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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Fixing broken pressed-powder products

When the powder in a compact breaks, it is possible to restore it and keep using it for a while if you're prepared to put in some effort. This article describes the process for restoring it. Save yourself money and a needless trip to the cosmetics counter.
You will need rubbing alcohol to fix broken powder.  Please note that there will be a minor loss of product when trying to restore the compact.

There are a few methods that other people recommend that can be used.

The standard method:
Gather the loose powder and put it back in the compact.  Take a toothpick or another sterilized object to break up the bigger chunks  in the compact until you have a fine powder. (as fine as you can get it).
Next, take your rubbing alcohol and pore a little at a time into the compact. The powder must be a thick damp paste and not soaked and runny from the alcohol.
Now you need to press down into the compact until it is smooth. It must be pressed down as hard as you can  (hence the term compact).  If you use a knife, it must be sterilized with alcohol.  If you use your finger, make sure you use an new jiffy / plastic bag / gloves.
Please note that the powder will appear darker than usual, but once it dries completely, it will return to its original colour.
At this point, you can simply allow to dry undisturbed for 2-3 days by air.

My Preferred Method:
I decant the broken pieces into a plastic bag (jiffy works well).  Then you an crush the pieces in the bag without having to use unsanitary objects.  Also It is easier to control the product from going over the sides of the compact and also control the amount of alcohol which is used.
Once crushed, add the rubbing alcohol a little at a time.  Do not soak the product with too much alcohol.   The powder must be a thick damp paste.  Once mixed throughly, cut a small hole in the corner of the plastic and squeeze back into the compact.  Just like icing a cake!
Once in the compact, it needs to be pressed back into the compact.  I prefer to put the plastic over the compact and take the end of a bottle (one that fits the compact) and put it on top of the plastic and press down as much as you can.  This pressing method works very well.  I go one step further and add hatch marks before allowing it to completely air dry .  It looks professional "like new", by adding the hatch marks.
For small compacts like eyeshadows a coin can be used instead of a bottle

Adding Hatch Marks:
Take an old pair of coarse jeans and turn them inside out. I usually use a heavily textured piece of old clothing like a T shirt with ridges, since jeans may be hard to work with.
If you use the jeans or old T- shirt, turn it inside out (use the leg part if using jeans) Carefully put it over the surface and press firmly all over.
Voila! You have the pretty hatch mark you lost in breakage. If the imprint is not showing as much as you want, spray with alcohol and press again or press harder.

Making Your Broken Product Into a Loose Powder:
Instead of trying to stuff the broken product into the pan, you can just make it all into loose powder.
Get a small mortar and pestle (available from kitchen stores) and put all of the product into it, scraping out the unbroken remnants if desired.
Grind product as finely as possible.
Put the loose powder in a small tin or tub, and apply using a brush.

Also please note that if the powder is really old, it will not have the same effect when trying to fix it and you may want to consider tossing it out if it is really old.  Old powder products harbour bacteria.

Thanks for reading xoxo

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