The 11 Best Ways To Revive Dried-Out Cream Products, According to Reddit
It's not often that a single product spurs a whole genre of fix-it hacks, but people love their Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow. Unfortunately, the very stiffness that makes the potted pomade work so well also means it dries out out long before the product's finished. Enter the Internet: an entire cottage industry has emerged around the best ways to revive dried-out makeup products, and I think we can owe it, at least in part, to ABH.
There's a wide world of these product hacks, and magnificently enough, they're usually doable with products you already own. From primers to eyedrops and literal baby oil, below are the most ingenious Internet tips from the corners of the world wide web. Makeup was invented to make life more fun (and also societal norms, but this is 2016 and it's time to reclaim what beauty means). Don't let it take you for a fool.
Weirdly, showing up at Sephora with a dried out Dipbrow and wordlessly holding it out with tears in your eyes isn't on this list, but history can still be made. Frontiers forged. Return policies explored — nay, exploited. It's all up to you. Until then, try these.
First things first: for the love of all that is good, store your cream products upside down. The science is hazy on why, but the Internet as a whole swears by keeping gel pots upside down — rumor has it that keeps the moisture evenly distributed as a preventative measure.
2. Use Baby Oil
If your pots lived in the Upside Down (topical references, amirite) and still dried out, take a tip from the master herself and reach for baby oil. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Instagram demonstrated their suggestion for how to best handle dried out product — a few drops on the top of the cap, a little product dug out on the brush and you're set. One of the more effort-heavy fixes, but ideal for people worried about accidentally ruining their whole product.
The smell of baby oil is...distinctive, so if you detest the scent but want the sweet rejuvenating goods, try mineral oil instead (baby oil is just that, plus the powdery smell).
4. Fix It Without Product
If you're not trying to spend more money to fix an already expensive product, this hack is a good alternative. Imgur user burressk demonstrated one Reddit suggestion — popping dried lava-esque product into the microwave for 15-20 seconds, stirring with a toothpick in between intervals. The end result? Way smoother and gloriously usable product.
If you're hesitant to mess with anything, try just stirring the product with a toothpick first. Reddit user misseff says, "For what it's worth, I revived a cream product of the same consistency as Dipbrow using only a toothpick and stirring it. At first it was very hard, but the more I stirred it the softer it became until it was back to a creamy consistency, with no negative effects on the texture/pigment."
6. Make Use Of Body Heat
Along the same lines as the microwave option, but much more energy-efficient: If you live in a cold climate, Redditor fjorda has an answer. "I think the biggest problem (for mine at least) is that it was too cold. Now I hold mine in my armpit while I do my foundation and by the time I'm ready for brows the oils have warmed up and the consistency is nice and smooth again!"
Saline contact solution is a popular suggestion for reanimating dried out product, but be warned, it might change the cream's consistency. However! It could, in an unforeseen twist, make it even better. "I know everyone says to use mineral oil, but I didn't have any so I just used two drops of contact solution," Redditor alittlelamb writes. "To be completely honest I probably added too much because the formula is so different now. It's much more liquidy. However, I love it! It's so much easier to get crisp lines and I use a ton less product. I haven't noticed a change in staying power either."
Use the conditioning power of argan oil as a force for good — the oil's skin-softening benefits work just as well on stiffened cream products. If you've already splurged on an oil or have a sample lying around, a few drops of the mixed in inevitably pops up as a solution on inquiring threads (comrades like Tarte's Maracuja Oil also do the trick).
Inglot's Duraline is billed as a "Waterless clear liquid that can intensify the colour of any powder and transform it into an easy to apply, water resistant liquid," but users have found it works magic on crumble-prone creams and liners. The reviews on MakeupAlley are spectacular, with raves like: "I'll never throw out a dried up gel again, just add a few drops of duraline and it's useable once more. It seems a bit expensive for a small dropper of product but considering how much you'll save by not repurchasing a drying gel it's 100% worth it. I'll never be without duraline." Multiple reviewers mention using it to revive Chanel shadows, which might be the most compelling argument I've ever heard.
A less conventional suggestion for reanimating cream products comes from Redditor HermioneLovegood. If you have a million deluxe samples of primer floating around (why are they always the VIB Rouge benefit? We'll never know), put them to work: using a dime-sized dollop of Smashbox's original primer, Hermione Lovegood writes that a crumbling Colourpop cream shadow returned to good as new.
A squirt of eye drops restores cream products to good as new, although cosmetic chemists have cautioned not to overdo it with this one — Randy Schueller of The Beauty Brains told Allure that eye drops do contain a drug (usually an antihistamine), and too much of it isn't great to put on your skin. Use it as an end of days trick, then.
Images: Courtesy of Brands; S. Alemdar/Getty Images, Andreas Rentz/Getty Images