Fact: Within every shadow palette, there are those two or three shades you use right down to the pan, while the rest of the colors remain untouched. A collection of 64 Crayola-esque hues may seem like a good idea, the truth is, those day-glo tones making up the majority of the palette often go to waste. The solution? Craft your own color collection. With a magnetic palette like Dollup Beauty's ($52; dollupbeauty.com) or the Z Palette ($20; ulta.com), you can use the solo shadows you already have, while clearing up some extra clutter on your vanity at that. Start off by picking out a few basics every good palette should have. You'll need a pale highlighting shadow—whether it's matte, metallic, or sublty-shimmery depends on your personal preferences—one shade close to your own skin tone for blending, a dark brown, and a black hue to intensify the look of your choice. From there, determine the colors from your existing arsenal that get the most frequent use, and make sure to use a variety of finishes. For good measure, throw a few of the two or three brights that get the heaviest rotation in so you can have them handy when crafting a night-out look.
Next, comes the depotting stage. Many brands like Anastasia will sell single shadows that have already been removed from their plastic casing, but prying your shadow pan loose from its packaging is an easy task—just have a heated flat iron, rubbing alcohol, and a thin metal tool like a nail file or scissors handy. Place the shadow pan on the flat iron for 30 seconds to melt the glue sticking the product to the plastic tray, then carefully remove it from the iron. Pick up your metal tool and wedge it into a gap between the shadow and the casing, then move it around to pry the color loose. Be careful not to bend the base too much, as this can cause the powder to crack. Once the shadow pan has been removed, wipe a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol over the bottom to dissolve any residue, and stick the color onto the magnetic surface of your new bespoke palette. This same method can be used if you want to incorporate a few of your blushes, highlighters, or pressed powders into the mix, though we wouldn't recommend doing this with cream formulas, as the heat can cause the product to melt in the process.