How to Rescue a Dried-Out Gel Eyeliner Using Make Up Store Mixing Liquid & Bobbi Brown Gel Liner

gel liner

Anyone who's into gel liners knows just how revered Bobbi Brown's Long Wear offerings are, and they're lauded for a reason: they're blimmin' excellent. Dense and creamy, absolutely saturated with colour, long-wearing and easy to use, they're the best I've ever tried, and yup, they'd want to be at €22 a pot.

The problem with Bobbi's linery offerings - and pretty much all gel/cream liners - is that they're prone to drying out. There are some things you can do to limit that like not leaving lids off for too long while you're making your face up and screwing those lids on super-tightly, not leaving the pots in very warm rooms, but because these products are wet and creamy, the moisture will just eventually evaporate.

If you don't use your liner quick enough, you'll be left with a mini Gobi desert inside your expensive glass pot. That little feller above contains about a half quantity of Sapphire Shimmer, which a quick search through the blog reveals I bought back in 2008. Erk! It's probably best off in the bin but as it's not quite dead yet, merely stiff and not very workable, I wanted to see if I could resurrect it from its coma state.

Emboldened by my recent success at saving a shattered Inglot blusher, I got thinking. From watching YouTube tutorials on how to create lip palettes from lipstick bullets, I knew I'd need some heat. I also reckoned I'd need some sort of mixing medium, but as I'd never come across a gel liner fixin' How To, for the rest of it, I was on my own.

Here's what I improvised:

gel liner


So, what'll you need? Bearing in mind this was pretty much trial and error on my part, I picked:

  1. Make Up Store Mixing Liquid. This is something you can use to make a liquid liner out of a loose pigment and so I reckoned it'd work well to mix with my gel to re-hydrate it
  2. You need to heat the dry-ish product with the mixing liquid in the microwave, so you need a suitable container. It should be fairly tiny, so an egg cup would be perfect. This espresso cup was handy, and about the right size
  3. The actual gel liner itself
  4. a knife (actually you'll need two, as I discovered shortly!)
  5. a firm synthetic brush (another discovery towards the end of the process)

gel liner steps

And here's what you do - it's fierce easy.

  1. Scrape out the product from the pot and dump it into your little container - at this point I realised my gel liner wasn't as dry at the base as it was at the top so it stuck to my knife, cue frantic running back to the cutlery drawer to snatch another to scrape the product off, and flick it into the cup
  2. There you go - product resting happily at the end of the cup, ready for step three
  3. Now add a drop or two of the mixing liquid - my gel liner wasn't too dry, but I'm guessing if yours is very very dessicated you'll need a little more
  4. Make sure to scrape out every scrap you can - I took this opportunity to clean the pot as well, ready for its new, 2.0 self. Now put your cup/receptacle in the microwave and blast on full power for 10 seconds. That was enough to turn my gel liner and liquid into a spongey mass. I gave it a very quick stir with a snipped-off Q Tip to make sure everything was blended, and shrugging my shoulders, decided it looked grand, and there probably wasn't any point in blasting it further. Again, I think this is something you need to judge on a case-by-case basis - if your gel is dry as a bone it'll need more liquid and more microwave time, but I think to be safe I'd go in increments of five seconds just to be sure to be sure
  5. I plopped it quickly back into its original pot and as you can see, it looks pretty loose and wormy right now, so it needed some tamping down
  6. I legged it again, this time to the bathroom to snatch a firm shadow placement brush which I used to quickly press the product into place

I then screwed the lid firmly onto the pot and left it for a bit.


So, did my ministrations work? Actually they did. The liner's a little different to how it was when new, not quite so firm in texture (but neither is it as thin and fluid as the Catrice one, for example) and it seems to have lost some opacity too, though it's still very buildable; another slight minus is wear doesn't seem to be quite as amazing as it used to be. But I can use it again, which is the main thing, so all in all, I'd rate my rescue as pretty darn successful!

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