How To: Depot MAC eyeshadows into Quad

This past Christmas I was generously gifted a MAC quad eyeshadow holder from my sister, big ups sis, so I thought I would use this as an opportunity to show you exactly how I transferred my single shadows into my shiny new play thing.


This is one technique for depotting your shadows. It’s commonly used because most gals (and guys) have hair straighteners nowadays. This way was mentioned on another smudged post about the many uses of hair straighteners. Find it here.

dp2Step 1

Individual MAC shadows have two parts to the container. Find the thin line that separates the inner part of plastic to the outer part. It’s quite tricky so I advice using something very thin as the line is small and tight, I used nail scissors. Be careful lifting up the inner part, if your shadow goes flying it will pop out suddenly and smash onto the floor. Try doing this step with a carpet underneath you just incase.


This is what your shadow will look like once the two parts are separated.


Step 2

The aim of the game is to basically separate the shadow pan from the plastic container it is being held in. By using heat you can 1) loosen the glue that sticks the pan to the container and 2) melt the plastic so it can be bent and opened so the that the pan can be popped out. You’ll find lots of tutorials on the web where peeps show you how they place their pan onto the hot element as it, however, plastic melts and I sure as shit was not going to risk melted plastic onto my expensive hair straightener. So I recommend using a cloth so that no plastic melts straight onto the element. The heat is still very much conducted through the cloth, so be careful – it is freaking hot! I left my shadow on the straightener for about a minute. I’m sure you can do more but I didn’t want to rush or overheat anything. I then took the pan and pulled the sides away from the shadow. This is where the cloth comes in handy because I used it as a mitt as the container was hot. The plastic should give way a little bit (the more you leave it to heat up the easier it is to manipulate the plastic), and the metal pan housing the shadow will be exposed. I then quickly slid my scissors in between the plastic and the metal and popped the shadow out. Super easy! Be careful: metal conducts heat like a mofo so don’t touch the pan for a few minutes until it is properly cooled down.


You can also lift the sticker on the underside of the container and peel it off to place into the underside of the metal pan. That way you always know the name and finnish of the shadow incase you ever forget. You loosen the glue on the sticker by heating the plastic container the same way as step 2. If you try to remove it without heat first it will tear. I left my contain on the hair straightener for about 30 seconds.


Step 3

Pop your shadow pan into the quad and marvel at your achievement! Sometimes your shadow has been bend slightly from being removed so the fit isn’t exact. I recommend grabbing some double sided tape and sticking that sucker down for good. Almost all of my shadows fit perfectly without anything extra though, but this is just incase for traveling purposes. And lastly – do not throw your empty depotted containers away! You can use them for the MAC rewards program, back to MAC, whereby MAC gives you 1 free lippie for every 6 empty product containers that are returned, and that includes these containers.

Happy depotting,





  1. Love this idea! So clever ;-)
    Much love, Bailey from Vanilla Blonde

    1. Thank you so much! You have a lovely blog Bailey xx

  2. WHOOPS. I threw my containers away (4, sob!) thinking they didn’t apply. Eish.

    1. Boo! That’s very sad to hear :( Hopefully next time you can start your collection again!

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