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)? (:

  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.

  5. Kimberly K. says

    It really is not a good thing to keep mascara for over 3 months due to excessive bacteria growth. However, saline is a great bacteria killer.

  6. Nancy O'Neil says

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




  7. 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.

  8. 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!


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