22 August 2016

How To: Depot Your MAC Lipsticks and Make a Custom Palette

How to Make a DIY MAC Lipstick Palette

For the longest time I have wanted to melt down my lipsticks and create a custom palette that is much more travel-friendly than carrying around a bag full of lipstick bullets which is just impractical!!! As I have gotten more serious about building up my freelance makeup kit this year, I decided to finally bite the bullet (get it? haha) and create my custom MAC Cosmetics lipstick palette. This post is all about the process that I went through to create the palette. I used my MAC Cosmetics lipsticks because these are my preferred lipsticks to use for freelance jobs, however you can use any lipsticks you want! You could mix and match different brands, or use all drugstore it doesn't really matter. Keep reading to find out how I created my own lipstick palette!

Why Depot Your Lipsticks?

Both personally and professionally, condensing your lipsticks down into one palette can be super convenient and satisfying. When doing makeup on clients, it's annoying to search for the shade you are looking for by having to read the label on the bottom of each bullet and having to open and close lids frantically until you find the right colour. I personally love having my lipsticks laid out so I can see all the shades I have and easily identify the colour I want, while also being able to clearly show my client what I'm doing and have them pick out the colours they like as well.

Personally, if you are keen to get a free lipstick through the Back To Mac Program, you'll likely be okay using up your lipstick bullets, or maybe saving a broken lipstick. It's also a great way to create a palette to travel with and could encourage you to use certain lipsticks more often when they may not be the ones you usually reach for on an everyday basis.

What You'll Need:

  • Lipsticks (MAC or other favourites)
  • Knife or metal spatula
  • Heat source such as BIC lighter (shown) or a lit candle
  • Tissues or paper towels
  • Q-Tips or cotton buds
  • Large spoon
  • 1 Empty Lipstick Palette (You can buy the Mac Cosmetics Pro Palette here and the 24 Well Lipstick Insert here which is what I have used for this post. There are some other options on Makeup and Glow or lots on Ebay)


Heat or no heat?

I read lots of reviews stating that applying heat to melt the lipsticks can change their formula, however I also read lots of reviews that said they didn't find this at all. I personally found that applying heat did not change the formula of my lipsticks - you just need to be careful not to boil the lipsticks or keep the heat on for too long. You can also do this without heat, and smoosh the lipsticks into place, however it won't look as neat and tidy as the one I've created. It's really up to your personal preference.

The Process

To start out, you need to determine how many wells you have in your lipstick palette and therefore how many lipsticks you will need to sacrifice. The MAC Pro Palette can accommodate 12 or 24 well inserts. The 12 well insert is able to house an entire MAC lipstick in each well, or the 24 well insert can house about half or 3/4 of a lipstick. I chose the 24 well insert so I could get the maximum amount of shade choices and also because I had over 24 MAC lipsticks that I wanted to get more use out of when I was doing freelance jobs. 

My MAC Lipstick Palette

1st Row: Chatterbox, Coral Bliss, Vegas Volt, Lady Danger, Impassioned, Candy Yum Yum, Viva Glam Miley Cyrus, All Fired Up 

2nd Row: Saint Germain, Snob, Creme Cup, Pink Plaid, Plumful, Flat Out Fabulous, Up The Amp, Rebel

3rd Row: Angel, Faux, Fast Play, Velvet Teddy, Myth, Half n Half, Whirl, Stone

I got a regular piece of A4 paper and folded it into 24 sections to help plan out my shade selections. Once I was happy with how my paper key worked out I started to line up my lipsticks in order. This is a very messy process so make sure you do it on a table with some newspaper laid out or old towels you don't mind getting dirty.

I started out by winding each lipstick all the way up and leaving about 5 mm from the base of the tube. I have seen others cut the lipsticks closer to the top, scrape out the bottom of the tube and then replace what they first cut off back into the bullet but I was happy with how much was left in each lipstick tube so most of them were still able to be used unless they had been well used to start with. 

For any of your lipsticks which are well loved which may not have too much left when you wind them up, you can scrape out the lipstick within the inside of the bullet to get enough product to melt and fill the well. 

Once you get all the lipstick cut/scraped out, place it on the large spoon over your flame. I tried to keep about 3 cm between the spoon and the flame so the lipstick did not overheat. You will see it melting straight away. I also moved the spoon back and forth over the flame to get a better distribution of heat.

Once the lipstick is completely melted, pour it into the well as laid out by the key you created earlier that displays where each shade will be placed. If you make a mess or spill some liquid into the wrong well, just simply clean it up using a tissue or a cotton bud. Don't worry too much about it looking perfect!

It's important to wipe down your spoon straight away with a tissue or a paper towel while it is still hot so it will easily come off and will be clean for the next lipstick to be melted.

As you continue these steps, you should start to see your palette forming, well by well. It is a SLOW process, so be patient because it can be a little tedious! I promise it is worthwhile once you have your palette completed. You can also feel free to leave some empty wells for future lipsticks you would like to add in.

The Final Result

This is what my palette looked like once I had completed melting all 24 lipsticks. I am very happy with the result and I know this will save so much space in my kit for future freelance jobs. I think I have a good variety of nudes, pinks, purples, browns and reds in this palette but you may choose to do multiple palettes for different colour themes.

I really hope you found this post informative! I definitely get inspiration to do these sorts of things from other bloggers and this is a little project I have been putting off for a while now. I am so happy I decided to melt down my lipsticks and depot them into this travel-friendly palette. I know the process seems daunting at first but it's super fun and easy to do, so I encourage you to try it if you think it's something that would work for you!

Have you ever depotted your lipsticks? 
What do you think about this process?

All opinions are 100% honest and my own. For more information please read my disclaimer.

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