Makeup 911! Fix the broken or aging products lurking in your makeup bag.


You know how it goes. It’s morning, you’re rushing to get ready, and as you turn around in front of the mirror to grab something, you somehow manage to knock everything on your the counter. “NOOO!!” you cry, watching in horror as your favorite Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder sails in almost slow-motion towards the floor. From the sound alone, you know it’s broken.

Your makeup! Your cheekbone-defining, expensive-but-so-worth-it makeup!

Unfortunate? Yes. Irreparable damage? No!  You can actually fix, repair, and revive a lot of different types of makeup, whether damaged, aging, or simply almost-used-up. Let’s get to work on saving you $$$!

1. Reset cracked powder/eyeshadow/bronzer

This is seriously no big deal. Get all the little broken pieces of your powder or eyeshadow, smush them all up with a spoon into a fine powder on the palette or in the compact the color came in, and then drip rubbing alcohol on top of the powder, stirring it into a paste (use a spare eye dropper to make sure you don’t overdo it). Spread the paste evenly around the palette. Next, take a coin, wrap it in cloth and press into the product. After a few minutes, the rubbing alcohol will have evaporated, and your product will be in one piece again! For a little more detail check out this step-by-step tutorial.

2. Bring dried-out gel liner or blush back to life

Hello, do you know about Duraline? Aka the magical product that made me shriek with glee when it came out? Duraline is a cool silicone product that turns any powder eyeshadow pigment you have into eyeliner (SO COOL OMG). It’s also indispensable for gel blush or liner-resuscitation—just add 1-2 drops of Duraline into your product and POOF! it’s like new again!

3. Fix slowly thickening nail polish

My mom taught me this one. If your favorite nail polish shade has been opened one too many times and is now starting to get thick, chunky, or too hard to apply, just do this: Pour a teeny bit of nail polish remover into the nail polish bottle, and shake the bottle to mix it up. Ta-da! Instantly thinned nail polish!

4. Revive drying-out mascara

My favorite mascara is also $23. I’m willing to pay that much for a great mascara, but by heaven, I’m going to get every last atom of it out of the tube before I buy another one. There are two things you can do to bring your drying-out mascara back from the brink of chunky, flaking death: 1) Pop your (closed tightly!) mascara into a cup full of hot water for a few minutes, or 2) carefully drip 3-4 drops of contact lens saline into the tube. Both of these tricks make your mascara glide on as smoothly as the day you bought it. Hooray!

5. Make your cream eyeshadow creamy again

Easy peasy. Drip a few drops of olive oil into your drying-out cream eyeshadow, and revel in the smoothly gliding color you once loved, as good as new!

6. Make eyeliner pencils apply smoothly

Man, I hate an eyeliner that skips or tugs on my eyelid when I’m trying to put it on. Good thing Beautylish writer Marie has me covered! She says all you have to do is take a lighter to the tip of your eyeliner pencil to make it apply as smoothly as a gel liner.

7. Get every last drop of lip gloss

Time to get out the ol’ cup of hot water again! Soak your favorite lip gloss upright in hot water to make all the lip gloss run down the sides of the tube and back into the bottom, where you can dip the wand in to get those final precious applications!

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