What are your favorite methods for reviving old products?

What are your favorite methods for reviving old products? (Like saving a dry gel eyeliner!)

I’ve only microwaved a gel/cream eyeshadow, though nowadays I would use some of the products (I think Inglot has something) or a mixing medium to help bring it back!

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Noah Avatar

For cracked/broken pressed powders, eyeshadows or blushes, I chop up everything left in the pan, add a drop of witch hazel, stir it all together and press on it with blotting sheets or coffee filters! Once it dries completely, it’s as good as new, which is particularly handy for those like me, who drop their palettes on bathroom tiles!

KJH Avatar

i’ve read glycerin as the ‘sticking’ medium. Have to try something on the few depotting goofs. i think glycerin (tiny amount) w/ water might be good, but your idea of witch hazel is possibly better. the ETOH evaporates better + none is left for your eye skin. To repowder it, i’m going to put it in a snack bag + use a mortar + pestle. starting with mata hari: who knew you could kill a spy? and the floss method of depotting worked well: think it depends on the glue used to hold the pan in. the gloppier or tighter the glue, the more you would need to use heat. like the witch hazel idea.

xamyx Avatar

Once something “turns”, or dries out, I usually just toss it… I would love to know if there’s anything I could do with lipsticks that have gone bad-I have a few that have never been used…

KJH Avatar

if it’s a goner, good-bye. but if you sense that a formula tends to dry, you can refrigerate it + take it out the day before. kills the spontaneity of the makeup, but it does serve to extend the life of l/s. you also can put it on, cold. i have all my old nars in the bar fridge for products in the bedroom. it started with skin care products, but then some elder statesman l/s migrated in there. i think if i ever got some high end l/s, like LQ velvet rope or serge lutens, they’d live there from the start. i’m not sure that this method might not be non-beneficial for some formulas, but…. i think i’ll go find russian red + ruby woo + put ’em in there.

Cathy Avatar

I periodically have a lipstick clear out…mostly because they’re colours that have gone in the ‘whatever were you thinking box’. I depot them into a glass/china bowl, scooping out as much as I can. I usually have about 6-8 lipsticks or more. I then put the bowl into the microwave and ‘cook’ on medium or high in 10 second bursts. The lipsticks melt. Once all melted, I then stir well and pour a little of the mixture into a small pot. Then I leave it to harden and then I can apply with a lip brush. So all those too bright corals, vivid reds, too bluey pinks, ghostly nudes, all blended together suddenly make a really perfect colour. I have two such concoctions and they’re brilliant. I don’t even want to think how much that little pot is worth (I have made some expensive mistakes!), but I’m slightly comforted to know I’ve not wasted absolutely everything.

Sylirael Avatar

This is a really great idea! ^_^ It combines two of my favourite things: not wasting expensive mistakes (and with NZ prices you can make those at the drugstore!) and creating a custom shade! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you got some neat shades out of this process, Cathy!

Sandra Avatar

You know sometimes we end with a lot of face creams leftovers, I put all of them in a pot and used them as my after bed hand cream. Remember that hands get old too! So I think is a great way to take advange of face cream leftovers.

Medusa Avatar

I love this idea! I get all those free creams when Lancรดme, Arden, and Estรฉe Lauder are in gift, and most of them are just too heavy/greasy for my skin. But my hands would love them!

Anne Avatar

10 years ago when I was 12, my mother showed me how she always added a few drops of thinner or solvent to gunky nail polish. I started collecting nail polish when I was 17 and I’ve amassed about a thousand bottles since, so I think it could be the best advice my mum has ever given me.

Rachel R. Avatar

I haven’t had to revive a gel liner yet. I’ve heard some people just use some purified water, and use it like a cake liner. I would think now days there would be some sort of medium or primer you could mix it with.

Mascara and liquid eyeliner: Throw them out when they are dried up, always. I usually throw out other things as well: When in doubt, throw it out.

Thickened nail polish: add a few drops of nail polish remover and shake to mix. This replaces the solvents that have evaporated out.

I had some lotion I stocked up on a couple years ago. My stashed lotions still looked and smelled fine but had thickened up. I mixed in some of my Nu Skin NaPCA Moisture Mist, and they’re like new. I would think purified water or a skin-safe veggie/fruit/nut oil would work, too.

Lipstick: If it’s sweating oils; looks/smells/tastes off or rancid; or changes color, I throw it out. If it’s otherwise OK and just a little dried out, I’ll depot it into a jar and add coconut oil or petroleum jelly (or something similar) and make it into a gloss. Broken lipsticks I just depot into an empty palette or small jar.

Broken eye shadows & pressed powder items: I use the TKB Trading pressing kit to repair. The broken colored powders can also be mixed with some clear nail polish to make a colored polish.

KJH Avatar

i like sephora’s product, the swoon spatula. you can get out the gloss/etc. that the applicator cannot reach. with swoon, you can take out the dregs of mascara, put it on a surface, add a tad of distilled water, mix, and use a mascara fan brush or spoolie. this works for masc that has water as an ingredient. although who needs to do this for everyday black? you always have another. i use it for the colored masc i cannot bear to throw away. swoon has a ton of potential uses: droppered skin care…heck, anything in which you can’t get the product all out + the product is still accessible. it saves the waste you’d be doing with a q-tip attempt.

Jennifer Avatar

I re-press busted eyeshadow by breaking up what’s left, pouring in a few drops of alcohol, stirring and pressing.

I thought my gel liner was drying out, but it turned out it was just the residue on my brush that had dried out and was making it go on weird. Hold on, going to go shamefully wash every brush I own now…

Lauren Avatar

It’s only a temporary fix, but adding a few drops of warm water to a tube of mascara can make a dry product easy to use again. I’ve done this when I’m travelling and not able to just run out and pick up a new tube of my brand of choice.

Mariella Avatar

I’ve stirred up an older Paint Pot and found that it’s amazingly usable and soft – the whole idea of storing them upside down is kind of the same but when you’re near the end, stirring through with a thick needle or a metal makeup spatula gives amazing results (I was surprised that it was this easy). I’ve also used a fingernail to scrape off the sort of hard/oil film that can be left on some pressed powders and powder blushes. Usually, these will just occur in one area of the surface and scraping them off just makes the entire surface uniformly usable. That’s about it for me, save for scraping the last bit of lipstick out of the tube with a lip brush!

Kimmy Avatar

I try to spray my shadows and powders on occasion with a rubbing alcohol and sterilized water mix. Also, when I remember (which is not often), I give my lippies a wipe down to stem bacteria build-up. To revive my maybelline color tattoos, sometimes I’ll mix a smidgen (like less than a drop) of rubbing alcohol and a drop of argan oil – it brings them back to life. But for some reason, I’m too scared to this with other cream products, lol. ๐Ÿ™‚

Monica Avatar

I love MUFE Smokey Lash, but it dries very quickly on me, so I will add a few drops of eye drops to the container to make it easy to use again.

Christna D. Avatar

Gotta admit that I love my make up (specifically eyeshadows) but I love my eyes and complexion a whole lot more. That said, I never revive an old product. In fact, I don’t keep anything long enough for it to be old. I’d rather err on the side of caution than wind up with pink eye, breakouts, or some other nasty infection.

Tam Avatar

For gel eyeliner in a pot, I’ve revived them successfully by mixing baby oil in them and either microwaving to blend or double boiling to melt and blend. This may be gross, but I’ve had them for well over the recommended time to toss by using this tip.

For mascara, I’ve successfully followed the tip I found on pinterest. Drop contact lens solution into the tube and the mascara is smooth and creamy again.

Veronica Avatar

I’ll be interested to see the comments on this because my MAC Blacktrack starting to head into dryville, as are some of my Maybelline cream shadows. I was just thinking the other day how strange it is that a cosmetic company hasn’t come out with a product to revive cream products. (Unless the point is to make you repurchase them. :P)

This reminds me that I need to fix my pan of MAC Quarry, though. It broke again. ;-; I usually use some alcohol or witch hazel to mix it up and then press it down with a cloth.

Brianna Swing Avatar

I work at a makeup counter, and every time customers come in that old gel products have dried up I pop over to the Laura Mercier counter and put a few drops of tight line activator in. IDK whats in it, but it has brought many beautiful older paint pots back to life!

Judy H. Avatar

Short of really sharpening the tip off of an eye or lip pencil, I would NEVER do anything with an old product except throw it away. When a product is old, it’s old, throw it away. Microwaving can alter the chemical makeup of a product making it unsafe to use. Those expiration dates are on products for a reason. I got a terrible long lasting eye infection which the doctor finally related to a tube of out dated mascara I was using.

Soleil Avatar

For make-up, I’m not too keen on reviving them as they might cause break-outs or allergies. But for shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t work well for my hair, I use the shampoo as liquid detergent for delicate clothing, and the conditioner as fabric softener (just add hot water and distilled white vinegar to dilute).

Diana Avatar

Only thing I’ve done is microwave my Anastasia brow pomade because it dried out after I lost the lid for a whole day.. If I break a powder I usually just put it in a container with a lid so I can just save it but most of the time unless I really love the product it just goes in the trashcan.

kellly Avatar

I read the list of ingredients. If water is high on the list, I add some water to the product and let it sit for a few days. If oil is high on the list of ingredents, I add some grapeseed oil and do the same sometimes having to stir the product to mix the oil in, but it works well. I’ve saved dropped and broken pressed eye shadows and powder blushes using alcohol to repress the product. Saved one of my favorite eye shadows that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Elizabeth Avatar

I once left a cap not so tight on a favorite mascara. I was so disappointed that it had dried out. I learned at a makeup art class that a drop or two of Visine can revive a mascara. It is sterile, and it also has antibacterial agents, so sometimes I just add a drop after use to keep it in the best possible consistency for my use.

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