Beauty Tip: How To Make Your Makeup Powder Products Perform Like Brand New


Have you ever wondered why some of your powder products suddenly stop working like before? Like somehow your brush picks up less product from the same pan, somehow it doesn’t glide on as smoothly on the lids, somehow the color is not as pigmented, somehow it doesn’t last as long as before?

MAC Shroom eyeshadow was the one that got me thinking.

Shroom is described as a ‘soft muted golden beige with opalescent shimmer’ and is well-loved for its soft and subtle neutral beige color. I love it as a brow bone highlight as it’s not overbearing like some highlight shades that are either too glittery or too pale.

For example, Virgin from Urban Decay is a little too pale and leans slightly pink, not too good for my yellow undertone. Shimma Shimma from Makeup Geek is gorgeous but can be a little too shimmery for a very simple, day-time kind of look.

That’s why Shroom is just perfect as a brow bone highlight. You can barely see it, but know it’s there. It blends out harsh edges on the Contour Area effortlessly. I wouldn’t use it on the inner corner or as an overall wash on the lid though, too subtle.

So one day, or on many days actually, I realized my brush just couldn’t pick up color from the Shroom pan. No matter how hard I swiped my brush, no pigment clung onto the bristles of the brush. Oh, by the way, I’ve been using the same cheap elf brush for more than three years and it’s still my favorite brush for brow bone highlight. Perfect size, great flexibility, super cheap.

elf Eyeshadow Brush (Amazon)

Then I tried to use my finger to do a swatch. Normally the finger would get the best and most intense shade, but there was hardly any pigment on mine! HORROR! Ruined eyeshadow!, I thought.

I read before that using tissue to wipe off the top layer would solve the problem but still the situation did not improve.

So I brought Shroom to a MAC counter and the girl told me there’s so much grime build-up on my eyeshadow that a tissue is not enough. And she proceeded to use a mascara brush to scrape off the top layers.

And WOOTZ! That did the trick!

I went home and tried it on my NARS Orgasm Blush, which has been banished to the Cold Palace mainly due to its decline in lasting power and the arrival of Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.

It grotesquely looks like a slab of bacon, doesn’t it? Especially with all those ‘oil bumps’. LOL.

It’s really easy to remove all that gunk build-up on your powder products, albeit a little messy.

Use a spoolie – I took a few from the MAC counters – and gently scrape off the top layer.

Pour the loose powder away and then use a tissue to smooth out the surface. That’s it! Easy right? 😀

It might seem such a waste to scrape off eyeshadow/blush like that as it’s almost like throwing away money, but if you think of how those makeup products might otherwise sit in a banished corner of your makeup bag (or cabinet), you’re really saving a lot more.


Where to buy products mentioned:

e.l.f. Cosmetics Eye Shadow Brush

NARS Blush Orgasm

MAC Eyeshadow Shroom

Milani Baked Powder Blush 05 Luminoso


Do you use the same trick to get rid of grime build-up? Share with us your tips on how to make powder products perform like brand new!


You will also like:

About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

Throughout this blog you will see Bun Bun in different poses.

Instead of using numbers (3/5, 4/5) or alphabets (B+, A+) to rate products, I put Bun Bun in different positions and expressions to represent the rating given to the product after a review.

In Bun-O-Meter, the first on the list would mean a 5/5 rating and the last one a 1/5 rating.

You can always refer to the sidebar any time you don’t understand what Bun Bun’s pose means.

I hope you enjoy reading my makeup and beauty posts as much as I did writing them.

Talk to you soon! =)


Juli & Bun Bun

  • Mostly Sunny

    Oh wow, thanks Bun Bun! I definitely learnt a new trick! I’ll lay my hands on a couple of spoolies and start scraping away (though I don’t have too many problems of grime building up just yet)!

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @Mostly Sunny Yea, just go take some from the counters. I don’t know why, but I felt like I was stealing from the shop when I took a few. Lol. I’m sure they’d give them to me, but becoz I didn’t ask, I felt like I was a little thief. Lol.

  • HannyiNefMor

    Thanks for the trick! ^.^ I tried this out on my Nars Deep Throat and it worked magically!

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @HannyiNefMor YAY!!! I’m glad it worked for you! =D

  • Jadoretoi

    That’s why I’ve changed to cream shadows and blushes. My orgasm blush is fine. However, my UD Naked Palette is almost dead. I will definitely try this trick!

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @Jadoretoi I’d be devastated if my Naked died! Okie, not really devastated since I really only use about half of them, but maybe quite sad. Haha.
      What’s your fav cream shadows and blushes? I’m interested to know. =)

  • BAMBIx

    Hi Bun! I gonna warn you that this will be quite a longggggg comment.
    I’m reading your blog quite a while now ^^. I have to say that I NEVER feel comfortable to wear eyeshadow before I discover your blog! But after I read through all your Asian eyeshadow tutorials(and read many of other older posts), you make me eventually have my first time wearing eyeshadow TODAY ^^. I’m very proud of myself and very appreciated your work! cuz you make me know my eyes more than what I used to think that I know. In the past, I used to watch youtube for eyeshadow tutorials, but I not only never know precisely what and where to put on eyeshadow, but also I never know WHY I should put it that way. Your blog make me sooooo clear about that! Thanks very much ^^ What I need to do is just practicing :)
    The only problem though is that I have very OBVIOUS unequal eye shape and I wear glasses :( I used to wear contact lens (and also used to have more regular unequal eyes T^T) but today I can’t wear it anymore ’cause lots of inflamation often occur due to dryness (or even because sometimes my nail touches my eyes) :(
    So! any idea on wearing eyeshadow on Asian girl with glasses, like what colour is suitable, or any area that I should emphasize more. I ask you and comment a lot though. Sorry about that ><
    Btw! about this tip, it is veryyyyy useful. I think I’ve never faced that dying makeup >< But if in the future I face it, I will use this tip for sure^^
    Thanks again Bun ^^

  • annedreshfield

    Love it Bun Bun, thanks! I might just have to try this on an eyeshadow or two that have already been “banished.” 

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @annedreshfield You’re welcome! Let me know if they manage to escape from banishment to your Cold Palace.

  • Chirri

    On the one hand, this seems like a no brainer, while on the other hand it’s definitely not.  I don’t know that I’d have come up with using a spoolie despite it making the most sense. I’m also not sure I’ll encounter this any time soon as I use make up so rarely… but when I do I really enjoy it (which is why I’m here!). Just in case, though.. now I know!
    Thank you for posting about it :)

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @Chirri When she started scraping with the spoolie, I got the “I should’ve thought of this but damn, I didn’t” moment. It’s often the simplest of tricks that shock us, isn’t it? Thanks for reading! =)

  • Mango the mango

    Oh oh oh! I’ve been using another method: tape!
    I just get some clear tape, press it against the powder’s surface, and use it to peel off the top gunky layer! The newly revealed surface is nice and pristine. It might take 2 passes to get through all the oiled-up layers, but I’ve never had to do more. Less mess, less waste, leaves the surface smooth and pretty! 

  • musiclemiracle

    Thanks so much for this tutorial, I think I’ll try it on my ELF Neutral beauty book palette. It’s getting old but I love it so much and I couldn’t bear to never use it again.
    Would this work with a toothbrush, d’you think?

  • gxq

    Thank you very much for this tip! It saved my lancome eye shadows and all other beautiful makeups!

  • schultzybeckett

    Real estate brokerages and there agents act
    as many things, councilors, advisers, stores, guides, licensees, marketers,
    branding consultants, etc. They do all this for just a small commission. 
    Keep in mind a grocery store marks up their goods at least 35% simply by
    offering just a fraction of the convenience and no legal liability that a real
    estate agent/brokerage offers. So you are going to have to be on crack to
    bet against real estate agents or as crazy as someone who actually thinks it is
    good idea to try to sell their own home. 

    Schultzy @

  • BunBunMakeupTips

     @BAMBIx SO SWEEETTTT!!!! ^_^* Thank you so much for your appreciation and love for my blog! I’m very happy you found my posts useful and that they helped you in your makeup application. That’s one of my greatest satisfaction derived from blogging – helping people! =)
    *hugs you
    I do wear glasses sometimes (I wear contacts 90% of the time, or I just go out half blind coz my degree of myopia is not too high anyway), and when I need to have makeup on, I tend to go more neutral/natural. So you won’t see me with bold, bright eyeshadow colors when I wear glasses. I tend to keep it simple.
    What I’d do is mainly just lightly contour the Contour Area, have some light shimmer (NOT glitter!) on the lids, and eyeliner. As I have rather long lashes and a flat nose bridge, my lashes will keep sweeping the lens so I don’t apply mascara. The most essential step to me is tightlining as it creates the illusion of thicker lashes since I opt not to have mascara.
    You can check out these posts on Tightlining:

    Hope you’ll find these useful! =)

  • BAMBIx

     @BunBunMakeupTips Woww Bun! you are veryyyy sweet to me too! Luckily I bought 88 warm palette from ebay, and that contains bunch of neutral color to play with as a beginner! :) I have very short and thin eyelash though, but rarely use mascara because it took me like forever to create long-black-thick eyelash Haha. Your advice is very useful to me. Thanks! I will try this ^^
    By the way, I’m not Singaporian. I’m Thai ^^ I used to stay in Singapore once for studying chinese (but eventually get nothing haha). Singapore is one of my most favorite country ^^