The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Pinter-test: Can Broken Powder Makeup Really Be Saved?

Fixing broken makeup

Each week, we put a different claim found on Pinterest to the test (hence, Pinter-test! Get it?!)

For me, dropping a fifteen-dollar pressed powder is right up there with watching my iPhone fall to the ground. I can’t even count how many times I've thrown away eye shadows, pressed powders, bronzers and blushes because my 6 a.m. hand-eye coordination is not the best. When I came across this tip, I thought about how much money I could have saved over the years:

"Use rubbing alcohol to fix broken powder makeup."

The question: Does it really work? To test this out for you all, I actually broke my bronzer on purpose (my heart hurt a little). Then, I followed the tip's instructions using 70% solution isopropyl alcohol to create a clay-like mixture. I finally smoothed it out to the best of my abilities. According to Pinterest, it should come out brand new.

How to fix broken makeup

My bronzer came out with a few cracks after drying. While it is still usable, I wonder what caused it. Maybe a little too much alcohol, or I didn’t smooth it out enough? While I think this trick has potential, I believe I made an error somewhere along the way - so I'm giving this tip a semi-verified status.

Have you ever used this trick to fix your makeup? Let us know if it worked for you! I’d also love some suggestions for future Pinter-test posts. Tweet ideas to @allyssaamarie or leave a comment below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Semi Verified
I know that some people use a similar trick to refill vintage powder compacts. They take loose powder, make a sort of paste with alcohol, press it in and let it dry.

I've only tried this once and mine cracked, too. I gather it is a trial-and-error process before one instinctively knows how much alcohol to add.
#1 Tess on 2013-09-06 09:05 (Reply)
I do this when my pressed powder is running low and has pulled away from the container. Works perfectly. I add a tiny bit of alcohol, mix, add more if needed, then spread out as best as possible. Usually it's a little lumpy, but after using with a brush once or twice, smooth again. And it lasts, unbroken until the powder is only in the corners of the compact.
#2 julie on 2013-09-06 12:12 (Reply)
I think the key is to really press the paste into the container. If you just smooth the alcohol/powder mixture, you are going to get some weak areas/cracks when the alcohol evaporates.
#3 Megan on 2013-09-06 12:16 (Reply)
I'm trying this when I get off the computer. I have a blush that arrived crumbled and I can't use it, the brush picks up too much loose powder.

I hope this does the trick. Thanks.

Beautiful boy btw.
#4 Diane on 2013-09-06 12:42 (Reply)
Thank you Diane - one of these days I will formally "announce" baby on the blog, hopefully before he turns 18 ;-)
#4.1 The Budget Babe on 2013-09-06 20:39 (Reply)
Y'know, I've done this before, and it DOES work....but the texture is never quite the same again. Even if it doesn't crack/crumble it's never as finely milled or whatever as before. I guess I'm a bit OCD in that I hate how it looks/feels so I'd rather go out and re-buy the makeup instead unless the makeup was particularly expensive.
#5 just_kazari on 2013-09-06 17:28 (Reply)
i agree, i've tried it before too, but it never really seems the same again. i don't feel like it applies the way it should. on top of that, it only lasted about two weeks for me until it cracked all over again!
#5.1 Liz (Homepage) on 2013-09-09 22:42 (Reply)
I'm sure mixing the alcohol messes with the chemistry of whatever makeup it's being applied to, but at the same time I would probably give it a shot if not much was left.

Sometimes when eye shadows or blush crumble or break from being dropped I just put the remnants in a jar and just use a brush to apply. Sort of like a loose powder version.
#6 Aileen (Homepage) on 2013-09-10 23:44 (Reply)
I tried this on some eye shadow. I used 91% alcohol and thought I accidentally poured too much. It was mud consistency instead of clay. but it dried fine without any cracks.
#7 mindy on 2013-09-13 08:45 (Reply)
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