Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Tutorial: How to depot Burberry eyeshadows

The depotting of Burberry eyeshadows has been a contentious issue since their release... Burberry Beauty fans have been divided on the issue - why should you do it?  Why would you do it?  But more importantly - HOW do I do it?

These eyeshadows are known to have a rather precarious structure, in that one wrong move and you will have sadly damaged your eyeshadow beyond salvation.  The packaging is thick, heavy and robust - with no less than two magnets inside.

But, being an avid depotter, I decided to try it for myself.

My first victim was Porcelain, which I sucessfully depotted.  I then decided that my first official blog post shall be a tutorial on how to depot these beautiful eyeshadows.

My victim for the purpose of this tutorial was Almond.

Safety disclaimer: The depotting of Burberry eyeshadows is NOT for amateur depotters - I only advise experienced depotters who have used flame based methods to attempt this.  This tutorial was completed using open flame.  It is very important to implement basic safety measures - wear eye protection; tie your hair up; wear old clothing; do not depot while other people and/or pets are around you; and depot in a well ventilated area.  I am not responsible for any damage or injuries incurred from following this tutorial.

Before you start, have a good look at your Burberry eyeshadow, and familiarise yourself with how it is put together.  There are several components that you need to work through to get to the actual depotting stage - the mirror, the outer packaging, and then the inner packaging.

Lets begin!!

The eyeshadow - Burberry Almond

Tools used
Stove lighter - Small, flat head screwdriver - Pointed nose pliers - Metal nail file

Step 1 - remove the mirror and hinges
Break the mirror away from the compact - this can be achieved by gently pushing the mirror backwards, away from the compact.  It will snap off.  Be aware that little pieces of plastic may break off here.
Next, remove the remaining hinge components from the packaging, as seen below.  They should easily slide off.  If not, a metal nail file can be used to jimmy them off.

Step 2 - separate the inner and outer components of the packaging
I cannot stress enough, this is the step that requires the most patience!!
You can see here in these pictures that the inner plastic component is well attached to the outer plastic component.
I used a flat head screwdriver to separate the two layers.
Slowly jimmy the screwdriver in between the two layers - this will take some time and patience - do not rush it.  Be careful that you do not use too mush force, or you may slip and injure yourself with the screwdriver.
Keep working the screwdriver around the packaging...
With time and patience, the two layers will separate. 
PLEASE take your time during this step.  Use your best judgement with regards to how much force to apply.

Step 3 - remove the magnet
Now you have separated the inner packaging from the outer packaging, you can see the inner section has a large magnet underneath.
You need to remove this magnet.  This is done easily with heat - the magnet only needs to be heated enough to soften the glue that adheres it.  Whilst holding the plastic insert with pliers, use the stove lighter to heat the magnet from underneath.  The magnet will heat quite quickly, so you should only need to heat it for a few seconds.  The magnet can then be easily pried away with a metal nail file.  CAUTION: the magnet will be VERY hot!!
Now you can depot the pan from the inner component of the packaging!!

Step 4 - depot the eyeshadow pan
Use the stove lighter to apply heat from underneath, again holding the plastic insert with pliers.
Caution: the plastic used for Burberry eyeshadow inserts is flammable, meaning that the application of direct flame can cause it to ignite in some spots - be on guard in case this happens.  This did happen to me several times - I just removed the flame, blew out the ignited area, and then reapplied the flame to a different area on the plastic.
The plastic takes about a minute in total to melt enough to then be able to remove the pan.  Simply push the pan out from the back, through the plastic, with a screwdriver.  Push the pan out onto clean paper towel, at close range - you do not want your Burberry eyeshadow pan to 'drop'.

You now have a depotted Burberry eyeshadow!

I also like to remove the labels from the back of the eyehadow packaging and stick the labels to the pans - Burberry labels do peel off easily, but again, be patient and peel very slowly.
I will eventually be trimming the labels so that they do not overhang the pan.

More depotting to come!!
I will be depotting all of my Burberry eyeshadows in the near future, and will post pictures once I have completed this project.

I have also been told that the new Burberry Fall 2012 eyeshadow shades have an extra magnet in the packaging, thus making them harder to depot.  I will post about this once I have depotted them.

Bern x


  1. Fantastico! A work of brilliance! Looks easy enough for me to do; however, the logical side of my brain (albeit small) is telling me not to!

    1. It must be done roxina!! Perhaps my completed project will persuade you - once you see them all in one palette of Burberry awesomeness? :D

    2. hm, perhaps but first I would have to gain advanced depotting skills and second I would have to acquire Burberry shadows haha! :D Perhaps by your project completion I will have done both though.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Emi!! Your feedback is greatly appreciated :)

  3. Bern,
    I love this and this is so helpful. I agree with roxina! I'm gonna have to gain some better depotting skills and then I shall tackle this! LOVE IT and bookmarking for all posterity.


    1. Your comment ended up in spam, gah!

  4. Wow..impressive stuff Bern!
    Won't the heat damage the product at all?

    1. Thank you lollikit! I appreciate the feedback!
      As for the product, no, the heat won't damage the product at all.
      In step 3, removal of the magnet, the heat doesn't radiate through to the underlying plastic much at all - in this step, very little heat, if any, reaches the actual eyeshadow pan.
      In step 4, removing the pan, the total heat exposure has a cumulative total of about a minute, if that. The pan isn't heated enough to change the composition of the eyeshadow. It will heat up a little for a few seconds, but it very quickly cools down.
      I also make sure I don't expose the pan directly to the flame - I try to keep the flame directed on to the plastic only - and heat the plastic only enough to be able to push the pan out. The key here is to use the minimal amount of heat necessary to then get the pan out.
      I have depotted many eyeshadows this way - at least 100 - and never have I experienced a change in product composition.
      Other methods that expose the product to heat for longer can effect product composition - for example, depotting using the oven method may 'bake' the product.
      Hope this helps lollikit!! :D

  5. Bern I forgot to mention, it's Ellen! :)
    honestly I've never ever depotted anything before so I'm a tad bit scared.
    But considering I start overloading my cosmetics cabinet with blush, I will have to do some depotting to save spaces!
    Does depotting work the same with most makeup cases?

    Thanks for the tip!

    1. Oops I was meant to reply on your comment but ohwell

    2. Hehe! I know it's you! ;)
      I'll only reply to your real name if it is stated within your comment :) (privacy, etc).
      You can pretty much depot anything using flame - occasionally you have to navigate eyeshadow package 'anatomy' to work it out first, but anything can be depotted.
      Depotting only becomes an issue if you wish to preserve the packaging (which I never do) - then you have to look for alternative methods.
      If you want a hand with anything in particular, let me know! I am more than happy to give you guidance that is brand specific :D

  6. Hey there!

    I'm loving your blog. :D This entry in particular is very informative. You are one brave, brave woman to do this.

    I was wondering if there are any poisonous gases that come out when melting plastic? If there's anything high school chemistry taught me, it's that crazy stuff can go down when there's heat, lol.

  7. But the packaging is gorgeous...why depot?

    1. Yes, the packaging is gorgeous... but why not depot I say!
      I love Burberry eyeshadows for the product, the packaging is irrelevant - I am ever the pragmatist - it is more practical for me to have my Burberry eyeshadow collection in one palette, as opposed to a plethora of singles that take up space and are a pain in the butt to use.
      The packaging may be gorgeous, but it is far from user friendly in my opinion. Especially when you have a collection of thirteen!

  8. It is foolish to do so. they have such a gorgous packaging. Wow. ppl are crazy these days. ( in jersey shore and kardashian times every thing is possible:)

    1. I agree the packaging is gorgeous - but once you have more than a few of them, it sadly just becomes impractical.
      As for being crazy, and anything Kardashian / Jersey Shore, I intentionally stay away from 99% of mainstream media. I am me, and I am untainted by 'celebrity' :) my eccentricities are wholly and solely my own!
      Bern xo

  9. I just depotted mine, but I sat them on the flat iron like everything else. My cases are still in tact--no carnage and it was fast!

    1. Thank you Duchess - yes, using a 'flat iron' is another way to depot, if you have one.
      Many of us don't use or have flat irons - so we use the flame method instead!
      Bern xo

  10. i got to try this! The packaging is beautiful. But once you've collected many, it becomes a pain to use. I want a palette to store all my burberry eyeshadows in.

    1. It is definitely a more user-friendly way to keep all your Burberry eyeshadows!! I can't wait to finish depotting all of mine!
      I have a brand new Z Palette coming from Camera Ready Cosmetics :D
      Bern xo