Tips & Tricks

Tips On Depotting MAC Eyeshadows

June 28, 2009

Lately, I have once again become obsessed with depotting.

Depotting is the process of getting eyeshadows out of their pot packaging/cases and placing the metal pans on a magnetic board/palette to create your very own customized palette. It has been a common practice among makeup artists for years and is fairly simple and fun. So why do it?

* Pan eyeshadows are more travel-friendly. With the slim MAC 4-pan and 15-pan pro palettes, you can fit so many more eyeshadows into your bag.

* By depotting, you get to create your very own color combinations as supposed to a fixed set of colors that you get in a pre-customized palette.

* The depotted pot is eligible for the Back2MAC recycling program. All you have to do is take 6 empty pots and plastic inserts back to a MAC freestanding store and you will receive a free lipstick, lipglass or eyeshadow of your choice. Please note MAC counters will only allow you to trade in 6 Back2MAC empties for a free lipstick.

* Pan eyeshadows are cheaper in the long run. A regular pot eyeshadow retails $14.50 and a pan retails $11. If you do the math, you only pay $177.50 for 15 pan shadows in a pro palette vs $217.50 for 15 pot shadows.

Extra Tips On Depotting
* Be careful not to leave the eyeshadow in the heat for too long or you risk changing its texture.

* Besides MAC, here are other brands of eyeshadows that would fit in the 4-pan and 15-pan pro palettes:

Jane Eyezing Eyeshadow
Milani Eyeshadow
Red Earth Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Eyeshadow
Trade Secret Eyeshadow
Studio Makeup/ Studio, Gear
MMU Shadow Petites
La Femme “Ultra Pearl” Eyeshadow
Elizabeth Arden Eye Shadow Refill
Face Stockholm Pearl Eyeshadow
Bonne Bell Powder Pack Eye Shadow Pan
Origins Eyeshadow
Jordana Eyeshadow
Revlon Streetwear Cream Eyeshadow
Paula’s Select Soft Matte Eyeshadow
Clinique Touch Base Cream Eyeshadow
Bath & Body Works Eyeshadow
Prescriptives Pick Two Eyeshadow

* I highly recommend depotting ONLY the limited edition colors for the Back2MAC program since they only come in the pot form. You can buy all permanent colors in pan form to save yourself some extra money and the trouble of depotting.

* To learn how to depot eyeshadows, Makeup Geek has a great tutorial on her page. I also used the same way to depot my eyeshadows.

* Since the MAC 15-pan pro palettes are not transparent, feel free to add in some bling bling like I did below to decorate the cover and to help differentiate the different palettes.

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  • Reply Patricia June 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Oooh what colors are in your palette? That’s the prettiest 15-pan palette I’ve ever seen!

  • Reply amy June 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    That is gorgeous bedazzling for your palette. Very cute. NYX eyeshadows also fit into the empty MAC palettes. On youtube there are no flame depotting methods by several people. I prefer no flame method because I don’t like the fumes from the flame method.

  • Reply amy June 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    That is gorgeous bedazzling for your palette. Very cute. NYX eyeshadows also fit into the empty MAC palettes. On youtube there are no flame depotting methods by several people. I prefer no flame method because I don’t like the fumes from the flame method.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • Reply Phyllis June 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm


    I don’t like the flame method either. It is so much easier and safer to just use a flat iron.

  • Reply Phyllis June 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Patricia,

    Left to right starting from top row:

    MAC Blue Flame, MAC Climate Blue, MAC Greensmoke, MAC (unknown), MAC Sweet & Punchy
    MAC Top Hat, MAC Satellite Dreams, Jane Magical Mushroom, MAC Woodwinked, MAC Botanical
    Jane Clubbing, MAC Knight Divine, MAC (unknown), MAC Moth Brown, MAC Smoke & Diamonds

  • Reply blackbeauty June 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    so so cute i love your bling ๐Ÿ™‚ too cute!

  • Reply Trinh June 29, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Hi Phyllis,

    I like how you decorated your palette, very cute. You are very crafty, aren’t you? =)

    Coastal Scence sells those empty magnetic palette, is it the same size as MAC, do you know?

    Also, I would love it if you’d stop by and visit my blog.

    Good day!

  • Reply Hello Kitty June 29, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I loved loved loved the palette!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Constanzz June 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    did you select the colour one by one by urself? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Phyllis June 29, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Yes Constanzz, all I did was lay everything out so I can pick out the ones I want to depot and put them in the palette. I also depotted 2 other 15 pans – one with greens/teals and the other with purples/browns =)

  • Reply Kim June 30, 2009 at 3:49 am

    If only I could afford enough MAC eyeshadows to depot ๐Ÿ˜›
    Yours looks lovely btw

    ps, where did your blog category list go? ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Phyllis June 30, 2009 at 9:34 am


    The list is still there. You should see a drop down menu right underneath where it says Categories.

  • Reply Gela June 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Hey Phyllis! How do you become a member on the MacPro website in order to be able to purchase the palette online? Do you recommend any other brands that would work for the MAC shadows? Thanks!

  • Reply Phyllis June 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm


    You don’t have to be a MAC Pro member to order the Pro products. You can purchase them at any Pro store or via the MAC Pro number. The 4-pans and 15-pans are also sold at all freestanding MAC stores.

  • Reply mac Eyeshadow December 10, 2010 at 12:43 am

    thanks !! very helpful post! amazing stuff thanx.

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