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Beauty Trick: Broken Eye Shadow Quick Fix

Update: This post originally ran on July 25, 2013, but we love this beauty trick and wanted to make sure that you all had a chance to see it!

Cracked eye shadow is such a bummer. So many times I’ve gotten my hands on a color I love, used it a bit, thrown it in my bag, and then all of a sudden it’s ruined! I try to salvage as much of it as I can, but it just ends up getting everywhere. This got me thinking… there has to be a way to correct this mistake without buying an entirely new eye shadow. And there is. It’s surprisingly simple to fix your cracked eye shadow. Once you’re through, you’ll never even know it broke!

What you need: Rubbing alcohol and your broken eye shadow.

Alcohol and eye shadow

1. Pour a little rubbing alcohol into your eye shadow container — just enough so that the shadow is saturated.

How to fix broken eye shadow

2. Smooth out the mixture. You can use your finger, a spoon, a wooden stick — anything that will flatten it out.

How to repair broken eye shadow

3. Wait a few hours for the shadow to harden completely, and it will be as good as new!

How to repair cracked eye shadow

I’ve read that another option is to replace the rubbing alcohol with petroleum jelly and eye cream. If you’ve tried it this way, let us know how it worked!

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Mads -July 25, 2013, 8:51AM

This is glorious! Trying it out today! I’ll report back (:

Faiza -July 25, 2013, 9:32AM

I wonder if this works for bronzer…

fp brigette -July 25, 2013, 9:41AM

Faiza – I haven’t tried that, but it seems like this should work for bronzer.. blush and foundation, too!

Juliette Laura -July 25, 2013, 9:57AM

Oh I’ve done this! It works so well! Definitely a life saver!

xo, Juliette Laura

Jessica M -July 25, 2013, 2:00PM

No way!! I do this to my makeup ALL THE TIME — you ladies have just saved my pocketbook so much! I love finding solutions to my clumsiness =)
thank you!!!

Jasmine -July 25, 2013, 9:17PM

Michelle Phan just did a video tutorial on this. It’s a good trick to know to save money.

Stacey -July 25, 2013, 9:53PM

Between this, the restricted diet recipes, the horoscopes and my obsession with FP clothes, I have to wonder…how did you guys get into my brain? ;)


Anonymous -July 25, 2013, 10:04PM

I’m afraid of the alcohol that close to my eyes! *biting nails*

carla -July 25, 2013, 11:10PM

i am going to use this on my blush… just like eyeshadow it has cracked!!
For the lady above who said she was afraid of the alcohol so close to her eyes!!! OH NO!!! Do not be afraid.. once it dries it will not hurt u at all.

Kate -July 25, 2013, 11:50PM

This is perfect because my Nars blush just broke literally earlier today. Thank you!!

Bev -July 26, 2013, 1:08AM

What a great idea!! Now I need an equally great idea to fix my favourite lipstick that has snapped off from the bottom. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanx guys :)

vicki -July 26, 2013, 1:46AM

this makes total since. I’m a hair extension specialist and we use alcohol (and a few other secret items) all the time with removing them. it evaporates and dries up excess oils. I can see how the Jellys would work but it would make them creamy and not dry up. I wouldn’t like that heaviness of the oil on my eyes. Great idea person who came up with it!

celine -July 26, 2013, 8:40AM

woah this worked great! I can’t thank you guye enough!

Katie -July 26, 2013, 9:40AM

I can see how this would work! There is usually some rubbing alcohol in certain face washes and makeup removers. The alcohol evaporates and poof: perfection again!

Jennifer Freitas -July 26, 2013, 12:10PM

Good idea… but I also dont like the idea of alcohol on my lids – or anywhere on my face… I think you could use Witch Hazel Distillate to get the same affect… :)

Britt -July 27, 2013, 12:26AM

Added tip- once your shadow has dried and harden, it may look a little rough. If you take a buffing brush (or something similar) and give it a good buffing, it’ll smooth out any roughness and make your shadow look good as new.

And for those wondering: yes, it does work for blush, bronzer, foundation, etc. The alcohol won’t cause discoloration and it won’t cause any damage to your skin, but if you’re worried, you can definitely try a different liquid substitute (I don’t know of any that work as well as rubbing alcohol).

Sundal -July 28, 2013, 1:18PM

A makeup artist told me about this trick so i tried it with a broken eyeshadow and some vodka. It worked but it wasn’t as good as new, it crumbled away again. Is there a difference between using vodka and rubbing alcohol?

Shemeka Garner -August 8, 2013, 9:49AM

Amazing, and I want to thank you for this one because it solved my problems. If only my other expensive eye shadows has not expired, yet I would revive them. I used to buy expensive eye shadows but I broke them because I am always in a rush and my bag gets slammed anywhere. :)

Thank you so much. Now I am confident to buy new expensive makeups because I know I can fix them when they break…

liz -August 11, 2013, 10:25PM

For those who are worried about the alcohol near your face…once the mixture dries the ingredients in the alcohol that make it “scary” will have evaporated away (which is why you can get drunk from cooking with alcohol etc.) I have super sensitive eyes and skin and have never had a problem!

Marie -August 15, 2013, 11:10AM

I have a couple of beautiful Bobbi Brown eyeshadows that were banished to the corner of my bathroom cupboard, but they were just paroled, and they thank you. As a side note… When I did this, mine did not have a smoothe finish, so I covered them tightly with saran wrap and ran my finger over the top until the surface looked perfectly smoothe. Voila!

Allison -September 28, 2013, 10:12PM

If you wanted to add a nice touch after you’ve mixed the alcohol and eye shadow/blush/face powder/whatever together, smooth it out and then press lace (or something else textured) to leave a nice pattern as it dries! I’ve done this for friends using a loose powder and vintage compacts; they loved them!

Alexa Sonken {Invitations for Creatives} -September 29, 2013, 9:15PM
meg -September 30, 2013, 8:54AM

Ummm…This is amazing! Thanks for the awesome tip!

mar -September 30, 2013, 9:49AM

This is just perfect!!! I had a little accident with my favorite blush just a couple of days ago, now I can fix it! thank you so very much!

jazmin -October 4, 2013, 5:20PM

Wait, so if you put the alcohol in the eye shadow, will the smell still linger?

Natalie -October 7, 2013, 10:39PM

I want to break my eye shadow just so i can try this!

keerthi@poshfeast -August 13, 2014, 2:45AM

Wow..great trick..definitely going to try this out

Lyrra -September 22, 2014, 12:58AM

For the record, witch hazel does work in place of the alcohol. I tried it the other night. The only thing I really noticed was that it took longer to set and dry than when I used alcohol.

Emma -October 28, 2014, 4:42PM

That was helpful I did the same thing to my eyeshadow throw it in a bag

Madi -December 15, 2014, 7:49AM

Can I ask, If you just have one crack in a blush palette does this work? I really don’t want to crumble up my entire palette if I don’t have to. Can I just spray it and press it back into shape? Also how long does this take to dry before you’ll get the same colour payoff from the pigment?

Thanks, Madi

Roo -February 1, 2015, 4:51AM

Witch Hazel does NOT work.

linds -February 22, 2015, 4:43AM

This is awesome, I prefer pressed over loose but have all these mineral shadows I was to try it with!

Jill -March 6, 2015, 10:42AM

This doesn’t work.

SUE -April 28, 2015, 8:16PM


Stephanie -July 29, 2015, 4:46PM

So glad to have found this tip! Pinning and using on my new highlighter that shattered :( hopefully will turn into :) again

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