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How I depot my MAC makeup

How I depot my MAC makeup

Having tons and tons of little containers can become very annoying. Square ones, round, ones, high ones. Let’s just say stacking and packing them is no easy task. At least with the clear lid of the MAC packaging, I don’t have to open each one individually to see what’s inside. I do however, have to cart around the compacts, with them knocking each other in my bag as I walk. So I decided to buy a magnetic palette. It took me a while to decide whether to buy a MAC palette or Z palette but I’ll list the pros and cons below. I ended up buying the MAC Pro Duo palette both times even though the products I depotted are not only from MAC.


When I bought my first MAC magnetic palette, I bought 5 refill blushes along with it. Since I knew I wanted to expand my collection, I chose the dual sided palette. It was a great learning curve for me as I experienced both joy and frustration (with a little bit of cursing). Since I planned to use these palettes when working away from home, I chose to depot my MAC mineralize skinfinishes as well. The new packaging is a bit different from the old ones but they can also be depotted. You just have to be very patient and careful when depotting as it is very easy to scratch and nick the product.

Only the MAC refills you purchase in store have magnets on them to stick to the magnetic palette. The ones I depotted had no magnet and therefore they slid around. I decided to order the magnetic stickers used for the Z palette and paid R220 ($18) for 30 magnets. That works out to around R7 per magnet but I figured it was worth it because I don’t want my makeup falling out of the palette and risk breaking or crashing to the floor. I bought it from Turquoise Studio, an online store that offers free shipping and it arrived within 2 days. I was so disappointed when after I had placed magnetic stickers on my blushes and eyeshadows that they still slid across the MAC magnetic palette. Only to Google and find out that the MAC magnetic palette actually has a metallic base so you need a stronger magnet for it to hold.

I rushed out to my local stationers and found a box of 50 magnetic stickers for R40 ($3). They are 0.5mm so about 3 times thicker than the Z palette magnetic stickers. I also picked up a box of white stickers so I can write with a normal pen and that cost me R9 ($1). This solution works out to about R1 each. I am also much happier with these magnets as I tested on my fridge and other appliances and they stuck on perfectly with no budge. The Z palette magnetic stickers don’t stick very well to anything magnetic, guess they only work for the Z palette.

Here are the steps I took to depot my MAC compacts

Insert a pin in the groove at the front of the compact and wiggle it sideways until the pan pops out



Holding the edge of the pan, hold a lighter underneath it. Be careful as you can burn your fingers and the plastic can melt so don’t do it over your favourite tablecloth. This is to loosen the glue holding the silver pan to the plastic


I then use a nail file to loosen and lift the pan out of the plastic. If the glue is not loose enough, you risk damaging the product like I did for a few of my items


I then add a magnet and sticker to label the product so if I ever run out I know what it was


The reasons I chose the MAC magnetic palette over the Z palette are:

The MAC palette retails for R360 ($30) regardless of whether it is single sided or dual sided. The equivalent sized Z palette in Large retails for R350 ($29) and the dual sided one retails for R650 ($54).

The MAC palette is made of plastic whereas the Z palette is made of cardboard. The Z palette is very durable and there has never been any mention of it breaking, plastic is just my preference long term.

The MAC palette is deeper than the Z palette. I was able to depot my domed blushes and mineralize skinfinishes and even though it does touch the clear plastic divider in the middle, it closes completely and nothing gets damaged. There is a domed Z palette but it is always out of stock at Turquoise Studio and retails for R430 ($36). It is also smaller in width and length than the MAC palette.

The MAC palette opens butterfly style so I can see all the products when I lay it flat on the table. The Z palette needs to be turned around and used depending on which side the product you are looking for is on.


Dual sided Z palette

The MAC palette holds 48 MAC eyeshadows (24 either side of the divider) and the large Z palette holds 28 MAC eyeshadows.

The only con for me was:

The Z palette magnet is stronger hence the thinness of the magnetic stickers. I don’t think that the MAC palette base needs to be magnetic because either way you have to put magnetic stickers on.

And then this is neither a pro or con, just a difference between the two. The MAC palette is very thick but light and the Z palette is thinner but heavier. It’s not by much so it doesn’t make a big difference to me, I just preferred the MAC palette overall.

This is what my palette now looks like, as you can see I even depotted my mineralize blush in ‘Simmer’. I found that these are hard baked so you don’t damage them as easily as the mineralize skinfinishes when depotting.


After depotting, you can return 6 empty compacts (or any other product) for the ‘Back to MAC’ program and receive a MAC lipstick for free, saving around R185. I just returned my compacts and picked up the shade ‘Heroine’.

MAC Pro palettes are available from MAC standalone stores and Z palettes are available from Turquoise Studio online.

Have you depotted any makeup before? Please let me know if this tutorial was helpful.


Belle BluSHH <3