Depotting Lipsticks 101

Happy Monday Sunshines! I’ve been depotting a few of my lipsticks recently for several reasons so I figured why not write a post about it. So, if you’re wondering what it is, why people do it and how to do it yourself then keep on reading.


What is it?

Essentially, it’s just transferring your lipstick from one container to another.


Why do it?


Save space
Makeup artists have been doing for ages to save space in their kit. Instead of carrying around a bunch of lipsticks, they will transfer the contents into an empty lipstick palette, like one of those MAC Pro palettes. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative you can also use those travel medicine boxes that store pills.  

Customise shade or formula
If you buy a lipstick or get one as a gift and it turns out the shade doesn’t suit you, you can always customise the shade by mixing a few different lipsticks together. Alternatively, if you own a lipstick but don’t like the formula of it, you can (to a certain extent) change the formula of it as well.

Get the most out of your lipstick
If you twist your lipstick fully and see that rim that’s holding the lipstick, there’s still so much product in there. You can’t technically use the product anymore by swiping it on your lips as intended once you’ve reached that point. You can depot your lipstick to make sure you’ve used all the product you’ve paid for.

Fix Broken Lipsticks
At times, lipsticks break for whatever reason. It happens to the best of us. So one way to make sure you can still use it, is to depot it.



How to?

There are several different ways you can depot a lipstick, with or without heat.


-       Microwave several times at a 15 second interval

I must say, this is my least favourite method and although I have never tried it, I wouldn’t recommend it. First, your palette is most likely plastic, thus it can melt. Second, if you leave it in too long, the lipstick can basically explode. Especially if you have different types of formulas in the palette that melt at different temperatures.


-       No heat transfer

This would be the simplest way and all you have to do is cut your lipstick in several pieces and with a small spatula or spoon transfer this into the palette. Although this method won’t work if you’re looking to change the formula or shade.



-       With a candle

Heat won’t change the formula of your lipsticks in case you were worried. If you have one that has specs of glitter in it, all you do have to do is make sure that you stir it constantly as it melts and dries down.

Basically, you cut or take out the lipstick, place it on a metal spoon and hold it a few cm above a lit candle. It may take a few minutes before it starts to melt but just have patience. You want to make sure that the spoon isn’t too close or touching the fire because that will turn the bottom of your spoon black and may affect the lipstick as you transfer the contents. Once the lipstick fully melts, you can transfer it into the palette of your choice. Just wait a few hours until it dries and you’re good to go.



Pros and Cons? Overall thoughts?

I depot my lipsticks on a regular basis once I have completely used it up and can’t use the intended packaging anymore or if I don’t like the shade or formula.  

I mentioned before you can change the formula up to a certain extent. Well, this doesn’t mean that you can suddenly change a satin finish lipstick into a complete matte or vice versa. But you can alter it slightly but this may mean you either change the opacity or shade. I did a review before on the Gerard Cosmetics 1995 lipstick, which despite the lovely shade was very drying for my lips. I was also looking for a lipstick with that shade but slightly more neutral brown toned. So, as my Mac Velvet Teddy shade was running low, I depotted the remaining product, mixed a little bit of the 1995 shade and a bit of lip balm and mixed it using the candle method to create a new, more moisturising shade.

I use little small containers that I keep from empty travel sized or sample products as I don’t want to be carrying around an entire palette for just one shade that I’m wearing that day. The palette may come in handy if you travel a lot though or will be travelling for a long period.



Once I started depotting lipsticks, a lot of people always asked me if I didn’t “feel bad” for ruining a perfectly good lipstick. Well my answer is, if I’m not using the shade, it’s a waste not to depot it and customise it to my liking. Also, I won’t typically depot a lipstick I like until I can’t use it anymore.

On a final note, if you’re new to depotting, try it with a few cheaper lipsticks first. At least, if you find that it isn’t for you, then you won’t be wasting your money.  Also, if you’re looking to customise shades, check that the formulas work together or use lipsticks from the same brand/range.


Anyway, that’s it for this post. Hope this gave you some insights on depotting lipsticks and had a relaxing weekend! Cheers, Sam