web analytics

How to: Depot Lipsticks

Depotting lipsticks can be useful on both a professional and personal level.

When I’ve been working with make up, particularly at catwalk shows, it’s really annoying to not be able to see all your shades of lipstick – having to turn them over to read the name, trying to remember the name and which shade that is and opening and closing loads of lids until you find something you’re after. Having them depotted and in a palette means all your colours are there for you to see, and it’s easy to show your client what colour(s) you are thinking of using.

On a personal level – this is a fantastic way to save a broken lipstick, or if you just fancy having a lipstick palette!

The most useful type of empty container to use seem to be pill boxes. I got this one from Muji to make this palette. I also have some of these which can be separated which I use for mixing lipsticks together, or if we are working as a team of make up artists and all need to use the same colour lipstick. These would be good for you to use for at home, as you can separate one of the compartments for handbag use! You can do this in empty lip-gloss type pots too.

So…  first of all I chose which of my lipsticks I was going to put in my palette

Fact fans will want to know which lipsticks these are!  They are all MAC and shades are as follows:

one – Rebel
two – Myth
three – Morange
four – Lovelorn
five – Patisserie
six – Shy Girl
seven – Vegas Volt
eight – Ravishing
nine – Half ‘n’ Half
ten – Chatterbox
eleven – Russian Red
twelve – Creme Cup

Twist out your lipstick as far as it will go, then using a scalpel or a knife, cut the lipstick off and into one of the compartments. If your cutting equipment is too large for this part you could use the end of a spoon to scrape out the rest of the product from the container.

Keep going until you have filled your palette, but make sure you lay down the empty containers in order so you know which lipstick is in which place!

You can peel the stickers off the bottom of the original packaging and put them on the palette under the corresponding lipstick, or make your own stickers.

You can leave your lipsticks like that, or if you’d prefer them to look a little neater, you can melt them in the microwave. I was a little sceptical of doing this, worried that it might mess up some of the formula, but after a little online research, and the fact that some of my tutors had done it, I decided to go for it.

I microwaved at 20 seconds at a time until the lipsticks were entirely liquid. I would recommend leaving the palette in the microwave for a while after to enable them to start to solidify to prevent any overspill.

I was too impatient, and got them out immediately – you can see the pink has spilled a little into the nude lipstick where I lifted them and the liquids were higher than the gap in the separator. I will scoop this out once it has hardened.

And there you have it!

Don’t forget, if you do this with MAC lipsticks, to take your empty containers back to MAC for free lipsticks!

Hope this has been useful to someone – let me know how you get on! x


  1. January 17, 2012 / 2:10 pm

    The time the lipsticks were in the microwave were the longest seconds of my life! My heart was beating so hard!!! x

  2. January 17, 2012 / 2:34 pm

    This is a very good tip! I like to have a random lipstick in my handbag though just incase, but for morning and evenings when I'm deciding what to wear on my lips this would be fab! Unfortunately, I need to accumulate a few more lippies first hehe 🙂

  3. January 17, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    Oh my god i think this post has scared me a little! i cannot imagine doing that to my MAC lipsticks, What a brave lady for doing so lol!
    This is a good idea but i don't think i'd ever do them to my MAC lippies, i may try this with my other lippies though 🙂

    Great post!


    • January 18, 2012 / 11:05 am

      I know, it broke my heart a little, but these lippies form part of my kit, and I need them to be quicker to look at so I had to do it! Just hope I use all of them up now! x

  4. January 17, 2012 / 6:02 pm

    I agree with Miss Holly, what a brave thing to do to MAC lipsticks!

  5. January 17, 2012 / 6:19 pm

    it makes my heart sink a bit to see all the lipsticks broken but i must admit this is super handy. Would have never thought to melt them! good idea. thanks for the tut
    liloo/@tsunimee xx

  6. January 17, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    I always wanted to do this when I was an MUA, but never had the heart! One handy palette is sooo much easier to transport than 12 lipsticks, though!

  7. January 17, 2012 / 9:44 pm

    your palette has the most perfect range of colours, it looks great! this seems pretty simple compared to depotting eyeshadows. i bet its a lot easier to see what colours you have but i don't think i have the heart to decapitate my lipsticks haha xx

  8. January 18, 2012 / 2:21 am

    Pill boxes! I never thought to use those. That's absolutely brilliant. I wonder, does melting the lipsticks change the intensity or color of the lipsticks at all?

    • January 18, 2012 / 11:06 am

      Well I wondered that too, I did some research online and the general consensus was that they'd been melted once to make the lipstick bullets in the first place…. but also I know a lot of MUAs that have palettes like this, so I think it must be fine (hope it must be fine!) x

  9. January 19, 2012 / 8:18 pm

    Hi… You just blew my mind a little bit there… if you take an empty mac lipstick into a Mac store… you get a free replacement???!! WOW.

  10. January 19, 2012 / 8:21 pm

    right… I had to google it. You take 6 empties and get a free lipstick. I never knew that and I always buy blusher and mascara from Mac so I'm glad I found your blog today. I also have a ticket to TOWIB. That is how I found you via Twitter today.

    Maybe meet you there.


  11. Anonymous
    January 21, 2012 / 5:02 am

    awesome idea !!! m surely gonna try this 🙂

  12. January 23, 2012 / 8:32 pm

    I don't use lipsticks in a professional capacity but they are a weakness: I have a cosmetics bag just for them and it's bursting, as well as a section for my favourites in my dresser drawer (for easy access).

    I like that this will let me see more of the colours I have, which may lead to me actually trying more of them instead of leaving so many forgotten at the bottom of the case. Also, it will be that bit easier to blend to make the colours I want. I think I'll try it x

  13. September 25, 2012 / 7:15 am

    I searched every where in google and I found this as best idea… Thanks for sharing :-)!!!

  14. September 6, 2013 / 1:19 pm

    Such a fab post – I would probably have a full blown heart attack to see my beloved MAC lipsticks spinning around on the glass plate haha! However it makes perfect sense for when you're on a job 😀 xxx

  15. October 5, 2013 / 12:17 am

    I love this idea. It's perfect! And I love that MAC do that with the free lipsticks. Reminds me of things my parents told me about glass bottles and ice cream men! LOVE it!

Leave a Reply