Beauty Q&A: Can You Extend the Life of Dried Out Mascara?

July 30, 2021
Mary Honkus
By: Mary Honkus | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Beauty Q&A: Can You Extend the Life of Dried Out Mascara?

When you open a fresh tube of mascara, you can feel the product seamlessly glide onto your eyelashes and see the instant volumizing and lengthening results. But as time goes on, the same mascara can become dried out resulting in clumpy lashes. But before tossing out your favorite mascara, there are a few tricks you can try to revive it. Keep reading for celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern’s tips for restoring dried out mascara. 

Add Some Contact Solution


“Putting a couple of drops of contact solution into the mascara tube tends to make the product more fluid,” says Stern. “You just want to be careful not to put too much in.” Squeeze one to two drops of contact solution or moisturizing eye drops like the Refresh Eye Drops into the tube, seal the wand completely and shake the mascara to disperse the solution. For waterproof mascara, Stern suggests using the same technique with one to two drops of vitamin E oil to get the product moving. 


Refresh Eye Drops

Soak the Mascara

If you prefer not to add anything to the formula, you can also soak the mascara in warm water. “This heats the product inside to help it move a little better,” says Stern. “This won’t have a permanent effect though — you’ll have to rewarm the mascara with every use.”

Refresh Your Stash

If you have tried both of the above techniques with no success, Stern says it’s time to buy a new product. Some of our favorites right now are the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Oversized Eye Mascara and the Maybelline New York Volum’ Express Colossal Up To 36 Hour Waterproof Mascara. To preserve fresh mascara and make it last longer than the typical four to six months, there are a few things you can do. Stern recommends wiping off the excess mascara from the wand after every use to prevent clumping and to ensure the tube is completely closed so the formula doesn’t dry out. 


Photo: Chaunte Vaughn, Design: Hannah Packer

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