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The dangerous truth about using lip gloss as eye shadow

Why do some beauty websites give irresponsible and dangerous information?

As our regular readers may know, I have a kind of love-hate relationship with the website Refinery29. I love it because they have the really good at ferreting out interesting news stories on beauty and fashion. I hate it because, on occasion, I have seen them provide information that is… dubious… at best. 

Case in point is this article about using lip gloss to achieve a wet look eye shadow.  The author of the article discusses a video by makeup artist James Vincent who uses lip gloss to achieve that wet look. While some lip products MAY (and I stress MAY) be okay to use around the eye, others are most certainly not. One reason is that the eyes are particularly sensitive and an ingredient, such as a flavor,  maybe perfectly fine on the lips but could irritate the hell out of your eyes. Another potentially more serious problem is that the colorants used in lip products are not necessarily approved for use around the eyes.

Not all cosmetic  colors can be used near eyes

To keep us all safe, colorants for cosmetics are controlled by the FDA. Certain colors are NOT allowed to be used close to the eye because they can cause problems (including blindness!) Here are the colors used in the Ardency lip gloss referenced in the video:

Titanium Dioxide, Red 28 Lake, Red 6, Red 7 Lake.

And here’s what the FDA says about applying these red colors to the area of the eye:

“None of these colors may be used in products that are for use in the area of the eye unless otherwise indicated.”

Missed opportunity

I shared this information in a comment on the post and suggested that the author include a disclaimer so no one is accidentally harmed by following their advice. In a response to my comment the moderator at Refinery29 acknowledged they were wrong in response and they changed the headline of the post from “Lip Gloss On Your Lids? Yes, Really”  to “Wet-Look Lids? Yes, Really.” However, as far as I can tell they didn’t change any of the text of the article and they certainly didn’t change the video itself. In other words they’re still giving out the same dangerous advice which you won’t realize is problematic unless you scroll all the way down to the comments section.

Shame on Refinery29 for not taking this opportunity to better educate their readers. And even more shame on this expert make up artist who should know better.

Have you ever seen dangerousness information on a beauty website? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • V. April 3, 2014, 8:53 am

    I like R29 as well, but don’t take all of their advice seriously because oftentimes you can tell it’s paid endorsement. Anyway, I don’t think dangerous beauty advice is a problem on R29 only, but the Internet in general. I remember reading that lemon juice is a perfectly fine exfoliator that can be used on the face. After researching on it more, however, there are many who strongly advise against it! I am sure, there is more beauty advice such as this, and partly, opinions on a subject can simply differ.

  • Eileen April 3, 2014, 1:15 pm

    I’m not sure which is worse–that no one at Refinery 29 checked into the safety of using a lip product around the eyes in the first place or that the video and product listing were still up despite your notification of their dangerous blunder. Anyone who watches this video, uses that particular Ardency gloss on their lids, and then suffers a bad reaction as a result can file a claim against Refinery 29 for their negligence. As for the apology and list of alternate products that Refinery 29 posted in the comments section, that does not absolve Refinery 29 of any blame/guilt for endangering public safety. I hope that Refinery 29 has had the good sense to remove that particular post in it’s entirety.

    As for the MA being featured, I was shocked that he didn’t know that not all products can be used on any part of the face. That’s the kind of thing that is basic knowledge for anyone who has had any kind of formalized training. And, as for those self-taught MA’s and makeup enthusiasts, information about where certain colors can and cannot be used (from the standpoint of safety) is widespread and commonly available.

  • Kenna W April 3, 2014, 3:07 pm

    They had an article once about mixing beauty products and it included mixing mascara with lipstick on your hand to get a darker, purple-y shade of lipstick. I tried it a few times and I liked the color, but now I’m rethinking this. lol

  • Oreo September 3, 2017, 7:16 pm

    I did this today… Uh oh and I’m only 10!