Decanting Urban Decay Primer Potion aka There’s So Much More Inside!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion may be the star item of the brand, thanks to its colour lock-down ability (yay!) but the applicator doesn’t seem to get at all the product in the tube (boo!).

As cute as the concept may be (a genie in a bottle to grant your shadow wishes), this can get frustrating. When my sponge-tipped doe-foot applicator* started picking up too little primer for my liking, I decided to go the drastic route many makeup netizens have traversed – decanting by sawing.

I used:

A mini handsaw (available at any hardware store but I got my Duwell one from my handyman hubs ;))

A stainless steel spatula

An empty lipgloss pen with a brush tip

Here’s what you have to do:

1. Cut the middle of the UDPP bottle with the mini saw.

You don’t need to cut all the way through for the middle to easily bend open. JUST LOOK ALL THAT UDPP. To think that there was so much inside when the applicator only brought up a miserable coating each time. *grrr*

2. Slowly scoop out the cream with a spatula or any flat implement.

Digging into the copious amount of product is quite a delicious pleasure!

3. Push the cream into the lipgloss pen.

Be sparing each time you scoop out the product and push it in a little at a time (see why below).

To my knowledge, this idea of placing the primer into a lipgloss pen originated from EnKoreMakeup. Depotting UDPP is a common practice but putting it into an airtight pen container like an empty gloss pen is one of the best makeup tips I’ve come across in a while. :)

It’s ridiculously simple but it can get messy, if you don’t do it right.

Things to note:

  • It will be difficult to fill the pen. Put a little at a time into the container. My mistake was to try to put too much in initially, resulting in air pockets and the product spilling over the rim.
  • Pound the pen vertically on a hard surface, so that gravity can help push the cream downwards.
  • Do not fill the pen all the way – you will need space for the brush tip to fit in. I made this mistake and as you can imagine, I had UDPP spilling everywhere. :P
  • The rubber stopper also has hidden product; remove that and scrape the cream from it.

I put the remaining product – there was SO much of it – in a sample jar from MAC. I reckon you actually need two lipgloss pens to contain the entire contents of the original UDPP bottle…which also goes to show how much product is actually hidden inside. Urban Decay might as well make a pot form of this popular eyebase or like I Nuovi Eyebase and Too Faced Insurance, put the cream in a hygienic squeeze tube.

Image sources: PJ Tool, Stars Makeup Haven and MakeUpMania

* Urban Decay has since changed the applicator (not the form of the container, unfortunately) but I’ve not tried the new slanted tip.


  • odelia says:

    I have also read somewhere that using a stainless steel knife would also do the trick. =)

  • vix says:

    where do you get a clean lipgloss pen from? i don’t imagine you clean out old stila lipglosses. :P

    also, how does too faced e/s primer compare to UDPP?

    • makeupmag says:

      Hello Vix! Hope you’ve been well. :)

      I bought mine from Stars Makeup Haven. You might be able to find it at TKB Trading too but I can’t seem to locate it at the moment.

      TFSI is more emollient and dries more clearly than UDPP – the latter seems slightly milkier on the lid. Where colour intensity is concerned, UDPP wins. TFSI can intensify but not as vibrantly, (for me, it functions more as a base for other coloured bases) while UDPP is good on its own. ;)

  • Kimoko says:

    i need to decant mine too but i’ve been too lazy! your post has just inspired me! =D

  • plue says:

    i rely solely on UDPP if I want vibrancy and no crease the whole day~
    but it irks me with it’s stupid design~
    i need go grab a few of those pen~ hehehe~
    too bad daiso not selling them!

  • shaynaJo says:

    I’m using UDPP at the moment too and I think it’s running low since it’s so hard for the applicator to grab more of the primer. This drives me crazy and I heard from alot of girls saying that you really have to cut it into half to see how much is left inside.
    And I was surprised looking at ur picture! that’s still a lot of product stucked inside! Grrr… I think I need to do this soon too .

    Thanks for the info and ideas :D

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi ShaynaJo,

      Even taking out the rubber plug helps; there’s quite a lot of product coating its sides. Have fun decanting! :)

  • Ling says:

    hi how does i nuovi’s eyebase compare with UDPP? i can’t decide which to get since UDPP costs just a dollar more than i nuovi’s.

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Ling,

      The I Nuovi is slightly more translucent than the UDPP. Also, the I Nuovi is more emollient and the UDPP is more prone to cakiness (careful spreading circumvents this though). Both seem to make shadows last for the same amount of time. HTH!

  • kirsten says:

    Hi, i went to the Stars Makeup Haven website, although item was featured on main page, but when i clicked on it, the product was not found. :( any other places i can buy the empty lipgloss pens from?

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Kirsten,

      I’m afraid it looks like the item is out of stock. Have you tried emailing them? I can’t seem to find another retailer – I checked Alcone and Kosmetech but they don’t have it either.

  • TechnoRooster says:

    That’s an awesome tip. I have a Stila Lip Glaze pen that I want to use, but can’t get the top off. Do you know how?

  • Ran says:

    I read that you are based in Singapore!!!
    I would like to find out where can I get a similar stainless steel spatula in Singapore?
    I don’t want to buy from online sites overseas as I don’t have paypal or a credit card.

    If its a Singapore based site I guess its alright as long as I can pay via bank transfer…

    I’ve been looking at artfriend and spotlight since many blogs say you can find them at art supplies stores, but the spatulas there are humongous!!!
    well, for makeup it is humongous…


    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Ran,

      I bought mine online, unfortunately. You could try Daiso – some of their smaller stirrers/spoons might suit your purposes? :)

  • Carol says:

    lovely! thanks for the tip =)

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