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Make The Most of Your Makeup With These 10 Clever Hacks

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clever makeup hacks – pouring broken shimmer powder makeup into lotion

Don’t throw that makeup out!

You could be tossing away a perfectly good product! With these clever makeup hacks, you can extend the life of your cosmetics and make them go so much further. We spend a lot on our makeup products so it would be a shame to not get the most of them.

1. Check the bottom of your lipstick tube for extra product.

makeup product hacks — extra lipstick in cap on tube

You know that clear plastic disk on the bottom or top of many lipstick tubes? It actually has a purpose! If you pop it off, you’ll see most are filled with extra product. This is so customers can see the color of the lipstick and color match more easily. While it’s not available on all lipstick tubes, a majority of drugstore brands like E.L.F., Makeup Revolution, and Sonia Kushuk have this handy little caps on their lipsticks.

2. Get twice as much out of full coverage foundation.

clever makeup hacks – foundation and moisturizer on hand

If you like a more natural finish to your foundation, skip buying the sheer coverage and opt for full instead. It’s a higher concentration of pigment and is usually a thicker consistency, so all that’s required to lessen the coverage is to mix it with your favorite moisturizer. Even better, you’ll only need to use half as much as normal!

You can also do as I do and mix two foundations together (one full coverage and one sheer coverage) for the perfect consistency and shade matching as your summer tan fades.

3. Fix broken makeup with alcohol.

So your favorite palette dropped and now the pressed powder is broken — it happens! The fix is as simple as adding a few drops of alcohol, mixing the powder, and letting it dry back into its form! No need to worry about tossing away the broken bits of makeup. You can also transfer the pieces to a small jar and crush them up to use as a loose powder instead.

If you’ve only got a small amount of a shimmery powder left, mix the remnants into a moisturizer and store in a reusable jar. Then use the lotion on legs, arms, and shoulders to give your skin a glowy effect. For colored powders, try mixing the powder with a bit of coconut oil to make a tinted lip balm or a cream blush!

4. Revive dry mascara with contact solution or eye drops.

clever makeup hacks – dropping visine into mascara

That’s right! If you’ve got a tube of mascara that’s starting to clump (or has dried out from a loose top), refresh it by squeezing a few drops of eye contact solution or eye drops into the tube. To prevent future clumping, don’t pump the wand in and out of the tube — this motion introduces tons of air which speeds up the drying process.

5. Use your products to the very last drop.

clever makeup hacks – spatty makeup tool getting out foundation

Scooping out products with your fingers can leave product behind in the corners. OR you could have a slender package that makes it nearly impossible to access the product at the bottom. With products like Beautiscoop or Spatty, you can get virtually all of the remaining product out from those hard to reach places.

If you’re in a pinch, try using a Q-tip to scrape out and apply any remaining product.

6. Know the expiration dates on products.

clever makeup hacks – makeup products with expiration timeframe

As great as is it to increase the longevity of your makeup, you should always make sure you’re not using expired products. Check for these symbols with a number + M to know the shelf life in months of the product. It may not necessarily go bad after that time frame, though it may likely lose its effectiveness.

7. Thin out your nail lacquer with a polish thinner.

clever makeup hacks – nail polish and thinning agent to thin lacquer

If you notice your nail polish becoming too thick and harder to paint, thin out the formula with a polish thinner. This agent will restore the proper consistency and save you from having to buy a new bottle of your favorite nail color! You can also use isopropyl alcohol to do the same trick.

8. Store infrequently used skincare products in the fridge.

clever makeup hacks – putting face mask into fridge

There’s a bit of back and forth about what should and shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator. As a rule of thumb, skincare products you use every day or up to every few days can be stored at room temperature. Products that aren’t used as frequently can be kept cool in the fridge to preserve their shelf life, which is especially helpful when they’re naturally formulated and have fewer preservatives.

9. Save your mascara wand when you’re finished with the tube.

clever makeup hacks – clean mascara wand using dawn soap

Once you’ve finished your tube of mascara, toss the bottle away but hang onto the wand. Give it a good cleaning with dish soap (this helps break down the oils in the product) and let it dry before tossing it back into your makeup bag. Those tightly wound wand bristles are great for brushing eyebrows or taming flyaways when sprayed with a little bit of hairspray!

You can also clean the tube and refill it with nourishing oils like castor or Vitamin E. Then simply sweep the oil onto eyelashes and eyebrows to help promote longer and stronger hair growth.

10. Return empty MAC makeup containers for FREE lipstick.

clever makeup hacks – mac cosmetics empty packages from makeup beauty forever

If you’re a MAC Cosmetics junkie, your loyalty will be rewarded! Once you save up 6 MAC primary packaging containers, return them to a store or via mail and receive a FREE tube of lipstick, lipgloss, or single eyeshadow of your choice! This incentive is thanks to their Back to MAC program as part of their commitment to the environment.

Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.

Join The Discussion

Comments 21

  1. rebecca

    i just noticed this today — it says on the bottom of my LUSH brand lotion that if you return 3 empty packages from their products you can trade it in for a free mask.

    also, when i have had a clear lip balm or eye cream or face cream that is getting a little old or is just not the right consistency or formula for my face, i use it up as cuticle cream or as a heavy-duty hand cream.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I love both of those tips, Rebecca! So cool about LUSH especially — it’s helpful for the environment and even better for you! Thanks for sharing 😄

  2. Jenny

    I love the tip about restoring shattered makeup with alcohol. I’ve also done it on purpose where I have some colors that are mostly used up that I’m tired of and I’ll combine them to make a new color.

    • Roks

      How clever! I will try that 🙂

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh my gosh, that is brilliant! I have a couple eye shadows I’m definitely going to use for that trick. Thank you for the idea Jenny!

  3. Kitty

    You can thin out nail polish with some nail polish remover too. If you use the seche vite topcoat they make a produce called restore to specifically thin the topcoat. Great tips!
    Wasn’t there a place on earth day where you can bring in an empty container for a new one?

    • Jeanine

      Actually, adding anything to nail polish will change its color and mess with the way it wears. Yes, they make thinner, but trust me, it wrecks your polish. Adding nail polish remover to polish is even worse! I always take my own bottle of polish to the salon, so I know how old it is and whether it’s had thinner added to it. Years of experience, trust me!

  4. 50ShadesofLipstick

    Re: #2- it’s a bad idea to mix anything containing sunscreen (like foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream) w/ anything else (like a facial moisturizer) if you’re relying on the makeup product for sun protection. Sunscreen is only meant to be applied by itself in an even layer on your face and it’s meant to be absorbed by your skin undisturbed for it to be effective…mixing it w/ other products can make it unstable (break it down) or disrupt the formula, which means compromised protection against UV rays (which we know cause wrinkles, brown spots, and skin cancer).

    Instead, you should apply a dedicated sunscreen first, let it completely dry for a few minutes, and then apply your makeup on top of it (mixing foundation w/ moisturizer to sheer it out is fine at this point). Hope that helps!

  5. Deb

    I LOVE my Splatty. Best $5 I ever spent

  6. Lorin

    Sorry off topic. Can $10 Gymboree made you smile promo code be used at Crazy 8? Or do you know when they expire?

    • Mandy

      They expired sept 4 . I used my two $10promotion code today

  7. PC

    Dermatology student here! You should refrigerate certain Vitamin C serums b/c it’s notorious for being unstable and oxidizing quickly upon exposure to heat, light, and air when it’s an LAA formulation (L-Ascorbic Acid).

    Otherwise, skincare products are generally made to be stored at room temperature and it’s difficult to know whether or not refrigeration can affect a product’s efficacy and potency (not to mention it can introduce moisture which you generally never want to do w/ skincare products). It’s not like food, where it’s perishable unless kept cold all the time. If you’re unsure then simply follow the storage instructions on the packaging, or ask the manufacturer.

  8. Leona

    Also, my husband likes to use a clean mascara brush as a floss brush between his teeth.

  9. Jeanine

    I disagree very strongly with #4. Adding anything to mascara is a big risk for contamination, which could mean pinkeye or a worse eye infection — and that ain’t pretty! Instead, screw the cap on tightly, and run the tube under very hot water for a few minutes. This will liquefy the mascara and give you several more uses.

    And yes, never “pump” the brush up and down into the tube. Just twist it around gently!

    • Mmt721

      They’re adding eye drops to the mascara, something meant to be put in your eye! I don’t understand how that will cause an infection. Obviously we aren’t putting the mascara on our eyes, unless by accident or through the day of we rub our eyes. How would something meant to go in your eyes, cause it to get infected….

      • Jeanine

        Because the drops could be contaminated, or the tip of the bottle could be dirty. Introducing anything to mascara will also affect its formula and wearability. There’s just no good reason to do it, and every reason to buy new mascara instead of playing Russian roulette with your eye health.

    • Jack

      Agreed!! If your mascara is dried out, throw it away it’s old and unsafe to use. Never mess with eye health. Spend the $5 and buy a fresh one!! Geez!!!!!

      • Rae

        I’d be buying mascara 3 x a week if I didn’t add eye drops. It’s clean drops only used for the mascara it helps me make the mascara last a month.

  10. diana

    Wildlife centers can use old cleaned mascara wands. Clean off those old wands in hot soapy water and put them to good use!

    Clean brushes can be sent to:
    Appalachian Wild
    P.O. Box 1211
    Skyland, NC 28776

    OR contact your own local wildlife center/shelter to see if they accept the wands. So many ways to help those around us!

    • kerRI

      Wow, i never knew that !! Thats wonderful !! Thank you

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