Tutrorial: How to Fix a Broken Powder

It's happened to all of us.  You open a compact -- be it blush, eyeshadow or powder -- and it's shattered into a zillion little pieces.  It always elicits a gasp, quickly followed by a heartfelt "oh NO!!"  But it's not fodder for the trash.  It just takes a few steps and your makeup will be as good as new again.  So don't toss it!

Here are the things you'll need:
* clean paper
* a round edged knife
* rubbing alcohol
* a spoon

First, lay down a clean piece of paper to work on.  I like to use cover stock because you can pour the powder back into the pan more easily but any regular printer paper will do.  Then use the knife to scrape out any product that's left in the pan onto the clean paper.  Crush the pieces into a fine powder, free of chunks and clumps and carefully pour it back into the pan.

Now, I tend to use what I have laying around, and I happen to love cheese, so I use a small cheese knife to push the product into the edges of the pan.  I work from left to right pressing the powder back into shape, in almost a petal formation.  Then I press the center down and go over the sides again.

Like I said, I use what's in my kitchen, and my husband is a coffee freak. He has a beautiful espresso tamper (that he would be mortified to know I use for reconstructing compacts!) and it works perfectly for evenly pressing the powder back into shape in round powder compacts.  (Sorry honey!)  But you can also use a spoon.  A big soup or table spoon is good for pressing down the powder, or you could use something like a round lip balm tin (wrapped in plastic wrap--we want it to be sanitary!). It just needs to be flat.  I gently twist the tamper back and forth to really compact the product back into the pan.

The next step is to take rubbing alcohol and lightly pour it onto the powder until it is completely wet.  I like to give it overnight for the alcohol to fully evaporate and for the powder to dry out.  Then I take a spoon and burnish the powder just to make good and sure it's fully adhered again.

And there you go, compact salvaged!