How to: Depot Eye Shadows – The Oven Method

After watching what felt like a million videos on youtube on how to depot eye shadows, I never felt confident enough that I could actually do it. Most methods include prying casings open with tongs and then holding the eyeshadow over a candle to melt the glue that hold the pan in the casing after which you can take it out. Or instead of a candle they use a straightening iron to melt the glue. After taking the pan out they clean the pan with rubbing alcohol and stick a magnet on the back to put them in a palette.

Now I don’t know about you, but both methods had me envisioning three things that could happen:

a) I cut myself so badly that I end up at the emergency room

b) I burn myself so badly that I end up at the emergency room

c) I burn the house down (see, rubbing alcohol and open flames don’t mix very well)

And since I’m chicken, I refrained from making my make up collection a tad more organized by taking my NYX and Sephora eye shadows, depot them and put them into palettes. That is, until Wayne Goss (aka gossmakeupartist on youtube) posted this:

In this short video he explains how to depot your eye shadows by using an oven. No open flames, no cutting, no chemicals, just an oven (and a few other things). All I thought was EUREKA! I bought myself some palettes and got started. I depotted nearly 30 eye shadows in about 2 hours and only broke 2 because a) I was impatient b) because I didn’t keep it long enough in the oven. This is how I did it.

What you’ll need:



  1. palettes (I bought Z-palettes)
  2. colored paper (optional)
  3. stickers (optional)
  4. a pen (optional)
  5. magnets (thin so you can cut them to size)
  6. scissors
  7. glue
  8. tissue paper
  9. small screw driver/ scissors
  10. a potholder/ something that will allow you to handle a hot object
  11. aluminum foil
  12. an oven with a baking tray

First of all, since I had multiple shadows from 2 brands I decided to divide them up into two palettes. To make it easier to find which one is which, I lined the lid with some colored paper, wrote the name on it and on the inside of the case I added stickers with the names of the eye shadows.

Now on to the depotting itself. You have to preheat your oven first at 100 degrees Celsius (212 F). Then you take a baking tray which you line with aluminum foil, you pop in your eye shadow with the casing open and let it sit for 2 – 5 minutes. In my case, it was 4 minutes every single time. You take out the eye shadow and then you can easily pry out the pan with a small screw driver/ scissors. With your bigger pair of scissors you simply cut the magnets to size and glue them to the pan and pop it into your palette. Wipe your screw driver on a piece of tissue paper and you’re on to the next one.

Easy as pie and what’s best is that you can do more than one eye shadow at once. I eventually did 2 at the time, which definitely sped up the process. Plus you can pop new eye shadows into the oven and while waiting for the glue to melt you can depot the ones that just came out of the oven. Therefore the wait isn’t too long. The only downside is that your cases can melt away (the Sephora ones did) and if you would like to keep them for whatever reason then this method may not be for you. Then again, with the other methods you also break them, so I don’t really see a difference.

Handy little tip there right? Please do check out Wayne Goss (gossmakeupartist) on youtube. If you want to learn anything about make up, I find him the most instructive and his videos aren’t going on for ages. And it helps that he isn’t to hard on the eyes as well. 😉

Q: Did you find this helpful?

4 responses to “How to: Depot Eye Shadows – The Oven Method”

  1. It sounds like it takes a bit too long. 30 in 2 hours? I can easily depot 10 in about 20 minutes. I don’t use knives at all. Just tweezers to pry them open (if they’re MAC), a candle OR a flat iron (this takes a tad bit longer) and a needle. With a candle, it only takes about half a minute to get the plastic soft enough so you can poke a hole in the bottom with a needle and get the pan out.

    • Once you know how to pry them open I guess you can do it fairly quickly. Problem is, I don’t like flames/ fire and besides, it was my first time trying this. Plus I spent half the time preparing my palettes so I’d have everything labelled and what not. Once I got 2 eyeshadows in at the same time I think I did about 15 in 30 minutes.

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