Sunday, 7 December 2014

How To De Pot Your Products

Depotting is the process of removing products from their hard packaging and putting them into a palette. This is a handy thing to be able to do if you want your products in one place. This post explains what I find the easiest and best way to de pot your products. This post covers products such as eyeshadow and blusher.

Some companies make it easy to de pot products. Brands such as Bobbi Brown sell their blushers and eyeshadows in packaging where you can just press the back of the product out and put it into one of their customizable palettes. Others such as MAC do refillable versions for palettes alongside eyeshadows and blushers in regular packaging. I really like these refillable versions, not only are they cheaper, but it saves having to de pot them. Then you get some brands like Illamasqua that don't offer refillable versions or easy pop out packaging. This is where knowing how to de pot comes useful.

Custom MAC Eyeshadow palette

The method I like to use is the heat method. There is a non heat method, which involves using a knife and wire cutters. I have tried that before but think the heat method is much easier.

What you will need

  • Hair straighteners
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Large towel
  • Tools such as pins or scalpel
  • Empty palette
  • Product to de pot
  • Wet wipes (hands can get very messy)
This tool is the best for depotting

Empty MAC customizable palette

First you will need to separate the outer packaging from the inner packaging that contains the eyeshadow/blusher. To do this use a tool such as a scalpel or a knife and carefully wedge it in, be very careful when doing this. When you've separated it, get ready to use the heat.

Separating the packaging

The product is now ready to be depotted

I switched my straightens onto the hottest setting, this is the best temperature as the hotter it is, the easier it is for the glue on the pan to melt. Wait for them to heat up. Get the greaseproof paper and put it onto the plates onto the straighteners. Being careful not to burn your fingers, put the product you want to de pot onto the greaseproof paper and leave it there for no more than 10 seconds. 

Hopefully the glue would have started to melt by now, allowing the pan to come away easy from the packaging. You can either use a pin to pop the back of the packaging, which means the pan should come away easy. I prefer to get the scalpel and carefully wedge it underneath the color. I found the glue came away really easy with my Illamasqua eyeshadows. The MAC ones took a bit longer.

With MAC eyeshadows the best way to loosen the pan is to wait til the heat has actually distorted the plastic packaging. It is easy to see when this happens as it goes a funny shape underneath. When this happens, grab a pin and just push it into the packaging. The pan comes out really easy.

Be careful not to burn your fingers or to break the eyeshadow. I've cracked quite a few eyeshadows before trying to do this. 

With MAC, they offer refillable palettes available in single size or duo size. They also do inserts for eyeshadows and blushers so the colors go in really tidy. Currently Illamasqua don't offer any customizable refillable palettes, so I bought a MAC duo palette and put the colors in using sticky magnets. I do like having all of my Illamasqua colors together as it makes it so much easier when applying color. It is easy to forget about a lot of colors when they are all stacked up, plus one palette takes up a lot less room.

Custom Illamasqua palette with powder and cream eyeshadows

Depotting can be messy so make sure you cover the floor with a large towel and have wet wipes handy. It is really easy to get colors over your hands.

There is a non heat method, but I think using heat is a lot easier and faster. Knowing how to de pot is definitely a good skill to have especially if you like to put your colors all in one place.


  1. Sounds like hard work, but you've done well. It's good to have them together :-)

    1. It does take practice, when i first started doing it I cracked a lot of eyeshadows, the more you practice the easier it becomes x

  2. Oh wow I actually didn't know you could do this - so thanks so much for sharing - such a clear and useful tutorial :)

    Laura x

    1. Yeah you can do this with any product. I depotted my MAC blushers a while ago too x