How to Depot Your MAC Eyeshadows

 

Items you need:

  • Pointed knife
  • Flat iron
  • Wax paper
  •  Round magnets
  • 3/4″ round labels
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Q-tips (optional)

57 Comments

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Marlena

I don’t understand what the point of depoting my MAC eyeshadow is? Can you please expalin.
Thank you

btw I just finished cleaning my brushes the way you showed us on your video it worked so well! thank you!

WOULD YOU BELIEVE..I CALLED THE NEAREST MACPRO TO ME..GOOD OL’ DALLAS, TX…TO INQUIRE ON THE COST OF A SINGLE E/S PAN, AND THE GUY LITERALLY TOLD ME…AND I QUOTE, “11 SOMETHING..I THINK”…HE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE COURTESY TO CONFIRM THROUGH ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. NEEDLESS TO SAY, PEEVED AT HIS INCOMPETENCE, I CONTACTED THE NEXT NEAREST PRO STORE–800 MILES NORTH–CHICAGO, ILLINOIS–AND SPOKE W/ DANA W/ MACPRO AT “ARMITAGE”..WHO WAS KIND ENOUGH TO RING ONE UP…$11.00 AND INFORM THAT AFTER THE NEW YEAR THE PRICE WOULD BE RAISED TO $11.50.
***MY DESPERATION IN DOING THIS WAS TO COMPARE POTTED VS. PANNED EYESHADOWS AND DETERMINE WHICH WAS MORE “WORTH IT” (AS FAR AS B2M, BOTH CONVENIENCE & COST-WISE)…BASED ON MY CALCULATIONS:

TX tax rate = 8.25%

POTTED E/S: $14.50 ……. 14.50 X 6 = $87.00 + tax ($7.18) = $94.18 — 7th e/s FREE
PANNED E/S: $11.00 …… 11.00 X 6 = $66.00 + tax ($5.45) = $71.45 — 7th e/s w/ tax $83.35, 8th e/s w/ tax $95.26
******************************************************************************************************************************************
THE DIFFERENCE IS LIKE PAYING $1.08 (TAX ALREADY INCLUDED) FOR 2 ADDITIONAL SHADOWS!!! WOW..RIGHT?

EVEN @ $11.50 ea……X 7 e/s + tax = $87.14 — STILL A $7.04 SAVINGS
OR @ $12.00 ea……X 7 e/s + tax = $90.93 — STILL A $3.25 SAVINGS

*ONLY* @ $12.50 ea…would you be overspending by a mere 0.54 cents.

SO SAVE THE OTHER CONTAINERS FOR B2M (foundation, powder, blush, etc) UNLESS THE E/S ISN’T OFFERED ANY OTHER WAY..OTHERWISE..I SEE NO DIFFERENCE IN NEEDLESSLY OVERSPENDING…AND FLUSHING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY DOWN THE TOILET.

***IT PAYS TO DO THE MATH!! (that wasn’t intended as a cheesy joke..just the first thing that came to mind)
***PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS INQUISITION AS BEING “FRUGAL”, but “INFORMATIVE”.

codi AKA Mrs. Number-Cruncher :)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I have been trying to figure out how to depot for a while now. You are so awesome. you made it look so simple :) I really appreciate all that you do for us! :)

I just got some palettes for christmas and was getting ready to break down and de pot all of my other mac eyeshadows. I didnt know exactly how to do it. How exciting that you did this tutorial today. Cant wait to get all those babies in palettes. I think Im going to try using an electric skillet as opposed to a flat iron for this. I have lots to do :) Thanks Marlena.

that video was perfect i just bought a mac palette this afternoon along with some shadows to fill but now i can put my favorites in the empty palette spaces i have so many shadows and it always seems the the color im looking for is in the bottom of my makeup bag and takes me longer to find then use… so finally i got tired of searching and went and bought a palette… this helps soo much thanks again!!!

Some people want to learn how to depot the MAC shadows so that they can fill them in their MAC eyeshadow palette(HOLDS 15 EYESHADOWS) or quad palette. I live in MS and they don’t have a MAC store…only department counters so I usually wait in the summer when I go to California to buy eyeshadow fill-ins!!! Never thought about depotting until I saw Marlena’s Barbie loves MAC video!! I ruined my first attempt (I HAD NO CLUE WHAT TO DO THOUGH) but I am soo going to try this! GREAT WAY TO RECYCLE AND HAVE 1 FREE LIPSTICK/GLOSS/EYESHADOW!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE CRACKED OR BROKE YOUR EYE SHADOW COMPLETELY!?!

EnKoreMakeup on Youtube has a Video called “Pressing Eyeshadow/Pigment”

Helps save your broken up eyeshadows so you don’t have to toss them away!

Hi I have a question. I live in LA by the Mac store and have numerous empty eye shadows that I want to take in to get a free eye shadow. My question is, do the empty containers have to be eye shadows only? I also have empty blushes, lipgloss and mac powder

Thanks Marlena I have been going to the MAC store in Berkeley, CA ever since you had the video about organizing your palettes. I haven’t had a real need to depot any of my eyeshadows since I have been just getting the pans from the MAC store but I do have one potted shadow that I need to pop out and I was just about to look and see if you had any tutorials and here it was.

On another note thank you soo much, your tutorials have helped me rekindle my love with make-up. In the past I have never been wiling to experiment with colors and all of that other stuff, but you have helped to take the intimidation out of putting on make-up and just trying something different seeing what new looks suit me. I have naturally large eyelids so I have a nice canvas to work with. And just putting some eyeliner and mascara on was not really letting me use the full potential of what I have. Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!!!!!!! Forever Thank You!

Codi: Thanx for doing the math for us!! Wow, that was sooo helpful! Pro pans for me..

Ashlee: you can back-2-mac any 6 glass or plastic containers (blush, lipstick, powder) in exchange for an e/s, l/s, or l/g at a freestanding MAC store or for a lipstick at a MAC counter. HTH!!

Marlena, another great tutorial! Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!!

You can also depot them without using an iron. Once you get the eyeshadow out, you cut the front of it with wire cutters and put a few drops of alcohol (or Acetone) to free up the glue, and the it pops right out using your knife. I can put up a video of this if you want.
Thanks Marlena for EVERYTHING you do, you are WONDERFUL!!!!!

I’m really envious of the palettes etc you have in the US, I’ve looked at the MAC site here in UK & they don’t offer anything like that on the site. Unfortunately according to the site there’s only 2 MAC counters in Scotland so don’t have much luck there either.

I don’t understand the part about the magnets. Do you glue magnets on the back of the eyeshadow refill?

You can buy magnets at the craft store that have adhesive on one side. You just peel off a sticker to reveal the adhesive. I have noticed you need to be careful at the thickness of the magnets, you dont want to get ones that are too thick. I had a hard time finding the circles but I bought some rectangular strips that I just cut down and that worked great. Also I watched another video on this where they heated up the bottom of the container and peeled the sticker off of the bottom that has the name. This girl put those stickers onto the lids of her palettes but I put mine on the bottom of my shadows, they are exactly the same size. I put the rectangular shaped magnet on top of that leaving enough room to still be able to read the name.

More questions about the magnets! Sorry to be do dense. Is the back of the Mac palette metal which makes the magnets stick to it?

I just de-glued my stilla eyeshadows from this cardboard thing..greattt idea!.. keeeep up the videos luv them

-Jane0023

Sandra: Yes the bottom of the MAC palette is metal. Without the magnets on the back of the eyeshadow the eyeshadow would slide around slightly and be unstable. I bought 1in square magnets from the drug store and cut them down to size which worked out great. Just make sure the magnets you buy are not to thick. Hope this helps.

Just a quick question when you depot youre eyeshadow you no longer have the metal container in the pot do they take them like that when you take youre containers for a free item at Mac just want to make sure since a while back some you tubers stated there containers were confiscated and were not worth since they were missing the metal were the actual eyeshadow is in

Johana:
I just depoted 18 eyeshadows and returned them to the MAC store without the metal piece and they didn’t say anything about the missing piece. I picked out my 3 free eyeshadows.

don’t understand what the point of depoting
the MAC eyeshadowfor ?Can you please expalin. im new at this!! lol i dont own any mac yet but i will soon and i wanted to know why you do the depoting for?

China: Once you start accumulating eyeshadows you will. It becomes frustrating digging through a makeup bag full of 30 eyeshadows trying to find the one that you need. Depotting allows you to arrange your shadows in a palette making it much easier to find the shadows you need (and shaving time off your makeup routine).

Codi,
You can also take in the empty metal pot singles that you can buy at the free standing MAC stores for Back to MaC free stuff (e/s, lipglass, or lipstick). I almost always buy the singles. I have large palettes and a few quad palettes in case I want to just take a quad with me when I travel. So if you save up the little metal pans you can still get free makeup AND save money. And you don’t have to depot anything.

Jennifer (iheartloucon),

If you can take in the metal pans without the black cases, then wouldn’t it follow that you can actually end up with double the free things? You could take in 6 plastic cases and then 6 pans?

Yesterday when I went to buy my palette the girl told me they only take the empty eyeshadow containers with the metal pan in it. However whenever I return empty containers at the other MAC store near me they don’t even bother to look at what I’ve brought in or even count them … so who knows?

Also I have a suggestion on using something other than a knife, kinda dangerous. I went to Michael’s and got this tool called a bead reamer, its basically a metal pointy stick and was only $1.99. I just knew if I used a knife I would end up hurting myself, haha.

I brought back my de-potted eyeshadow cases back and they did allow me to exchange for the back-to-mac program. I called ahead of time to make sure so I wouldnt be wasting a trip and they said yes they would take them back without the metal pan inside. So call ahead, ask for a manager and get their name.

The only bummer is that you can not get a pan re-fill, only a full eyeshadow/ case, which means more de-potting. Also, you can only exchange 18 at a time, which thank god my friend was with me to exchange another 18 for me. So if you have more than 18, bring a friend!

BTW- i went to staples and bought a magnet roll, sort of looks like tape. the magnet is really thin and you can cut it to desired length to fit the back of your pan, also it has sticky stuff on the back.

I kept the glue on the back of the pan so the magnet would stick better to the pan, just a suggestion.

thank you thank you thank you! my sister and i tried this right away and it worked really well…except we had a hard time getting the glue off the bottom but we used goo be gone and that seemed to work pretty well lol. i was also really excited when the lady at the MAC store told me they take the cases as well as the empty metal pans…two for 1 :) this is going to save me sooo much money. I’m also lucky enough to have an employee discount at macys so buying the eyeshadows with their cases is just as cheap as buying the pans at a MAC store!

The stores near me are really picky about de-potted pans. Last week when I was getting my free lip gloss a girl was trying to turn in her depotted pans as a double(cases and pans) they took her bags said they dont accept depotted mac nor depotted pans…only e/s cases that are intact and the pro pallets e/s with the mac sticker on the back. Poor thing they would not even give it back to her so be careful and call ahead of time. So I would double check when they say they accept pans that they arn’t talking about pro pallet refills before you try taking them in…because most stores at least all the ones I have been to will only count them as one not a 2fer.

Hey Marlena! I depotted all of my mac eyeshadows per your tutorial. Worked like a charm! ;-). But I noticed that my 3 new matte shadows (wedge, brule, and charcoal brown) are not coming off the pallette. They aren’t brushing on the brush. Do you have any ideas on how to fix them? Being that they are new for me I’d really hate to throw them away. Thanks for your help!

i just have two questions, do i want to have the flat iron on a high setting or a low one?
and also, is the wax paper waxy side up or waxy side down, doesnt it melt on either the iron or the container?

Hi I just depot all my eyeshadows to take them in…MAC will NO LONGER take cases this way…they said something about the prodect being aletered…so i had to buy pallates to put in my depot eyeshadows…. at least I made more room in my make up case =)

I wondered the same thing about the wax paper- to be safe you could use parchment paper (in the same section as wax paper and plastic wrap at the grocery) which doesn’t have any coating on it.

BTW, no one at MAC (both store and counter) has EVER offered this program to me- sometimes they can be so snooty!

Has anyone used the Coastal Scents 15pce palette? It looks a bit smaller than MAC Pro’s 15, but otherwise I’m wondering if it’s decent- it is only $8!

I just purchased the instyler and mine does NOT have the option to switch the way the bar rotates. This is very anoying , it takes me like 25 minutes to use because of that, my hair generally turns out okay

I understand why someone would depot MAC eyeshadows…..

My question is that before I started buying mostly MAC shadows, I bought a lot of misc eyeshadows of different shapes and sizes and therefore have a lot of bulky containers. I want to depot these to condense the space, but I wouldn’t know what to do after that since there isn’t really a palette out there for it….

Any suggestions? Thank you!!!

Hello ! I watch your videos with a great pleasure.
I’ve already depoted my mac eyeshadows but I have a problem : how to find, on th internet (because I’m french), the magnet stickers that you use to make eyeshawows hold in the palette. I hope you can understand what I want to say… and wait for your answer !

thank you! just a quick queation: once u’ve depoted it can you put it back in its packaging again? plz answer

Thank you very much for this tutorial. I just did it and it works great and now all my eyeshadows are organized. Thanks so much!!

To Luna – I haven’t done this as I’ve only ever desired my MACs be out of pots but the ENTIRE bottom of the MAC palatte is metal so if you pop out the black plastic part that has separated pieces for the different eyeshadow pans you can put magnets on whatever you want and put them in there! :)

this is more of a response to an earlier comment made by Opal (comment #49)…yea..i have the same problem but you just kinda get used to it. at first it was a bit funky to use but after a few more times, you get the hang of it and it works out pretty well. but back on topic..mac comestics…i always liked the way they look on other people…just not on me. i’m jealous of you girls that can wear it so well.

I can’t believe some of these comments.

***DEPOTTING FAQ!***

-What is the purpose of depotting?
Think about it. She mentions buying palettes. The purpose of depotting is to save time and space by putting the eyeshadow pans into a PALETTE. Why are you even watching the video if you don’t know the purpose of its subject??

-Why do you use magnets? WHY OH WHY OH WHY??
Think about it. You’re probably not going to stick the shadow to your fridge, correct? Maybe, then, the magnet helps the shadow stay firmly in the palette!! Something has to help it stick in there, right? If you just laid it inside the little slot, it would fall out when you moved the palette, and your shadow would probably break.

-Where do you get the magnets?
She said right in the video that she got them at Jo-Ann’s. If you don’t have that store near you, shop online, or try another craft store. You could probably even find suitable magnets at a store like Wal-Mart. If you are not from America, I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with what stores in your country stock, and I doubt that makeupgeek is, either. Google search so you can shop online. You will be looking for something like “sticker magnets,” “adhesive magnets,” or “magnetic tape.”

-How do you stick the magnets on?
. . . I don’t know what it is about magnets that’s so hard to grasp. They are adhesive-backed, like a sticker. If you are trying to use some type of magnet that doesn’t have adhesive backing, get really creative and try GLUE.

-Can you use the Back-To-MAC program with the depotted containers?
This is actually a pretty good question, but unfortunately, the answer is a little bit complicated. Read closely.
Koren of EnKoreMakeup actually talked to a manager at a MAC store. I trust his information because he buys so much MAC that I imagine the employees’ eyes turn into dollar signs whenever he walks in. The manager told him that it is MAC policy to only accept shadows WITH the pan present–meaning, the depotted containers would not be accepted. Koren advised viewers to buy replacement pans online (they are very inexpensive, especially in bulk) and Back-To-MAC the packaging that way.
HOWEVER–I have heard numerous stories of people bringing back packaging without the pan and having no problems receiving their free shadow or lipstick. Therefore, some stores or counters are unaware of that new policy, or don’t adhere to it.
IN SUMMARY: It is technically not company policy to Back-To-MAC shadows without the metal pan. However, some stores or counters will allow you to Back-To-MAC shadows without the pan anyway.

I hope that clears some things up, if anyone bothers to read it. Makeupgeek, you are a saint.