Make Your Expensive {Or Inexpensive} Mascara Last Longer!

longer-lasting mascara


This might possibly be the simplest post I will ever write. But just because there’s not much to it, doesn’t mean it’s not an amazing idea! :-)

Well OK, maybe not amazing, but I did get pretty excited about it! Of course I’m easily excitable, so that’s not much of an endorsement either. hmmmm.  I guess you’ll just have to be the judge as to whether you think this idea is as awesome as I did!

Last week I came to end of my expensive tube of MAC Opulash Mascara that I bought right after Thanksgiving. That’s a pretty decent amount of time for mascara to last I think. But I was still bummed because…. a) it was expensive!; b) I was getting ready to go out of town and didn’t have time to run to Macy’s to buy another one; and c) it really IS good mascara!


longer-lasting mascara


I have been buying Maybelline mascara in the pink tube from the drugstore for years and have always loved it.


longer-lasting mascara


But after Thanksgiving I treated myself to some new makeup and this mascara was part of my splurge. I hadn’t expected to like it so much.

So when it got to the point of being unusable last week…dried out, clumpy, wouldn’t go on smoothly…I was THIS CLOSE to tossing it when the little light bulb in my head went off! (We all have one of those, right?)


longer-lasting mascara


I seemed to recall seeing somewhere (no doubt it was Pinterest!) that you could add a few drops of saline solution to your mascara to make it last longer. I hadn’t pinned it and I didn’t even take time to do a search for it, I just tried it. I mean what did I have to lose? It was going in the trash anyway!

Luckily I had some saline solution my eye doctor had given me a few months ago when I started sporting my one contact lens.


longer-lasting mascara


I had no idea how many drops to try so I guessed and started with 10 (it’s a pretty big tube of mascara). After putting in the 10 drops, I put the wand back in the tube and kind of swished it around inside a few times and then tried applying.

It was like the tube was brand new. No clumps, not dried out. I applied a couple of coats to my lashes and I couldn’t tell any difference from when I first bought it!

That was over a week ago and it’s still going strong!  I have no idea how much LONGER it will last…but at least I bought myself some time (and money!) in the process, and didn’t end up WASTING all that perfectly good mascara! :-)


Do you have a beauty trick that saves time and/or money?

I would LOVE to hear it!

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  1. Mary says

    Aren’t you supposed to throw mascara out after three months of use because of bacteria? Or does this trick also help to keep that bacteria at bay (since saline solution is typically used to clean contact lenses)? (:

    • StephanieJ says

      EEEKKK! NOT a good idea. You didn’t mention checking the saline solution expiration date, which I’m sure had expired, even for a commercial solution with preservatives. Homemade saline solutions can harbor all SORTS of bad things, including acanthamoebae. It’s FINE for neti pots and gargling, but NOT for the eye area.

      Most manufacturers say discard mascara after three months.

      I LOVE YOUR POSTS JILLEE. But there are safer ways to save money.

          • Monica Shaw says

            You obviously don’t wear contacts. There are TWO types of solution…one you soak them in overnight to clean them which you definitely don’t put in your eyes, however SALINE solution is made to keep your eyes and you contacts moisturized and to be used IN the eye throughout the day….get your facts straight before you start to assume someone doesn’t know what they are talking about

      • Tiffany says

        Kind of a jerk thing to say StephanieJ…why would you assume her saline solution had expired? She mentions she started wearing contacts a couple months ago…and saline solution lasts for quite some time! And since it is MADE for contact lenses, how is it NOT safe for the eye area????

        Personally, I’ve always just run water over my mascara wand and pumped it in the tube to refresh it. Done this for YEARS and I’ve never had any issues with infections or eye problems. I don’t doubt it COULD happen, but I see nothing wrong with the saline option.

    • says

      You are supposed to throw mascara out after three months. Sooner if you suffer from a cold or eye infection. The saline while in the bottle it comes in is sterile, but the second it hits air it picks up bacteria.

      While saline soution is mildly anti-septic I would not rely on it to get rid of all bacteria in my Mascara. Your best bet is to toss the mascara and eat the cost simply because it is not worth the risk to your eye sight and health.

      • Danielle says

        Please do not do this ladies!
        You are suppose the throw away a tube of mascara three months after you first use it for good reason. Sooner if you get an infection.
        Benzalkonium chloride while a bacteriocidal agent, has been shown to increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants. It can also trigger corneal irritation and damage in some individuals.
        Even if you have been doing this with no issues, doesn’t meant the bacterial count in you mascara is not high. It just means those present are not pathogenic.
        In a microbiology class last year, a classmate tested a used tube of mascara: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and fungi were the primary colonies isolated.
        I will never do this. I write the first date of use on a post it and hang it inside my medicine cabinet.

        • Jo says

          Those three cultures are also found on your eyelids, lips, etc etc etc… already present on your skin. Your demodex (teensy bugs that live in your eyelashes) eat dead skin and harmful bacteria, protecting you from infections. Yes, you can still get sick from using a tube of mascara too long, but also from breathing, blinking, and leaving your plastic bubble home. :P Sorry, as a microbiology minor, I’m also very interested in the bugs in our lives and on our bodies, but I don’t want anyone to turn phobic once they learn that STAPHYLOCOCCUS LIVE ALL OVER OUR BODIES ALL THE TIME AAAHHHHHH!!! Also streptococcus… in your mouth… and you can’t do anything about it muahahah!

          • Connie says

            Totally agree with you! Chill people! My mother used to spit on her old-fashioned mascara block (this was in the 50s and 60s) and rub the little brush around and apply it, and she NEVER got any eye infections. It was her own germs, for cripes sake! I’m all for extending the life of my mascara. I’ve used “artificial tears” and that works very well. All this germ phobia makes my skin crawl!

            • thexxxbunny says

              Do you and ALL the other persons on here know what IS disgusting???//
              eating at your fave eatery where your chef and kitchen staff go for a crap, pick their noses, sweat dripping all over and DON’T WASH THEIR HANDS…. and you are disgusted by OP. Nobody is putting a gun to your head, it is merely a post. Use it, don’t abuse it and definitely don’t slam it, if its not your cuppa.
              Keep going Jillee !!!

          • Merryscottuk says

            Ha Ha, @Jo Says. your comment cracked me up! I hate how folk get all righteous about Staphlyloccus. Everyone has it on their skin! and as far as the mascara advice goes, you’d be far more likely to get an eye infection from sticking a finger in your eye – which I’m sure most of us do at some point. I don’t throw mascaras away before about month 4 at least. And i’ll def be trying this trick!

        • carlyfay says

          Don’t worry, Jillee! I’m with ya on this one:) I’m doing this today:) I would never throw out a mascara after just 3 months… there would be so much left!! And if you use a really nice mascara, that would be a huge waste of money. I don’t have $20 to drop for a new tube of Bad Gal every three months.. Plus, I have never gotten an eye infection or anything… and when I first started wearing make-up, I had one tube I used for a whole year:) Good thing I have some Baush and Lomb Bio True on hand:)

        • Selina says

          I have never…let me repeat: NEVER gotten an eye infection from mascara in the 40+ years I have been using mascara. I suspect all those germs may come from people not using their products in a safe and sanitary manner. I wouldn’t consider adding a few drops of sterile saline solution to a tube of mascara in an emergency a bad idea. I just wouldn’t recommend doing it on a regular basis, just to save money.

      • SHANNON says

        Where are you getting your information? Look up what our bodies are made of! Why do you think we use saline solution to put our contacts in with. Why do we clean wounds with Normal saline? Why do we rehydrate patients with saline IV’s? We aren’t cleaning them – it’s what our bodies are made up of. So quit talking about a simple mascara trick like someone’s going to get sick! Wash your hands and clean your kitchen sinks. Then Lettigo!

      • says

        Not to be nit picky but it’s not true that there’s millions of bacteria floating around our air. Or course if you sample air you just sneezed in, that’s a different story. I’ve taken Petri dishes and ran around my house, my school, and outside, with a Petri dish for each, cultured them, and let me tell you hardly anything grew on the indoor cultures, even after weeks. I just wanted to dispel that myth of our air being as dirty as people make it out to be, but you are absolutely correct in recommending mascara to be thrown out after 3 months, because better to be safe than sorry, right? I’ve felt with eye infections, and antibiotics are gross, and so is the pain and hassle of having a inflamed bloodshot eye. So don’t keep using mascara just to spite the system, put your health first and just spend that extra 5 (or 30) bucks on a new mascara, save your eyes!

  2. jamie lynn says

    awesome tip!! i am a mascara freak! my favorite from years has been the avon supershock, but i do have a pretty expensive one from urban decay that i love but only use occasionally. that will help tremendously when it’s getting empty – thanks Jillee!!

  3. Penny Hannah says

    Good one, Jillee! I’ve been ekeing out my mascara with pure Aloe Vera gel which seems to work pretty well too.
    Saline would be cheaper and probably easier to introduce into the tube. I can’t claim to be the originator, but I’ve also made my own with the gel and the addition of powdered , dark grey mineral eye shadow..- that works well too and the more adventurous could really go mad with different colours. It gives me such a kick to find practical, workable alternatives to expensive products!

  4. EJ says

    I was going to say exactly what Mary said. Longer-lasting mascara isn’t necessarily a good thing since you’re supposed to throw it out often due to bacteria. It’s a fun trick, though.

    • katy says

      It’s not antibacterial. Those “saline antibacterial washes” in the drugstore actually contain another chemical (benzethonium chloride) that inhibits (not kills) bacteria. I wouldn’t count on this trick to kill any bacteria growing in your tube, although it is a neat trick to have if you go through mascara quickly.

  5. Nancy O'Neil says

    Tried it loved the results of my even longer wearing mascara.




    • Nancy Bee says

      Hi, Nancy – this doesn’t stretch lipstick, but allows you to get the entire amount out of the tube. Use a q-tip to dip into the tube (when the lipstick is nearly gone), and twirl it around for a small amount, then apply to lips with the q-tip. This has extended some lipsticks for up to a month for me – just be sure to carry the q-tips in a baggie if you take them in your purse!

    • Tina says

      to Nancy O’Neal what i did was put vasoline on my lips first (not alot) then my “not” so cream anymore lip stick, seem like more like a lip gloss, but at least i was still able to use it and not have to throw it away.

      • says

        Vasoline is petroleum, like gasoline, and it is toxic and is best NOT put on your lips, as you will eat it, and it absorbs into your skin anywhere you put it. Gratefully, there is Alba’s Un-petroleum Jelly and this is safe to use anywhere, and is healthy. Get it at healthfood stores, please!! I knew a plastic surgeon who said when he cut open women’s eye lids to tighten them he found pockets full of Vasoline concentrated in there. Yuck. Petroleum does not break down. Stay healthy, choose wisely.

  6. Joyce says

    What a great trick! I use the Mary Kay mascara and love the idea of being able to extend it. I used the pink Maybelline tube for years too – for inexpensive mascara it does the trick very nicely.

  7. Karen says

    I was thinking the same thing… ophthalmolgists everywhere are cringing at the thought..but if the saline kills bacteria, that takes care of it! Although I didn’t realize that saline was antibacterial…that is good to know!
    Thank you, Jillee!

  8. Nancy Bee says

    This is a great idea – and here’s is another cheap trick, even if you do not wear contact lenses. You can get free sample bottles of saline solution from any optometrist, saving yourself several dollars. They happily give away the small bottles of saline solution from their vendors; I pop into my dr.’s office whenever I am in the area and always ask for three little bottles. Since they get it free and are promoting their vendor, they never refuse. Just think! A free mascara stretcher!

    Also, I have never had an issue with bacteria and am still using some from several months ago, and happily.

    Thank you for the tip!

  9. says

    For a quick, temporary fix, it might be OK, but I wouldn’t keep using it due to the bacteria. Contact cleansing solution isn’t going to kill off all of the bacteria, which is going to keep reproducing.

    I’ve always thought they make mascara tubes TOO big so that we’re forced to throw it away every month–just like the contacts.

  10. Bell says

    I tried that trick too after seeing it on Pinterest. Like you Jillee, I wear one contact. I bought a big bottle of the solution and sometimes use it to remove mascara. If anyone uses those little eye make up remover pads you can also use the solution to re-wet the pads if they get a little dried out.

  11. says

    Hi, Jill, I sold Mary Kay for 22 years and still use their fantastic products. Most mascaras have formaldehyde in its ingredient list and due to its composition, it not only dries out the mascara it causes brittle lashes. I get about six months out of a tube of mascara and have never had a bacteria problem. I think we are told 3 months so we buy more. Also, do not pump your wand, it brings in more air, rather twist your wand and you will get just as much mascara as pumping and less drying out. Good luck and thank you for all the wonderful research you do. Blessings!

  12. Pat says

    Also in a real pinch a drop or two of soda works! We were traveling and I forgot my new mascara and remembered reading this, so knowing I had nothing to loose, I tried it! It works!!!!! Got another week out of it, when we got home I threw it out, so don’t know how long it would have lasted. Next time I will try to saline!

  13. CTY says

    Well my one beauty trick is for the nails (I don’t wear make up). I get a manicure at the beginning of each month. I get a French manicure with gel polish. The gel lasts for 3-4 weeks. I get the French because as the nails grow, the new growth area blends in and has a less noticeable color line. I must say I am pretty brutal on my nails with gardening & all–this stuff really lasts. Also just before I go for my next manicure I take the old off myself—to shorten the time at the salon.

  14. Lynn says

    One is to toss mascara after three months and it is something I do faithfully because of eye infections and such. Having suffered from infections and such in my eyes, I do not want to take any chances.
    May I suggest Avon Washable Waterproof Mascara (and I am sure there are others that will not break the bank and work as well as the more costly ones.)

  15. says

    Jillee love this idea. Could you help me with another problem. I buy Benefit eyeshadow cream in the little pots. They dry out quite quickly. Have tryed the saline on those and it doesn’t work they must be more waxy. Do you have a solution for those?

    • Connie says

      You might want to try some light olive oil, just a few drops. Olive oil is most close to the chemistry of your own natural skin oils. Also, once the caps are opened on those pots, they don’t seal really tightly again, so I suggest you store the pots in a good ziplock bag, the freezer bags are best, to slow down the evaporation process that dries them out.

  16. Patti says

    If it is your mascara and you are the only one using it and you have no eye infection, why would you worry about bacteria? It is not like 50 different people are using the same tube. I think, like one of the posters above said, just a gimmick to get you to spend more money. Nice tip, Jillee.

    • Karen says

      I agree wholeheartedly…. I have NEVER thrown out mascara just because I have had it a few months, and have never had any problems associated with it. To me, that is the same as pouring out perfectly good milk when the expiration date arrives, YIKES! What a waste…. Does nobody else remember eating dirt as a kid?? Mom used to say, “dirt is good for you”, and recent studies say she was right! (note: my mom is a retired nurse, I am also a nurse) In short, exposure to germs helps your immune system mature and strengthen so that you WON’T get infections..

  17. Ex-Army Girl says

    Just curious, does anyone know if this will work on that fabulous new “Mega Plush” gel mascara? I don’t need to stretch that yet, but would like to know for when it is time to stretch it. Love this idea by the way…I hate the thought of throwing mascara out, as I don’t use it very often. I saw one poster say they made their own from aloe vera gel & eye shadow…where do you get the aloe vera gel to use? Thank you in advance for any further information. Also, I too have used the same tube of mascara for many months with no problems whatsoever, save the dryng out part.

  18. Rebecca Ednie says

    I thought of the 3 months and throw it out rule too when I read this. But, if you already keep your mascara months longer than you should anyways, why not get the most out of it? For those of us who already ignore the ‘rule’, those of you who comment here and remind us aren’t going to change our bad habits and if this saves us a bit of money, then so much the better! Thanks Jillee!

    I have makeup I bought in college and I’m pushing 40 with a short stick! I know I should throw it out but I’m nostalgic and its only lipstick and eyeshadow which in my mind are the least likely to cause a problem. I still have the lipstick I bought from the girl who did my wedding make up!

    • Nicole says

      Lol! I’m glad you posted that because I still have my MAC lip pencil from my wedding day make up in April 2000 and I feel a little ashamed. ;) Hey, I like it and don’t wear makeup on a daily basis so it’s just lasted. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

    • ex-army girl says

      @Rebecca Ednie

      Hehehe, THANK YOU!! “I have makeup I bought in college and I’m pushing 40 with a short stick! I know I should throw it out but I’m nostalgic and its only lipstick and eyeshadow which in my mind are the least likely to cause a problem. I still have the lipstick I bought from the girl who did my wedding make up!”

      But, I have you beat. Pushing 40 with a really, really short stick as well, however, I have makeup I found that came from my days in high school!! Yup, no lie!! I told a friend that sells Arbonne that, & she had an absolute fit, apoplexic fit!! But they don’t sell that shade of eye shadow anymore (dang them), so what is a girl to do?

      Anyway, I had just thrown out my tubes of Mary Kay & Avon mascara’s that had just gotten too dried out anymore (see what happens when I ACTUALLY toss things out?!) after trying the hot water trick (you put said tube in boiling water to remelt the waxes I guess) which didn’t work out that well. So I tried some newer stuff that wasn’t all that dried out, but wanted really thin. The best mascara I have ever used, was really thin, like liquid eyeliner thin, back in high school, but I don’t know what brand it was–it came from a club I joined, but ended up getting lost, along with my favorite hobo style acid washed jean purse…. Ok, trying to see through tears now, hehe.

      I digress, I tried this promptly yesterday after reading this post by Jillee–Thanks by the way!! It thinned it out beautifully like I was hoping for. The downside was, after a short grocery shopping trip, I noticed raccoon eyes when I hit the latrine. Not happy about that part.

      Anyone else have that problem with the thinned out mascara? I would like to know if I am alone in this. Thanks in advance, and for letting me ramble….

  19. Kristin says

    This is a great tip. I get a lot of the smaller sample sized mascaras through deals at Sephora, Ulta, and Clinique. I can usually make most of those last at least 3 months. I’m going to try this trick and see if I can push it a little further! And I don’t care what people say – the “3 Month Rule” is made up. It’s only a recommendation. I use my mascara until it’s gone (and always have – for the 20 years I’ve been wearing it!).

  20. Kerri says

    Definitely don’t pumped the wand in and out. That push air (and bacteria,etc.) into the tube. You can also wash the wand, including both sides of the screws and then spray with alcohol. Do this about once a month an not right before applying. This prevents build-up on the wand. Don’t put water or oil in the tube! Only sterile, opthamalogically approved drops. And only as a last resort. The three month rule is a guideline. But don’t keep using your mascara for too long. If you’ve had to doctor it with drops, buy a new one!
    A caring makeup artist

  21. Nadine says

    I have had one tube of mascara for over a year. I only use it when I go out.I noticed a few weeks that it was getting clumpy. I too saw something about using saline but couldn’t remember where. I don’t wear contacts and I couldn’t find anything in the store that just said saline. I bought the generic form of Visine for $1.50 it worked like a charm. I have never had a problem with bacteria from using old mascara.

  22. says

    It sounds like folks either love this idea or hate it, lol! No fence-sitters! For me, I think ANY KIND OF BUDGET reduction is a good thing. I understand the whole germ/bacteria thing, but I CANNOT afford to spend money on mascara every three months. Heck, I’m lucky if I buy mascara once a year!! So to all those naysayers, I’m very glad for you that your pockets are deeper than mine. *wink* I WILL be trying this.

  23. Susan says

    Well, I know you are supposed to pitch makeup after 3 months, but I usually only wear it 1-2 times a week, and I’m too cheap to throw it out. I still have stuff from high school – blush and eye shadow – that I still use. I graduated in the early 70s, I’ve used mascaras for over a year and I’ve never had a problem with bacteria or infections. Guess it is time for someone to do an experiment with old mascara and agar to see if bacteria grows. I always am suspicious of statements like these, wondering if they come from the makeup companies who stand to benefit financially from ladies replacing all our makeup every 3 months!

  24. Noemi says

    I too have done this and got the idea from Pinterest almost a year ago. I also believe that the 3 month rule comes from the cosmetic industry to make us buy more! How many of us truly throw out our makeup when the experts tell us to?! I’ve been doing this for almost a year and guess what? No eye infections! And how many women actually get an eye infection from using mascara longer than 3 months?!
    Thanks for all your great tips Jillee!

  25. Tami L says

    I have been doing this for years. I have never had an eye infection of any sort. If I were to have an infection, I would throw away my mascara and eye liners, wash all of my make up applicators and replace what was thrown. This is how I treat my toothbrush when I’m sick…I replace it.

    You shouldn’t need to worry about bacteria that is your own. Cosmetic companies “suggest” this for profit. Use common sense with your cosmetics, and all things that come in contact with bodily fluids, just don’t believe everything without your own research.

  26. says

    I have done this the last few years, but I use rubbing alcohol. I wait a few moments for the fumes to clear. I have never had any eye infections or irritation. Sure helps in a pinch. Thanks, Jillee

  27. FrenchieIsabelle says

    I have tried this with antiseptic eyewash (it comes in individual doses, in France) and it works perfectly fine, the antiseptic preventing any risk o infection.

    My Chanel mascara is not dead any longer, I am very happy. :D

  28. Carol says

    Well I guess I am in trouble all around, not only do I keep my mascara way to long, according to these women, I also like to save money. I love your posts but my question is what is a good NON flaking mascara??? Please help, I bought some and in two hours it is all over my face not my lashes anymore. Any suggestions ?

    • FrenchieIsabelle says

      Perhaps you could have a try at waterproof mascaras? They normally are quite resisting, but they need specific make-up remover to be wiped off.

      As for the 3-month rule… sorry, but I have never complied to it. I can’t afford to buy a new tube of mascara every 3 months, and if kept with care, make-up can last quite long. I never had any problem of eye infection simply because, as previously said, I use common sense when I store or use my make-up products.

  29. Krystina says

    I think some people are germophobic and this technique scares the bejesus out of them. As for me I have used this technique for a couple years now and can make a mascara sometimes last for almost a year and I wear it almost every day. I have never had any trouble with an eye infection. But I think the more germophobic you are and avoid germs all the way then it will be easier for you to get an infection due to the fact that your body never comes in contact with germs. I too have makeup from highschool that I still use and still no infection problems. I graduated in 1998. Love your posts Jillee!!!

  30. Rebecca says

    My money and time-saving tip is to mix a small amount of moisturizer with a drop of your liquid foundation. It saves time (hello two steps in one!), AND money because this method uses way less foundation than simply applying it alone. It gives you great even, light coverage. If your skin is decent and you are not trying to cover up blemishes, redness, etc–try it. I swear you will love it! ;)

    • Renée says

      I have just started using this technique in the last 6 months and I love it! But you do have to be happy with your skin as it doesn’t have as much coverage for blemishes.

  31. Mary says

    I use mascara very seldom, so this will be a real help to me. I’ve always wondered if the “3-month” rule was more the manufacturers making sure we turned their product over. Anyway, thanks for the great tip.

  32. Melissa says

    I just read your comment about “extending:” the mascara….I too have a trick – I just heat up a coffee mug about half way with water in the microwave – usually about a minute is all it takes – then plop my mascara tube down in it (after I remove the coffee cup with heated water from the microwave) and while I am putting on make up or doing hair it heats up the mascara and makes it like new again. I have used this trick for YEARS – a lady at a makeup counter told me….lol Works like a charm – and I get more use from the tube of mascara.

  33. Sue says

    Jillee, you are probably right about Pintrest. I was out last nigh looking at things I have not tried and found this method. They suggested either the either the saline for contacts or eyedroops (Visine, Blink, etc.). I’ll not say how long I have this tube of waterproof mascara that I tried it on for fear someone out there will be calling the Mascara Police. But let me tell you, it worked! Now I have my favorite mascrara back. Had I not found it last night, I would be trying your suggestion today. Thanks for all of your helpful tips and tips.

  34. Jo says

    I put my mascara tube in the microwave next to a glass of water for about ten seconds and I get another couple weeks out of my makeup! I know it’s not the recommended thirty seconds to kill all the bacteria, but as long as you aren’t sharing it or have been sick, you won’t die from using your mascara a little longer than “they” say. (take it from a microbiologist)

  35. Katherine says

    My money saving tip involves doing my own gel manicures (I actually did one yesterday for me and my mother). I got the Sensationail starter kit for $50 at CVS (with the basic french, but I don’t use the french tips). Seems expensive? Yes, but gel manicures cost around $25 here and I can get unlimited amount of gel manicures- especially since I picked up the clear gel polish separately. Well how is it unlimited? The clear polish allows me to use ANY nail polish I currently have (and I have A LOT!!!) and it will last like any gel manicure. Just use the clear gel for a basecoat and top coat over two coats of your favorite color. I typically get 5-7 days without a chip (and I use my nails for tools….bad idea!) and they are minor chips that you can repair at home since you have the kit. Also, it helps with peeling nails because they are constantly sealed away from water. If you have short nails, this is even better because you can’t bite them and they will grow out instead of you biting or picking them apart. For about $60 total I’ve done about 15 gel manicures and I still have tons of polish left. That’s about $4 per manicure, or less than a price of regular nailpolish.

    To get off the gels, I file the tops of the gel (it doesn’t hurt your nail- you are only filing the protective seal off) and then use the foil method. However, I found that using warmed acetone actually has the gel peeling off in about 4-5 minutes. People hoo and haa over acetone, but it really is the best for removing glitter polish and gel polish. In about 5 minutes the polish has peeled away from the outside and I just use an orange stick to push all of the peeled polish off. Any harm to my nails? Haven’t noticed any and my nails are actually stronger since I used to do a polish change every other day. I don’t worry about what I’m doing now and my nails haven’t split in months.

  36. Meg says

    A couple things:

    A.) I do this all the time and it is a great trick.

    B.) I always keep my mascara for 6+ months and never have had an issue.

    C.) Manufacturers make up arbitrary time-frames all the time to sell more product. Use common sense to figure out when things should get tossed. The only ones I actually listen to are for water filters and oil changes.

    D.) I think people these days are a little too germophobic.

    • ex-army girl says

      I agree with you…all just arbitrary time limits. Common sense says if you have a sty on your eye or some other type of infection, no make up anyhow, therefore no contamination of the whole tube.

      A tip for you to try with your water filter, though, only change it when your water starts to change taste. I have a PUR brand pitcher (they were the only skinny door sized ones back in the day) that a Brita filter fits–extra pressure until it seats correctly, and we filter all of our drinking water through it. I don’t use it for coffee or cooking, as our water is pretty good tasting here, I just have the ccassional “floatie” that is a pet peeve of mine. So we get about 6 months or so, before there is a slight taste difference. It also happens to be about the same time that it takes ‘forever’ for the water to pass the through the filter…I start soaking the next filter, using those first few drainings for the plants.

  37. Stiles says

    My mom use to work in cosmetics and taught me NOT to pump the mascara brush up and down in the bottle because it causes the mascara to stay in the top part and dry out. She said to run the brush around the inside of the bottle and you are done. I have had mascara last for over a year.

    When the bottle does begin to show signs of drying or running out, I use a little of it first, then get a newer bottle that is wetter to apply over the dryer mascara. I have found that makes my eyelashes look thicker and last hours longer.

    As for infections….I have never, NEVER, had an eye infection from mascara. I have been doing this for at least 30 years. (in early 80′s had allergic reaction to Revlon eye liner)

    love, Love, LOVE your site!

  38. Cheri says

    What a great tip, Jillee! I wear contacts, so I always have solution handy and can’t wait to try this trick. Thank you for sharing!!

    Although I am not a chemist, an eye doctor, a regular doctor, a scientist or any other medical professional. I can say that through high school, my four years at an all women’s college, and a few other jobs that were predominantly women, I can’t recall a single instance of anyone dying or getting an eye infection from not throwing their mascara out after three months. If you are wealthy, dirty, a germophobic person and/or don’t care about the environment, I feel it is your prerogative to do as you feel you must for your own comfort and safety. As for me, I’ll just continue to use good common sense and do whatever I can to preserve my money and the environment whenever and wherever I can. Thank you again, Jillee, for helping me in my efforts!!


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