Is lip liner safe to use on your eyes? Experts warn against TikTok’s Smoky Eye trend.

For every great TikTok beauty hack, there’s another one that’s best left on the app (and not part of your beauty routine).

One such hack that falls into the no category is to use a lip liner as a base for a smoky eye look. See here:

Although the intention is to prolong the look of eyeshadow, experts say lip and eye products are not interchangeable and this trick could have serious consequences (including blindness).

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration specifically says to avoid using lip liner near your eyes (or better yet, use any other cosmetics near your eyes unless they’re specifically intended for that area. ).

Below, learn about the risks associated with using lip products near your eyes and some safer alternatives to make your smoky eye last.

What are the risks of using lip liner around the eyes?

Like diaper cream and anti-irritation lotions, beauty products are developed to be used in specific areas. EAccording to Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo, board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Twenty/Twenty Beauty, makeup products are formulated with ingredients that are safe to use around this delicate area, unlike lip products.

Color additives are an ingredient in lip products that could pose a risk to the eyes. Although these additives are strictly regulated in the United States and several are approved for use in cosmetics, in general they are not approved for use around the eyes, according to the FDA.

Beyond the ingredients, lip products can “contain eye irritants, which can cause irritation, infection and even lead to blindnesssaid Hilal-Campo. The mouth contains gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria that can be extremely damaging to eye structures, she said. “Temporary blindness can occur if only surface structures are affected, but blindness can be permanent if the bacteria were to enter the eye,” Hilal-Campo said.

Lip liners are applied and reapplied to the lips, often without disinfection. “Warm, moist, and dark environments, like our mouths, are breeding grounds for bacteria,” Hilal-Campo noted. “Our mouths are teeming with millions of microbes, and every time you use a lip product without sanitizing it, you are allowing new bacterial growth. When you apply this product around the eye area, you are introducing new bacteria to a different area, which may lead to infection.

And even if your lip products are sanitized or new, using them around the eyes just isn’t worth the risk.

Ultimately, products designed for the eye area must undergo specific eye safety testing, unlike lip products, said Krupa Koestline, clean cosmetic chemist and founder of KKT Consultants.

Signs of an allergic reaction or infection around the eye include redness and irritation, pain, inflammation, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, oozing and crusting, said Hilal- Field. If you have any of these symptoms, see your eye doctor immediately.

How to create a long-lasting smoky eye with eye makeup

We understood. The only thing worse than putting considerable effort into blending your smoky eye is seeing your hard work wear off soon after. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the longevity of your smoky eye without using lip liner.

According to the makeup artist Aaron Barrypreparation is key. First, use a cotton ball and cleanser to remove excess oil on the eyelids that could cause your eyeshadow to slide. Barry advises a mild cleanser, as cleansers that contain harsh chemicals and fragrances can irritate the eyes and eyelids. This can activate more oil production on the eyelids and shorten the life of your eyeshadow.

Then use a waterproof eye shadow stick to prime the eyes. This prevents the eyeshadow from creasing on the lids and creates a blank canvas for the eyeshadow to adhere to.

From there, choose three complementary eyeshadow tones: a light shimmer or metallic eyeshadow to use as a highlight, a medium shade and a darker shade for more depth.

Here’s how Barry recommends creating a smoky eye: “With a flat brush and wrapping strokes, cover your eyelid with the medium shade. Then, one eye at a time, line the upper eyelid with dark eyeliner and quickly blend with a brush. Apply the darkest shade of eyeshadow over the eyeliner and blend upward to cover the eyelid and outward towards the outer corner of the eye. Using a fluffy brush, sweep the medium shade eyeshadow from the outer corners up and through the crease to create a diffused smoky look. Finally, add the lightly shimmering eye shadow to the inner corner of your eye for a hint of highlight.


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