I'm sure it's happened to us all at some point. That horrifying moment when you drop a compact, you can almost feel it break and you know what it's going to look like when you open it ...


Well it happened to me recently with my Mary Lou-Manizer from The Balm. It's buttery soft in texture so it's no surprise that it gave up the ghost. I continued to use it for a little while after but it just became too messy, especially when travelling. So I set about learning how to fix and thought I would share how I did it.


You're going to need your broken powder of choice, rubbing alcohol (surgical spirit if like me and you're in the UK), a small pot to mix your powder in, a small spoon, plenty of kitchen roll and something the same size as your pan - I used a lid from a powder pot.


First up you're going to want to decant the entire powder into your pot, using your spoon to crush it up as finely as you can.

Using a little alcohol clean out the pan so that it's read to be repressed.


You're going to want to start adding the alcohol a little at a time to your powder mixture. Too little and it won't bind together, too much and it won't set properly.

This is where things can get a little messy, hence the lack of photos.

After you've got the right consistency it's time to move it into the empty pan. I scooped as much as I could into the spoon and popped it in, going back to scrap what was left in the pot. Then you'll need to shape and flatten it out with the back of the spoon.

Next taking some folded kitchen roll and something flat that is around the same size of your pan (mine was a powder lid), you want to put the kitchen roll over the mixture and pressed down on it with the powder lid. This helps to draw out any excess alcohol and make sure it's firmly pressed into the pan. Repeat the process until your paper is mostly dry after pressing.


Clean up the edges and leave the compact open for 24-48 hours to dry.

And voila! Once the alcohol evaporates all you're left with is a repressed powder that works exactly the same as it did before.

I wish I had done this before and I don't know why I didn't. But at least I know how to fix them now should any break on me in the future. It's also a great way to press powdered pigments which I'm curious to try.
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