You may have seen some stories lately of people getting creative with their makeup products and using liquid lipstick as eyeliner in addition to, well, lipstick. And while this seems pretty clever at first, there are actually a few reasons why you shouldn't use lipstick as eyeliner. Sure, it's great to find different ways to use products to make them multipurpose and maybe even save some time on your beauty routine. Using a champagne eyeshadow as a highlighter or using your favorite lipstick as a corresponding blush shade are some great and easy ways to make your makeup work double duty. But when it comes to putting products that aren't intended for your eyes or lips near those more vulnerable areas, exercise caution.
I corresponded via email with Slone Mathieu, Medical Aesthetician and Spa Director of Dream Spa Medical, to find out a little more about why exactly you shouldn't take lipstick near your eyes. And while, as a professional makeup artist, she admits that sometimes this trick is used in a pinch to achieve a certain aesthetic, there are a few reasons why she wouldn't recommend it for daily makeup. Plus, she offers an alternative solution for when you want a specific shade of eyeliner but don't have it readily available in that form.
1. Certain Colors May Be Unsafe
Mathieu begins by explaining that, although eye makeup and lipstick do have similar ingredients, "the biggest difference between these two products is the color range offered with lipstick." This is problematic, she says, because "lipstick contains additives, dyes, and pigment that [are] deemed unsafe for the eye area." You may have even noticed with certain eyeshadow palettes that when reds and some other colors are included, there is actually a warning that those particular colors are not safe for use around the eyes. So always be sure to check the labels on your products to know whether they're safe to apply how you want. And be extra careful with lip colors, as they are not intended for use around the eyes to begin with, and may not have warning labels to indicate dangerous pigments.
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2. Ingredients May Be Irritating
In addition to unsafe dyes and pigments, lipsticks also have higher concentrations of alcohol (for that long-lasting effect), as well as waxes, fats, oils, and emollients to counteract the drying effect, explains Mathieu. But the skin around the eyes is extremely delicate, so the higher levels of these types of ingredients can actually cause serious irritation, she says.
3. Cross-Contamination Is Dangerous
But it's not just what you use that could cause problems, it's how you use it. If you're using the same liquid lipstick as both an eye and lip product, this cross-application means there is cross-contamination. And if this happens, Mathieu warns: "You run the risk of spreading bacteria, and the eye is highly susceptible to infection."
So if you feel like you absolutely must use a particular liquid lipstick as eye makeup, make sure to check the ingredients, use a fresh tube that has not been exposed to your lips or any other area, and wear it for as short an amount of time, and as infrequently, as possible. As Mathieu explains, "real problems can occur with ongoing exposure to these ingredients." Anything from mild irritation to consequences as severe as blindness could occur if you are not careful, she says.
However, if you want more drama or more unique colors than what may typically be offered in a traditional eyeliner formula, Mathieu recommends blending a mixing medium or even some water with your favorite eyeshadow color and using an eyeliner brush to apply it for a similar effect. This way, you can continue to create totally unique eyeliner looks while still playing it safe.
Image: @belleamiki/Instagram; Courtesy of Brand