Illustration for article titled Why You Shouldn't Use Lipstick As Eyeshadow Or Vice VersaPhoto: Dewayne Flowers (Shutterstock)

You run out and forget to bring eyeshadow or blush; Instead of picking something from the corner store, take your matte lipstick and blend it onto your cheekbones and eyelids. Everyone who wears makeup has done it at some point: took a cosmetic for one thing and used it for another. It’s all meant for your face after all – so what could the harm be?

Don’t put lipstick on your eyes and vice versa

When you buy lipstick, that product is tested for one use and only one use: your lips. It may seem harmless – if it’s safe around your mouth, it must be safe around your eyes, right? But as a cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos Lifehacker said, “The use of lipstick around the eyes is just one example of a potentially dangerous substitution as most of the red pigments approved for use in lipsticks are not approved for use around the eyes due to the possibility of irritation or allergic reactions. “

It’s not just your eyes to watch out for – using eye products on your lips can be dangerous, too. Eyeshadows can contain, for example, iron as well as ultramarines, iron ferrocyanide and chromium oxides. The skin care and natural make-up company Sterling Minerals explains: “These are approved as safe for topical use in mineral make-up products and all other forms of cosmetics, but not for use in lipstick or lip gloss.”

Illustration for article titled Why You Shouldn't Use Lipstick As Eyeshadow Or Vice Versa

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What are the risks?

The main risk for cosmetic substitutes is allergic reaction and irritation; The product you are using may contain ingredients that your lips will not react to, but which can cause a serious allergic reaction around your eyes. The FDA warns against this the use of cosmetics in areas where they were not intended:

Do not use cosmetics near your eyes unless they are specifically designed for that use. For example, don’t use a lip liner as an eyeliner. You may expose your eyes to mouth contamination or coloring additives that are not approved for use in the eye area.

Wear eye shadow on your lips while doing this and you run the risk of ingesting harmful chemicals.

What are Safe Cosmetic Substitutions?

It seems like a bad idea to use lip liner as an eyeliner or lipstick for eye shadow. However, using eye shadow or lipstick as a blush or lip liner for eyebrows is relatively safe. In fact, some like publications Teen Vogue suggest people with red hair use a lip liner to get an accurate tone for their eyebrows. And makeup tutorial site The Beauty Department offers detailed instructions when using matte lipstick as a substitute for blush.

But be aware: lipstick used as a blush can cause breakouts or something called “cosmetic acne, ”Where makeup is the main cause of a person’s acne. However, aside from a bout of acne, there doesn’t seem to be a serious risk dabbing your cheeks with your favorite lip color. Just try not to mix cosmetics for your eyes and mouth and watch out for harmful additives. If you experience any serious reactions, stop using it immediately and contact your doctor.