How To Fix Broken Eyeshadow? A Step-By-Step Guide

We’ve all been there – you accidentally drop your favorite eyeshadow palette and it shatters into a million little pieces. At first glance it looks unsalvageable, but don’t throw it out just yet! With a few household items, you can actually fix broken powder makeup products like eyeshadows.

In this article, I’ll walk you through several methods on how to repair cracked or shattered eyeshadow step-by-step.

First, let’s talk about how eyeshadows get broken in the first place. It’s usually from dropping the palette or compact on a hard surface. The impact causes the pressed powder formula to crack and crumble apart. If your eyeshadow is not completely decimated into loose pigment across the floor, there’s a good chance you can repair and re-press it back to its original state.

The techniques covered here will work for any powder makeup product that has cracked or broken apart, including blushes, bronzers, highlighters, and pressed powders. While liquid or cream products can’t be salvaged in the same way once damaged, powders have some wiggle room for restoration. As long as you have most of the broken powder still available, you can combine it with a liquid mixing medium to create a paste and smooth it back into the original packaging. After fully drying, it will be good as new!

How To Fix Broken Eyeshadow With Alcohol

One of the most effective and popular methods for repairing cracked eyeshadow is using rubbing alcohol. The high concentration alcohol will act as a binding agent to reconstitute the powder into a workable paste that you can then re-press. Here’s what you’ll need and the steps to follow:

Gather Necessary Items

  • Optional: A small bowl to collect broken powder in
  • Rubbing alcohol – the closer to 100% concentration the better
  • Spoon or small flat object like a coin
  • Q-tip and/or makeup wipe
  • Dropper or something similar to dispense the alcohol

Steps to Fix Broken Eyeshadow

  1. Gather all of the broken powder into the original pan if possible. If it’s shattered across your makeup drawer or counter, use a small bowl to collect all the pieces first.
  2. Use the dropper to slowly add rubbing alcohol a few drops at a time over the broken powder. Avoid dumping a bunch in at once or it will get too wet.
  3. Use a spoon or coin to press and smooth out the product, mixing it with the alcohol into a paste. How much alcohol you need will depend on how much powder there is to reconstitute.
  4. Use a q-tip or makeup wipe to clean up any excess powder or mess left around the packaging.
  5. Let the fixed eyeshadow dry completely for at least 24 hours with the cap off before using again.

I recommend waiting a full 48 hours if possible to ensure all of the alcohol has evaporated and the product is back to its original pressed powder form. Use caution when first using it again and discontinue if you notice any changes in texture or formula.

How To Fix Broken Eyeshadow With Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer can also work as an alcohol-based binding agent to repair cracked powder products. The steps are largely the same as using rubbing alcohol:

Gather Necessary Items

  • Small bowl for collecting broken powder
  • Hand sanitizer containing alcohol
  • Something for mixing – spoon, mini whisk, etc.
  • Coin, spoon, or small brush
  • Q-tips and makeup wipes

Steps to Fix Broken Eyeshadow

  1. Carefully gather all broken pieces of the eyeshadow into a bowl if it’s shattered apart.
  2. Add a couple drops of hand sanitizer and mix together with your tool of choice until a paste forms.
  3. Use your fingers or a brush to apply the paste back into the original eyeshadow pan and press firmly using a coin or spoon.
  4. Wipe away any excess residue left around the compact with a q-tip or makeup wipe.
  5. Leave the eyeshadow un-capped for a minimum of 24 hours to fully dry out before using again.

The hand sanitizer method can be used in a pinch, but know that the alcohol content is lower than rubbing alcohol. Let the repaired shadow dry for 48 hours if possible before trying it out again.

How To Fix Broken Eyeshadow With Micellar Water

Fix Broken Eyeshadow With Micellar Water

Micellar waters are often used as a makeup remover, but they can also resuscitate broken powder shadows when used sparingly. You’ll need:

Gather Necessary Items

  • Optional: Small bowl for broken powder
  • Micellar water
  • Coin, spoon, or brush for pressing
  • Q-tips and makeup wipes
  • Dropper or similar for the micellar water

Steps to Fix Broken Eyeshadow

  1. Carefully collect all the broken powder back into the original pan if possible or into a small bowl.
  2. Use a dropper to add a couple drops of micellar water, mixing to form a paste. Add slowly to avoid getting too watery.
  3. Apply the paste back into the pan using fingers or a brush and press firmly with a coin or spoon to smooth it out.
  4. Wipe away any excess residue around the compact using a q-tip or makeup wipe.
  5. Allow the repaired eyeshadow to dry for at least 24 hours with the cap off before using again.

Micellar water may not create as strong of a bond as alcohol, so I’d recommend letting the shadow dry for at least 48 hours before trying it to ensure it has fully hardened again.

Recommendation for Fixing Broken Powders

Overall, rubbing alcohol is my top recommended binding agent for repairing any type of cracked or shattered powder makeup. The high concentration alcohol in a bottle labeled 90% or higher works best for reconstituting eyeshadow, blush, powder foundation, etc. Isopropyl alcohol can be purchased for very cheap and easily found at any drug store or pharmacy/chemist.

Keep a bottle on hand specifically for fixing broken powders. When compared to hand sanitizer or micellar water, rubbing alcohol produces the strongest bond in my experience for getting broken eyeshadow back to its original pressed state. It evaporates quickly without changing the integrity of the powder’s formula in the process.


Hopefully this article has provided some helpful tips on how to rescue your broken eyeshadow or any powder makeup product! Here’s a quick recap of the methods we covered:

  • Fix with rubbing alcohol by creating a paste and re-pressing into the pan
  • Fix with hand sanitizer using the same method as rubbing alcohol
  • Fix with micellar water mixed into a paste and re-pressed
  • Fix by re-pressing with tools and no mixing medium

While a broken powder is disheartening, in many cases you can bring it back to life with a little time and effort. Always make sure repaired makeup fully dries before attempting to use again. Stop usage if any irritation occurs. With the right techniques, you can save money by fixing broken eyeshadow and other powder products rather than having to repurchase brand new ones!

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