Lipstick Repair & Organization (Makeup Artist Tips & Tricks)

Have you ever gotten to the end of a tube of lipstick only to find that there's plenty of your favorite shade left inside the bottom of the tube, but you can't get to it? Or have you ever accidentally smashed your lipstick into the cap, creating a huge mess? Or do you simply want to transfer your handfuls of lipsticks in to a more manageable lipstick palette? Well, I recently got a new travel case & as I was transferring all my makeup into it I realized I had way too many broken, smashed, & cumbersome lipstick tubes. Because of this, I decided to transfer them all into one, easy to manage, compact palette. It's a great space saver & much easier to organize. I was able to put all the similar shades into one palette & with my handy-dandy labeler, I labeled them & can get to anything I need at a moments notice. Here's how I did it all: Step One: Gather your supplies

You'll need: a metal spoon that you wouldn't mind getting very dirty, a small candle & matches or a lighter, an empty makeup palette (more information on this further down), & something to keep things from getting too messy (paper towels, an old bath towel, or cloth rags).

**Tip: think about the organization of your palette before you begin. Maybe you'd like all the reds in one place & all the pinks in another? Or maybe cool shades separate from warm shades. Depending on the amount of lipstick your transferring & how many palettes you're filling; it's good to think about organization.

Regarding the makeup palette: I happened to have an old empty blush palette from www.coastalscents.com (very inexpensive) that I had never used. The wells are a bit wider than I think necessary, but I was using almost new/full tubes of lipstick, so it worked well for me. There are more expensive palettes that are designed specifically for lipstick on other makeup artist websites, but I'm not convinced they're worth it when more generic palettes do the trick just fine. You may also want to consider reusing another household item; depending on how many lipsticks you plan to use, you might find that a pillbox from the dollar store/drug store works just fine. Some times old, repurposed makeup containers do the trick. Don't be afraid to reuse things; you might surprise yourself.

(This is the palette I used. Removable, metallic pans are great for being able to clean it out/reorganize it in the future).

Step Two: Prep your workspace

I started by laying down a towel & setting some paper towels nearby in case of a spill. I made sure my palette was easy to reach, clean of any dust/debris, & sanitized (spray it with a bit of rubbing alcohol & wipe it out well before starting). Then took the tops off all the lipsticks, rolled them up as far as they would go & then scraped out all the lipstick. Finally, I lit the candle.

Step Three: Melt those babies!

Using the tip of the spoon, remove as much of the lipstick as you can & make sure it is sitting directly in the center of the spoon. Carefully, suspend the lipstick, in the spoon, over the flame. Be careful not to dip the spoon too close to the flame, otherwise you'll see soot gather on the underside of the spoon & it'll begin to smoke & get very messy. This may take a while, but as the spoon heats up, it'll start to go much faster. Of course, be very careful not to spill any of the lipstick or candle wax on yourself, it is extremely hot.  Also be very careful not to hold the spoon to low on the handle, the metal also gets very hot. If the handle of the spoon begins to get too hot, you might use a potholder or take a break, although I didn't run into the problem. As long as you focus the flame on the shovel end of the spoon, it shouldn't get too hot farther up on the handle. Overall, just use your best judgment & be careful.

Step Four: Transfer your lipsticks into the palette

Once the lipstick is fully melted, carefully pour the liquid into the palette. It will begin to harden again almost immediately as soon as you pour it, so be cautious not to spill it anywhere on the palette itself. If you do make a mistake, just let the lipstick cool & harden & then scrape it off.

Step Five: Repeat

Once you've started, pick up a rhythm & you'll be surprised how quickly you can get through a mound of lipsticks. The spoon retains heat very well & each lipstick will melt faster than the previous.

Step Six: Clean up & Admire your work!

One final note: once you've finished you might think about labeling your palettes; it was very helpful for me, since I have a lot of black palettes that all look very similar. Now that they're labeled it makes finding the right palette/product a snap.