Broken powder, foundation and brushes on the white background
Image: Shutterstock/Tatiana Mihaliova

My nightmares involve reaching for my foundation, only to see it lying in pieces at the bottom of my bag. There’s nothing more frustrating than dropping a lot of money on your makeup and getting two or three uses out of it before it’s completely ruined. No matter how many times this happens, my reaction is always the same: Throw it out and then cry at all my hard earned money going down the drain.

But then I learned this genius trick. This makeup hack only requires one ingredient and a lot of patience. The best part is that you probably already own it. All you need to spark some life back into your powder makeup is rubbing alcohol. Seriously! It doesn’t just put your makeup back together, it also sterilizes it. Who knows what bacteria is currently living in your makeup bag? The only downside is that your powder makeup will be softer and more concentrated (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Here’s how you can fix your broken makeup and make it like new.

Materials You’ll Need:

Broken makeup
Rubbing alcohol
Plastic wrap

1. Gather as many pieces of your broken foundation, eye shadow or blush as you can and place them into the compact. Don’t worry if there are a lot of makeup crumbs. This will actually prepare you for the next step.

2. First, cover the top of your compact with saran wrap. Next, grind your makeup into a fine powder with a spoon (yes, this includes the pieces that are still intact). If this step becomes messy or takes too long, you can use a knife to help break the makeup up more evenly.

3. After making sure that your makeup’s texture is even, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the powder. Blend the alcohol with the powder until it turns into a paste. This magical ingredient is what will hold your makeup together. Be sure to sterilize whatever you’re using to mix the alcohol and makeup together to avoid causing future breakouts.

4. Eyeball whether you need any more drops of alcohol to make sure the paste is consistent. Rule of thumb: If you notice that the mixture feels a little rough, add one or two more drops and you should be good to go.

5. This is where you’ll see everything come together. Flatten the makeup until it fills out the container evenly. Beware of pesky air bubbles. If this happens, gently rap your makeup against the table.

6. Let your makeup sit overnight so the alcohol can dry. When you wake up in the morning, your favorite makeup will be as good as new!