Depotting with an Induction Burner

At the beginning of November, I decided to depot my eye shadow palettes to make travel easier.  I pride myself on being a minimal packer.  I can visit my parents for a week and only need a backpack.  At least I could until I began carrying three palettes along with me.  After my last trip and the large quantities of makeup I carried, I decided custom palettes were the way to go.  I bought some Z-palettes and headed off to YouTube to learn the best way to break apart some palettes.

Heating palettes over a flat iron seemed to be the most popular method, but this looked like it took a ton of time and patience, and patience has always been something I’ve found myself short on.  I was almost ready to bite the bullet and try it this way when I stumbled on Wayne Goss and his method of depotting.  He placed entire palettes in a low oven, left them in a couple of minutes, and voila!  Entire palettes depotted in a few minutes.  I immediately gave it a try with one of my old, expendable ones, just in case the worst should happen.  Five minutes later, I had a pile of broken shadows on my hands.  I needed something I could control a bit better.

My inner chef got to thinking about the best ways I’ve found to achieve precise temperature control.  A circulator wouldn’t work for this, but an induction burner probably would.  I also  happen to have one of those.  The set up I decided to go with looks a little something like this:


Place a heavy bottomed pan on induction burner and set the temperature as low as it will go.  Mine bottoms out at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  I like to put a thin towel in the bottom of the pan in case something decides to melt, but, so far, that’s never happened.  The razor blade is for removing the pans once the glue is loosened.  I’m sure there are safer ways to do this, but the blades are thin enough to remove pans without breakage, so I like it.  Also, I’m an adult.  I’ll do what I want.  I like to live on the edge sometimes.


There’s alcohol for removing the glue from the backs of the pans, and acetone if it just refuses to come off.  I avoid using acetone when I can for one simple reason.  You know what it does to nail polish?  Yeah, I find it does the same thing to dark pigments in the eye shadows should enough of the liquid find its way into the pans.  I like my blacks to stay black and not fade to gray, thank you very much.  Sharpies are for labeling because I’m particular about that, and, well, you know what the Z-palettes are for.


Put the palette in the pan and walk away.  Just walk away.  Come back in five or ten minutes.  I’m sure at some point some melting will occur, but I have yet to discover it.


Find a small space between the pan and the palette, insert the razor blade, and BOOM, it pops right out.


I leave the palette sitting in the pan the entire time sometimes.  Nothing happens.  In a matter of minutes, I took care of this palette.  The heat is low enough that I don’t get burned if I accidentally hit the pan, so there’s no accidents like with flat irons, and I don’t end up with broken shadows like I did when I used the oven.  I depotted three palettes with a total of 45 shadows in about twenty minutes.  From there, it’s just a matter of cleaning up the backs so that they go from this:


To this:


Place alcohol on some cotton, and just rub the glue off.  This can get time consuming since some glue (I’m looking at you, Urban Decay) likes to do its job a little too well.


Label everything with a Sharpie.  Let it dry for a few seconds, and put the pans in a magnetic palette:


It couldn’t be easier.  I did everything–over 1,000 eye shadows and blushes in a week of afternoons while I watched television.

This was the point also when I realized I had a problem.  I kept finding multiples of the same shades.  Dupes for dupes.  Too much stuff.  I mean, sure, it was great that everything fit in one drawer now, but I couldn’t use this in a lifetime.  I am not a makeup artist.  I’m a collector.  I don’t need this much stuff.  So, I created this blog to document the coming year.  We will see how it goes.  I confess, though, I’ll miss the depotting.  It was getting a little therapeutic after I finally got the hang of it.


Hello and Welcome

Hello to everyone across that vast space known as the Internet. Allow me to get things started by way of an introduction. My name is Jackie, and I live in New York. I love it here because anything I could possibly want is available to me at virtually any time of day.   This means that if I want pizza at three in the morning, I don’t have to go far to find it. That is delightful news because who doesn’t love pizza. Instant gratification with pizza is not my problem.

I am a stress shopper when times get tough and my brain begins to feel like it wants to either take a vacation from my body or melt in my skull. I should have known that 2016 was going to be a terrible year for me when I woke up one morning in early January to learn that David Bowie had passed. One terrible day rolled on into the next, and by the end of the year, my boss, whom I liked, at my job that I loved decided to, essentially, stop paying the staff, so I was forced to quit a few days before Christmas. Thanks for that unnecessary stress, jerk. Did you stop and wonder how I was going to buy Christmas presents for my family while you were busy worrying about the same for yours? Didn’t think so. What all this means is stress shopping had become a full-blown problem about some time in autumn.

I love makeup to a fault. The Sephora in Times Square is open until midnight. I know this. I am acutely aware of this. I take advantage of this knowledge when I have a bad day, and there were plenty of those in 2016. Eye shadow, lipsticks, mascara—you name it, I probably have it in vast quantities. I never really thought this was a problem until late November 2016 when I decided to compress my growing number of palettes into a few magnetic palettes. I trotted off to my makeup supply store and bought three Z-palettes. Surely, this would be enough, I thought. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even close to enough. As the depotting continued, and the magnetic palettes kept growing in number, I realized I had a habit I needed to break. Does anyone really need FOUR of the same shade of eye shadow? Didn’t think so.

After I was faced with the sheer volume of makeup I had accumulated, I began to wonder how much I have spent, so I went to have a look at my Sephora account. Your yearly spending is in there. As I saw the number on my screen and my jaw slowly made its migration toward the floor, I wished I had remained unaware of JUST HOW MUCH MONEY I had spent there in 2016. I figured the amount for 2015 was probably much the same. Thankfully, that one wasn’t listed. What else could I have done with that money? Gone to Europe for weeks. Eaten at multiple Michelin three-star restaurants and still had cash left over. Paid rent on my apartment in Manhattan for over a month (rent in Manhattan is outrageous, if you’ve never heard).

I had to get this in check, stat, but I am also lazy and set in my ways. If I’m not accountable to someone or something, I slip back into my old habits in no time at all. When I’m stressed out or bored I do one of two things—buy makeup or eat fried chicken. This is where this blog comes in. It’s my documentation of how I’m going to make it a full year without buying excessive makeup. I deal with the fried chicken binges by working out more, so I am okay with that little slice of my life, and I will not get into that here.

This comes with a few parameters. Obviously, if I try to go cold turkey, I’m going to fail in grand fashion. So I sat down with my husband and we agreed to the following terms:

  1. Staples like foundation, powder, face wash and moisturizer that I only ever keep a single of around the apartment are not off limits. When the old one runs out, I get a new one. Not before.
  2. Every three months I can get one thing as a “reward.” This reward shall not exceed $60, but he’d greatly prefer if I kept it under $50, so I’ll give it the old college try.
  3. I get to buy a new hair dryer during the beauty insider sale in the spring. We’ve discussed this one for months. My trusty old dryer is nine years old now and likes to occasionally spit fire at me. Good hair dryers are pretty expensive, so we both agreed I could get a new one when the sale rolls around (assuming little Remy makes it another few months).
  4. I get to keep my subscription to Sephora Play, at least initially. I find this to be a handy way to keep things like primer and mascara around. For ten bucks a month, I think it’s a good deal. I’ve not bought a number of staples since I started receiving it last July, and, for the most part, I am able to use up most of the samples in the box before the next month’s box arrives. If I think I’m beginning to accumulate more product, I’ll cancel the subscription, but, as of right now, I think it’s more beneficial than problematic and would suggest it to anyone who is thinking about signing up for Play.

This blog exists to document success and failure. Any makeup I buy will be documented here for me and anyone else in the world to see. All shadow pans I finish, all lipsticks I use up will all be here. For one year I will make it a mission to be aware of how much money I spend on product and just where it goes. Join me on my journey, laugh at my failures, and cheer for my successes. Here we go.