Hair & Beauty

How To Save Broken Makeup

By Rachel Stevenson
19th Mar 2016

how to save broken make up

So you’ve had a drink (or five) too many, and while trying to re-do your makeup in the bathroom, you’ve tipped out the contents of your clutch and managed to drop the majority of it on the floor. Now your Charlotte Tilbury bronzer is smashed into a thousand pieces. Night = Ruined. 

We’ve all been there… smashed a blusher, way-too-enthusiastically put the lid on a lippie, rendering it useless, or realised halfway through a mani that our favourite nail polish is a bit on the gloopy side. But what to do when disaster strikes? We spoke to beauty expert Sarah Brooks-Wilson to get her top tips on how to save that broken makeup (and your hard-earned cash in the process).

Eye shadow

Save it

There’s nothing worse than forking out a casual $40 for a new eye shadow palette then smashing it to pieces before you’ve had a chance to rock ‘Midnight blue’ out on the town. Sarah says, “Buy a makeup artist palette with sections (Muji has some amazing ones, or go online and source a professional makeup artist palette) and empty the contents into that.” Hello DIY eye shadow palette. Win!

Prevent it

Um, drink less?


Save it

So you’ve lent your bestie your bronzer, and she’s returned it slightly trashed. Before she becomes your ex-best mate, Sarah suggests trying this handy little tip: “Completely crush up your bronzer or blusher to make a loose powder. Put it in a new container then swirl your brush around as usual.” Voila, loose powder bronzer or blusher!

Prevent it

Keep your friends close and your makeup closer. 


Save it

Your little sister’s got her mitts on your fave lippie and shoved the top on squishing it inside. Don’t kill her just yet…. Instead try “Cutting off the nip and using a small knife to put into a palette. Then, use a lip brush to apply,” says Sarah. “You can mix colours on the back of your hand then.” 

Prevent it

Put your makeup bag on a shelf that she can’t reach, or just hide it. Duh.

Nail polish

Save it

It’s sooo annoying when that perfect shade of nude decides to go all gloopy on you. Luckily, we’ve found a great way to rescue it: Add a few drops of nail polish remover to the bottle and roll gently between your hands to mix it all up. Works a treat. 

Prevent it

Keep polishes in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight… Much like a vampire. 

Cream blusher

Save it

Your cream blusher has got a tad on the old side of life (think: cracking and generally just not being as, er, creamy), but you don’t want to throw it away just yet. Waste not want not and all that. Try adding a few drops of alcohol (rubbing alcohol, not vodka, okay?) and mixing it with a brush. This will revive it, leaving you ready to rock it on your date tonight. You’re welcome.

Prevent it

Again, keeping makeup out of direct sunlight should do the trick, but if in doubt, ply it with some alcohol and all will be as good as new!

Image credit: Lumina

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