- In June, a makeup blogger who goes by the name Muse reviewed a Huda Beauty palette for their website, Musings of a Muse.
- The blogger said the Neon Obsessions Palette — which the brand promotes with photos that show the makeup worn on the eyes, like an eye shadow— contained a secondary warning label advising people not to use the product on or around the eyes.
- Beauty news Instagram account Estee Laundry has drawn attention to the product among similar items from other brands, leading to a bigger conversation around how cosmetics are labeled.
- Huda Beauty isn’t the first brand to sell a product that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might consider unsafe if used around the eyes, with previous products from Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Urban Decay containing pressed pigments that were said to not be intended for use around the immediate eye area.
- The FDA lists its approved colors and pigments on its website, and advises people to avoid using cosmetics around their eyes “unless they are intended specifically for that use.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Neon makeup might be trendy, but it could also be considered unsafe by the FDA.
In June, a makeup blogger who runs the website Musings of a Muse reviewed Huda Beauty’s Neon Obsessions Palette in the shade “Neon Orange.” According to their review, the product contained a secondary warning label advising people not to use the product on or around the eyes.
Now, beauty news Instagram account Estee Laundry has drawn attention to the product among similar items from other brands, leading to a bigger conversation around how cosmetics are labeled.
Beauty blog Musings of a Muse reviewed the Huda Beauty Neon Obsessions Palette in June
The blogger, who goes by the name Muse online, said they ordered the Huda Beauty palette as they “love” to wear “bright pops of orange and coral” on their eyes. Still, Muse advised people to be careful if purchasing the product.
“One thing to take note of with these palettes is the fact they are named Huda Beauty Neon Obsessions Palette and NOT Huda Beauty Neon Obsession Eye Palette or Eye-Shadow Palette,” Muse wrote on their blog. “That’s because [the palettes] contain pressed pigments that are not safe for eye use within the USA by the FDA.”
Muse also said their palette contained a “dual label,” which they felt was “a little deceptive.”
“The first label shows the ingredients, and you have to actually lift up the sticker to see the ‘not intended for the eye area’ warning,” Muse said on their blog. “I think most people likely won’t lift that second label up to see that warning and that sort of sucks.”
Still, the blogger said they used the products on their eyes “without any issues.”
“I am not much of a makeup artist, so using these palettes around my eye area versus near my immediate eye area doesn’t quite work for me,” Muse said. “I don’t have sensitive eyes nor do I experience allergic reactions to eye shadow, eyeliner, etc. So, I sort of blew off the warning but I do not recommend or encourage anyone to do the same.”
People on Instagram are now upset at Huda Beauty and other beauty brands for appearing to falsely market neon palettes
In an Instagram post on Sunday, the anonymous users behind Estee Laundry, an account that tracks problems within the beauty industry, asked their followers to share thoughts on brands like Huda Beauty selling makeup that isn’t deemed safe to use on the eyes.
In addition to Huda Beauty, the Instagram account also showed products from other major brands including Kylie Cosmetics, Lorac, Violet Voss, and Anastasia Beverly Hills, among others. INSIDER was not able to verify if all the mentioned products were not considered safe to use around the eyes by the FDA, but did reach out to the brands for comment.
“Laundrites, what do you all think of companies not disclosing that their neon/vivid palettes are ‘not safe for use’ around the eyes?”
Many people said in the comments of Estee Laundry’s post that they feel brands should not be marketing these products like eye shadow — with promotional photos of the products worn in the eye area — if they are not intended to be used around the eyes.
“If it’s marketed as an eye-shadow palette, it’s incredibly irresponsible,” one Instagram user wrote.
“For people who don’t yet know if they react sensitively, the labeling should be super clear,” another person said.
“I will never support a brand that lacks transparency,” someone wrote in the comments.
“It’s NOT ok to sell a product that is designed like an eye palette without a clear warning that it’s not meant for eyes,” someone wrote on Instagram. “Intentionally leaving out these details and avoiding saying ‘eyes’ in the marketing for it is purposefully shady.”
Still, many others defended beauty brands.
“I’m not bothered by it at all,” an Instagram user said. “I thought we knew this already. These are mostly safe in Europe, but since we have different laws over here they can’t legally say they are safe for the eyes.”
“I’m not bothered by it — here in the UK it’s not the same,” another person said. “The FDA hasn’t updated their guidelines in such a long time, so it probably isn’t even relevant anymore.”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently lists its approved colors and pigments on its website, and advises people to avoid using cosmetics around their eyes “unless they are intended specifically for that use.”
“For instance, don’t use a lip liner as an eye liner,” the FDA says on its website. “You may be exposing your eyes to contamination from your mouth, or to color additives that are not approved for use in the area of the eye.”
The FDA also states that “color additives are subject to a strict system of approval under US law.” To be sold in the country, color cosmetics must be approved, certified, and “meet the requirements for identity and specifications stated in the Code of Federal Regulations.”
Huda Beauty does not describe its Neon Obsessions Palettes as eye shadow, but does appear to market the products as such with promotional photos showing the makeup worn around the eyes
While the phrase “eye shadow” is not listed explicitly on the product’s page, a photo of a model wearing one of the colors on their eyes is featured.
As recently as Monday, the brand shared instructions for how to use the products on the eyes, lips, and cheeks.
“Blend the shadows seamlessly together, using darker shades in the crease, and lighter hues along the brow bone and inner corners of the eye,” Huda Beauty’s website previously said.
“Build strong looks, using the color on lips and cheeks,” the instructions continued. “Use a smudge or liner brush, to create bright liner looks either on the eyelid, or along lower lash line.”
The instructions have since been removed from Huda Beauty’s website, and have been replaced with a tip from the brand’s founder, Huda Kattan.
“Huda’s tip: Apply Overachiever Concealer in shade Whipped Cream as a base to amplify pigment and intensity [sic] your looks,” the website reads at the time of writing.
On Instagram, Huda Beauty also frequently shares videos and photos of influencers using the palettes as eye shadow.
In an Instagram story posted six weeks ago (in late May or early June), Kattan applied a shade from the “Neon Pink” version of the palette on her eyelids. She also called the product “eye shadow.”
“Just applying some eye shadow,” Kattan said in a video on her brand’s Instagram page. “How easy was this? I literally just took this shade, and went here and here. That’s it.”
The video is still available to view in a story highlight at the time of this post.
Sephora previously described the products as ‘eye shadow’
As seen on its website on Monday, Sephora previously said the Huda Beauty Neon Obsession Palettes contain “eye shadow” in a variety of finishes, including mattes and shimmers.
On Wednesday, however, all mentions of the phrase “eye shadow” appear to have been removed from the product’s page on Sephora’s website.
Instead, the palettes are described as being “packed with a selection of nine highly-pigmented mattes, creamy metallics, and striking shimmers, all with a smooth and blendable texture” at the time of writing. The website also says the products are “free of parabens” under an “ingredients callout” section.
INSIDER visited a New York City Sephora location on Wednesday, and saw that a display for the Huda Beauty palettes describes the shades as “neon and pastel hues” and likens them to “highlighter.”
“Nine neon and pastel hues give ‘highlighter’ a whole new meaning,” a Sephora display reads.
Huda Beauty isn’t the first or only brand to sell a product that the FDA might consider unsafe if used around the eyes
While it might be uncommon for beauty brands to seemingly hide warning labels on products underneath ingredients lists, Huda Beauty is not the first to sell pressed pigments that may not be considered safe to wear around the eyes.
In January 2018, Jeffree Star launched the Blood Sugar eye-shadow palette. The product is vegan and contains 18 shades — 11 of which are described as pressed pigments that “are not intended for use around the immediate eye area,” according to the Jeffree Star Cosmetics website.
Star addressed his use of pressed pigments in a YouTube video about the launch of his product.
“This is a pressed-pigment palette,” Star said in a 2018 YouTube video. “If you have ever used the Urban Decay Electric palette or other stuff like that — MAC has pressed pigments — basically, we’re going to give you guys a science lesson right now.”
The makeup mogul went on to explain that it can be difficult to create vegan formulas in shades of red, pink, and purple because most non-cruelty-free brands use Carmine, a dye that Star says is made with “crushed beetles.”
“If you are not into wearing insects on your eyes, you have to use pigment,” Star said.
He then explained that the red dyes in his palette “can stain the eye area,” but the back of the palette’s box says “some shades are not really allowed near the immediate eye area.”
“So basically, it is kind of a warning for people with sensitive eyes,” Star continued. “So if you are someone that, when you wipe off your makeup, you don’t want your lid stained pink or any residue in there, then you might not want to put it around your immediate eye area.”
“Nothing crazy is going to happen,” he said. “You’re not going to go blind, nothing wild, it’s just legally I have to put that on there because there are red dyes in here, just like Urban Decay and MAC.”
The Urban Decay Electric palette that Star referenced had raised eyebrows during its release in 2014. It contained four pressed pigments, all of which were not meant to be used on the eye area, according to the blog Beauty and Fashion Tech.
Beauty and Fashion Tech also reported that Urban Decay marketed the product at the time using photos of models wearing the product on their eyes, and listed eye tutorials for the palette on its website.
It’s not clear which products from MAC Star referenced in his video, but INSIDER has reached out to MAC to find out more about the pigments used in its makeup.
Representatives for Huda Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Docolor, Violet Voss, Juvia’s Place, Lorac, Coastal Scents, Ace Beaute, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Revolution Beauty, Jeffree Star, Urban Decay, MAC, and the FDA did not immediately reply to INSIDER’s request for comment.
- Read more:
- Jaclyn Hill released documents to prove she tested her lipsticks for safety, but people think they show that her company may be owned by another beauty brand
- Too Faced is selling Christmas-themed makeup in July, but some people think the brand is trying to get rid of old makeup
- People say they’re finding black dots and white fuzz in Colourpop lipstick days after YouTuber Jaclyn Hill was accused of selling similar makeup
- Jameela Jamil criticized Kim Kardashian’s new body foundation and said she’d rather ‘make peace’ with her stretch marks and eczema than wear it