Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty Tip of the Day - Eyes

How to revive your dried out eye liner pot

November 10, 2009


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.


44 thoughts on “How to revive your dried out eye liner pot

  1. Jessica

    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.

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  4. Tia

    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!

  5. shyema Post author

    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

  6. Miki

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

  7. Q

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

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  9. Jennifer W

    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….

  10. Dotti

    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)

  11. shyema Post author

    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!!

  12. Mariel

    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!

  13. Stephanie Carter

    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!!

  14. Mimi Nguyen

    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!

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  17. Megan

    This trick is AMAZING. I swear it made my Bobbi Brown gel liner better and apply more easily then when it was brand new! I used a high quality contact lense rewetting drop. Thank you for sharing this tip!

  18. gail nelson

    thank you so much, I too, was ready to toss two pots of quite new colors they were very dry now they are great again. appreciate this mola saving post

  19. karina

    Would any other brand’s eye-drops work? does visine have any particular ingredient in it that makes it work?

  20. Michelle

    I knew I saved those for a reason. I thought I would clean the glass screw on containers and repurpose those!!!!! Love my silver shades. ❤

  21. Tabitha

    I’ve also used a drop of vitamin e oil. Works like a charm. It’s perfect. However I also used your method, it’s great also! Thanks.

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