11 Ways To Revive Dried-Out Cream Makeup Products, According To Makeup Artists

by Rachel Nussbaum and Shea Simmons
Originally Published: 

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 long before the product is finished. But there are ways to revive dried-out makeup products

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 tips from makeup artists and experts. 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.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

1. Store It Properly

Celebrity makeup artist Mari Shten tells Bustle that prevention is the best way to keep your cream products working as they should. For Shten, this means storing the product upside down. Why? The oils in your product will then naturally fall to the top helping keep the cream-based item moist.

2. Keep It Closed

Keeping your cream product functioning isn’t just about how you store it but also about how you use it. While Shten does recommend keeping your creams upside down, she also says you should always make sure your products are sealed properly. If not, they are more prone to dry out beyond the point of return.

3. Use Setting Spray

KVD Vegan Beauty Education Artistry Trainer, Luis Carrero explains that a few squirts of setting spray can help to bring back a cream product. He says, "For an instant quick fix, Use a hydrating mist and lightly spray your cream a few times and allow the mist to absorb and revive."

4. Use Paper Towels

Sarah Lucero, Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry at Stila Cosmetics doesn’t want beauty lovers to ignore their cream pencils. Just like potted products they can dry out, too, but it’s as simple as using a paper towel to revive them. She tells Bustle, “Take a paper towel or napkin and roll it back and forth over the tip with fingertips to remove dried coat and reveal the smooth creamy pencil texture it once was. Keep the cap properly closed tight after every use.

5. Use Heat

If you don’t want to mix in an additional product to your cream, you can use heat. Shten tells Bustle, “Sometimes it's enough to put dry product under a warm lamp light for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once you see the product starts "sweating" and becoming glossy - it's back to life and you can use it again.”

6. Try A Spatula

If you are hesitant to add product to your dried out cream, Lucero tells Bustle that a small silver spatula may work. She says, “I’ve revived a cream liner, like smudge pot, by using a stainless steel spatula and cross hatching the top surface off completely.”

7. Experiment With Contact Solution

Another easy option is using contact solution, and it works especially well on dried out mascara. Shten tells Bustle, “Since it's a liquid, try to be careful and not add to much of it right away, otherwise your product’s consistency will change and become too watery.”

8. Use A Skincare Oil

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. According to Shten, if you've got an oil you use as part of your skin care routine, a few drops will help revive the product but be sure to mix it well.

9. Utilize A Mixing Medium

Mixing mediums are often used to manipulate the texture of a product or shift a pigment to a cream. However, they also work for bringing a cream back from the edge. Shten explains that you need to act quickly when using a medium, though, as they dry quickly.

She suggests taking just the amount of dried out product you need and combining it with the mixing medium separately. Use it quickly so it doesn't further dry out your item.

10. Break Out The Primer

Another quick fix? The primer in your makeup drawer. Carrero tells Bustle that a hydrating primer can bring a product back to life. He says, “When all else fails to revive your cream products, take a pump of hydrating primer & mix it into your cream. This will revamp your formula and give your cream the life it needs to go on smoothly.”

11. Use Eye Drops

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.

This article was originally published on October 22, 2016.

This article was originally published on