How to stop mascara from clumping

There’s perhaps nothing more frustrating than completing a beautiful makeup look and finishing it off with mascara… only to find it’s made your eyelashes clump together and you can’t really take it off. That’s where these four makeup hacks come in, to prevent clumpy mascara from ruining your makeup ever again.

Post written by Leanne Perilly

Never (ever) pump your mascara wand

This is a pretty common hack which many people know, but in case you weren’t aware, do NOT pump your mascara wand/spooley back and forth into the product bottle. Yes, we’ve all seen them do it in the movies, but it’s not actually the correct way to apply mascara.

Pumping the wand back and forth into the bottle causes large air bubbles to enter, causing the product to thicken and speed up the drying-out process. For best results, instead only pump the spooley into the bottle once per application, and only repeat when necessary. 

In addition, make sure to twist the wand out of the bottle instead of a direct pull – this will allow an even amount of product to sit on the bristles, making your eyelashes appear more natural and prevent them from sticking together. 

Know when it’s time to toss your mascara

A common reason for mascara going clumpy after application is because it’s passed its expiry date. All makeup has an expiry date by which they should either be tossed out or safely repurposed, and it is likely this may be the cause of your dried out mascara products.

Mascara tends to have an expiry of approximately three months after opening, however, this can vary depending on your specific product. If you’re uncertain, check this information on your mascara tube – it should be located near the barcode or ingredients list on the back, represented by a number within a makeup pot symbol. If the value says “3M”, this means you should toss out the product within three months of use, and should consider purchasing a new one.

Don’t overdo it

Likely, when your mascara appears to go clumpy or makes your eyelashes stick together, this is perhaps because you’re either applying too much product or you’re using the wrong type of mascara for your desired outcomes.

If you wish to achieve long and voluminous lashes, there are specific mascaras which cater to this dramatic effect. If you’re using a more natural mascara, you may be applying too much product in the hopes it will build to form this desired look. Instead, buy a mascara best suited to the look you are going for, and make sure to apply accordingly.

Soak in warm water

Although your mascara’s expiry date may be slowly creeping up on you, if it has not yet surpassed, there’s still something you can do about that slowly drying-out product. Try soaking your mascara bottle in a cup of warm water. This should soften and slightly melt the product inside, removing some of that clumpy texture you’re having problems with. 

So there you have it! Don’t throw out your mascara simply because it isn’t applying exactly how you thought it would. Make sure to buy the correct mascara for your desired look and watch out for its expiry date… and good luck!

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