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Tuesday Tip | Revive dry mascara with saline (plus: a tip that doesn’t work!)

You know how you’re supposed to throw mascara away every three months?

Well, Lisey and I had a couple of tubes that were getting dry and clumpy before they even made it to the three month mark.

Digusted, Lisey took to the interwebs to find a good DIY for fixing the problem.

The first fix we came across involved putting the tubes into a mug of freshly boiled water for a few minutes.  We tried that, and at first we thought the mascara was looking pretty darn hydrated.

But alas, it got clumpy again as soon as it cooled.

And we are not about to soak our mascara every time we want to use it.


We tried another tip, which was to add a few drops of sterile saline solution to the tube, then shake. And that, friends, seems to be working quite well. 

My tube is now giving me clump-free lashes whereas before I was getting lumps of mascara.

And since I’m a contact lens wearer, I always have sterile saline in the house.  Easy fix for me!

The number of saline drops you’ll need will vary depending on how much mascara is in your tube and also how dry it is.

I’d recommend starting with 2-3 drops and then adding more as needed.

P.S. Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: never pump your wand in and out of the tube, as this forces air into the tube and encourages your mascara to dry up.

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Saturday 26th of August 2023

I've been using the saline solution trick for years and you're right. It works beautifully! It stops the clumps and smooths the formula. Wipe brush with the saline too before putting back into tube Works on eyelash primer as well. Likely wouldn't work on waterproof formulas (which are very bad for eyelashes anyway and I avoid them).

Randi Macdonald

Friday 18th of January 2019

Lash Paradise is a very clumpy mascara before it even starts to dry up.


Thursday 17th of January 2019

I've never tried this tip since I never have saline solution, so just now I googled it and apparently you can easily make your own. I've never tried it, but plan to now.


Wednesday 30th of January 2019

I tried making my own saline solution for my mascara and it seemed to work!

Diane C

Wednesday 16th of January 2019

The three month advice is because of bacteria. The purpose of eyelashes is to prevent bacteria and debris from getting into the eyes. Hence, they're literally little dirt collectors. Transferring bacteria into a moist, dark environment where they're free to multiply makes bacteria very happy.

If you only use it occasionally, it can be kept longer, but it tends to dry out anyway, so the saline solution is still an excellent tip.

If you want to be super vigilant about this, mark the date opened on the tube with a sharpie.

I use it so seldom that the hot water trick works fine.

If you're really worried about bacteria, the old school way is to use cake mascara, which you use with a brush. Dampen the brush, make a paste and apply. The cake dries out between usings and the brush is easily washed. Fewer places/ways for bacteria to multiply. I just googled it and it's still on the market.

Kate schat

Wednesday 16th of January 2019

About three months in is when my mascara starts bothering my eyes so i chuck it. I keep mine in the car and since we live in a winter wonderland its usually frozen lol. I put it under my bum so me/the seat heater warms it up and luckily we have a long enough drive to town that i can apply before we get there


Wednesday 16th of January 2019

Haha, I love your method!

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