking
If you travel or tote your makeup around a lot, it pays to invest in a travel kit that keeps the products from bouncing around and being exposed to impacts. Since we haven’t yet found a travel kit that we’re completely pleased with, we tried a different method. We save some of the original packaging from the makeup palettes and compacts and use that to provide an extra layer of protection.
To wrap up, here’s a quick summary of all the products we mentioned in the article above:
|Products for fixing broken makeup||Highlights|
|Solimo 70% Ethyl Rubbing Alcohol||
|Bioderma - Sensibio - H2O Micellar Water||
|Contact Lens Solution by Renu||
|Moon Mousse Makeup Repair Kit||
|Accmor Makeup Travel Containers with Lids and Mini Spatulas||
|Dual End Lip Brush Retractable Applicators Set||