Will Cream Eyeshadows dry out or go bad?

by Paris B on · 34 comments

in Tips,You Asked?

cream Will Cream Eyeshadows dry out or go bad?

I had a reader email me to ask me this question:

Will cream eyeshadows or cream products dry out or go bad?

The answer is yes, they will… over time and if you don’t close the container tightly or store it well.

Cream products are essentially liquid based and with liquids evaporation is bound to occur over time. Also, cream products can breed bacteria if not properly stored or over time. So, if you own cream products, here are some tips for keeping them fresh and well, creamy for longer.

  • Always close the cap of your bottles or cases containing the cream product tightly after use.
  • Minimize exposure of the cream product to the air. If you are using a gel eyeliner for example, swipe your brush over the gel then close the bottle tightly before applying your gel liner. Do the same with cream eyeshadows.
  • Some people have reported that storing a cream product in the fridge can prolong its lifespan because the cold air in the fridge will not dry it out as quickly. This might be useful if you are keeping spare back ups of cream products. Its not as practical otherwise.

However, do bear in mind that even with the most careful of uses, a cream product will dry out over time. See my picture of Bobbi Brown Gel liners above – purchased at about the same time, 2 of them Cobalt and Hunter have started drying out but Bronze shimmer is still creamy. All were stored in similar conditions i.e. together icon razz Will Cream Eyeshadows dry out or go bad? I cannot explain it.

Also, if not stored properly, cream products can breed bacteria and go bad. The best examples are lipsticks. If you fish out an old lipstick that you haven’t used in a very long time you might find it smells rancid, like how old oil smells – that means its bad and its time to be tossed out.

I have had lipsticks go bad and my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners dry up on me. I’ve realized that if I don’t use a cream item for a while, it does have a tendency to dry out all by itself. This is part of the reason cream products are not my favourite medium to work with.

Have you had cream products dry out on you? How do you prevent this from happening?

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 34 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Reese February 17, 2009 at 9:16 am

How did I prevent them from drying? I started using back pencil eyeliners, and I am really want to try the Guerlain eyeliner you were raving about.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 11:00 am

Hi Reese

That’s a good solution LOL… The Guerlain Kohl eyeliner is amazing!

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prettybeautiful February 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

i owned something like that before, dried out, and…i just chucked it away. lol. had no idea completely about prevention or rescue tips

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 11:00 am

Hi prettybeautiful

That’s part of the reason I’m not into cream stuff. I find it a bit of a waste because I don’t use them as much.

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muta February 17, 2009 at 9:26 am

I had a MAC concealer that I seldom use (only for special occasions). And it dries out quickly. Usually I just add a bit of moisturizer to make it creamy and usable again.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 11:01 am

Hi Muta

Thanks for that tip with moisturizer. Perhaps if you kept it in the fridge it might last longer?

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Shay February 17, 2009 at 10:05 am

For pimple cream, my beautician told me to mix it with my toner. I don’t know about cosmetics though.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 11:02 am

Hi Shay

For cream liners I have read of people using eye drops to revive their dried or drying gel liners but I personally don’t quite like doing that for fear of contamination.

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aYu February 17, 2009 at 10:45 am

I have a couple of MAC Paint Pot and i realize after a few month, it tend to dry in their pot. And i also have Stila Smudge Pot and MAC Fluidline and they also dries up. But Stila the worst one…dry too quickly…I asked the MA at Stila counter and she told me to mix the Smudge Pots with some cream/moisturizer. But i don’t have much time to the mix and all that. But MAC fluidline is great…even thought it a bit drying in the pot but u still can work it with my eyeliner brush.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 11:02 am

Hi Ayu

I haven’t tried Stila SmudgePots but I do tend to agree that MAC Fluidliners are quite good and don’t dry out as quickly. My Bobbi Brown gel liners can be worked too even it a little dry.

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Nikki February 17, 2009 at 10:55 am

I store those cream liners and gels in airtight containers! It does prolong them even for a bit! :)

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 11:03 am

Hi Nikki

Do you scoop them out? Or just store the whole jar in another container?

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Shay February 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

Oooohhhh no. I must think about my NARS Multiple. How?!

It takes forever to finish 1 tube I think. I’ve been using 1 for maybe around 3 or 4 months but barely made a dent to it. If its dried out, I wld be devastated.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Hi Shay

From experience so long as the cream product is used, it won’t dry out because its finishing up :) So maybe the best way to prevent it drying out is to use it! :)

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Connie February 17, 2009 at 11:33 am

I have a couple of dried up ones that I heat up with the hair dryer but that only helps it last a week or two. Sometimes I put my cream eyeshadow at the window when I know I’m about to use it so that it’ll be warm and creamy by the time I need it. While i’m using cream liners, I don’t leave the jar with the content exposed. I usually flip the jar over… I hope I explained that correctly…

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Hi Connie

I’d heard of the hairdryer trick too. But its a short term measure. I guess there’s no rehabilitating the truly dried out ones.

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Fiona February 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

hey paris, how long did your gel liners last before they dried out? i have a couple of cream liners that i hardly ever use and i’m thinking of using them up before they dry up.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Hi Fiona

I’d had them a couple of years actually LOL… so it would be about time for them to dry out. If you have cream products, best use them or it’d go to waste.

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¤nOtcUte¤ February 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm

hmm… I don’t own any creamy stuffs but why not trying to store them into a container or drawer… put them together with a glass of water? Just like in an aircon room I do have a big Bowl or Glass of water there so that the air is not so dry when you turn on the aircon. Just a suggestion. Coz I was thinking maybe becoz during the day, the room gets slightly heated so things get evaported? Maybe…

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Hi Notcute

Its not really anything to do with where its stored, I reckon, but all to do with the product. Its just a natural process because its a liquid. Also cream products don’t dry out in a day or two (thank goodness!) but over time and with use because the lid is opened and closed all the time.

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Shay February 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Actually I find that the manufacturers of cosmetics are kinda evil. They also expect us to use cosmetics everyday and increase their turnover.

They gave us more product in 1 item than we would ever need. I don’t think I will ever finish say….a Shu Uemura single eyeshadow/a NARS Multiple/etc…before I get sick of it wearing it everyday or 3 years expiry for powder cosmetics is up whichever earlier. So, I go and buy some other ones or palettes or whatever and throw away my old stuff.

So, there would be tons of wastage.

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Hi Shay

LOL I won’t say they are evil – just very clever ;)

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muta February 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm

HI Paris B, I’m not sure about keeping cosmetic in fridge. Doesn’t sounds hygienic to me. Normally fridge temperature are around 20 degree Celsius, while bacteria died around 4 degree. If I kept it in freezer to solve bacteria problem, won’t the cream just become frozen?

Maybe I’m just paranoid, but the idea of face make up together with fruits, juices, sauces, and others stuffs feels a bit ‘eeww’ to me. >___<

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ParisB February 17, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Hey Muta

I won’t keep my creams with food too. Some people have special little fridges for their cream products but as I don’t subscribe to the practice, I don’t. :)

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Tine February 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Hmm would putting in a drop of water help?

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ParisB February 23, 2009 at 11:35 am

Hi Tine

I’d heard of people using eye drops but I think that will make it dry out faster in the long run too.

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Renz July 4, 2009 at 12:01 am

Someone had recommended me to drop a couple of drops of baby oil onto the gel liners, then mix it into the gel.

I find that kate’s gel liner dry up pretty easily. I had only used it a couple of times before it dries up.

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josephine October 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm

hey paris, just so you know, there is a way to “restore” dried out gel eyeliners! As dried out doesn’t mean that it’s spoilt or infected with germs, it’s actually safe to reuse them. I saw a video on youtube once, that suggested you use the heat from a blow drier to “melt” the product, hence usable again.

Also, i’ve heard of friends mircowaving their products too.

i mean since it’s because you dont use them all the time causing it to dry up, blow drying then once in a while doesn’t really count not practical right? i think throwing them away sounds more “not practical” lol.

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cathy October 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm

i just put some in sample jars and close the lid tighly for the orig packaging…store them upside down…that prevents drying of paint pots by frequently opening the lid…

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Q March 20, 2010 at 9:46 am

Really,the suggestion earlier mentioned of adding a moisturizer seems more hygienic & sure to gv results. I just did so minutes ago & the liner glided on smoothly like it never went dry.

All i did was use my slanted liner,dropped a small dollop of moisturizer(Baby Lotion) into the jar,picked some moisturizer up wt my brush & rubbed it into the gel liner.

Fab Result,i got. I really think Microwaving could gv u instant results,but in the Long Run,Damage the Product.

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Q March 20, 2010 at 9:46 am

Slanted Liner Brush,i meant!

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Brittany July 11, 2010 at 7:46 am

I used MAC’s Fluidline and it’s recently started to dry out. Instead of wasting it and digging into it, I dipped my [clean] eyeliner brush into a little moisturizer (I used Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich) and rubbed the eyeliner around again. Good as new. :)

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Andrea March 17, 2011 at 8:11 am

I have used cream eyeshadow in the past and hated it because it just settled into creases in my eyelids and had to be wiped off right away. I just accidentally bought two new rimmel cream eye shadows on clearance. I thought they were powder and the package didn’t say anything about cream. So my question is, has anybody let their cream eye shadow dry out on purpose and then used it as a powder? What does it turn into, a solid “cake?” Would I have to grind it up to be able to use it as powder?

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Elaine January 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I read the ingredients of Benefit creaseless cream shadow. The first ingredient is Cyclopentasiloxane which is used in “oil free” type moisturizers. Lanacane antichafing gel is chock full of that stuff. perhaps adding some lanacane would help revive the cream shadow without affecting its creaseless and waterproof properties. I know that Cyclopentasiloxane is a hydrophobic substance and is also used in barrier type creams. I use lanacane antichafing gel on my kids and it does feel very creamy, light, and oil free – similar to my benefit cream shadow.

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