Dear Readers, I like you, so please beware of your lip products!

TL;DR: Your lip products may cause irritation when used around the eye area, and your lipsticks may contain lead. Ok, that’s it for today, thanks for reading and….just kidding. If you don’t read most of my posts, that’s fine, but if you wear any lip makeup, give me 5 minutes of your time and read on please.

I love a multi-tasking product as much as the next person. You can make eyeshadows into eyeliners, use bronzers as eyeshadow sometimes and a lot of brands have stains formulated for both lips and cheeks……. but there is one thing that really irks me to no end because yes, you can do it, but there’s a big warning attached to it that no one bothers to mention:

Using lip products on the eyes.

I see this quite a few times in beauty magazines or quotes from makeup artists. Use lipliner as eyeliner, use lipstick as cream shadow, or use lip gloss to give a glossy eyelid effect…. except 99% of the time they never mention the risks involved. You have a bigger audience than me! You have a better background and more resources available than me! You are IN this industry and should offer better advice than me! I don’t have a professional background in beauty, but if I have any doubts or safety concerns about what I write, I search for credible sources to make sure I’m not giving completely terrible advice. Dear readers, if I ever give advice that you think is wrong, by all means please let me know, thanks in advance.

So, back to the issue of lip products used around eye area. All the oil, dirt, bacteria, saliva and food residue from reapplying your lipstick… on your eyes! Yes, you can wipe/shave off the top and spritz with alcohol to sanitize but it is more than just keeping everything sanitary. Why? Because most lip products contain red pigments, and most red pigments are NOT SAFE FOR EYE USE! Here‘s a little FDA article on how they test color additives for cosmetics, but more importantly, here’s a list of colors and whether they are safe for external use. You will notice a lot of red pigments that FDA deemed safe for lipstick/general cosmetic use were NOT approved for eye use! Granted, depending on the formulation, amount and your skin type, you might not get irritations, but is it really worth the risk?

And one more caution about lipsticks: I think I mentioned it here (or somewhere else) before, but do you know that there were lead in lipsticks as recent as 2007? Some brands have reformulated since then, so if your favorite lipstick is on there, it might be worth it to contact the brand and ask them if that lipstick has been reformulated since 2007. If you ask them if their lipsticks contain lead, sales rep might just say no even if they don’t know because, I mean, who would put lead in lipsticks? hahahaha….haha….haaa……

red orange eye

So now that I’ve hopefully dissuaded you from putting lipstick/liner/gloss onto your eyelid, what if you want that same pretty orange, red or pink color on your eyes? There are plenty of great brands that offer eyeliners and eyeshadows in red, orange or pink that are safe for eye use! On the lower-end you’ve got Sugarpill and Inglot, on the mid to high end there’s also MAC, Urban Decay, the new Marc Jacob Highliners and Make Up For Ever eyeshadows (some of the MUFE orange/pink/red are blushes and some are eyeshadows, so make sure you are getting the ones safe for use around eye area!).

Orange eyeshadow


But what if you are too lazy or cheap to buy those and just want to use your lipstick or lip liner? If it’s only for a photoshoot like what some makeup artists do, maybe that’s fine, but for normal use? is a stained and irritated eyelid worth the couple extra dollars saved? Maybe those red pigments won’t irritate your eyes at all, but if you are the type that checks for parabens because of possible links to cancer, or mint/alcohol because of possible irritation on the skin, then why not take a few extra seconds to make sure you are not using known irritants on your eyes? Summer is coming, so go and have fun with some vibrant makeup, but do say no to eye irritations! Thank you for reading. =)


2 thoughts on “Dear Readers, I like you, so please beware of your lip products!

  1. I have never and would never use lipstick products on my eyes just for hygiene reasons but this article was interesting to read and, if factually correct, then it’s important to know as I know people use red lipstick as a way to counteract dark circles!

    1. Well, when you use it as eyeshadows it’s right up against the lashline while when you use it for dark circles, my impression is that most people do not put it right up against the lashline. Even some masks/eye cream that caution you against using it too close to the lashline, eventho it’s fine to use them on the contour area. At least that’s my understanding from what I read, if anything might not be correct or you know more information, feel free to share or let me know!

      ps. ah but you are right, some people may not have reaction and I shouldn’t make generalized statement. Changing the “can cause irritation” to “may cause irritation”. Thanks!

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