Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Depotting NARS Blushes

NARS makes some of the best blushes but one big drawback is the black rubber packaging which is not only a dust/loose powder magnet, but also gets horribly sticky in humid/tropical climates. Here in sunny Singapore, my NARS blushes have become a horrible sticky mess that leaves residue on my fingers every time I pick one of them up. I got so fed up with them that I decided to depot them into empty CD cases.

I've had experience with depotting dozens of MAC eyeshadows with the candle method. Basically just hold the black plastic insert with the eyeshadow pan over a candle flame and after about 20 seconds, the glue holding the eyeshadow pan becomes soft enough to easily lift the pan out. I did a bit of research on Makeupalley about depotting NARS and the consensus seemed to be that placing the compacts on a flat iron is the easiest method. But as I didn't own a flat iron, I decided to try my luck with the candle method.

I held the blush compact over the flame for about 30 seconds, and then used a small manicure scissors to pry the black plastic insert (which holds the blush pan) loose from a corner. This is the trickiest part and usually takes the longest time. Once I lift the corner high enough, I insert another manicure tool (with a broader surface) into the opening to lift up the insert. Once the black plastic insert has been removed from the compact, the rest is basically the same as depotting MAC eyeshadows. Hold the insert over a flame for about 30 seconds and the focus the flame along one edge. Then pry the blush pan loose by inserting the manicure tool (like a nail file) between the pan and the edge that has been melted into a soft consistency.

I forgot the golden rule of depotting which is to always start with a shade that you don't mind damaging. Instead of starting with Exhibit A (above, with Taos), I started with Crazed, one of my favourites, and ended up losing a few small chunks of it at the corners as it lifted unevenly from the insert. Fortunately, I got much better at it as I went along and by the 8th and final blush, I was depotting each one in less than five minutes without any nicks. It took me another 5 minutes to scrub all the sticky gunk off my fingers. It felt really good to chuck all the rubber compacts into the trash at the end! Don't you just hate it when companies spoil great makeup products with lousy packaging? Of course the CD cases are not ideal as well as I can't bring them out but at least I don't get sticky fingers each time I try to pick up one of these.

Top row (left to right): Oasis, Sin, Outlaw (?)
Bottom row: Deep Throat, Lovejoy, Crazed


Connie De Alwis said...

sorry about your Crazed! Trust me, I know the pain of having unnecessarily damaged powder makeup... *Sighs* Taos looks like a very pretty color :D I don't own a NARS blush but my friend does and the packaging is disgusting! her was so sticky and rough!

Meri said...

I heard about the sticky and melting packaging, which I hope wont happent to mine. But seems like everyone has this experience. However, I still keep it in the box, do u think it will helps ?

Haru said...

Hi Meri,

I kept my NARS blushes without their boxes in a plastic chest of drawers so it's not exposed directly to light (but does get a bit hot anyway as it's Singapore) but every single compact still ended up all sticky and icky after a year plus.

Catherine said...

This looks so cool! I've never depotted anything, but I like your idea. I don't have anything Nars, but I would totally hate if the packaging got sticky... ick!

♥akisa♥ said...

i have a nars blush & I hate the case too! It looks great new but gets sticky & the hinges are broken on mine.

I don't know which container I can use to depot it though.. since I only have one. Any suggestions?

Kalmo said...


This is my first time visiting your blog, I was sucked in by the title "Depotting Nars Blushes." I thought the girl must be so brave to risk depotting her expensive blushes and had to see! LOL Sorry to hear about your Crazed blusher though. :( Great job on this difficult task though!

Audrey said...

Hello Pretty Rouge babe

that's creative and innovative. :) where do you hunt for your NARS blush? please share. i know singapore don't sell NARS, such a pity! even Sephora ION don't have but i heard words has it they are coming in soon, in near future. together with UD! :)

Haru said...

hi akisa,
how about Shu Uemura's blush/eyeshadow case? It's not an exact fit, of course, but should fit 1 NARS blush.

Haru said...

Hi Kasey,

The blush cases were just so horribly sticky that I had no choice but to depot. I tried to get rid of the stickiness by wiping the cases, but nothing worked. I even tried using nailpolish remover as someone had recommended it to me long ago.

Hi Audrey,
My NARS was purchased mostly on Ebay a couple of years ago. I also bought some in Tokyo when I was living there. My most recent acquisition was through a friend who was in Hong Kong for a holiday. NARS is actually quite easy to buy online if you don't mind Ebay or using VPost/Borderlinx to order from US websites.

dark nyx said...

It's weird that the package gets sticky. I have a NARS blush and I kinda like the packaging. It didn't melt on me or get sticky or anything.

Serenity said...

Have you considered using a Z Palette, or a UNII palette to hold your depotted NARS blushes? Both are cute empty-well palettes sold online. I am not affiliated in any way with either of these companies, I just hate to see such nice NARS blushes sitting in a CD case!