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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Reviving MAC Lipglasses and Shadesticks

Well, I thought I'd share an experiment with you all. I have two MAC Lipglasses that I love immensely and they have gone "bad". They taste horrible and the vanilla scent has gone. I was particularly devastated as one is Nico that I wore on my wedding day and it's discontinued now. The other is Flashmode which is such an amazing pink, and there's more than half left in both of them!

Firstly I Googled and found this video:

Fabulous idea!

I decided to take it another step as the loss of the vanilla is my biggest issue, so I put some vanilla essence in each lipglass (courtesy of Dr Oetker and the baking section of the supermarket!) and then put the lipglasses in the hot water:

As you can see I slung an Urban Decay Primer Potion in there too, and it worked pretty well to get that going again!

After leaving them in there for some time whilst I washed my hair and drank a cup of tea, I thought they'd probably be about done. I'm a bit crap so I can't give you an exact time. When I pulled them out the consistency had improved greatly, but I have to say my experiment doesn't seem to have improved the taste at all. I wonder if with time the vanilla will infuse better with the whole product? I can hope.

Once again to be confusing you can see I put a (very) old Urban Decay Lip Gunk in with them after I took photos of them stewing in the water. Sorry! Noob blogger fail! But anyway, you can see it looks like new lip gloss!

Finally I decided to extend the experiment. I have three MAC Shadesticks that have dried out a bit. It's something that's happened to many of us I think... bought a Shadestick and forgotten that it clicks TWICE, and if the lid isn't on properly it dries out and it's really hard to get any colour pay-off.

I'd say with this ensure you DO have the lid clicked on properly, and only submerge it below the level of the lid. You don't want water in the product- just the heat. Think of it like a Bain Marie if you do any cooking- the mug is your pan of water, the Shadestick packaging is the bowl in the saucepan and the stick itself is like chocolate you want to warm in the Bain Marie but not get water in it... only you don't want to melt the stick, just warm it through.

Before I put them in, the Shadesticks were all too dry and scratchy to use and there was hardly any colour pay-off. After only 15 minutes in the warm water, it was like this:

I was seriously impressed! Longer may have been better, but too long (or too hot.. make sure it's warm and not hot for this, I'd make it cooler than you would in the video) and it would just be a puddle of Shadestick-ness in the bottom of a tube you couldn't retrieve it from without pouring it out....

So in conclusion, the vanilla restoration project failed. The consistency of the glosses was improved, and it works well still, but I find the flavour pretty repulsive. Perhaps something in it really has gone "off" but it was worth a shot. If it improves over time, I'll report back. The Shadesticks worked amazingly well though! I've not seen any advice to restore Shadesticks to use before now, so I'm very pleased about this.

Let me know if any of this works for you.


  1. When lipsticks taste and smell horrible it is because bacteria in them has caused them to go off. They should be thrown away. Or in the case of MAC ones, taken back to MAC with others in exchange for a free lipstick.

    1. Thank you for that feedback! I did wonder if it was bacteria actually, and I sort of hope that by boiling it, it may kill it off, but it wasn't hot enough really anyway. I had a feeling I should just B2M them, but as gross as it is, I'll keep the Nico as I wore it on my wedding day. I'll just not use it now! I just really, really hoped the bad taste was because the vanilla had faded at that was it! Oh well! Worth a try!

      I do advise readers here- it was just an experiment and I'm not a chemist! I'm just poor and hoped I could revive them!

  2. Thanks for the shade stick tutorial. I have five which I had for 7 years unusable after buying! So I was desperate enough to try it HOT.

    Works well for me after 10 mins in scalding hot water!