6 money-saving tips so your makeup and skin-care products last longer


Cosmetics can make you feel like the best version of yourself — but they come at a cost.

The average woman will spend upwards of $200,000 on her appearance over the course of her lifetime, according to a 2017 survey conducted by OnePoll that surveyed 2,000 American men and women. The survey also found that more than 25% of this total is spent on products and treatments for the face alone.

To get the best return on this investment, there are strategies you can use to properly take care of your cosmetics and skin-care products so that they last their full shelf life.

This may come as a shock to you if you still have your favorite frosted lip gloss from the early 2000s, but makeup does have an expiration date. If a product in your cabinet isn't expired, though, just dried out or broken, there ways to make it last longer.

Here's how:

1. Use warm water to renew dry mascara

If you forgot to tighten the cap on your mascara and it dries out, twist the cap tightly to ensure the tube is fully sealed and then drop it into a cup of warm water for a few minutes. This will get rid of any clumps and make it easier to apply.

You can even add a few drops of saline solution to the mascara tube and stir with the applicator to make it smoother.

"As long as they're hydrating eye drops, you can add that to mascara or brow pomades and that'll help increase the longevity of the products if they're dried out," says Merima Kahric, a New York City-based makeup artist.

2. Repair pressed powders with rubbing alcohol

You may have experienced that dreaded moment when you drop your favorite blush compact or eye shadow palette and watch it shatter on the floor. However, you don't need to toss it in the trash as long as it stays in the casing.

For pressed powder products such as blush, powder foundation, or eye shadow, repairing cracks in the powder is easy. Grab a toothpick or plastic knife and grind up all of the powder until it's a fine consistency. Pour a few drops of rubbing alcohol into the eye shadow or blush pan to dampen the mixture. Press the powder lightly with the back of a spoon, smoothing over any cracks in the process, and let the product dry overnight.

"Typically, rubbing alcohol won't ruin your product because a lot of professionals use it to sanitize products, but you want it to be at least 70% alcohol or higher to prevent it from causing any lasting damage to the product," says Kahric. "Anything higher than 70% will evaporate a lot faster."

3. Add moisturizer to make foundation last longer

When you're running low on liquid foundation, cut open your tube of foundation and scrape the inside. You might find there's more product left than you thought. Add a few drops of your moisturizer to the remaining foundation, and then store the mixture in a clean plastic or glass container or Tupperware. Now it's a tinted moisturizer.

While this won't give you the same coverage as a traditional foundation, the diluted mixture will nourish your skin and give you a more natural, sheer coverage. It will also buy you some extra time before you need to make a trip to the store.

4. Use a lighter to warm up pencil liner

Pencil eyeliners can become hard and dry, and they don't have the same smooth application of a gel liner. To add moisture to your old eyeliners, hold a lighter up to the tip of the pencil for about five seconds, then let it cool for 15 seconds. The product will be slightly melted and have the same consistency of a smoother gel liner, and it'll make application easier.

If you take hot showers, you want to keep your makeup and skin-care products out of the bathroom.
Merima Kahric
makeup artist

5. Melt your lipstick back together

Lipstick at Sephora can cost anywhere from $25 for a NARS product to $90 for a tube of Christian Louboutin velvet matte lip color, so having one break while applying it can definitely put a dent in your budget. Next time your lipstick snaps, place the broken end back on the rest of the tube and use a lighter to melt the two pieces back together. Go around the entire tube and smooth it over with your finger until it's good as new.

Be sure to let your lipstick cool for a bit before reapplying.

6. Store your products in a cool place

Store your skin-care products in the refrigerator and your makeup products in a cool, dry place.

As long as you take good care of the products you have, Kahric says you'll preserve them while protecting your skin. "You want to keep your products away from direct sunlight and away from direct heat," she says. "If you take hot showers, you want to keep your makeup and skin-care products out of the bathroom because that will heat up the product."

Kahric says makeup and skin-care products are one thing you don't want to buy in bulk: "You really don't need multiples of products because things go bad so easily, so stick to the product you have and use all of it up."

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