Depotting MAC Eye Shadows Is Not Fun

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Despite the fact that I hardly wear any makeup in my daily life, I have an enormous collection of makeup which I accumulated mostly during 2006 through 2010, when my love for MAC Cosmetics was at its peak. My collection of eye shadows is particularly impressive, with over 80 MAC eye shadows, about a dozen NARS, Chanel, and Chantecaille eye shadows, and roughly 60 MAC loose pigments.

My collection of eye shadow pots was neatly organized in bins, but because I had so many, the shades at the bottoms of the stacks were neglected because I couldn’t see them without digging through the plethora of pots. I kept thinking that I would eventually depot these eye shadows and organize them into palettes, but my busy schedule prevented that from happening for years.

I finally decided last month to depot my MAC eye shadows, and also thought it would be a good idea to depot my MAC blushes, MAC Mineralized Skinfinish bronzers and highlighters, and press the pigments. For those of you who know what all that means, I am sure you are groaning at the idea of depotting that many eye shadow pots, 12 blushes, 17 MSF domes, and all of those pigments. Nevertheless, I was determined.

Before I began the project, I asked a number of professional makeup artists if they had any tips on how to easily depot the eye shadows, and every single one of them told me that it was very challenging.

I decided to start with my MAC blushes. An hour later, I had depotted six of them, but not without denting the pans they were in and crumbling a couple of them, which meant that I was forced to master the art of re-pressing crumbled powder makeup pans. Oh joy. I was so frustrated that I took the rest of the blushes off the list.

MAC blushes depotted and in a MAC Pro Palette Duo.

MAC blushes depotted and in a MAC Pro Palette Duo.

About a week later, I decided to depot my MAC eye shadow pots, which meant sorting them out in groups of 15 by color family, then heating up the pots on my straightening iron. The setup for this project took up the entire dining room table:

Here was my setup for the MAC eye shadow depotting session I had.  The larger pots in the top left of the image are my MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes.  The other pots and small palettes comprise only about half of my MAC eye shadow collection.  The knives, cookie sheet, rubbing alcohol, and magnet sheets you see in the image were used in the depotting process.

Here was my setup for the MAC eye shadow depotting session I had. The larger pots in the top left of the image are my MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes. The other pots and small palettes comprise only about half of my MAC eye shadow collection. The knives, cookie sheet, rubbing alcohol, and magnet sheets you see in the image were used in the depotting process.

The pans were so difficult to wedge out that the pans became dented once again, and shadows crumbled. So I once again had to re-press some of them. I spent about two hours working on the palette pictured below, and became so frustrated with the poor design of the MAC palette and inserts that I moved all the pans over to the Makeup Forever palettes I purchased.

The first palette I attempted.  No more MAC palette nonsense for me!  I got rid of this MAC palette duo, and switched to Makeup Forever palette tins, which are great for the standard MAC eye shadow pans.  The Z-Palette brand is excellent for pressed pigments and domed makeup pans.

The first palette I attempted. No more MAC palette nonsense for me! I got rid of this MAC palette duo, and switched to Makeup Forever palette tins, which are great for the standard MAC eye shadow pans. The Z-Palette brand is excellent for pressed pigments and domed makeup pans.

My first Makeup Forever eye shadow palette with MAC eye shadow pans

My first Makeup Forever eye shadow palette with MAC eye shadow pans

After completing the first eye shadow palette, I got lazy and removed the inner tray from the pots without bothering to remove the pans from them, and placed the trays into the palettes. Less work, and much less frustration meant a happier Stacey.

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I spent a third day using my lazy depotting method on the domed MAC eye shadows. I thought it would be easy and safe. I was wrong. I sliced my fingertip and jabbed my right hand three times with the knife I was using to snap the domed shadows from their pots. But after placing them in the domed Z-Palettes, I was a pretty happy camper.

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Finally, on my fourth day of makeup organizing hell, I pressed all the small sample jars of MAC loose pigment which I had collected over the years. Those turned out beautifully:

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After all that, you would think I was done, but I am still planning to press a portion of the full sized MAC loose pigments I have:

My collection of MAC full sized loose pigments

My collection of MAC full sized loose pigments

I am also considering depotting the MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes, but the thought of them cracking and crumbling worries me. These things are beautiful!

One of my MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes

One of my MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes

A long row of MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes

A long row of MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes

Living Doll

Doll faceI love modeling, especially when the project or gig embraces an outside-the-box concept like a superhero, vintage look, dark warrior, or abstract body art. Though there is artistry behind a standard bikini photo shoot, I become very excited when get to serve as a canvas for avant garde makeup and hair, body paint, unusual wardrobe or costume items. In that sense I get to serve as a living doll playing dress-up. On more than one occasion I have been told that I am someone’s muse, which I regard as one of the most flattering compliments a human being can bestow on someone else. It is an immense honor to be the inspiration for a creative person’s endeavors.

Modeling isn’t easy at all. It requires the prep time of sitting in the makeup chair and allowing makeup and hair artistry to take place. If you’re extremely fidgety, or you don’t like people in close proximity to you, applying makeup, directing you to open or close your eyes, turn your head, etc., then you won’t even make it through the first important step of modeling. Sometimes all the tugging and teasing of hair which needs to take place during vintage shoots, or shoots which demand a more elaborate hairstyle, can be downright painful. The image below was taken after sitting in the chair for almost six hours, and the hairstyling alone took two hours. It can make you downright cranky, especially since you can’t drink much water as you are being prepped.

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Then there is wardrobe, which can often be problematic for so many reasons. The most basic wardrobe issue for a model is usually wearing something very thick and heavy on a very hot day, or wearing next to nothing on a cold day. Other issues which may arise include wardrobe or costume items which don’t fit, pieces which are torn or otherwise broken and must be held in place with clamps, pins or tape, heavy props which the model is expected to hold for lengthy periods of time while posed in the desired position, and the list goes on and on. A model may be expected to stand on an unstable surface and strike a pose while trying to balance. Other times a pretzel pose is requested, and not only must the model strike it, she muse hold it until the photographer gets the shot. And the model had better deliver the moods, facial expressions and energy required of her if she wants a flourishing career. Again, it is NOT easy being a model.

I have been out of breath, freezing cold, blazing hot, sticky from paint, dealing with sand in crevices, suffering from muscle cramps, exhausted, hungry, and dehydrated during shoots, but I can without hesitation say that I truly, deeply, love modeling in all its forms. It’s fun for me, and I get to be part of the creative process and bring ideas to fruition, often lovely, at times dark and eerie, but always interesting.