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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Depotting Urban Decay's Primer Potion: A tale of two techniques

The Urban Decay Primer Potion has a massive cult following and I can see why. It makes your eyeshadows show up with more intensity and helps them last longer without creasing. It's the only primer I've found so far that actually works for me and my creasing-prone lids. The only negative thing about this product is the packaging.

Now I know that Urban Decay listened to the many complaints they got about the bottle and have now released the product in a squeeze tube but there are still plenty of you who have the old version. If you don't know, the main problem with this bottle is that it puts form over function so the shape of the bottle prevents you from reaching all the product that's in there.

I've been using my bottle for a while and I wasn't really getting much product on my applicator any more and what ever was coming out was a bit dry. I thought that, before I started using a new bottle, I wanted to get as much use as I could out of my old one.

After doing a bit of research, I found that the little plastic stopper at the opening of the bottle could be pulled out. I was surprised how much product I could get out just by doing this! All you need to do is wiggle the sharp end of a pair of tweezers into the bottom of the stopper and coax it out of the bottle. It should pop out eventually like this:

Pulling out the stopper lets the applicator move around more inside the bottle so you're able to access the product that's attached itself to the lining of the bottle. I could've easily gotten a lot more use out of my bottle by using it this way but it was a little too messy for my liking. This is because, without the stopper, there's nothing left to wipe of any excess product from the applicator so I decided to depot the whole thing.

When I went searching on youtube, most of the tutorials involved cutting open the bottle and scooping out what was left but I'm really accident prone so I wanted a safer method. I then came across a video that showed how to depot by using the microwave and I decided to give it a go.

What you'll need for this is:
*some sort of flat surface to tap the product out on. I used an Inglot mixing palette
*a spatula of some type to scoop the product with
*a small air tight container to put your product in. I ended up using a 5gm sample jar and it worked great.
*a microwave
* your UDPP of course :)

1. Take the applicator out and put just the bottle itself standing upright into the microwave. You'll have to guess how long to heat the product for but I ended up putting mine in for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Just a word of warning: you may want to do this in 20 or 30 second increments as mine ended up exploding a little bit... it wasn't too bad but just be careful.

2. The product doesn't really turn very watery but it does get a little bit thinner in consistency so you can tap it out. It takes a while but I just kept tapping my bottle (with the opening facing straight down) on to the palette until it was filled with product. It kind of looks like icing don't you think?

3. I then scooped up the product that was on the palette with my spatula and put it into the empty container. This is how much product I got after each bout of tapping:

4. I repeated the step above about 3 or 4 times and I got a fair amount of product out but being the curious person I am I decided (in the name of blogging) to carry out an experiment to see whether using the heat method alone was the way to go.

5. To see whether there was any product left, I grabbed a big knife and started cutting the bottle in half. It should go without saying that you need to be really careful if you decide to cut your bottle open!

It took a bit of time and alot of elbow grease but I finally cracked it open and voila!:

You can see there's still a fair amount of product left in the container but I think the heat method got quite alot out so it's definitely a viable option on its own.

6. After scooping all the product out I managed to get a full spatula's worth to put in my container!

7. I then cleaned up my container a bit and smoothed out the top and the end result was a full 5gm jar worth of previously unreachable product!

So far the consistency of the product in the jar doesn't seem affected and is still really creamy but I'm curious whether it will dry out quickly. If you're curious about how the product fares in the container, leave me a comment in a few weeks time and I'll give you an update.


  1. ooh the microwave option seems really great! I actually just cut mine a couple weeks ago haha. I went straight in with a knife! :) I did that a few years ago and found that the pp really dried out quickly. However, the new one seems to be doing fine. It hasn't changed in texture at all, so maybe it was just the container I used before. I just miss using the applicator, I feel like I get too much product when I don't use it. I need to remember where I put it!! :)

  2. I've only tried travel sizes of udpp, but all this effort to depot makes me want to only but the squeeze-y tube! :D

  3. Wow, its crazy how much product is left over in the container. I want to get the big squeeze tube of UPDD but haven't been able to find it yet. Thanks for the tutorial. I am definitely going to try this with my mini bottles when I run dry.

  4. Oh I depotted mine about a year ago and it's still going!! The consistency hasn't changed at all :)

  5. Aseya: It was harder to cut with a knife than I thought it would be! I think I'll definitely stick with the microwave method from now on. Lol, I kept my applicator for the same reason! I'm just too used to applying it with it.

    Ki: Yeah I wish they'd just gone with the squeezy tube to begin with! I still have the product I depotted plus a new bottle of the extra large size left so it'll be a while before I can justify buying it!

    Alicia: I know! I can't believe, considering how much testing these product go through, that no one at Urban Decay picked up the problem until people complained. Good luck depotting yours :)

    Clare: Thanks for the info! I hope mine doesn't change but products always dry out on me when i depot. Fingers crossed this one doesn't :)

  6. This is such a great post!
    I never think to do that with make up products, thanks for sharing xx

  7. WOw, very extensive review. Thanks for sharing all of this. You have a great blog and you put makeup on nicely. Would you like to follow each other? XOXO

  8. JustLikeJasper: You're welcome :) I never thought to depot things until I started reading alot of blogs and now my first thought when I purchase a product is 'I wonder if I can depot this...' :D

    Venus in Virgo: Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and for checking out my blog! I'll definitely check out your blog but I don't believe in following people just to get them to follow me. I figure if people like my blog they'll follow otherwise; c'est la vie :)

  9. That is a TON of product leftover!!! :)

  10. Rainy Days and Lattes: It really is! Btw, I love your user name! Rainy days + lattes are definitely a great combo :)

  11. Wow! that was really a interesting product primer potion sounds great I want to try this. Keep posting!