Life Style

9 Ways to Fix Dried Out Eyeliner, According to Experts

Close Up of Woman Applying Black Liquid Eyeliner in a Cat-Eye Style on a Designed Background

Looking to recreate Euphoria eye makeup? Want to jazz up the inner corners of your eyes with liner? Not only will you need excellent technique, you will need your eyeliner to flow. Dried-out eyeliner is nearly impossible to work with and can cause tugging, skipping, and uneven application—keeping you from the graphic liner look you’re after.

There are a couple reasons why your eyeliner has dried out: Maybe it’s the quality of the formula you are using or how you store it. (Pros actually recommend storing liquid liners upside-down to keep the brush or felt tip saturated with ink.) Perhaps you forgot to properly re-cap pen or gel. (We’ve all been there.) Luckily, there are simple DIY hacks to fix dried-out eyeliner, so you can extend the longevity of your products.

Ahead, two celebrity makeup artists who are also founders of beauty brands, share tips on how to fix dried-out eyeliner. Read on to learn more.


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Add Inglot Duraline

Inglot's Duraline
Inglot Duraline $17.00

Makeup pros invest in Inglot Duraline, a transparent liquid that you can mix with different makeup products—including eyeliner—to prolong its longevity. You can also use it to turn eyeshadow into liquid liner.

Bryant loves this product for reviving dried out eyeliner, especially creams and gels. “If your product does start to dry, adding a few drops of Duraline from Inglot is an instant fix,” she says. “Duraline not only brings back the emollience needed for a smooth application, it also adds lock-down, waterproofing benefits to any formula.”

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Try a Manual Reboot

This simple tip is for reviving a dried out felt-tip liner. “If your felt-tip liquid liner isn’t working, first try pressing the tip against the back of your hand and holding it there for a few seconds,” Bryant says, explaining that this might trigger the product to start flowing. “It could be that the eyeliner just needed a little reboot, but if nothing comes out it’s often an indication that the pen is out of pigment and it’s time for a new one.”

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Use Warm Water

Try carefully warming pencils or liquid formulas with water. “Dip eyeliner in a cup of warm water or run it under the faucet to warm up the eyeliner and give it life again,” suggests Lo. “It will take about three to five minutes until you can see the eyeliner start to melt. Remember to dry [the eyeliner] off with a paper towel and draw on it first to get rid of the excess water.” She adds that you can achieve a similar effect by wrapping a warm towel around it.

Note, be careful not to overdo it, as you don’t want to ruin the integrity of your product.

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Warm With a Blow Dryer

Another tip involving heat is to use a blow dryer, explains Lo. This works best for pencils that have become dull and clumpy, and won’t draw when you apply gentle pressure. “Place the eyeliner on a towel and use a blow dryer to heat up the eyeliner for about five to 10 minutes,” Lo advises. She adds that you should position the dryer about six inches away. Then, “sharpen the tip after heating the eyeliner and it will seem to be brand new.”

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Rehydrate the Rod

Take out the felt rod from inside felt-tip liners and try to rehydrate it, Bryant suggests. “If your product is newer or hasn’t been used that much, check to see if the felt tip has dried out and if so, you can try rehydrating,” she says. “To do this you’ll want to access the entire felt rod from inside the eyeliner pen. Most components will unscrew at the end of the liner, and you can then use a tweezer to pull the entire piece out.”

Once you remove the rod, you’ll begin the rehydration process: “Soak the rod in a glass of warm water for a minute or two to hydrate,” says Bryant. “Then, take the rod out of the water and lightly dab dry before returning it to the pen. If the applicator tip was completely dry before rehydrating, you may find the tip needs a little trim with a pair of cuticle scissors to return it to its original shape which is key to getting that sharp line.”

Although this method is more involved, it’s incredibly satisfying when it works.

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Add Coconut or Jojoba Oil

This tip works best with gel eyeliner, says Lo. She notes it’s important to go slowly, and “be careful to only add one drop at a time, as too much oil will make the eyeliner smudge too easily when applying it.”

Once you’ve added your oil, Lo says to use a toothpick to poke holes into the formula and allow the oil to sink in. “Then, put the cap back on and let the eyeliner sit overnight. In the morning it should be ready to use.”

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Sharpen Regularly

For pencil eyeliner, Lo suggests you make sharpening a regular habit.  “Regularly sharpening a pencil eyeliner will help keep it moist. Sometimes just the tip can dry out so draw with it on a paper towel to remove the top layer if that seems to be the issue.”

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Store at Room Temperature

Lo advises storing eyeliner at room temperature to keep it from drying out: “Unless advised by the brand, don’t keep your eyeliners in extreme temperatures such as a fridge or freezer, or leaving them in the car on a hot summer day. Freezing or melting a formula can compromise its integrity and use.”

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Seal Properly

Proper storage of your eyeliner includes keeping an airtight seal. This tip will help keep any liquid, cream, gel, or felt eyeliner from drying out. “After each use make sure to tighten the top or put the cap back on pencils to ensure no air slips in,” says Lo.

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