Hate Makeup Hair Triggers? Try This Simple Tip to Waste Less

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

I love love MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, but that dang pump dispenser’s hair trigger has given me trouble from day one.


Even when I carefully apply the slightest pressure it dispenses way more product than I need, which means I’m wasting, grr… Seriously, MAC, what happened to my doe foot? Anyone?

I’ve tried to remove the pump to no avail (thing’s securely fastened), and it looks like I’d have to crack the plastic to pull it off.

At the MAC counter the other day, I vented about it to one of the makeup artists, and she handed me an empty sample jar with a smile. πŸ™‚

She suggested just pumping the product into the jar. That way, I can grab the right amount I need with a brush from the jar, and replace the lid to save any amount that’s left over for later.

After finishing whatever’s in the jar, add another pump, and repeat.

Great idea, right?


You might be able to get a free sample jar at your counter (give it a try), or they also sell them at beauty supply stores.

The trick should work with any liquid product, making those touchy pumps a little easier to bear. Try it with foundation, eye primer, blush, whatev! πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 47 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. this is precisely why i save all my sample containers! i’ve got “lead finger” and am always getting more than i need :p.
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Collection Spotlight- Marc Jacobs – Resort 2011

  2. Tavi says:

    This is a good idea! I’m going to use my sephora sample containers!

  3. NeutraKris says:

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  4. I tried this with my UDPP and I forgot about the jar. When I opened it after a while, I noticed that the product inside was dry….no clue why. It was the first time I was opening the jar after I put the product in it. And yup, it was closed properly.
    Just weird.

  5. stacie says:

    Does anyone else feel kinda dumb not to have thought of this before! It’s such a simple yet genius idea!
    stacie recently posted … First ever nail art

  6. Heidi says:

    Now why didn’t I think of that? Thanks for the tip. Love my Pro Longwear, but I could cover my whole face with what comes out of that dang pump!

  7. I was thinking of doing this with my Pro Longwear concealer too πŸ™‚ I’m just waiting to finish up one of those little sample jars I got from Sephora.
    Makeup Morsels recently posted … All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

  8. Suzy says:

    Wouldn’t such small quantities dry up in the jar before a second use? Or at the very least, solidify just enough to be difficult to apply and blend out?

    If no such effect occurs, I would love to try this! πŸ™‚

    • HanaBerlin says:

      I was thinking the same thing. =/

      • Silvia says:

        no, it doesn’t. I can use it safely the next day and even the day after. Normally one pump is enough for me to cover under eye circles and redness around nose and on cheeks for two days.

    • ShannoninBC says:

      I’ve been doing this for months with my Pro Longwear, 1 pump will give me 4-5 uses and I make sure to close the lid tightly on my sample jar (from lush) and no problems at all! In fact, I’ve gone almost 2 weeks and the product got a little tacky but still workable!

  9. snoopysteph says:

    Thanks for the tip! That’s one of my peeves too.

  10. Rae says:

    Awesome tip, Karen! I do this all the time with lip colours, but for whatever reason, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could use the same method for hair trigger containers >.< *makes a mental note of it*
    Rae recently posted … A message from Urban Decay re- Naked palettes

  11. marisol says:

    I don’t get what’s up with crappy packaging. I know that everyone that uses Nars Sheer Glow wishes it had a pump that dispenses the right amount.

    Thanks for the tip.
    marisol recently posted … Change in perspective

  12. You could also use 5-gram jars for this. You can get them in bulk from TKB Trading–I have TONS, and they come in really handy! I used two up last week, in fact, when one of my UDPP bottles broke when I dropped it on the floor. Transferred the primer into the jar and voila! I’ve also used them to decant powder products in crappy packaging (for example, Urban Decay’s loose pigments and NYX Pearl Mania loose eyeshadows.
    Principessa Grassa recently posted … Seven Things You Never Wanted To Know About Me- But Now You Do

  13. Nhiapa says:

    I’m so glad you posted this because I’ve actually been doing this ever since I bought my MAC concealer a few months ago. I hated wasting the product so I emptied out 2 sample containers from Sephora and pumped about two pumps into each so now I have concealer on the go and on my vanity!

  14. Monica says:

    I’ve been doing that too, I lucked out though and before I bought the concealer I got a sample pot of it (the girls on my counter are amazing!). I loved it so when I went back to purchase it I’ve just been using the pot and adding more. It works so well I think I can forgive the packaging.

  15. Nika says:

    Good thing I’ve got a lot of empty jars in handy! I’m definitely gonna need them since I’m planning on buying the Pro Longwear Concealer once I’m done with my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. πŸ™‚

  16. Silva says:

    That is so simple and brilliant! So obviously I would never have thought about it πŸ˜‰
    Silva recently posted … Tags!

  17. Tiffany says:

    love this tip! just need to find some small jars…

  18. That’s a great idea! However, I don’t even use a dispenser – naughty, I know! Would save a lot of the product I use though.

  19. Tiffany H. says:

    I just bought this yesterday, but I’m afraid they matched me to the wrong color. I am a NC 42 and she gave me NC 42 concealer. I’d been using NW35 in select cover up. I will try the jar trick. Thanks for the tip.
    Tiffany H. recently posted … More Rock &amp RepublicThis Time Eyeshadow

  20. tadga says:

    WOW! I never thought of this. Yeah i loathe the pump!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!

  21. Tracy says:

    You my friend, are a GENIUS.
    Tracy recently posted … The Bays Deluxe Beauty Treats

  22. Katie says:

    I haven’t tried that concealer yet, but i’m excited to! Did you try the foundation? Did you like it if you did?
    Katie recently posted … LOreal Purchases Essie

  23. Olga says:

    great tip!! thanks for sharing!!

    xx Olga
    Olga recently posted … Meet my little zoo

  24. Chris25 says:

    If you go to beauty supply stores (the ones run independently, not Sally’s) you can find cheap plastic jars and bottles. I keep moisturizer in my pro kit in a small jar I bought for $1 at Beauty 35 in Manhattan. Ricky’s Beauty Supply also has plastic jars, as well as other supplies, but they cost a little more.
    Chris25 recently posted … Purple Nail Polish Swatches

  25. kelly says:

    Great idea, why didn’t I ever think of this? Thx for sharing!
    kelly recently posted … Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer in Smoky Swatches & Review

  26. Fabienne says:

    BRILLIANT!!! If I ever have this issue I know what I am going to do with all of those lovely glass makeup jars I’ve washed but can’t bear to just recycle……

  27. I have the exact same problem with this concealer! Although I still love it!
    Will deff be trying this out!! xx

  28. Nina says:

    i have the MAC Face and Body foundation and i decant a week’s worth of use into little jars too. that way, i can keep the original bottle in the refrigerator so that it lasts longer. πŸ™‚

  29. gio says:

    That’s a great idea, thanks for sharing!
    gio recently posted … Sunday Survey- Vol39

  30. Jessica says:

    I’ve been doing this but if u don’t use it the next day it gets dry and gross . I wouldn’t pump to much into the container

  31. Liz! says:

    Funny coincidence you should post this, as I just did it with my UDPP a couple days ago. I’ve never done it before and I was SO amazed at how much stuff was still in there even though the applicator wasn’t picking any up!

    Oh, and FYI for everyone else, I found some tiny clear jars made out of nice sturdy plastic in the travel size product section of walmart, they were pretty cheap and have worked well for me. I also like to save my little glass jars from my gel eyeliners etc… to use, I find that for some reason glass jars work a little better to help stuff not dry out.

  32. Gilby says:

    FYI…Nordy sample cups are the worse to travel with any type of liquid in them. Save your makeup bag or purse the drama of clean up.

  33. The girl in the yellow shoes says:

    OH thank you so much!


  34. Alexandra says:

    Ive been doing that with my makeup forever hd blush. I always seem to pump too much out.

  35. Melody says:

    Love this shared tip! I’ve been doing the same for a few months now and have found that glass containers (eg. empty smudgepot or fluidline pots) work better to prevent the small amount of product from drying up. And, as Pro Longwear is more of my corrector, I also squirt a small amount of my concealer (select-cover) on the other side for quicker, daily application πŸ™‚

  36. Kim says:

    Excellent! This just proves that it pays to vent! πŸ™‚

  37. Deb says:

    Great tip! Last time I had this problem, I just tried to use all the concealer on my face – not pretty.
    Deb recently posted … Sarahs Pastries &amp Candies

  38. Shannon says:

    For something like this, why not buy an empty twist up lipgloss pen (think Stila lipgloss) from a beauty supply store and pump the product into that (until the pen is full). That way, in it’s handy-dandy new dispenser, you can control the amount of product and it’s got a built in wand. I know a lot of people were doing that with de-potted UDPP, before they got the professional size.

  39. Kimberly says:

    I do this also, but I what I do is “trigger” what I think is enough for one application into a sample jar and whatever’s left gets saved in the jar. If it dries out a bit, I mix it on a palette with my moisturizer (with sunscreen) and make my own tinted moisturizer. The moisturizer brings what’s dried up a bit to life and I don’t have to throw anything away.

  40. Kendall says:

    For people wondering about the concealer drying out, I’ve done this with many different products, and I find that the little sample jars that MAC gives out (The ones that actually say MAC on the lid) work quite nicely. The other ones I’ve tried allow product to dry out within a week or so, but I’ve had a paint pot sample in one of the MAC jars for maybe 8 months now and it’s still in great condition.

  41. Shanda says:

    awesome idea! I also use these when I want to travel w ith pigments, and loose powders and don’t want to take the whole jar.
    Shanda recently posted … Sephora by OPI Glee Collection

  42. mulberrytea says:

    I have been doing this for a while and it is a great trick for making sure you don’t overdose on things like moisturizer, primer, and foundation!

    I also find that for foundation, if you dab a little from the main compartment with your brush or sponge, you can use the lid as a “palette” to coat your tool evenly before applying to your face. Using this trick, I have been able to make 1 tiny Sephora sample-sized container of foundation last for WEEKS, no exaggeration!

  43. Pam says:

    Talk about waste….I have about a 1/4 btl left of this product and can’t get it out. S now I am using my new btl.

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