Read the Label: My Favorite Clean Makeup Products
Last updated: April 2023
As I’ve lived with dry eyes, I’ve become more aware of the ingredients in the products that I use on a daily basis – especially in my makeup. At one point I had to stop using eye makeup altogether because it made my eyes so uncomfortable.
As I began educating myself, I learned about all of the potentially harmful ingredients that I was putting on my face – and even on my sensitive eyes. So I started reading labels.
Avoiding certain ingredients
I scoured the internet for ingredients to avoid, and I found a good list on the Dry Eye Show podcast and blog site in an interview with Dr. Leslie O’Dell. She recommended avoiding a variety of ingredients in beauty products, ranging from alcohol to sodium laureth sulfates.
After doing lots of research on online forums, reading product reviews, getting recommendations from friends, and trying out these clean products for myself, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites:
My favorite beauty products
I absolutely love the mascara by Eyes Are The Story! This has been the resounding choice for mascara in all my online dry eye groups. So I traded in my Cover Girl brand, which caused my eyes to itch and has ingredients like phenoxyethanol, alcohol, and parabens, for this clean one.
What I love about this mascara is that it comes in a set of three individual tubes. Mascara should be discarded regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria, so this trio set makes it easy to do so with little waste. I find the wand is small and easy to control. And best of all, my eyes tolerate this mascara without becoming itchy and irritated.
Concealer and powder
My old concealer has ingredients like parabens and alcohol, so I found RMS Beauty’s “Un” Cover-Up. I use this lightweight cream product as a concealer and foundation. Made with jojoba oil, cocoa seed butter, and coconut oil (all organic), it blends well and makes my skin feel hydrated. I wear the most popular shade: shade 22.
I also love RMS’s “Un” Powder. I am extremely wary about using powder ingredients now, as the particles can easily get in the eyes and further irritate them. However, this product only contains two ingredients, silica, and mica. I sprinkle a tiny bit on the back of my hand and use the included powder puff to pick it up. Then, I gently blot it on my T-zone area, and this does the trick, absorbing excess oil and setting the “Un” Cover-Up.
Again, using any kind of powder-based product runs the risk of getting particles in the eyes. Cream-based make-up is best for me. I’ve found RMS’s Eye Polish soothing to my eyelids. It rubs on smoothly with my finger, and the colors are beautiful, especially Magnetic.
I don’t wear eyeliner often, but for special occasions, I have a non-toxic eyeliner polish by A’del. I apply it with a small angled brush.
Blush and lipstick
I think RMS also makes a great Lip2Cheek product. I use my finger to apply it, and it’s extremely moisturizing to my lips. My favorite shade is Illusive. Just a little from the small polish dish goes a long way. I think A’del also makes some great natural lip and cheek products. I have the Rose Petal cream blush.
Pulling up my list
Now any time I’m shopping for products, I pull up my trusty list of ingredients to avoid, and I read labels. Finding new safe product options to enjoy and share is always fun!
What are your favorite clean makeup products?
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?