Get the Most Out of Your Makeup With These 14 Clever Hacks

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More Cheap Makeup

hand holding gold glitter makeup dumping it into jar of white cream

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. And since we tend to spend so much money on our makeup products, it would be a shame to not get the most out of them.

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

red lipstick with lid off sitting on wood surface

Do you know that clear plastic disc 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 you may not be able to apply this makeup hack 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.

Hip Tip: Speaking of e.l.f. products… did you see this $3 eye shadow that I’m in love with?

2. Get twice as much use out of full coverage foundation by mixing with lotion.

beige foundation and white cream on tip of finger

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, with this makeup hack, 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.

*Note that if you’re relying on the SPF from your makeup, that mixing it will change its effectiveness.  

Hip Tip: Need a little boost on that tan right now? We shared our team’s favorite self-tanners you can score right now.

3. Fix broken makeup with alcohol.

before and after of pink makeup broken vs fixed

So your favorite palette dropped and now the pressed powder is broken — it happens! This makeup hack 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.

4. Get the most out of your powder makeup by mixing it into lotion when it’s almost gone.

hand holding empty powder makeup

If you’ve only got a small amount of a shimmery powder left, mix the remnants into a moisturizer and store in a reusable container. 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!

Hip Tip: Did you see how I used coconut oil on my hair?! If you’re needing a little TLC, you’re going to want to read this one!

5. Use a green concealer to balance out redness and to help use less foundation.

green concealer laying on tyedye blanket

I don’t mean green as in eco-friendly, I literally mean green colored concealer. And I promise you won’t look like the Grinch, in fact, if you can see the green concealer after application, you used too much.

Using green concealer will help balance redness in the face, mask inflamed pimples, and help conceal breakouts that much better, meaning this makeup hack lets me avoid loading up on my other foundation products!

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

hand holding dropper bottle of eyedrops putting into purple mascara bottle

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.

Hip Tip: Here are our team’s favorite mascaras starting at just $4.99.

7. Take Jonathan Van Ness’s recommendation to resolve clumpy mascara with a tissue.

woman applying mascara smiling

If you don’t have any eye drops or contact solution handy, Taylor on our team loves this little makeup hack she learned on Queer Eye.

“I once saw on the ‘Queer Eye’ show that you can fold a tissue over the mascara wand to remove some of the excess mascara before applying and it gives you a clump-free and more lengthened lash! I’ve been doing it ever since I saw it on the show and it works amazing for me!” – Taylor at Hip2Save

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

hand holding a purple mascara wand in front of blue dawn dish 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 keep and clean the tube to refill it with nourishing oils like castor oil or Vitamin E. Then simply sweep the oil onto eyelashes and eyebrows to help promote longer and stronger hair growth.

Hip Tip: If you’re ditching the mascara altogether, you can mail your old wand (after cleaning it) to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge program called Wands for WildlifeEach wand is useful to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur and feathers of wild animals. Read more about it and where to mail them here.

9. Use your makeup products to the very last drop with a slim spatula.

hand holding bottle of makeup putting purple tipped stick in top

Scooping out products with your fingers can leave some product behind in the corners or you might be working with a slender package that makes it nearly impossible to access the product at the bottom.

With products like Beautiscoop or Spatty, you can get almost all of the remaining makeup out from those hard to reach places. In case you’re in a pinch, you could try using a Q-tip to scrape out and apply any remaining product.

10. Know the expiration dates on products to use them before they lose their potency.

makeup products laying on marble countertop with expiration dates circled in yellow

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 next to an “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.

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

hand holding pink nail polish squirting solution into bottle

If you notice your nail polish becoming too thick and harder to paint, hack it by thinning 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.

12. Store infrequently used skincare products in the fridge.

hand holding green bottle of face mask in front of 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.

13. Return empty MAC makeup containers for FREE lipstick.

various empty containers of makeup products

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

*Note that you can also head to the store for your freebie once they reopen from the Coronavirus pandemic.

14. Extend your blowout and get healthier looking hair with a silk pillowcase.

white fluffy pillow with cover on bed

According to this silk bedding blog, silk pillowcases keep your face healthy, help your skin retain moisture, reduce your chemical exposure, are naturally hypoallergenic, reduce split ends, and there are so many more benefits!

Plus, they’re easy to care for since they can be machine washed! Check out these budget-friendly silk pillowcases on Amazon that we love!

Hip Tip: Want more tips for sleeping? Check out our month-long sleep challenge that our team did and everything we learned!

These are the very best dry shampoos that our team and readers love!

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 14

  1. Wink

    Thanks excellent tips.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Stormy

    In reference to #2 listed, I mix my foundation with the tanner that I love (NuSkin) about twice weekly. I also try to remember to mix with the tinted moisturizer recommended by my dermatologist. I’ve found that she desires spf 30 and many moisturizers are only spf 15. Anyhow, just my two cents!

    • natie

      Thanks for your tips. I totally going to use them

  3. jennifer

    I’ve tried and tried sleeping on a satin pillow case and I really don’t like that slippery texture. I wish I could, I’m sure I would have better looking hair.

    • Lori

      Same here. And it gets hot! Everyone tells me that satin pillowcases stay cool but not for me.

      • MeRiv

        Try a 100% silk pillow case, I believe the satin ones are polyester which is like sleeping on plastic 😉

  4. Jackie

    If your mascara is dried out, it might be time to replace it. Opened mascara should really be tossed after 3 months.

    • Rae

      Mine dries out fairly quickly. I use a lot of mascara though so using eye drops in it helps it last a bit longer. I buy 1 or 2 mascara per month.

  5. natie

    These are great. Thank you

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are very welcome, natie!

  6. Holly E

    OMG thank you. I had to throw out my favorite bronzer because I dropped it and it broke. I wish I knew about the alcohol tip.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re SO welcome! Glad these tips were helpful!

  7. Allison

    If I have a full coverage matte foundation and want a more luminous look, I’ll mix some Mac strobe cream (LOreal has one too) to get a dewy look

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