How to Fix Broken Powder Makeup in 5 Easy Steps

December 12, 2023
Reece Andavolgyi
By: Reece Andavolgyi | by L'Oréal
broken makeup powder compact

If you’ve ever dropped a powder compact on the ground, then you know that earth-shattering feeling  of watching your favorite powder foundation or highlighter shatter into a million little, messy pieces right before your eyes. Before you go and toss that powder makeup straight into the trash, you need to take a moment to ensure that there’s no way of bringing your makeup back to life — because, chances are, you probably can. “Simply revive your powder makeup by adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol, [and using] a spatula or smooth surface to gently reshape it,” says content creator Tenisha Ward. Keep reading for easy, step-by-step instructions on how to fix your broken powder makeup — within a day, your compact will look good as new!

What You’ll Need

  • Compact with broken powder

  • A clean paper towel or makeup wipe

  • A few cotton swabs

  • Rubbing alcohol 

How to Fix Broken Powder Makeup 

Step 1: Break Down the Powder Makeup

“Break down the broken powder makeup into fine pigment particles with any spatula-like tool,” says Mia Galvan, makeup artist and content creator. If you don’t have a makeup spatula, a plastic knife can also work. 

After breaking down the broken pressed powder, it should resemble a loose powder consistency. The smaller the powder particles, the easier the makeup will be to put back together. 

Step 2: Pour Rubbing Alcohol

Next, pour a cap full of rubbing alcohol into the compact and use the makeup spatula or plastic knife to mix the powder with the alcohol. Keep mixing until it resembles a frosting-like consistency, says Galvan. If the powder mixture still feels dry and chunky, add a few more drops of alcohol as needed. 

“As the alcohol evaporates, the consistency will become thicker, which is when you want to start shaping [the mixture] to fit the pan” advises Galvan. Gently smooth and spread the mixture across the pan to create an even layer. 

Step 3: Pack the Powder

“Find something that is a similar shape to the pan,” says Galvan. “For example, if the pan is square, find something that is also square, similar in size, that has a flat bottom.” Wrap a paper towel (or something lint-free) around the object, and firmly press it down into the pan. This stamping motion will help pack the powder so it’s firmly pressed into the pan.  

Step 4: Clean Up Leftover Powder 

Next, use the cotton swabs to clean up any leftover powder on the area surrounding the compact. 

Step 5: Let Powder Sit and Dry

Let the powder sit and dry overnight with the compact open. In the morning, your compact will look good as new, and it will perform just as it did before you broke it. 

Photographer: Reece Andavolgyi Visual Designer: Juliana Campisi

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