Depotting Eyeshadows Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide

“Treat your [makeup] kit like it’s prime real estate,” Grishan Roof reminds us. As kit organizer to the world’s top makeup artists and hairstylists, the Depot Chopra founder knows a thing or two about condensing beauty products down what’s most essential. In this article, Grishan shares her best practices for getting started with depotting makeup—and eyeshadows are at the top of the list. 

Just getting started with condensing your makeup? Read Grishan's At-Home Makeup Organization Guide first.

What is makeup depotting?

Makeup depotting is the meticulous and satisfying practice of condensing cosmetics into an organized, scalable system—at least, that’s the Depot Chopra Method. This involves transplanting makeup from its original bulky, wasteful packaging into minimalist, sleek, condensed palettes, bottles and bags. Depotting makeup is a required practice for makeup artists, travelers and beauty lovers to cut down on the weight and footprint of makeup products. Depotting makeup takes your products from heavy and bulky to sleek and chic. 

How to make your own custom eyeshadow palettes:

When it comes to depotting, eyeshadows are one of the most daunting, yet important products to downsize and condense. Eyeshadow palettes take up so much space, come in all shapes and sizes, and clutter your space. Here is Grishan's step-by-step method to removing them from their packaging like a pro:

Step 1: Add Heat

There are many methods for depotting eyeshadows, but Grishan says heat is necessary. Adding heat will loosen the glue that holds the eyeshadow pan in the original packaging. Grishan swears by the Z Potter for a slew of reasons—primarily, this product was created specifically for heating makeup. It doesn’t burn paper or cardboard, which makes it perfect for the backs of palettes. Z Potter is also an induction stove, so it won’t get hot to the human touch.

Step 2: Pry the eyeshadow pans carefully

Once the glue softens, pry each pan out carefully using a depotting spatula (Grishan’s favorite linked here).

“You’ll know it’s ready to be removed when the pan starts to wiggle around in the palette, like when a loose tooth is ready to come out,” says Grishan. Pop out the pan, and place it on a clean paper towel. Optional: Remove the glue from the back using this scraper tool dipped in Parian Spirit.

Step 3: Transplant eyeshadow into new customizable palette

Here’s the fun part. When all eyeshadows are depotted, you can begin to build your custom eyeshadow palette. Grishan helped design the ultimate empty magnetic makeup palette with MYO Cosmetic Cases to store and organize all your newly depotted eyeshadows. Some metals will automatically stick to the magnetic makeup palette base, but for those that don’t, be sure to add metal makeup stickers to the back of each eyeshadow pan so that it holds securely in the MYO Companion Palette. 

Extra Tips and Tricks for Depotting Eyeshadow Successfully 

  • Have patience! When people break eyeshadows, it’s because they weren’t ready to be removed just yet. Be sure to physically see the pan shifting around in the packaging before prying it out.
  • Eventually things will melt and burn. The trick is finding out when it’s ready before the burning happens and you start to smell fumes. Test your pans with the spatula to see if they’re ready.
  • For beginners, some eyeshadows can be depotted manually without heat. This works best with more inexpensive palettes, because the pans are so flimsy. The trick is tearing the cardboard packaging piese-by-piece from the bottom — see Grishan’s TikTok for details.
  • When organizing the depotted eyeshadows, it’s best to separate shimmer from mattes. Grishan recommends matte eyeshadows on top, shimmer on bottom so the shimmer doesn’t cross over into the matte shadows.
  • Save space in your empty palettes by grouping same-shaped pans together. This will help optimize your eyeshadow tetris.

With the right tools and a bit of patience, you have everything you need for successfully depotting eyeshadows and creating the custom eyeshadow palettes of your dreams! Watch lots of videos! Grishan's Instagram @depotchopra is the best resource on the internet for depotting tips and short-form video content.

If you're hooked and want expert depotting of your makeup kit, you can sign up for Grishan’s depotting waitlist here. Look out for 1:1 classes coming in 2023, and make sure to sign up for the monthly newsletter to be the first to hear about new products and services before Instagram does!

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