What To Do With Broken Makeup

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re happily putting your makeup on when suddenly, your favourite product smashes on the floor? It’s so shattered that it’s practically dust or spilling all over the floor that you don’t even know what you’re going to do with your life…

If throwing it away isn’t an option for you, or if you’re a little into DIY, these ideas just might help!

I’m quite accident prone myself, so I’m not a stranger to the broken makeup situation. Of course, I do try as much as possible to take care of my makeup. However, there are situations that are simply unavoidable.

Take my dog for example. As much as I love her, she’s the reason my favorite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer broke in half. She wanted to play and tried to take the concealer from my hands, so it ended up slipping from my grasp. My only reaction after I saw its neck snap (it being the concealer, not my dog):

Luke Meme.jpg

I stared at the mess while considering the pros and cons of going out to buy a new one. While it’s completely fine to do so, I had just purchased it a few months prior to the accident, so that would have been money down the drain yet again. Instead, I opted to salvage what was left of it. I cleaned it up, tried to tape up what I could so none of the product would spill out, then decided that I would go out and buy one of those clear twist up tubes from container stores.

Sample of a Clear Twist Up Tube

There are instructions on how to do this online (though admittedly, not very helpful and difficult to understand). However, if you think a video might help you, maybe I can make one. For now, I hope these written instructions will suffice.

INSTRUCTIONS: To decant the product into your twist up tube, all you have to do is to twist off the end with the applicator (whether it be a brush or a sponge-tip), transfer the liquid inside the opening (a tiny funnel might help), and re-attach the applicator by pushing down hard. Make sure it’s secure so that you don’t have product spilling at the sides – you’ll know it when you hear the click.

Note: Do not twist the end as it will dispense product as well as lessen the amount of space that you can put your product/s in. If you do end up twisting it by accident, before putting in the product, simply push down the plastic bit that elevates using a long stick. If this doesn’t work, you can pull off the end and twist the wheel in the opposite direction until you see the plastic returning to its original position.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger

Et voila, a perfectly functional concealer pen! It applies the product just as well, and it didn’t change the consistency despite everything that happened to it.

I did the same thing to some of my liquid highlighters even though they weren’t broken. For example, I couldn’t stand lugging around my Chanel liquid illuminator because of its heavy glass bottle, so I decided to transfer what I could into a clear twist up tube. It’s much more convenient to travel with, plus I can control the amount of highlight that I apply onto the back of my hand or I could directly apply it onto my cheekbones (something akin to BECCA’s limited edition spotlight highlighters).


This method can be done for most liquid makeup products, whether it be concealer, foundation, liquid highlighter, lipgloss, or whatever! Try to see if it works for everything liquid (I feel that anything too watery or too thick might not work).

The same idea can be applied to powder products. I know many who have suffered from the loss of their dear Champagne Pop (or any BECCA highlighter for that matter), and I know that if that ever happened to me (knock wood), this method would save me a lot of money.

I know the popular strategy is to pour rubbing alcohol over the makeup to bind the broken powder particles together. However, in my experience, it doesn’t save your makeup long term. It’s just a bandaid solution at best, especially if you’re not careful with how you handle it. It will continue to break, and you’ll keep pouring alcohol on top of it hoping that it would fix it all over again. Trust me, it won’t. I’ve tried it before, and I’ve seen it fail multiple times. Instead of trying to bring it back to what it once was, maybe give it a new home instead. (Obviously, if the alcohol trick works for you, by all means, continue using that method. I suppose I’m just unlucky…)

For this approach, you can get one of those clear cosmetics sifter jars, or to put it simply, a plastic jar (though ideally with a sifter). It’s much more convenient with the sifter as it controls the amount of product that you pour out as opposed to having it fly out everywhere when there’s no sifter.

Clear Powder Sifter.jpg
Sample of a Clear Cosmetics Sifter Jar

To open it, all you have to do is to remove the sifter, then scrape whatever is left of your powder product into the jar. Replace the sifter, make sure it’s locked in tight, then screw the lid back on. You can also tape over some of the holes in the sifter to control the amount that you dispense – the bigger jars tend to have much bigger holes.

Note: Before transferring the product into the jar, make sure you mash up the powder really well until it’s finely milled (or as close to “fine” as you can get). If you can still see larger clumps of powder, transfer it to the jar and shake it up to bring them to the surface. Once you see them, mash them up and repeat until you no longer see any clumps.


This is exactly what I did to my Limited Edition MAC Wonderwoman Blush. The blush was separated into the matte side and the shimmery side, but one side broke off and the rest decided to follow. I hardly ever used the blush until I decanted it, although I did end up mixing both the matte and shimmer together. Also, I would have gone for a smaller jar, but none were available at the time. Nevertheless, it’s completely functional and I don’t think I wasted any product. Plus, I get to keep the LE compact without any worries!


I did the same thing to my Soap & Glory Kickass Powder. A chunk of it broke off after my friend sent it to me from the UK. Soon after, I accidentally dropped it and the whole thing crumbled. Still, I was able to save it after I bought more clear cosmetics sifter jars. You can easily do this with other powder products like your eyeshadow or bronzer!

Another important thing to note is that you should obviously clean the inside of the containers first before transferring. Your makeup might have already been contaminated by bacteria that came into contact with a dirty surface, so don’t aggravate the situation by transferring it into a dirty container.

These methods of salvaging broken makeup are much more sustainable and probably less wasteful than throwing it out, going out to buy a new one, or trying to make your own concoction of powder and alcohol. Plus, it’s also travel friendly!

Note: You can easily purchase these travel containers at any container store (duh) such as MUJI or BEABI here in Manila. The ones featured here are from Beabi, and you can see it in action in my recent makeup video here.

Have you ever broken any of your makeup? If so, did you save it or did you throw it away?


I would like to credit MakeupandtheBeautyBlog for the featured image for this post. I couldn’t find any attractive photos of broken makeup on Google (for obvious reasons) except for her photo of her shattered Champagne Pop!

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