Use Your Blow Dryer To Get The Most Out Of Your Dried Out Eyeliner

As Ben Franklin once said, "Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and your favorite eyeliner drying out before you're done using it." Okay, maybe he didn't say the last bit — still, it's true. In a perfect world, our go-to formulas would stay fresh for as long as it takes us to use all the product. 

But a perfect world, this is not, and oxygen and time get the better of even the best eyeliners all too often. Dried-out liner is the kryptonite to a strong, crisp eyeliner look. Instead of saturated and sharp, things come out faded and smudged. It makes application a pain. In a word or two, it's incredibly frustrating.

Luckily, it's also fixable. Before you start buying replacement liners or convincing yourself you're the problem, try this easy hack instead. (Hint: there's a good chance the tools you need are in the same place you're doing your makeup.)

Fighting against oxygen and time

While low-quality formulas might be more likely to degrade more quickly, not even the crème de la crème of eyeliners is immune to the effects of exposure to oxygen and heat, lack of moisture, and the passing of time. Moreover, not all eyeliners dry out the same. 

Good indicators that your eyeliner is due for a refresh are a lack of pigmentation and clarity of the makeup itself. Pencil tips that pull or drag the skin instead of gliding on smoothly are also good indicators that your product is starting to dry out. You should throw your eyeliner away immediately if you notice discomfort in the eyes, which could be a sign that your liner is dried up and teeming with harmful, pink-eye-causing bacteria. 

Pencil eyeliners benefit from starting out as a solid product, which makes them typically last longer than liquid, gel, or cream formulas. Moreover, sharpenable pencils are inherently designed to refresh themselves. The best — and simplest — place to start with a dried-out pencil liner is with a twist or two in the sharpener. But if that doesn't work, your next best bet might be your hairdryer.

Putting the wind back in your liner's sails

Pencil eyeliner is composed of waxes, natural gums, and clays, used to thicken and maintain the formula, and iron oxides for pigment (via WebMD). Just like melted wax is easier to manipulate than its solid counterpart, sometimes a little heat is all your liner needs to be restored to its former glory. 

Therefore, New York City-based makeup artist, Brittany Lo, described the hairdryer method to Byrdie: "Place the eyeliner on a towel and use a blow dryer to heat up the eyeliner for about five to 10 minutes. Sharpen the tip after heating the eyeliner and it will seem to be brand new." Stylecaster suggests it might take as little as 30 seconds to reheat the liner adequately, so you'll likely need to experiment to find what works best for your specific formula. Either way, a few minutes with a blowdryer is significantly cheaper than forking out the money to replace formulas that still have a bit more life left in them. 

To extend the longevity of your eyeliner even further, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, and store it with a secured cap. Your go-to pencil liner should stay usable for about a year with regular sharpenings (around twice a week, per Health). Still, struggling to create that perfect cat eye? Use your freshly revamped pencil liner to recreate this TikTok eyeliner hack that makes it easy to get the perfect winged look, or opt for kitten eyeliner.