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How to Rehydrate Dried Out Makeup

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How many times have you forgotten to tighten the cap on your makeup? Or maybe you left the cap off altogether? The next thing you know, you go to your vanity to get gorgeous and find out that your mascara or eye liner is dry as a bone. There goes the $10 bucks you spent on it, right? Wrong! With a few simple steps you can bring that makeup back to life! Here’s how to do it:


Materials Needed:

  • Visine
  • Toothpicks
  • Q-tips
  • Lip balm
  • Warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol

Cream Pot Eye Liner

Did your pot of cream eyeliner dry out? Add a few drops of Visine and stir with a toothpick. It’ll be as good as new! And from now on, put the cap back on or place the pot upside down on your vanity between applying to each eye to prevent the product from drying out.


Some lipsticks dry out over time and can tug on your lips. When this happens, exfoliate your lips and then go over them with lip balm before applying. This way, you’re giving the product a little more moisture to adhere to. Lipstick will absorb any moisture on your lips, so the trick here is not to add moisture to the tube but directly to your lips to assist the product.

Felt Tip Eye Liner

Open up the end of the liner and pull out the little felt rod inside (using something other than your fingers, since it could get messy), then drop it in a glass of warm water for about half a minute. If you can’t get the liner out of its casing, you can also get a very small pipette, fill it with water, and try to wedge it into the felt, rehydrating it drop by drop. Next, remove the rod from the water, dry it off gently, and reload it. If the tip of the liner has cracked or become fuzzy from drying out, you can also just trim it up with nail scissors to recreate a nice fine line.

Liquid Eye Liner

Simply put a drop of rubbing alcohol into the container, cap with the brush and then shake vigorously. Test and repeat until it’s the right consistency. The dryness problem is solved, and you’re back in business!

Basic Mascara

Try putting the bottom end of the tube in warm water for five minutes. Do not add anything to the inside of the container, especially water. In the future avoid “pumping” the wand — that adds air to the container, which makes the mascara dry out more quickly. Instead, try to ream the wand around in the container.

Cream Eyeshadow

Apply a drop of oil free moisturizer to the pot with a Q-tip or toothpick. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then gently stir. This should moisten the product and get it up and running again.

Liquid Foundation

If it is oil based, adding water won’t help. If it is not oil based, a few drops of warm water or some oil free moisturizer stirred in well should work. If it is oil based, try the moisturizer only and mix well.


A few words of warning:

These tips are for hydrating dried makeup, not old makeup. If you left a cap off or did not tighten a cap properly and your product dried out, these tips are perfect. However, it is not advisable to try to bring life back to makeup that has dried due to age, which could be full of harmful bacteria that can lead to infections of your eyes and skin. Throw it away and buy new. It is not worth risking infection in order to save money!

Otherwise, give these tips a try! They are sure to extend the life of your product and cost next to nothing. And remember, once you have hydrated your product, be sure to always tighten caps and keep your product stored in a cool, dry place to avoid it drying out in the future.

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