Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Depotting NARS Shadows

Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I've posted. I hope you are all doing well! I have quite a few new items I'd like to write about but today I wanted to quickly share a photo of the results of my afternoon depotting project. 

Twelve duos will fit in the large size Z-Palette. The shadows shown above are (from left to right): 

Column 1: Kuala Lumpur, Hula Hula, Bohemian Gold
Column 2: Egea, April Fools, Indian Summer 
Column 3: Eurydice, Melusine, Violetta 
Column 4: Brousse, Kalahari, Silk Road 

I am on an ongoing mission to declutter and consolidate my makeup collection and was inspired to depot my NARS shadows after viewing a video posted by Tiffany D recently demonstrating how easy it is to do so by using a straight pin and dental floss to remove the pan from its case. I started out with this method and had some difficulty getting the floss to slip underneath the metal pan, but in the process I found that I was able to remove the pan just by using the pin on its own. It seems that the glue that NARS uses is not all that strong, so with a little wiggling and maneuvering of a heavy-duty safety pin alongside and underneath the pan, it will begin to lift up with minimal resistance. I was able to depot all twelve of these duos in about 30 minutes!

I have been especially interested in depotting my NARS shadows because I've found that the matte plastic coating of their cases tends to deteriorate after a couple of years. So, although the product inside may still be perfectly fine and usable, the case has become a sticky, rubbery mess! I'm not sure if this is due to the hot and humid climate that I live in, but it's nice to know I can salvage these items rather than tossing them like I have in the past. (I know there are guidelines that say powder products have a two-year shelf life, but I like to keep my powder shadows for quite a bit longer than that if they still look and perform OK, and I make an effort to keep them as clean as possible.)

A few important tips:
  • Work slowly and gently when maneuvering underneath and lifting the sides of the pan, as any extreme movement will cause your shadows to crack within the pan. If they do crack, keep in mind you can repair them by spraying them with rubbing alcohol and carefully pressing them with a tissue. 
  • When you place your pin into the open corners of the pan, take care not to accidentally stab your shadows (as I made the mistake of doing more than once!)
  • Choose a straight pin, safety pin, or similar tool that is fairly thick and strong enough to provide adequate leverage to separate the pan from the glue without bending too much or breaking.

Happy depotting!


  1. All my compacts have strong-ish glue, but I managed to wiggle most of them out (some cracked a little, tho). I may need to get a bigger Z-Palette... and more duos, heh! I love having them altogether. :D

    1. Hi Carina, I may have gotten lucky as in most of mine the glue was pretty weak :) - I also cracked a few so began to be extra careful when wiggling & lifting the pan. I plan to start another palette soon and hopefully will do a better job next time now that I've had a bit of practice. It will be so convenient to have them all in one place! :)

  2. Thank you Jasmine! I am a huge fan of NARS and started collecting years ago :)

  3. Hi hun,

    I have been doing this since the 1980's. Posted this method here:

    NARS is one of the easiest unless the glue is stuck on the sides then a couple of pins have to be used. MAC is super easy, no need to take the container apart. Chanel is also another easy one.

    You have a great collection!

    1. Hi Olivia, Thank you - will check out your post :) - I have a bunch of MAC singles I would love to depot but have been putting it off because I thought it might be difficult, but I think that may be next project!


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