The really good–and surprising–news about lipstick is that there is a lot of Good Stuff and Okay Stuff out there. Many brands have created beautiful, effective, non-toxic lipsticks using safe ingredients.
In fact, we found so many brands that met our strict non-toxic lipstick standards that we had to force ourselves to stop vetting products in order to finally get this guide published!
Also in the interest of time, we mostly limited our research to products that are lipsticks, lip crayons, or pigmented lip glosses– not color-less lip balms or other lip treatment products.
And, as you probably guessed, there is a lot of of Bad Stuff and Sneaky Stuff in the world of lipstick. Because you wear lipstick on your lips, where it can be absorbed and ingested, I encourage you to choose Good Stuff and Okay Stuff. This is especially true for all you lipstick addicts out there!
Read on to learn more about what’s in lipstick (including my take on tricky stuff like colorants and lead), why safe lipstick matters, and our brand-by- brand guide to Good Stuff, Okay Stuff, Sneaky Stuff and Bad Stuff.
Note: Products like lipstick are constantly being re-formulated. The information in this post is based on the most current ingredient lists we could find as of early 2017.
My Top Pick For Non-Toxic Lipstick
I use Beautycounter’s Lip Sheer and Lip Gloss. For me, these products strike the perfect balance between safety and performance and I’m a big fan of Beautycounter’s mission.
What is Lipstick Made of?
Cosmetic labels often make my eyes cross—they tend to be long and involve a lot of complicated and problematic ingredients. In the case of lipstick, here are the types of ingredients you’ll generally find:
- Oils, plant butters, and other emollients are the primary ingredients in lipstick. Some are natural, and some are synthetic; most lipstick brands use a combination of both. Emollients moisturize and give lipstick “glide” and shine. As a bonus, some natural oils and butters have anti-microbial properties.
- Texturizers—typically really finely ground starches or powders from minerals or crystals—are found in most cosmetic products. In lipsticks, they help thicken and stabilize the formula. Some also have a pearlescent effect. Common texturizers include talc, kaolin, plant starches, mica and silica. Matte lipsticks have more of these ingredients to achieve that less shiny and more opaque look.
- Thickeners like waxes and polymers also provide shape and stability to lipstick formulas. Waxes preserve moisture, give some shine, give thickness and shape to the product, unify the ingredients, and raise the melting point, so your lipstick is less likely to melt
in your purse on a hot day.
- Colorants give lipsticks get their color. Also called dyes, pigments, or color additives, colorants can come from a variety of sources—earth, animal, plant, and chemical.
- Flavor and fragrance/aroma/parfum ingredients mask the unsavory smell and taste that many lipstick formulas would otherwise have (who knew?), and in some cases, give lipstick a signature scent.
- Preservatives and antioxidants prevent (or limit) the growth of microbes and keep oil ingredients from going rancid. Because lipstick formulas have little or no water ingredients and often contain oils and waxes with natural antimicrobial properties (like castor oil, coconut oil, and beeswax), lipstick formulas need little or no added preservatives—hooray! That said, you should pay attention to the expiration labels on your lip products.
Runner Up: Best Non-Toxic Lipstick
Although it’s only Okay Stuff, my second favorite non-toxic lipstick brand to use myself (behind Beautycounter) is Dr. Hauschka. I love how deliberate Hauschka is about how they source ingredients, and that they conduct purity testing for their lip product ingredients.
Why Safe Lipstick Matters
Lips are known to be sensitive and absorptive. They are covered by a layer of skin that’s much thinner than the skin that covers the rest of the face. Underneath is a sensitive mucous membrane. Lip skin also lacks hair and sweat glands, which means that our lips don’t have the same natural defenses provided by other types of skin.
Lips also deserve special consideration because they’re close to the mouth. You may have heard some “facts” about how many pounds of lipstick a woman supposedly ingests in her lifetime. These claims are usually exaggerated and poorly founded. However, it’s true that the majority of what you smear on your lips ends up being ingested. I don’t use lipstick that contains any ingredients that I wouldn’t want to eat (in small quantities, at least).
Lipstick Ingredients to Avoid
There are countless worrisome ingredients in many lipstick products (see Sneaky Stuff and Bad Stuff tabs, below). Here are the most common and concerning types of ingredients to look out for:
- Conventional (non-organic) castor seed oil and its derivatives are used widely in lip products. Non-organic castor seed oil is potentially tainted with agricultural residues, as well as residues from extraction and other processes used to produce the oil. Castor seed oil is also a penetration enhancer, making the other lipstick ingredients matter more. Not all castor seed oil is bad—in fact, castor seed oil can have some very beneficial properties (see “Lipstick Ingredients That Are Safe” for more on good castor seed oil.)
- Preservatives and antioxidant ingredients are tricky—we need them to keep products fresh and limit the growth of microbes, but they tend to be problematic. Concerns range from irritation and allergenic effects to hormone distruption and cancer. Fortunately, most lipstick formulas have minimal water content and need little or no added preservatives; also, some lipstick ingredients, like natural oils and waxes, have natural anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. You’ll still find preservative and antioxidant ingredients in a lot of lipsticks, including some of the Good Stuff and Okay Stuff (where applicable, I noted this for people who are particularly sensitive or concerned). In lipsticks, I look out for ingredients like parabens, terpenes (like synthetic limonene, geraniol, linalool, farnesol, and citronellol), phenoxyethanol, benzyl benzoate, and BHT.
- Flavor and fragrance/aroma/parfum ingredients can contain many unlisted components, including phthalates, which are hormone disrupters and possible carcinogens.
Are Lipstick Colorants Safe?
When I began researching lipstick ingredients, I was most concerned about colorants, thanks to controversy over “natural” versus “synthetic” colors as well as concerns about lead contamination from mineral-derived pigments. Also, colorants are very confusing. There are many different kinds, as well as different systems for identifying them in the United States, Europe, and Japan. So I was pleasantly surprised when my research led me to be less concerned about most colorants in lipstick—and to conclude that, at least when it comes to colorants in cosmetics, the FDA’s regulations favor consumer safety.
Cosmetics are loosely regulated in general, but one area in which the FDA exercises a lot of scrutiny is colorants. All colorants (called “color additives” by the FDA) used in cosmetics must be approved for use in cosmetics (there are separate lists for food, drugs, or medical devices). The FDA is also specific about which colorants can be used in lip and eye makeup. So the FDA regulates which colorants can be used, for what purposes, and provides guidance on safe amounts. They also specify, colorant-by-colorant, the maximum allowed levels of potential contaminants, such as heavy metals.
There is even a category of colorants– FDA certified– that must be tested batch-by-batch before they can be used. This includes the FD&C or D&C colors, often identified by number (like “Red 6”). For all other colorants—most earth-derived ones, as well as plant-derived pigments—it’s up to the manufacturer to ensure purity and safety. I’m a fan of Beautycounter, because they have an extra level of scrutiny to ensure the purity of their products. Other companies, like Honeybee Gardens and Dr. Hauschka, also conduct some additional testing.
So—are cosmetic colorants used in lipsticks safe? My current conclusion is that most of them are. Here’s some detail:
- Because of the FDA safeguards, I’m most confident about the safety of colorants that are FDA approved for use in cosmetics (and, specifically, lip products). Of these, synthetic dyes and lakes that are subject to FDA certification (identified by their FD&C or D&C numbers) are the most highly scrutinized for safety.
- Earth-derived pigments from mineral and crystal sources (like iron oxides, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and mica) that are FDA approved for cosmetic use are in the middle—they’re safest when used by companies who are diligent about ingredient purity (especially heavy metals, which are present in many of the raw materials). Companies have to trust their sources and, ideally, conduct additional testing to ensure safety.
- Plant-derived colorants, a.k.a. phyto-pigments, are in a grey zone. They aren’t FDA approved for use in cosmetics (not necessarily because they are unsafe, but because no one has submitted petitions to have them reviewed for safety as cosmetic coloring ingredients). Their origins—fruits, vegetables, and flowers—sound nice, but plant-derived ingredients can be tainted with agricultural residues as well as residues from whatever processes are used to extract the pigments from the plant source. Natural ingredients can also be irritating or cause allergic reactions in some people. As with earth-derived colorants, I’m most confident about plant-derived colorants if they’re used by companies that are diligent about ingredient purity.
The line between “natural” and “synthetic” is blurry when it comes to colorants. Many companies claim that mineral-derived pigments are natural, but most iron oxides used in cosmetics are actually synthetically derived from the natural source material. (And that’s a good thing, because using raw iron oxides would expose us to higher levels of naturally occurring heavy metals, such as lead.) Most plant-derived colorants are also highly processed in order create pigments that are concentrated enough for use in cosmetics. When it comes to safety, neither natural nor synthetic wins—the safest colorants are those that are clearly identified and tested for potential contaminants.
(Note: We found that the EWG/Skin Deep entries for many colorants were inconsistent and inaccurate, so we did not rely on them for determining safety.)
Lead and Other Heavy Metals in Lipstick
In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics set off a media storm when they reported that they detected lead in about two thirds of the 66 lipstick products they tested. Eventually the FDA followed up with its own studies. The FDA found lead in more lipstick and other cosmetic products, often at levels higher than those originally discovered.
What is lead doing in lipstick? Lead and other “heavy metals” (such as chromium, cadmium, aluminum, and arsenic) are naturally occurring in the environment, including in the materials used to derive earth-based cosmetic pigments. Also the human use of metals has caused higher levels of contamination in the environment, including sources for cosmetic ingredients. This is why we have heavy metal pollution in our air, water and food supply.
Although it’s widely recognized that there is no such thing as a “safe” level of lead in the body, the FDA’s position is that cosmetic manufacturers can limit the levels of lead in their products so that they don’t pose a health threat. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and others argue that lead exposure is problematic at all levels because lead accumulates in the body over time, and the effects can be very serious for adults and children alike.
My take: I am concerned about heavy metal pollution in general. We use water filters and air filters in our home and limit our intake of foods like brown rice and brown rice syrup, which tend to have higher levels of arsenic. When it comes to lipstick, I prefer brands like Beautycounter and Dr. Hauschka because they source their ingredients carefully and conduct additional purity testing with conservative standards.
I balance my concerns by keeping in mind that the lead and other concerning metals in lip products don’t necessarily add to my toxic load—just because it’s ingested doesn’t mean it’s assimilated into the body. Also, Randy Schueller at The Beauty Brains blog suggests that even a heavy lipstick user would excrete more lead than she ingests.
Among the Good Stuff and Okay Stuff, you’ll see non-toxic lipstick ingredients such as:
- Organic waxes, oils and plant butters, such as beeswax, candelilla wax (a vegan alternative to beeswax), carnauba wax, cocoa butter, mango seed butter, shea butter, avocado butter, avocado oil, and coconut oil, to name a few.
- Organic castor seed oil, if it’s hexane-free and cold pressed, has many benefits—it’s moisturizing and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties—without the drawbacks of conventional castor seed oil (though people with castor allergies probably need to avoid even the organic forms).
- Safer antioxidants and preservatives, such as rosemary extract, elderberry extract, neem oil, pure tocopherols (vitamin E), and jojoba esters.
- Straightforward flavoring and aroma ingredients, like vanilla planifolia fruit extract–aside from smelling great, it also has antioxidant and preservative properties.
The Good Stuff
Axiology Non-Toxic Lipstick is made primarly from organic oils, waxes, and butters, including organic castor seed oil. I like the simplicity of their formula (which is vegan, BTW)—it’s short and involves non-problematic, natural ingredients. Due to customer concerns, Axiology recently stopped using phenoxyethanol as a preservative and instead rely on elderberry extract and neem seed oil. They use earth-derived pigments (non-nano) and manganese violet for colorants. I wish they did some purity testing, but they say that they get their colorants from a trusted source.
Babo Botanicals Hydrating Natural Lip Gloss
This EWG-Verified lip gloss is enriched with natural coconut oil and cocoa butter and free of dyes, fragrances, talc, mineral oil, and more Bad Stuff.
Babo Botanicals Lip Tint Conditioner SPF 15 is a nice daytime option, with just a hint of natural color.
Beautycounter’s Lip Sheer and Lip Gloss products are made with many synthetic ingredients and have few organic ingredients. I call them Good Stuff because their ingredients are safe–Beautycounter is very deliberate about every ingredient they use, and they provided us with detailed information on each of the ingredients we wanted to know more about. Most importantly, they conduct purity testing on every batch of color cosmetics, including screening for 12 metals. I also like that they skip concerning preservatives and use vanilla planifolia fruit extract in place of sketchy fragrances. For colorants, they use a combination of earth-derived pigments and FD&C colors. As I mentioned above, Beautycounter is my top pick for lipstick–and what I use myself.
Kjaer Weis uses organic castor seed oil in their Lipstick and Lip Tint formulas, both of which are relatively simple and straightforward. Many of their other waxes, oils and butters are also organic. For colorants, they use a combination of earth-derived pigments, carmine, and FD&C colors. Note: Both of these lip products also contain some citral and limonene from the essential oils.
Honeybee Gardens has recently transitioned to using more organic ingredients (including organic castor seed oil) in their Truly Natural Lipstick and Luscious Lip Gloss formulas. I also like that they are in the habit of having their products tested by a third party for potential contaminants such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. In the Lucious Lip Gloss, they use vanilla planifolia fruit oil rather than a more vague aroma or flavor ingredient. (Bonus: this oil also has antioxidant/preservative properties.) For colorants, they use a combination of earth-derived colorants and one of the D&C red dyes (which substitutes for carmine, making their formulas vegan). Note: When I last checked, the EWG/Skin Deep entries for these lip products were based on old formulas (from 2012).
Ilia makes its Lipstick, Lip Crayon, and Lip Gloss products from primarily organic ingredients (including organic castor seed oil) and safe colorants (earth-derived pigments and FD&C dyes). Their formulas are relatively simple and contain familiar ingredients. The ingredients they use for extra antioxidant, preservative, and aroma quality are of little or no concern (for instance, vitamin E and vanilla planifolia fruit oil). Note: Ilia lip products are absent on EWG/Skin Deep except for an inaccurate listing for one of their Lipstick shades.
Olio e Osso Lip & Cheek Balm are an essential, versatile product that is nourishing on lips and cheeks, soothing on the skin and hair, and adored by all who discover them. The colors we carry contain no ingredients rated risky by the EWG, and the base ingredients for each balm is shea butter, olive oil, and beeswax. Just simply swipe the Olio e Osso balm across lips or slide over cheekbones for a subtle glow.
Available in various colors
Poofy Organics uses mostly organic ingredients (including organic castor seed oil) in their Lipstick and Lip Gloss. Their ingredients are also easy to recognize and primarily natural. I also like that Poofy skips sketchy preservatives and fragrance/flavor ingredients. For colorants, they use earth-derived pigments and some plant powders (including annatto seed– you’ll want to skip the lipstick if you’re one of the few people who are sensitive to it).
RMS Beauty makes their lip2cheek and lipshine products with mostly organic oils (including organic castor seed oil), waxes and butters. For antioxidant and preservative benefits, they use organic rosemary extract and non-GMO
vitamin E. Colorants include earth-derived pigments and some FD&C reds. EWG/Skin Deep gives these products a score of 1-2, depending on the shade.
We hope you’re enjoying this post! Sign up for our newsletter to be alerted when we publish or update our Safe Product Guides.
What do you think about LipSense? I really like how long lasting their stuff is, but I’m worried about whether it’s really safe or not. Would love to know you opinion.
Maia James says
Wow, everyone wants to know about Lipsense! I will investigate and let you all know!
Cassandra Alessandrini says
I’m also curious about this! 🙂 I don’t wear much and I usually make Everything but having some color added to your lips with mascara make me feel more put together when I need to be 😛
Looking for Answers says
Any update about LipSense?
I would love to know what you discovered about lipsense!
Cheryl Prell says
Any updates on Lipsense? Thanks!
Susan Seagren says
Yes – I’d love to know about Lipsense too – thanks!
I’d also love to know about LipSense. I couldn’t find an EWG rating.
Haylee Bell says
I’m scared to ask after I spent hours trying to buy these hard to come by lip kits, but what about Kylie Jenner’s line of matte lip glosses? Thank you for all of your research, it’s so nice and helpful to have all of this information in one spot!!
Hate to break it to you but Kylie Jenners makeup (all, of it) totally toxic. Even her new eyeshadow palette smells like hardcore chemicals. Yuck!
Maia James says
I’m scared to ask after I spent hours trying to buy these hard to come by lip kits, but what about Kylie Jenner’s line of matte lip glosses? Thank you for all of your research, it’s so nice and helpful to have all of this information in one spot!!
Shelia Brown says
I am interested to know also about Lipscense?
Dee Dee says
What about Real Purity brand?
Curious about Nars, Chanel, Charlotte Tillbury?
These are all toxic brands. You can check them on the EWG website
What would we do without you? You’ve changed the way I take care of myself. Any thoughts on The Balm’s lip liners (I use Fineapple) and Meet Matte Hughes lip gloss? I usually layer Honest Beauty lip sheer over the matte lipstick, so glad to see that’s Good stuff!
Maia James says
You’re so sweet! I will add to our list for when we update:)
What are your thoughts on Burt’s Bees?
I believe their lipstick was found to have high levels of lead (?) An integrative doctor from N.Y. ran a test on it because her lead levels were high and this was determined to be the culprit.
I use castor oil on my baby’s belly it’s not organic. Is that bad? The Palma Christi brand from Heritage products
MAC? i’m afraid to know because that is all i really use. I do have and love Ilia lipsticks!
MAC is one of the most toxic makeup lines out there.
May I ask, what ingredients in the MAC lipsticks are harmful? Thank you
How about lipliners/gloss? Mostly what I use. Anything good or okay from a drugstore, Target, or easily accessible store? Milani? They wrote me there is no lead in their lipliners, but not sure about other ingredients. Thanks.
This link has all the ingredients in W3LL People’s products: http://w3llpeople.com/matched
Thank you from Austin, Tx!
How about Tarte lipsticks?
Tarte makeup is toxic too according to EWG website
Any of the good stuff or okay stuff long lasting? i use Revlon lipcolor overtime since they last long. i wantto stop using it but i need a lipstick that lasts. please let me know which last long. thanks!
What about Arbonne products? I heard they will not divulge all their ingredients. If anyone knows, thank you for your response.
Maia James says
We have not been able to obtain a complete list of ingredients from them
I contacted the Better Business Bureau about Arbonne. Their website says that they’re transparent but I contacted them about a concerning ingredient, Retinyl palmitate, and they replied that they don’t have to tell me anything about their ingredients. I don’t call that transparent!
I use a lot of Lauren Brooke cosmetics how does her cosmetics rate in terms of safety?
Also wondering about LipSense. Thank you so much for all you do!
Angela Yount says
Same question on LipSense =)
Maia James says
yes we are looking into LipSense!
Maia James says
Okay, so LipSense wasn’t on my radar, mostly because they use some bad ingredients and don’t seem to have anything redeeming as far as good ingredients go. Not sure why they have such a big following!
You state that they use some bad ingredients. Can you share what they are, please?
Did anyone get an update about lipsense and which ingredients were a red flag?
Diana Walker says
The reason Lipsense has a huge following is they are a Direct Sales company and I know about 30 people who I’ve known online for 15 years… who are promoting it. It works well apparently – looks great in all the videos I’ve been. However, I also have that same concern that others are asking – If it lasts for 8 hours, then it must have something bad in it to keep it on your lips even when most lipsticks would be worn off within an hour or so. Can you please provide an update?
Wondering about Youngblood lipsticks?
How about Pacifica products? How are they across the board? They claim to be vegan and use some organic ingredients.
I am allergic to castor seed oil. Does anyone know any good, safe lipsticks made without castor seed oil? Every single product mentioned here in the “good stuff” category unfortunately contains castor seed oil, even RMS Lip2Cheek (although mostly coconut oil based). 100% Pure has some lipsticks without castor seed oil, but I also find their “fruit pigments” questionable as Maia has mentioned. I want to wear lipstick because my face looks so dead without it. I’ve been looking all over, but I still haven’t been able to find a good, safe alternative to my old toxic one.
I would like to know about limelight by alcone, please!
I was wondering about Butter London. They recently came out with a lip oil.
I use mostly Origins make-up and skin care. How do they rank on their products?
I ran across your page trying to educate myself about all of the items I have in my home I need to replace with a better option. This movement in our lived happened after discovering a solution to start ridding our bodies of toxins through cellular cleansing. Do you manage your health in that way also? You provide a lot of useful info, thank you for all of your investigation and knowledge.
Thanks so much for this information. I was thinking about Lipsense because I’d heard soooooo much about it. I do like the animal free testing part also. So I asked a rep to send me some information on the ingredients, etc. The list threw up some red flags so I decided to find out more. I will not be buying that product.
Do you have any information on Younique lip products?? Thanks
Could you share what ingredients caused the red flags for you? I am new to all of this and their marketing makes you think they are doing a lot of things right.
Thank you for sharing.
I am curious to know what your red flags were too? I have looked up the ingredients on the EWG website and all seem within range on the low side harmful except for the parfum. Which surprised me because that is never mentioned on other sites saying lipsense is bad.
I was a Younique “presenter” and my beef with them was that the stuff was constantly sold out or back-ordered. With that said, their lip products are really good. I still use some of it. They also claim to be vegan. I’m not sure about that. I never got a straight answer from the company about that. Overall, their products are good but if you want something that is absolutely safe and vegan, Younique might not be your thing.
Makeup Hunter says
What about Sephora? I can’t find it
How about Kat Von D’s lip products?
What do you think of the EccoBella lipsticks? They are supposed to be organic and naturally derived from plants.
My favorite lipsticks are by Monave, have tried them yet? they use organic, vegan and gluten free ingredients. Their Creme Stix for lips are so on saturated in color and long wearing, my absolute favorite! Their normal lipstick is on the creamy side, but very smooth finish and moisturizing.
Red Apple Lipstick? My favorite.
I would love to know what you think about Real Purity’s lipstick!
I don,t see Mary Kay lipstick mentioned at all. I have used their brand off and on for years. Is it harmful? I have also used some of the drugstore brands mentioned as harmful. Thanks to your informational website I will be purchasing one of the good lipsticks you have recommended. I am so glad to have found your website.
I just spent $60 on Lipsense. I wish I would have seen this information before I did that. Any updates? Also how about Maybelline Color Stay?
Ditto on Lipsense because I thought it was Good Stuff! 😫
I liked Jane Iredale’s lip stain, and I think the ingredient list looked good…wondered if you knew about them? Thanks!
Red Apple is GREAT!
There is a lot of great information on here. I especially like how you categorize things as “Good Stuff,” “Sneaky Stuff,” etc. However, I don’t think there will ever be a make-up that is 100% good for us. All make-up contains ingredients that can be harmful. Maybe not to me, but to someone out there. It is best to try out things and see for yourself what works best. I do stay away from certain brands because of their animal testing policy. Anyway, I appreciate this page. Thank you.
Lisa Brown says
Have you tried Beauty Society lip colors? Our products are paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and made in the USA. The company is also eco-friendly. We are the first skincare company to offer refills at a discount to eliminate waste, and we plant a tree with Eden Reforestation products for every refill purchased. I would be happy to share our ingredients list with you and get your opinion. I could probably even be convinced to send you a couple free products to try!
Please can you let me know if the brands mineral fusion,Pacifica are safe on skin??
Leah Atlas says
What about the brand 100percent pure for lipstick and makeup?
I am also interested in 100percent pure!
Julie C. says
She listed the lipstick as okay stuff (see above). I switched from 100% pure to Au Naturale recently and really like it. Au Naturale does independent testing and is very strict on sourcing ingredients. They were listed as the ONLY lipstick truly safe on another blog that I follow. They are also very helpful with colors and you can email consultant and she will send you all sorts of samples. Prices are comparable across brands and Au Naturale has sales pretty frequently. Just got their lipsticks for about $6 each and their glosses are gorgeous too.
Linda Scianna says
I am confused about why Beautycount lipstick is the top pick since it contains Conventional (non-organic) castor seed oil. I really like what I see on their website and would like to try the lipstick. Is the non-organic caster seed oil a problem in their lipsticks.
How about tarte lipsticks and glosses? I have been moving toward more organic as those seem to be the BEST ingredients w/o all the unwanted synthetic chemicals. I did purchase some of their lipstick recently so I was wondering if they had made any recent changes.
I see an earlier post from February about Tarte and it does not look good.
Tara Smith says
I only use bare minerals as I thought it was non-toxic. What are the stats? Do I need to chNge my regime??
I checked the ingredients in my bare minerals rouge and found it to contain carmine/cochineal (also known as red dye number 4) which consists of ground upinsect parts to produce the red color! It went straight into the trash. (Info source was “stuff every vegetarian should know” page 133
Thanks for this post! I noticed none of my favorite natural beauty lipstick brands are on any of the lists. Could you look into Zuzu Luxe, Nu Evolution, Nudus, Vapour, etc.?
Nu Evolution claims to not use any artificial dyes, but their colors (like Entice) are so much more vibrant than other natural brands and I am wondering if it’s the real deal or too good to be true.
Hi Maia, Love your work!
Can you comment on Pacifica cosmetics “Devocean” lipstick? This one feels so good on my lip almost like balm but has more coverage than a lot of others I tried including the Ilia lip conditioner.
Thanks much <3
Julie C. says
Au Naturale should definitely qualify as best stuff. Please consider adding if you ever revise this list.
Gina Haines says
Can you check into Younique lip products please!
And Mineral Fusion?
What about Physicians Formula? It scores well on Think Dirty APP and EWG, do you like their ingredients?
Great post; so helpful! I wonder if chanel lipstick is okay?
I read what you said about Jane Iredale lipstick and lip gloss being okay stuff, but I was wondering about the Jane Iredale Lip Balms?
Thank you so much!!
*Jane Iredale tinted LipDrink Lip Balm
Maia- what do you think of Glossier’s products? Good, okay, sneaky or bad stuff?
Maia James says
unfortunately, bad stuff:(
What do you think of Dandelion Ultra Plush Lip Gloss and Posie Balm both from Benefit Cosmetics? Are they safe to use?
Thanks a lot.
I was going to purchase Josie Marans color sticks & came upon Suzanne Sommers organic make-up & skin care line. I’m quite interested in her line. I think I came upon her line when I Googled Marans line & up came EWG’s list. I read her website & seems to be very good… What do you think about it? She is known to be very healthy.
Linda Northrup says
Suzanne Somers product line is 100% certified toxic free. I have been using her haircare and supplements for years. My most favorite product from her line is her Bioactive Moisturizer ,Liquid Oxygen Therapy Serum, Shave Gel, Lip Balms, Coconut Oil Moisture Serum, Peach Exfoliating Cleanser, Glutathione Skin Reform Serum , Purifying Mineral Mask , all of her body lotions and all of her body butters, I love her charcoal products because they are made with volcanic charcoal, I also love her hair repair mask and her hair gel. I also subscribe the Life Extension Magazine because Suzanne Somers has been one of their spokespeople since 1999. She personally uses everything she sell on her website and on QVC. Whatever she doesn’t have available on her website she personally purchases it from the Life Extension Website . Basically I follow Suzanne Somers on ever website that she uses and if she uses a product or supplements from a specific brand that I can afford on my limited income I buy it in multiples whenever it goes on sale. By the way she also has a website call facemaster.com which is a device for anti aging that Suzanne uses 6 days a week for 15 -25 minutes each day. She has some skin products under the Facemaster name that she and her formulator created specifically for using with the facemaster device.
Mineral Fusion and Pacifica? Mineral Fusion has high ratings on EWG Skin Deep but Pacifica liquid lipstick is not on there.
Clara Fischer says
I’d like to know about LA Colors
Thanks so much for all the useful information. Saved me a lot of time, since i didnt need to do the research myslef. I was wondering what your take is on LANIEGE it is a lip sleeping mask.
Thank you so much!
Hi! Do you know anything about Perricone MD? Thanks!
What about ISH lip statement palette?
I’ve used about four lipstick brands I buy, and I would appreciate it if you could shed some light on the non-toxicity or toxicity on the following brands.
Lancome Lipstick & Gloss
Shiseido Lipstick & Gloss
Elizabeth Arden Lipstick & Gloss
Giorgio Amani Lipstick & Gloss
Thanking you in advance for your time and assistance.
Vicki Knighten says
I’ve just googled “Omiana” skin products and makeup. It claims to be all natural. Most of their makeup (including lipstick, gloss and liners) are Titanium Dioxide free and Mica free. I keep reading that these ingredients are really bad. I see these ingredients in Burts Bees, Sephora and other products claiming to be natural. Omiana is pricy but not horrible. What are your thoughts on this makeup line. There are not many color options, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
What about Mac lip products?
Also, these clean beauty – Thrive lip liner?
Great post Maia, super informative!
I’m kind of surprised 100% Pure is in the okay category – thanks for letting us know that it’s not as safe as we might have thought! I keep seeing 100% Pure recommend but I think I’ll go for Illa instead after reading this informative post! I hadn’t heard of Beautycounter before – I’m going to check that brand out!
Just for any beginners to lipstick ingredients, carmine is made from crushed up bugs, and other lipstick ingredients are also commonly derived from animals – like lanolin oil (sheep glands) and beeswax. In case it’s of interest, we recently went through some of the basics to lipstick ingredients (of past and present) here:
Thanks again for this amazing info and the helpful rating system,
Have you looked into Flower Beauty?
Hi there! Another great Vegan-friendly lipstick is Rejuva Minerals! If you’ve never heard of them check them out! I use mine all the time!
Have you evaluated Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick? I would love to hear any feedback that you have on its ingredients.
Thank you for this great information! I was wondering if you have ever looked into Colour Pop ultra matte/glossy/metallic liquid lipsticks. They are rated very well on the EWG site, but they aren’t known as a clean brand, so I am second-guessing my collection.
Kalliopi allulis says
I can’t seem to find a clear answer to my question. Is NARS power matte lip pigment in the London calling color tube safe to wear. I called the NARS company twice with this question in the last 5 months, their response was (we will call you back) rudely enough no one has contacted me which leaves me to believe that this company and color does use toxic ingredients.
Thank you and I hope to hear a response soon.
Hi there! Thanks for this page.. was really helpful in understanding some of the good and even sneaky stuff behind our products!
Would you recommend that pregnant/ nursing ladies lay off on bite beauty’s matte cream lip crayon? While the colours I own (Leche and Honeycrisp) do not have Yellow No.7, I noticed that among the ingredients are hydrogenated castor oil. I’ve read that castor oil can be dangerous during early pregnancy. Just wondering if this should be of concern since lip products are often ingested.
You did not mention Tangee lipstick. I’m interested in your evaluation.
I am curious what you think about thrive causemetics ? Also what do you like for facial skincare regime? I have been looking into Beautycounter, thrive and Clinique.
Would like your thoughts on EVER skincare and makeup. They seem similar to beauty counter in some ways.
Are you a cosmetic chemist?
Tracy Dunivan says
I’m curious to know your thoughts about Origins products.
ColourPop? Are their new Lux lil oils safe? Please let me know your thoughts!
ColourPop? Is their new Lux lip Oils safe? Please anyone tell me your thoughts!!
Do you recommend Badger Mineral Lip Tint & Shimmer?
*Olea Europaea (Organic Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), *Theobroma Cacao (Organic & Fair Trade CertifiedTM Cocoa) Butter, *Ricinus Communis (Organic Castor) Oil, *Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Extract, and CO2 Extracts of *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Organic Rosemary), *Rosa Canina (Organic Rosehip), & *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn). Each Tint contains one or all of the following: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Silica, Iron Oxide. * = Certified Organic
Shibani Mishra says
How safe is mineral fusion and mad hippie lip and cheek stain
What about bare minerals, YSL?
I’ve been using Maybelline Super Stay lipstick for 2 decades. How dangerous is it to use, and should it be on the DON’T USE list? It seems that everything we’ve been sold is NOT safe to use. Thank you 🙏🏽