Should You Use Eye Shadow as Lipstick?
The short answer is no, absolutely not.
I was home on a break for the holidays watching a daytime talk show when I saw two young girls demonstrating how to make lip gloss from eye shadow and recently have seen a number of posts on social media featuring this hack too. Here’s an example article on using eye shadow as lipstick. Here are the reasons eye shadows should never be used on the lips.
Eye shadows and lipsticks are developed with differences in the location of application in mind.
Compared to the rest of the skin, the lips have thinner stratum corneum and lack sweat and sebaceous glands. Because of this, lips are more prone to dryness. Lipsticks, balms, and glosses are developed with high levels of emollients and occlusive materials to mitigate dryness. Powder eye shadows can contain up to 30% fillers which are ingredients like talc, starch and silica which have oil absorption capacity that can be drying if applied to the lips.
Some pigments used in eye shadow are NOT approved for lip use and vice versa.
Pigments are strictly regulated in the US, EU, Japan and elsewhere due to safety concerns. In the US, cosmetic colorants are regulated by the FDA. For example, in the US Chromium oxide green and chromium hydroxide green are both approved for use in eye area cosmetics but are restricted from use in the lip area. By contrast, D&C Red 6 Aluminum Lake is permitted for use in lip and restricted from use in the eye area.
To simplify labeling across a product line, cosmetic companies often list all the colors used under the heading “May contain” or “+/-“ making it nearly impossible to know exactly which colorants are in the shade at hand.
So it’s better to be safe than sorry, never use products developed for the eye area on lips.