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.


5 thoughts on “Depotting with an Induction Burner

  1. I saw the ZPotter and wondered if there was a more economical or versatile way to do this. Thanks to your post I bought an induction burner, possibly the same model, and now have an appliance that was less expensive and hopefully more versatile for other projects.
    Thanks for clear instructions and inspiration.

    I’m trying to declutter throughout, and will read more of your articles.


    1. I’m so glad it helped you out, Kate! This quickly became my favorite way to de-pot. Induction is great for so many things. I’ve used it like a Crock-Pot before, and my burner makes an awesome cheese dip, since it doesn’t scorch the bottom of the pan. Good luck as you start your declutter mission!


  2. Same as Kate, I saw the Z potter and I was like, psh I must have a contraption that can do that. I don’t have an induction cooktop but I do have an electric griddle 😛 Used for pancakes and hopefully now for makeup. Waiting for my palettes to arrive in the mail and I’m going to try this, wish me luck! Thanks for the guidance!


  3. I did exactly this and was able to depot a Geurlain 6 Ecrin, which I wanted for the beautiful compact and not the not-so-great overpriced shadows inside. Worked like a charm!


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