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How to revive your dried out eye liner pot


OMG. This is a miracle.

I was just thinking last night about how I want to go out and buy MAC’s Fluidline black eye liner pot. This morning, I open a drawer and lo and behold, there’s a brand new one just sitting there staring back at me!

(Ok, I have a feeling it might be my sister-in-law’s, but I’m going to pretend it fell from the heavens just for me).

I think maybe someone bought it and just forgot about it because, although it was brand new, it was completely dried out.

Now, I’ve mentioned a couple times before that my favorite type of eye liner are the cream/gel liner pots you apply with a brush. I think they’re easier to apply than liquid, they won’t smear or smudge, and you can make it look sleek or smokey.

The downside is, they do dry out. Forgetting to close the lid can just kill them. Once they’re hard and dried out, it’s difficult to get the product on your brush, and whatever you do manage to brush on may flake — it’s just a messy situation.

Good news is, you don’t have to dump it — here’s an easy way to revive your dried out liner (and save yourself some moola from going out and buying a new one):

You will need:


1. The eye liner pot that needs to be resuscitated

2. Visine eye drops or a similar product. Note: DON’T use contact solution – it doesn’t work as well

3. A brush to mix. I used the eye liner brush I use to apply the liner because that’s all I had with me, but you can also use a toothpick. If you do use a brush, I recommend one that has a bigger brush than this one. You’ll see why later

4. Hand sanitizer if you are using a brush like I did

5. Q-tips

STEP 1: Apply 2-3 drops to the dried eyeliner pot. I put a little more by mistake (about 5 drops instead of 3), and if you do too, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to fix that in the end.

Your dried eye liner

Your dried eye liner

Add 2-3 drops of your eye drop

Add 2-3 drops of your eye drop

STEP 2: Since I’m using my makeup brush, I washed it first and sanitized the pointy end (opposite from the end with the bristles) with a hand sanitizer. I then used this end to stir the eye drops with the eye liner.

Stirring with the hard end of my brush

Stirring with the hard end of my brush

Note: You can use a toothpick instead to do this, but just make sure you’re diligent about mixing it thoroughly and getting all the clumps!

STEP 3: After mixing it thoroughly, I then turned the brush around to pat it down.

After mixing...

After mixing...

...turn the brush around so pat down the mess with the bristles

...turn the brush around so pat down the mess with the bristles

By the way, this is why I think a brush that is a tad bigger would be more useful than the one I used, since it can be used to pat down the contents better. This is all I had on me at the moment though!

STEP 4: Since at this point, you might also find the rim of the pot a little messy, I used one end of a Q-tip to clean it up. I then used the other to pat it down to a smoother finish. The Q-tip also absorbs any excess liquid if you added too much of the eye drops at the beginning.

Use one end of the Q-tip to clean around the rim of the container; use the other to pat and smooth down further

Use one end of the Q-tip to clean around the rim of the container; use the other to pat and smooth down further


And voilà! Your eye liner is good as new.


I applied mine right after and it slid over my lids as if it were never dried out to begin with. Money.


  1. you.are.amazing.

    Nov 11th, 2009
  2. whenever I want to comment, Sarah has beat me to it. Ditto on everything

    Nov 11th, 2009
  3. Thank u so much.I was just abt to throw away my two bobbi brown gel liner.

    Nov 12th, 2009
  4. Happy to help!! xo

    Nov 12th, 2009
  5. Thank you so much! I had abandoned my gel eyeliner and gone back to pencil which has been smudging all over the place. So glad to know I can resuscitate my gel eyeliner and that it wasn’t a waste after all.

    Dec 3rd, 2009
  6. Thank you soooooooooo much for this tip! Saved me money. :)

    Dec 6th, 2009
  7. Awesome, that makes me happy…I’ve used it on 4 cream liner pots already!

    Dec 6th, 2009
  8. This is pretty awesome!!

    Tina Chaudhary
    Jan 2nd, 2010
  9. By the way, I own this eyeliner. It’s the best ever.

    Tina Chaudhary
    Jan 2nd, 2010
  10. omg wow, that’s awesome! thanks!..i shall implement!!

    Jan 6th, 2010
  11. This totally worked! I just put 3 drops of Visine and mixed it with a toothpick..tested it out and it looks great! I have a paint pot that is dried out I tried it for fun on that..looks ok but I haven’t tested it yet. Thanks!

    Jan 10th, 2010
  12. Ohh great so happy it worked out for you! It should apply the same — I’ve done this on a few and it works beautifully

    Jan 10th, 2010
  13. Thanks so much girl i so needed this i was just about to buy some…You are a life saver..Have a great one!!!

    Jan 15th, 2010
  14. A Moisturizer also does the trick,tried it some minutes ago & it glided smoothly like it never went dry.

    Mar 19th, 2010
  15. Q, would a moisturizer irritate your eyes though? That would be my only concern.

    Mar 22nd, 2010
  16. do they still last as long after you do this?

    Apr 26th, 2011
  17. It will last fairly long — if it dries up again, you’ll just have to add eye drops and mix it again!

    Apr 26th, 2011
  18. So happy to have found this trick! I have some blacktrack eyeliner as well as a few paint pots that need to be revived. I’m trying this tonight! I’ve also heard that storing the pots upside down will keep them moist longer….

    Jennifer W
    May 2nd, 2011
  19. Great, let me know how it works!!

    May 2nd, 2011
  20. Thankyou… I’ll try this.
    Nice tips 😀

    Mar 13th, 2012
  21. Holy crap. This is genius.

    Apr 16th, 2012
  22. HI,
    Appreciate the info. Have you tried it without mixing it all up? Do you think it’d work to add drops and then maybe heat with hair dryer or if in glass bottom pot, to use microwave briefly and let stand overnight? And a response would be greatly appreciated! (I bought several R and R which are dried up)

    May 4th, 2012
  23. I never tried a microwave (or any heat). From my experience, mixing it is the best method. You can make it neat again after when you push it back in. Honestly, I’d be afraid to put the liner near my eye after all the radiation in the microwave!!

    May 4th, 2012
  24. Hi! I deppoted my urban decay primer potion and by mistake I put it in a plastic jar. Do you think this could work?! It dried out and there’s still sooo much product left. Thank you!

    Aug 19th, 2012
  25. wow, it is so cool!my bobbi is almost dried out as well. I must try this.. thank u!!

    visit my blog also at

    Oct 23rd, 2012
  26. Hi Great tip – will it work on waterproof gel? Thanks

    Dec 14th, 2012
  27. You are a total lifesaver. I just found three gel liner pots that were dry as the desert. I made a quick decision to search the net before tossing them. You were the first post I found and I’m so thankful!!

    Stephanie Carter
    Jan 28th, 2013
  28. Amazing! So glad it helped :)

    Jan 28th, 2013
  29. I love using visine! It makes my eyeshadow more vibrant. pretty cool!

    If you guys don’t have visine, or don’t want to add more product to your eyeliner, all you have to do is use something flat and mix the dried out product. It will literally revive itself. try it next time!

    Mimi Nguyen
    Feb 17th, 2013
  30. LOVE this solution you have no idea the money you have saved me…… Thank u!

    May 10th, 2013
  31. I tried it and it worked great!

    Dec 13th, 2014
  32. Ι love perusing your website. Thank you!

    Dec 17th, 2014
  33. Can you use saline solution instead?? I have no Visine :(

    Feb 23rd, 2015


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