Creating Your New(ish) Foundation Refill

by PJ on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

in -Shiseido, -ZA, all about Japanese cosmetics, makeup, makeup - base makeup, makeup - base makeup - foundation

I am sure many of you have been doing what I do with powder foundations, but since I was again making a new refill a couple of days ago, I thought I’d document it and share it with you.

Some of us who regularly use a powder foundation might find that, as we get towards the end of a refill, the application takes longer and longer as the sponge has to dig into the corners. It can be a bit of a pain, and we just want to open up a new refill.

Some years ago, with several nearly finished refills like those you see above (from different brands actually), I decided to try putting all the powder together and I was a little surprised to see how much powder was actually left on each tray. So I started to save somewhat finished refills to make a new one later. (I stopped pushing my sponge to the very end…)

The steps are what you see in the photos below:

1. Find a small (and perfectly clean) spoon or spatula. (I prefer a plastic one to a metal one.)

2. Start scraping! (Imagine that you are clearing the corners of a delicious Japanese bento box.)

3. Realize how much powder is still left.

4. Put all the leftover powder into one tray. (Here, I have powder from four nearly finished refills of ZA Two-Way Foundation.)

5. With your spoon/spatula, gently pat the powder down.

6. Lay a piece of tissue (which I have folded here) on top of the powder, and apply even and firm pressure with your fingers. Pay specific attention to the corners.

7. Reveal your (semi-)new refill! (The one here is about 75-80% full and will last quite a while for me.)


1. Obviously the powder is not pressed to an industrial standard, so we have to be slightly more light-handed with the sponge than usual.

2. Sometimes our complexions can be between two shades with our favorite foundations, and sometimes we are happy with a shade but not the finish. These steps are good for customizing your own powder foundation, as you can mix and match from the same brand or different brands.

3. Make sure you store the nearly-finished refills in a clean/dry place just like your new ones. (I always save the refill boxes for this purpose.)

I hope you find this useful. If you have any related tip that you would like to share with us, do please post it in the comment section!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilita Thursday, September 18, 2008

That’s an interesting tip, and a great way to save a lot of product. (I don’t use powder foundation though! But if I did…)


Mellerson Thursday, September 18, 2008

So you don’t need to use alcohol to press these, and they don’t fall apart?


Anonymous Thursday, September 18, 2008

Does this work with press powder as well? Did u use any form of liquid to make the powder stick together?



YZ Thursday, September 18, 2008

Very helpful post! :)
However, it will take me ages to finish even ONE ZA 2-way foundation, nevermind a refill :p I don't wear makeup on a daily basis, & even then I alternate my powder foundations with BB creams for a more natural look…


PJ Friday, September 19, 2008

Hi Emilita,

Thank you for reading my blog and posting your comment! :)


PJ Friday, September 19, 2008

Hi Mellerson,

No, you don’t need alcohol with powder foundation (unlike pressing eyeshadow pigment powder). The powder would stick together relatively well and won’t fall apart.

Thank you for your question! :)


PJ Friday, September 19, 2008

Hi K,

I am not sure if the same steps will work with pressed powder.

Two-way foundations are formulated quite differently from loose/pressed powder and loose eyeshadow pigment powder, so you don’t need to use any liquid. Pressure alone will be enough to make the powder stick together.

Thank you for your question! :)


PJ Friday, September 19, 2008

Hi YZ,

I used to wear foundation on a daily basis, so I used to go through refills relatively quickly. Now I wear foundation a couple of times a week, so a refill lasts a lot longer but I still save all the nearly-finished ones to make a new one. :)

Thank you for reading this post and sharing your thoughts! :)


Anonymous Friday, September 19, 2008

I love ZA too! Btw, do the ZA refills fit into Raycious compacts? Cos I love the Raycious compacts too..


Vichaya Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh… I just love your tip.
Thanks a lot!!!!
It start to make me wonder how much powder and $ I wasted throwing things away.


PJ Monday, September 22, 2008


I have actually tried fitting my ZA refill into a Raycious case. Unfortunately, the refill is just slightly too big for the Raycious slot. I could still (almost) squeeze it in, but I think it might damage the case… :(

Thank you for your question! :)


PJ Monday, September 22, 2008

Hi Vichaya,

You are very welcome!

It is never too late to start saving. :) For me, it is less about monetary savings and more about not wasting the powder that can still be used. I hope my tip helps.

Thank you for posting your comment again! :)


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