DIY – Pressed Powder!

15 May

One of the reasons why I love pressed powder is the compacts.  I am a sucker for a collectible compact.  They are pretty and inexpensive to restock.  And now even cheaper.   Here is how to make your own pressed powder.  Pro Tip – this works so good for vintage compacts!


 This works for compacts with refillable pans and also ones without.  So if you are digging on a particular Cover Girl compact, you can use this too.   Estimated time – 5 Mins

What you will need:

1) Loose powder (any brand)

2) Rubbing Alcohol

3) A glass container

4) Spoon or knife

5) Paper Towel

Step 1) clean your compact pan or where the powder will be set


Step 2) Depending on your powder, try to remove the top cover.  This will make getting  a few teaspoon-fulls of the powder easier than trying to shake it out.  If you can’t, no biggie.   Here is how mine looked once I removed it with some strategic knife action.


Step 3) In a glass container, combine roughly 3 teaspoons of powder and 2 capfulls of the rubbing alcohol.  This may vary a bit depending on the size of your compact.  The goal is to make it onto a paste.

Step 4) Mix it together.   As you can see, I used a martini stir to do this, I am fancy.

Mix mixing

Step 5) Once you have a good paste like above, transfer to the pan or compact

messy paste

Step 6) Smooth out the mixture so that it is relatively even and flat.  Note – this is crazy impossible since it will pull and fold, so don’t drive yourself insane doing it.


Step 7) Cover the pan or compact with a piece of breathable paper. I like to use paper towel because it also imprints a pretty design on the powder once dried.


IMPORTANT – Just like Christmas, DO NOT PEEK!  Leave it alone for 24 hours, or at least overnight.  You can peek overnight, but don’t use it for 24 hours.

Finished product!

finished powder

The Math – My Coty brand powder cost me around $7.00 for 2.3 Ounces.  I have so far made this 3 times, and I still have a lot of product left.  I’m guessing I can make around 10 or more refills from my initial $7.00.

A $10 refill at the beauty counter vs $0.53 per refill at home.  I’m not even counting in the price of the rubbing alcohol because I am assuming you have bottles of it at home anyway.  :).

I am considering making this from the Coastal Scents Spheres we wrote about here.



20 Responses to “DIY – Pressed Powder!”

  1. Anne Black June 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Nice site! Thanks for linking my post!

  2. nadia November 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    what percentage of alcohol do you use? can i use sanitizer instead?
    so basically thats all i need is alcohol..thats the miracle that makes it stick ? would you still clasify it as mineral makeup if it has alcohol in it?

    • yourfairygodmother November 11, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Sanitizer has different ingredients other than alcohol so it may change the way it binds the powder together.

      Not sure I understand your question about percentage? Like how strong it is??? I’m not sure, I got the drug store brand rubbing alcohol. I imagine they are all the same.

      Good luck!

  3. Jennifer January 11, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    I did this and mine cracked. It is still stuck to the pan, but does not look as pretty as yours.Is the paper towel supposed to be wet or dry? I thought maybe that might be the difference.

  4. jaschewe January 11, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    I did this and mine cracked. It still stuck to the pan, but it does not look as pretty as yours. I am wondering if the paper towel was supposed to be wet or dry.

    • yourfairygodmother January 13, 2014 at 9:01 am #

      I use dry paper towel, and I the design on my paper towel was pretty visible. Maybe it was able to imbed itself in the powder better?

  5. Mavis Salgado June 13, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    I made mine but not so wet. After placing the paper towel over the compact, I placed a jar of face cream over it to weigh down the wet product. It worked beautifully. Good luck.

  6. Gibson Glamor June 18, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    I’ve tried this a couple times now, but mine just keeps cracking immediately and crumbling back to dust within a couple days. I think it maybe works better with a powder like Coty that has oil in it, or for a mixture that had started out as a pressed powder in the first place.

    • yourfairygodmother July 1, 2014 at 9:06 am #

      Are you maybe using too much alcohol to make the paste? I use the cheapest spun powder. I agree that Coty works great, smells nice too.

  7. yourfairygodmother December 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Reblogged this on Your Fairy Godmother and commented:

    #TBT this post is very popular! I still use this recipe!

  8. theworldofcos December 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this! I want to try this out! 🙂

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  10. Aish April 24, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    Could you use distilled witch hazel since it’s antiseptic? Or does it not make much difference since it evaporates?

  11. chatrine August 7, 2015 at 3:06 am #

    what other substances that i can use instead of alcohol?

    • yourfairygodmother August 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      I don’t know if there is another substitute. You need the alcohol to bind it so that it later evaporates. If you know a chemist they may know of another option 🙂

  12. Vivien August 24, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    I am crazy pale and have been advised to try mixing in white foundations to achieve the correct color. The issue is, I really prefer powders and am not sure how I’d mix those effectively… Do you think this method would work to blend a powder foundation with a white powder (i.e. Manic Panic) to get the right shade?

    • yourfairygodmother August 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

      I’ve never mixed different powders. It could work. But we are both pretty pale and are use translucent powders without issue.

      The only thing I would watch for would be the two powders not mixing and just sort of sitting on top of each other as they mixture dries. But you will never know until you try!


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