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Here’s How To Revive A Tube Of Mascara In Seconds

woman putting on mascara

Today I’ll be sharing a short-but-sweet tip that could help you rescue a treasured tube of mascara! I first came across this tip a few years ago, after I had discovered that my expensive tube of MAC mascara had started drying out prematurely. It was only about a month old at that point, so I must not have put the cap back on correctly when I had last used it. :-(

I was feeling pretty bummed about my mascara’s premature demise, partly because I had bought it for myself as a special splurge. I guess I had gotten rather attached to it! So I decided to turn to my trusty friend Google to see if I could find a way to revive or resuscitate my poor mascara. That’s when I ran across a brilliantly simple solution that ended up working wonderfully!

Related: 16 Brilliant Tips That Will Make All Your Stuff Last Longer

woman putting on mascara

I’ll show you how it’s done, but don’t blink—this tip is so quick and easy, you might miss it! ;-)

How To Revive A Tube Of Mascara

mascara and saline solution

You’ll need:

woman putting saline solution in mascara

Directions:

Start by adding 3-5 drops of saline solution to your tube of mascara.

Carefully slide the mascara wand back into the tube. Then swish the wand around the tube to help “stir” the saline solution into the mascara.

woman with mascara

After stirring, remove the wand again and inspect the consistency of the mascara. If it still seems a bit dry or clumpy, repeat the steps above until it reaches the right consistency.

woman putting on mascara

And that’s all there is to it, really! :-) You’ve revived your mascara, and can continue working to achieve your lash goals!

mascara and saline solution

A Few Safety Notes:

  • This tip is not meant to extend the life of your mascara past its expiration date. Expired mascara can harbor bacteria, which could potentially lead to infection and other issues. So just say no to expired mascara!
  • Experts recommend replacing your mascara every 3 months if you use it daily. If you only wear mascara occasionally, you can replace it after 6 months.
  • Be sure to check that the saline solution you’re using for this purpose hasn’t expired too.

Do you have a favorite beauty trick or hack?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Beauty Tips

  • My Dear Jillee:
    You are an amazing woman. You dedicate so much of your time and talent to bettering the lives of followers allover the internet. I do hope that you take equal measure to devote to you and your family. We definitely would not wish to have you take a sabbatical due to fatigue and burn-out. Take care of yourself for all of us.
    NOW, onto the business at hand. I find this whole issue re” mascara” just shy of ludicrous. The cosmetic industry represents, in the main, a vast collection of fraudulent claims re the efficacy of the potions and lotions foisted upon consumers, globally. I am 75 years old, and have been using mascara, down to the last possible drop, regardless of industry “warnings”. This I have done, starting the moment mom said that I could start wearing makeup – 15-years-old sounds about right. Hence, I begun my sojourn through the web of cosmetics and their claims. This multi-billion dollar fraud is perpetrated upon all who wish to make the most of their beauty assets. Gee, girls, we have forever attempted to sort through the maze of “misinformation” in an effort to be and do our best.
    This entire mascara issue is just another “cause” to increase product production and to increase profits. I do not single out any particular manufacturer. There is simply a pandemic of ways and means to foist “beauty” products upon us. Sooooo, for me, there is no need to cast out mascara wands based on a best-before-date. For me, use it down to its last drop, save some cash, and revel in your beauty.

  • A big tip: Don’t “pump” your mascara! You’re only pushing air down into the tube and causing it to dry out faster. Load your brush by moving it around “scraping” the inside of the tube. Also, you’ll probably see a clump of product on the upper lip of the tube. You can push that back down and use it.

  • I love Nana’s ‘cleavage warming up’ ;-). definitely for me better than microwave (I feel deeply that the microwave radiation attacks the structure of food etc, so i do avoid it alltogether).

  • This is going to sound very weird but it works. After putting on a bra and before using mascara, gently slip the closed mascara tube, brush side down, deep into your cleavage of your breast, and slightly under the breast. This will warm up the mascara while you are finishing getting dressed.

    This can be done also if you use a eyelash curler to warm the cushion on the curler. I know some women that while sitting and applying makeup will put the mascara tube under their thigh to warm.

    Again, sounds weird but the heat from your body will slightly warm the mascara making it a bit easier to apply.

  • I’ve used this tip before. I normally will replace my Mascara after 2 months because I wear contact lenses. Making your own Saline isn’t recommended by Eye Doctors., I use the original L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara – waterproof formula., I ve been dealing with a scratched Cornea. I’m not sure if a flake from my Mascara could have been a factor. That’s why I buy a brand that is owned by Co that makes the pricey brand.. Its cheaper in the long run, since I have to replace it every two months.

  • Love it. And, here’s a DIY receipe for those of us who don’t buy saline:
    1. Put one cup of water and ½ teaspoon of salt into the pot. Put the lid on.
    2. Boil for 15 minutes with the lid on (set a timer).
    3. Set the pan aside until cooled to a room temperature.
    4. Carefully pour the salt and water (normal saline) from the pan into the jar or bottle and put the lid on.

    • I don’t suggest making your own saline – this method isn’t quite sterile and the finished product just might harbor bacteria. A travel size bottle of saline only costs a couple bucks, and it’s definitely bacteria-free! :-)

  • I do this all the time but only with mascara that is not waterproof. And, as stated, not more than 3 months.
    Thank you Jillee for all the great articles and tips!

  • This is a great hint. But to add to it you can heat up some water in a mug and set the tube of mascara in it for a couple of minutes. It loosens up the mascara making it easier to mix in the saline solution. And as everyone has mentioned, be mindful of how old your tube is!

  • I’ve seen this tip a BUNCH and in some cases it makes me wince.

    Mascara has a shelf left, and Jillie’s warnings are spot on. You’re not prolonging it You’re just adding more liquid to make it thinner. I’ve seen women and men think they can get a year or MORE out of a tube with this hack.

    Please no…if you’re on a budget and can’t afford to toss mascara, just buy a cheaper brand. Please. Eye infections are not worth saving 20 bucks.

    Suzanne’s tip is far less likely to introduce extra variables in spoilage.

    I make my own cake mascara now with oxides and waxes (so I can make small batches and not worry as much about waste/spoilage) but I used to set up an ‘autoship’ for both brands and types I used. If I saw them in my mailbox, I knew it was time to toss the old tubes.

  • What a fantastic idea! As a contact lens wearer I always have saline on hand. I love using items already on hand for a different purpose… keep up the good work Jillee!

  • I don’t wear contact lenses and so don’t have contact lens saline solution handy. I add a little of my over-the-counter eye drops to the mascara tube. Works wonders for dried out mascara!

  • Hi,the interesting solution, but the salt does not have the expiration date.

    You said….

    Be sure to check that the saline solution you’re using for this purpose hasn’t expired too.??

    • Saline solution for contacts always has an expiration date. You don’t want “homemade” bc it’s not sterile. Have used this trick for years and it really works!

      • I just want to add that I use an “All in One” solution for my contact lenses, not saline solution and have used it successfully to prolong my dried out mascara too. I have always taken the view that if it’s safe to clean, store and then wear my lenses, it’s going to be safe to use around my eyes. But as everyone says never use it to extend the life of long expired mascara and Never Ever use tap water! My optician old me about cases where people have had an extremely nasty infection which causes blindness when allowing water to come into contact with the lenses, so mixing water with old mascara is a recipe for disaster!

  • I have tried this and it does work, however what works even better is placing the mascara tube (with lid screwed on) into a cup filled to the opening of wand with very hot tap water. Leave for 5 minutes or more. Extends the life of any mascara for yonks (a technical term).

    • Suzanne, I do the same thing. I microwave a cup of water and when its hot (not boiling) I place my sealed mascara, nail polish bottle or whatever is dried up into the cup. I let it cool down a bit (maybe 5 or 6 minutes) then shake hard. Voila!

    • Ohhh I bet the 2 of these would work wonderfully together!! I use the saline solution trick all the time but sometimes think that the mascara gets on the side of the tube. So getting it to move down to the bottom would help it to mix better with the saline. Going to try this today!! Thanks for sharing this tip Suzanne!! Thank you to OGT for all the everyday great info & hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!! :)

    • I do this too. I’ve read so many negative things about adding to the mascara. it’s just hard to know what true or not. so i just fill a small mug with hot tap water & let it sit while i do my makeup.

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