We all have it somewhere—stuck away in the back of a drawer, in a bag under the bathroom vanity, or in a basket on a shelf in the closet. It's that collection of old, mostly-used makeup. What you may not know is that you can bring new life to what's left—just use the tips below!


Storage and application

For easy storage, mix your new makeup blends in a small, portable container. A seven-day, plastic, vitamin box works great, especially if you have several colors to remake. Or better yet, if you've emptied out a four-shade shadow compact, simply refill it with the newly created creams. In the past, I’ve used a contact lens container and that worked great too.


1. Use old blush for lipgloss.

Mix your leftover blush with a little clear lipgloss and enjoy a shimmering hint of a favorite hue on your lips.


2. Get more use out of dried mascara by soaking it in a cup of hot water.

Stick tubes of old mascara into a cup of hot water, and the liquid will fall down the sides to the bottom where your brush is able to grab the liquid mascara.


3. Fix cracked pressed powder, bronzer, and eyeshadow with rubbing alcohol.

Use a spoon to crush the remaining cracked makeup into a powder, and add just enough alcohol to make a thick paste when stirred. Level out the paste and let it sit overnight. This will allow the alcohol to evaporate, leaving the powder solid and whole again.


4. Get dried out gel eyeliners to work again by heating them in the microwave.

To avoid overheating your eyeliner gel, check the consistency every 10 seconds while it’s in the microwave.


5. Reblend old eyeshadow and blush with petroleum jelly.

Simply crush what's left of your nearly-empty tins of eyeshadow, scrape the crushed contents into a small container, and add a small dab of petroleum jelly. Blend well and you'll have that great color once again—this time in a soft, creamy formula.


Related: Make Your Own Mineral Makeup!

6. Reshape and refrigerate old lipstick.

One quick and easy way to fix a broken tube of lipstick is to carefully reform and repack it right in the tube. Shape it with your fingers and then throw it in the fridge for a day. It will reset and be as good as new.


7. Stretch the last few drops of a perfume by adding it to unscented body lotion.

This works especially well when you want to extend the use of a perfume sample!


8. Transform old lipstick into a tinted lip balm.

For nearly-empty tubes of lipstick, scrape out what’s left, add petroleum jelly, and heat in a microwave until until melted. Stir the petroleum jelly and lip color until you get an even gloss, and pour into a small container. Set the gloss in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes and apply with a lip brush.


9. Revive sticky or dried out nail polish with nail polish remover.

Add a few drops of nail polish remover (using the nail polish remover cap) into the sticky nail polish. Replace the nail polish cap and shake the polish until the color looks even. Test the consistency and repeat if necessary.


10. Hydrate flaking liquid foundation by mixing it with moisturizer.


11. Create a cream blush with old lip color and petroleum jelly.

Mix an old lipstick with a bit of petroleum jelly to subdue the color and then simply dab it on your cheeks. You'll have a smooth and creamy, inexpensive blush in a color you know you like.


12. Refresh makeup brushes with baby shampoo.

Use mild shampoo like those for babies, and lukewarm water to gently wash soiled bristles. Be careful not to saturate the bristles under the ferrule (the metal part between the handle and bristles). Saturating the bristles under the ferrule can weaken the glue and loosen the knotting.


13. Reshape bent-out-of-shape bristles with paper towels.

If your makeup brush’s bristles are not going in a natural direction, wash them (see tip #13), then wrap the wet bristles in two paper towels and allow to dry. The bristles should fall back into shape.


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