Let’s face it, dry mascara sucks. It’s really hard to work with, it can drag your lashes down and not set properly, it flacks all over the place, and sometimes clumps up. Yuck right? Not to mention how much we spend on mascara, it’s something I take pretty seriously. Mascara is my favorite makeup product (along with liquid eyeliner) and fortunately, I’ve found some dry mascara hacks.
Lately, I’ve been trying different mascaras to find the perfect one. On my hunt, I was surprised by how many people had dry mascara issues. It made me curious as to why they weren’t talking about it more? There were a lot of people who experienced their mascara would drying out in just a few months. This wasn’t just drug store brands it included high-end brands as well. So, I took it upon myself to learn more about the science behind making a good mascara and how to increase its longevity. This makeup hack will help you get your mascara to work perfectly the way it should.
Related: How To Make Mascara Last Longer
But after doing some research and checking with a local makeup artist on what can cause dry mascara and how to avoid it, I was shocked at how many people didn’t even know it existed. So if this is something you were unaware of too, keep reading.
The main reason for dry mascara is that there are no preservatives in the product. Apparently, an average woman will wear a tube of mascara every three months, which means they are replacing their need-to-be-preserved product more often than they should be. You might be thinking that doesn’t sound like much, but those days add up quickly. I mean come on, that’s at least $10 a month we’re wasting. And for those who love to shop high-end mascaras, I’m sure you know this could add up to be well over $100 in a year!
I know what you’re thinking… well if it dries out so quickly or has no preservatives, why are people still buying it? Well, you know how sometimes drugstores have 2/$5 sales on mascara? The price point is what brings us in the door. We’re blinded by the low cost and convince ourselves that we won’t notice any difference between this cheap product and a high-end one. And that’s where brands gain an advantage. That’s why they can afford to not put preservatives in it.
The main reasons mascaras go bad are bacteria, mold, yeast, and other microorganisms growing in the tube… yuck! It happens because there aren’t any preservatives included, so really anything could be growing in there if you don’t handle your product carefully. Here are some dry mascara hacks you can try out on your old mascara today:
Dry Mascara Hacks
1. Contact Lens Solution
This product is a dry mascara hack in itself. It’s my favorite way to bring your old dried-out mascara back to life. The contact solution used by optometrists to disinfect contact lenses, it’s safe and sanitary (no need to worry about eye infections). And for those who have trouble using regular saline (I can’t get the hang of it), this option is super easy to use. Plus, it’s the cheapest out of all the options because you can find it at any pharmacy and it usually comes with a money-back guarantee.
Some people think this solution is drying on your lashes, but I’ve never experienced that before. So if you’re not satisfied with your mascara after using this hack, I would try out one of the other options next time.
2. Hair Spray
You probably already keep hair spray in your bathroom cabinet (most people do). It’s used for holding your hair in place and comes with a great applicator that works well for getting into all the little nooks and crannies of your mascara tube. This is an awesome dry mascara hack because you can find it pretty much anywhere for a reasonable price. And if you ask me, the only downside is having to spray your mascara brush with hairspray every time before using it. It’s not such a big deal though and totally worth the money you’re saving (and bacteria-free lashes).
3. Witch Hazel
This hack is the same as using a contact lens solution. The only difference is that you’re using a witch hazel product instead of saline to bring your mascara back from the dead. And just like with contact lens solution, some people find that it’s drying on your lashes, so I would recommend this option as a last resort if all else fails.
Video: Dry Mascara Hacks
4. Eye Drops
You can find eye drops at any drugstore and they’re super cheap! I like to use the kind for dry eyes. The only downside to this option is that you have to use a little bit of the solution every time. And in my experience, it’s difficult getting all of the dried mascara out from your tube, so I usually lose a little bit of the solution whenever I use this hack (but not nearly as much as you would with contact lens solution, so that’s good).
5. Eyeshadow Primer
I’ve seen people say they love using eyeshadow primer for this hack. And by looking at the ingredients of both mascaras and eye primers, I think it makes sense why they work well together. However, I’m not sure if the ingredients in eye primer are strong enough to kill bacteria or mold, so even though it may seem like a dry mascara hack option… I’m not sure if it is!
6. Blow Dryer
This might be the most extreme of all the dry mascara hacks. But some people swear by it and say that using a blowdryer on your dried-out tube is one of the only ways to bring their favorite mascara back from the dead. I’m guessing it has something to do with liquefying up whatever ingredient is causing it to become hard, but I’m not sure. And again, just like the dry mascara hacks above, there’s no guarantee that this is definitely going to work for you!
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another simple trick people swear by. It’s as simple as dipping your mascara brush into a small amount of olive oil and then trying to revive your dried-out mascara. To get the best results, most people recommend storing your mascara in a cool, dry place and not leaving it in the bathroom.
8. Hot Water
To start this hack, get a cup of hot water (I use a coffee mug). Then let your mascara tube sit in the water until it becomes runny. The heat of the water is supposed to help break down whatever ingredient is causing your mascara to become hard.
9. Aloe Vera Gel
Some people are reporting great results with this hack. And it’s really simple, all you do is add a few drops of aloe vera gel into your dried-out mascara. I’ve bought some aloe vera gel and will try this one the next time.
10. Other Tips For Dry Mascara and Eye Makeup Tips
- Don’t pump the mascara wand into the tube, this introduces air, creates excess mascara, and can deteriorate the product even faster.
- When applying the second coat of mascara, gently pull the wand out of the tube instead of pushing it down.
- Try not to wet the mascara wand before application, any water including sweat or steam from a shower will affect it and prevent having a smooth application.
- Try cleaning your mascara wand and tube rim with makeup remover wipes to remove excess product.
- Keep your mascara in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
- Make sure the cap is secure after use to prevent air from drying out.
11. Ditch it all
If you want to try to enhance the look of your eyelashes and avoid mascara, then an eyelash curler can be used. Paying attention to your lash line and keeping your eyelids clean will also aid in the appearance of fuller lashes. While you can focus on the rest of your makeup your eyes are one of the most important details.
Investing in quality mascara and contact lenses solution may be the best solution to increase the life of your mascara. Some brands provide an expiration date which can be helpful. Finding the perfect mascara can be difficult, I still have a lot of mascara that I need to finish and will definitely be trying many of these dry mascara hacks on them. If you are finding it difficult to revive your dry mascara after trying these hacks, it might actually be time for a new one.