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Makeup and Me

I have loved makeup from a young age. Since I have received a ton of requests from people asking about my safe makeup brands, I thought I should share some of my favorite brands and tips for finding safe makeup. Growing up, I constantly performed on stage and TV, so I needed to find some reliable and safe brands of makeup to use. It was definitely a challenge (for my mom) looking through the CVS aisles trying to find makeup packages with ingredients. Luckily, as I have gotten older, beauty brands have been more open with their ingredient list and often have the label directly on the packaging. However, it can be tricky to confirm a beauty product is safe, since companies are not legally required to label ingredients. Unfortunately, this limits the brands I can safely use, since many companies choose not to label their products. Personally, I have to avoid lotions, makeup, and hair products that have shea, tree nut oils, soy oil, sesame oil, or argan oil (just to name a few). Since the holidays are coming up and people are starting to shop for gifts, I figured I'd share some of my personal beauty favorites here to help you kickstart your search.

Top tips when shopping for beauty products:

1. Know the scientific names of your allergens...or at least Google them!

There are so many scientific names used as ingredients in soaps, makeup, lotions, and more. Given my long list of allergens, there are way too many for me to remember. I always make sure to Google search any ingredients that I am unsure of.

2. Be careful picking up any tester bottles!

While it is currently unknown whether or not test makeup will exist in a post-COVID world, be careful if you have food allergies! Many people go through makeup stores trying on different makeup and lotions. Many lotions are made from soy or nut bases and will linger on the person's hands long after they initially apply it. The test product will likely be contaminated and it is best to avoid it. If you are trying to match color and feel that you absolutely MUST try the product, ask an associate, he/she will usually be happy to open a new product for you to try.

3. Always do your research to make sure the products are safe for you and your allergens!

Know when you are walking into the store that you will be there longer than the average consumer. The first three products you pick up may not be properly labeled or may have ingredients you are allergic to, but don't be discouraged. I have found success in stores such as Sephora or Ulta that offer a variety of brands. Since I have spent a ton of time crouched in makeup aisles searching for a safe product, let me give you an extra tip: if a brand's foundation isn't safe, don't waste your time reading the ingredients on their concealer, highlighter, etc. Companies will often use the same base ingredients in related products, and you will only continue to get discouraged. However, an unsafe foundation would not necessarily mean that their eye shadows are not safe!

4. Once you buy it, try it!

Buying and using makeup is definitely a learning experience. When I get a new product, I dab a little bit on my wrist just to check. If I start to react on my wrist, then I'll know that I shouldn't use that product. Obviously, you should then wash it off immediately with soap. I have personally found that this is a better way to check than putting it on my mouth, eyes, or face in general.

My favorite brands have products that are safe for my peanut, tree nut (except coconut), sesame, soy, fish, shellfish, mustard, and legume allergies and gluten intolerance:

- Winky Lux I absolutely love their products! The flower balms are so fun and a great gift for anyone just getting into makeup. I recently started using their moisturizing face gel and it is one of the only moisturizers I have been able to use safely without any skin irritation!

- Petite n' Pretty This brand is focused on kids, hence the name. However, their website says "nut free" right on the homepage, so they have my business. They offer really fun lip glosses and eye shadow palettes. - Urban Decay I love the "Naked" eyeshadow palettes. They offer really bold and fun colors. The palettes are very popular and labeled very well. I also use mascara from this brand. - Too Faced I have found that they label really well and I love to use their bronzers and lip glosses.

I love that all of these brands have safe options that don't make me feel like I am missing out on fun makeup just because of allergies. As always, make sure to read the ingredients to ensure the products you purchase are safe for you!

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