How To Fix A Broken Color Palette

All you need is rubbing alcohol and a few common household items.
Publish date:
June 6, 2014
Revlon, DIY, broken product, eye makeup, eye shadow, quick fixes, repair

I broke another eye shadow compact this week.

It was one of those slow action shots in which the tiny eye shadow compact slipped out of my fingers and gracefully parabola’d over three kittens and a kitchen chair, its bold “REVLON” label flashing in the sunlight, before shattering in the open maw of my ruthless bike delivery bag.

Sometimes I suspect that cosmetic package designers ballast those suckers to fly fast and true just to mess with us klutzes. How else could I possibly break so many palettes?

Now, this Revlon ColorStay eye shadow isn’t the most expensive product that I own, and I’m not particularly in looove with the product (more on that to follow), but I hate-hate-hate wasting perfectly good makeup. So I discovered this trick for repairing broken compacts!

You'll Need:

A broken powder compact

Rubbing alcohol

A small measuring spoon

Mixing stick


If you're dealing with a large compact, it may be easier to use a mixing tray and a tiny spatula. I just used the original container and a chopstick for my demo. Note: A higher concentration of alcohol will evaporate faster.

STEP 1: Use the measuring spoon to slowly saturate the palatte with alcohol. I used approximately 1/4 tsp. for .05 ounces powder.

STEP 2: Smoosh the product with the end of your stick, mixing the alcohol to redistribute the powder evenly across the container.

STEP 3: Cover the palette with a tissue and blot with you finger. Use enough pressure to reform the palette, but no so much that it breaks again.

STEP 4: Allow the palette to dry. I left mine on a sunny windowsill for 24 hours.

With safety in mind, isopropyl alcohol is a pretty common ingredient in cosmetics (including eye makeup) and is copacetic for external use. The only ingredients are isopropyl alcohol and water, both of which will evaporate at room temperature (75 degrees Fahrenheit) and leave no residue. Just be sure to let the palette dry out fully and consider doing a patch test on your wrist if you’ve had bad reactions to alcohol ingredients in the past.

I’m linking the MSDS for my fellow science nerds, but it breaks down to this: don’t inhale the fumes or slam-a-jam 8.5 ounces of the stuff.

You can use this method to repair pretty much any powder compact, blush, foundation, etc. I didn’t notice any color change in this particular eyeshadow, but if you are concerned, consider trying a small test patch first.

As for the eyeshadow itself, my review is a little indifferent. It’s exactly what you expect from a cheapie drugstore product: proficient, but not magnificently opaque or long lasting. At this price point, however, I ain't hating. It kinda reminds me of those khaki pants your mom made you wear to your interview at Kohl’s and that you keep for nostalgia and desperate times.

Here’s a swatch of Revlon Colorstay in Khaki (top) and Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze (bottom).

I fixed my brows after this shot.

What broken beauty products have you gone all MacGyver on lately? I need to know!