Makeup Safety-Eye/lip safe pruduct usage

For some reason, this topic has come up a few times recently.  I suppose because I’ve been putting makeup on others, and thinking through my product usages.  But it’s a good topic.  In my MAC Neo Orange pigment review, one of my biggest irritations was the fact that MAC isn’t particularly transparent about their pigment safety.  Many shades are not safe for eyes, or not safe for lips, and not only is it not marked on the package(Unless you really know batch numbers), but the Sales Associate didn’t even know she was encouraging me to use the pigment in a non-approved usage!  Not all manufacturers DO mark it on the container, though the information is usually online.  Even searching “eye safe pigment” popped up a ton of searches from people who discovered months after the fact that they had been using a pigment wrong, and that their favorite bloggers/goru’s had been doing the same!

It lead me to think about the question—-What does it mean if a manufacturer mean a product is not safe for a particular usage?  I don’t improperly use products on other people, since I have NO baseline as to their sensitivities and put their health above any aesthetic reasoning, but I have never experienced an adverse reaction from using a red or pink not approved for eyes as a cream eyeshadow base on myself, or any other improvisations.  I want the information to be available so people CAN make that choice, rather than finding out later they didn’t know what they were doing.

The best answer I’ve found is that it means some of the ingredients MAY cause irritation or not be graded as safe for the area, but the manufacturer hasn’t tested it to claim one way or the other.  It probably won’t kill you, but the manufacturer also doesn’t claim responsibility for any adverse reactions.

Obviously, the end choice of how seriously you would like to take the usage warning is yours.  But there’s always things you can do to stay somewhat safe if you DO decide to break that rule.

Bear in mind—all the common sense measures in the world may not prevent you from having a bad reaction.  Be EXTRA aware when using products outside manufacturer specified uses.

How many times have we heard  DIY beauty tips, like “Use Monistat Chafing Gel for facial primer” or “Hemorrhoid cream to shrink under-eye bags” or “Black eyeliner on the lips, instead of black lipstick-it wears longer”.  Even the most careful of us will probably be tempted at some point to use a workaround that isn’t strictly sanctioned by the product in question.

For one thing, SANITIZE YOUR PRODUCTS before using them elsewhere.  If you want to use a red cream last used on your lips as an eyeshadow base, you could introduce a lot of new bacteria to the eye area by not disinfecting it.

Also, NEVER experiment with new usages when you know you will HAVE to wear it for an extended period.  Right before your Valentines Date gets there is NOT the time to experiment with something that could possibly irritate your eyes.  If it DOES cause a reaction, you want to be free to flush your eyes out as soon as possible.  Not sit there blinking, squinting, rubbing it deeper into your eyes, as you try not to ruin the nights pretty makeup.

Try to avoid piling product into the lashes and lash line.  Your eyelashes are your body’s natural safety net for preventing irritants from getting into your eyes. If you pile that non-eye safe cream on your lid using your finger, and it gets smudged into your lashes, there’s a good chance it will be able to migrate into your eyes, and a higher likelihood of irritation.

If you are working with a pigment, using a stickier primer, and patting it on in SMALL amounts and sections can help keep the eye exposure to a minimum.

Make sure you remove it properly when you’re done wearing it.   Improperly removed makeup can migrate into the eyes and sinus cavities while you sleep, and cause infections.  This is just common sense, but ESPECIALLY be wary if you are using a pigment not approved for the eyes.  When possible, try to pull it away from the lash line when you remove it, so less product will leave a residue there.

Glitter is sort of a special case—Glitter can irritate the eyes at the best of times, especially if it hasn’t adhered properly, and you can scratch your eyes and cause infections if you use craft glitter on your eyes.  Generally, “eye safe” glitters have smoother edges, that are less likely to cut the surface of your eye.  If you DO get something in your eye, DON’T RUB IT or you’ll make the cuts worse.  Use contact solution or water to flush out your eyes, and then remove the rest of the product, pulling it up and away from the eye area, rather than rubbing it down into the lashline.  If you wear contacts, be aware that makeup can get trapped in them, and put you at even HIGHER risk of irritation.

Metallic pigments also are generally not recommended for use on the eyes, sometimes on lips as well.  Reds and Pink creams or pigments often are not eye safe.  There’s a number of blue pigments that aren’t lip safe.  ALWAYS look at manufacturer recommendations if you aren’t sure.

As far as using pigments on lips—definitely try to avoid licking your lips a lot.  I grew up seeing the sensationalist statistics for how much lipstick the average woman eats in the course of a lifetime.  The rumored 3-10 lbs may be false, but eating harmful ingredients is still a concern when using pigments on the lips.

You probably won’t poison yourself using an odd product once in a while, but if you plan to regularly use a color on the lips, you’re better off finding an actual lip-safe alternative.  OCC Lip Tars have a wide range of non-traditional lip colors, and you can mix almost anything with them!  Additionally, many indie MM companies like Fyrinnae, Venomous Cosmetics, HiFi cosmetics, Shiro cosmetics, Morgana Cryptoria, Evil Shades, produce lip products in unusual colors(Blues, purples, greens, etc.)  Once in a while, I use my eye-only MUFE Aqua or Flash Creams on the lips, but I only keep it on for as long as the photography takes, and then I remove it.

Not all pigment is ingested—you can also absorb ingredients through the skin, don’t forget.  The skin around your eyes and mouth tends to be more fragile and thin than elsewhere on the face, and may be more sensitive to ingredients.

In the end, you should ALWAYS be aware of what you are putting on your face.  Even normal cosmetic usage can lead to allergic reactions or irritation(Right now, for instance, my eyelids are stinging and swollen from a reaction to a glitter cream eyeshadow).    A healthy wariness should be carried one step further, when choosing whether to use a product in an un-tested manner.

I’m curious how everyone else feels about it.  I know there’s many makeup users who put MUCH more thought into the safety of their products.

Update: I’ve started trying to make a list of products that I have explicit information on their recommended usages.  Anyone can edit, so PLEASE feel free to add products or information, or use it to figure out how to make the most out of your own products!

Here’s the link.


25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lauren
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 07:00:20

    I am always a little shy with products and pigments being used in the wrong matter. I used to do professional face painting and made sure that I was oh so careful with the reds and blues. Red is just a scary dangerous pigment in general. There is a reason why it was chosen as a stop symbol. When I paint with oils I have to wear gloves because most of the natural reds are carcinogens.

    It is also good to keep lip products used for lips and eyes for eyes. Our mouths harbor so much bacteria that can cause major infection in the eyes. Lipstick a blush I can understand in a pinch but as a quick shadow, no no!

    Oh and POO on the companies for not giving out more safety information.


    • dolcearia
      Feb 13, 2011 @ 08:18:36

      Heh, I remember being a girl scout, and knowing SEVERAL local troops who used watercolor pencils to do face painting for fundraisers. It worked well artistically, but those are DEFINITELY not cosmetically safe! People have definitely been a lot more concerned about what they use on their skin in the past decade or so. I took lessons in oil painting, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, and NEVER once had a teacher recommend wearing gloves while handling certain colors.

      If I can brush up on my technical stuff, I think I actually will try to set up a document with various pigment/product shades and uses. At least I should do it for my collection, but it would be nice to get pigments everyone else uses. There needs to be SOME easy way of accessing the information.


  2. spider girl
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 03:51:23

    Quite insightful post, it is something I’ve been pondering on for quite some time now. Normally I won’t be following any beauty tips though I’ve tried my eye liner on my lips ouch! One thing am really shocked at is using medications meant for some serious diseases on face like one you mentioned “Hemorrhoid cream to shrink under-eye bags”, I’ve read about such cases numerous times. Don’t know why the people take so much risk!!! I really appreciate this post plus your effort in creating the list about products safety. All the best!


    • dolcearia
      Feb 14, 2011 @ 05:13:48

      I think I’ve become a lot more fussy about it since planning makeup for others. I really DO take a lot of risks on myself that I would never do on a client. But i want to know where the boundary is, to figure out what IS a risk!

      Yeah, some of the DIY ones just sound odd. I don’t doubt that they “may” work in the short term, but it doesn’t seem like it can be healthy for teh long term.

      The listings thing is a daunting project, but I think I have a decent start. Have all of the Shiro and Fyrinnae pigments listed now, though there’s a few fyrinnae colors that I want to think “Really? They said that unless it EXPLICITLY says it’s not lip safe it’s fine, but that color doesn’t seem like it would be”. I am wondering if I can persuade someone who knows more about the specific ingredients to read it over and check. I’m hoping eventually other people will be contributing to this, too. (either emailing me so that I can enter it, or adding it themselves). It would be great to get a lot more local and indie brands in it. Soon I’ll start tackling some of the more popular indie brands like HiFI and Geek CHic(Who i haven’t tried). I think I should probably create a sticky or page for the link asking for other product requests and recommendations for me to research.

      I really hope others will find this useful! I hate being obsessive compulsive sometimes.


      • spider girl
        Feb 14, 2011 @ 05:17:56

        I guess I would be of help with ingredients since I’m studying cosmetic dermatology, but again you’ll have to wait a month or two till I start proper product analysis practice myself. All the best once again!

      • dolcearia
        Feb 14, 2011 @ 05:36:07

        If you felt up to doublechecking things eventually, that would be a HUGE help. The colors I’d been the most dubious on were Fyrinnae Bali Mynah, Eternal Innocence, Tyr, Lief, Dokkalfur, etc. Their chemist told me that most of the pigments with green/blue were not lip safe. But those are all VIVID greens/blues, or blackened greens/blues. Hopefully he’ll get back to me with more information.

        Their FAQ said that ALL products were lip safe, unless otherwise noted in the description. I’ve looked at ALL of their descriptions, and noted the ones that were not lip safe. I put yes for everything else, but some of it just doesn’t seem to make sense.

        The boyfriend has been teasing me about how much I obsess over this. I just don’t want to give anyone bad information!

  3. omgosh
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 11:21:14

    This is fantastic 🙂 Do you actually use ‘Indie-branded’ make up on clients? I mean if you look at the ingredients and make an educated judgement about whether it’s safe – is it alright? I see plenty of vblogs mentioning say TKB, Fyrinnae, Hi-Fi etc being used on themselves but then I don’t really see anyone mentioning whether or not they use these products on clients. I know this is also an individual judgement call, but I’d really like to know what other people are doing!


    • dolcearia
      Oct 22, 2011 @ 11:59:35

      Honestly, I don’t end up using many Indie products on clients, simply because they take up SOOOOOOOOOOO much space in my kit, that I usually don’t carry them. Plus, most clients need neutral makeup, or smoky eyes, so bright complex colorful pigments don’t really do the job I need.

      But even cursory glances at the ingredients list can let you know if the product will likely be up to commercial standards—If words are misspelled, , there’s misplaced punctuation, if the product doesn’t COME with an ingredients list(Mini’s or samples can be sold without one, I think, but full size products ARE required to come with a list, from my understanding)… I wouldn’t use a product with these labeling flaws on a client.

      I’ve endeavored to put all of the ingredients I watch out for in this post, and the spreadsheet link, but I DO use additional caution on clients. Even if I can’t find a “no-no” ingredient in a pigment—if it’s a color not traditionally worn on lips(like dark purples, greens, blues, silver, etc.) I avoid using it on a clients lips. Many colors that look like they COULD be a lipstick color(Corals, peaches, pinks, etc.) are made with the same ingredients as a lipstick or gloss with a similar shade. Blush colors or lipsticks may contain colors or dyes that are not safe for the eyes, and some blush pigments may not be safe for the lips—but I think much of that comes down to the potential for being absorbed into the skin—Eyes and lips are thinner membranes, so they are MUCH more sensitive to dyes, pigments, reactions, etc. than using eye pigments on the cheeks. Even many pigments formulated for bodypainting art may not be safe for the eyes–most brands will say what the recommended usage is, even if you have to REALLY look to find it(MAC includes a paper insert in its box that lists ALL pigments with restricted usages. It’s tedious since it’s not on the container, it may not be updated frequently, it may be difficult to find your color, but it IS there!)


  4. omgosh
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 20:30:19

    Thank you so much for your quick reply! I’m actually starting up a course in a few months and because a make-up course is so expensive to study, I was hoping to include a few indie-products in my kit to save dosh. Obviously I trust a lot of Indie brands and wouldn’t hesitate to use a lot of products on myself, but when it comes to other peoples skin, I don’t really want to be taking the risk, especially in the delicate eye area. I mean an adverse reaction could severely damage the eye.

    One of the most important things I want to do for my kit considering its just a starter one and I don’t have many products 😉 is include a list of ingredients for all the products I use. I think I have a summary list of FDA’s approved dyes and colours and since I’m Australian, I think the new regulation is that ingredients need to be registered on an independent database and it’s up to the consumer to research their products. However I still look up ingredients in Milady’s and Winter’s dictionaries to see whats known about them. I was hoping this would be enough to use at least Fyrinnae’s products. I also like the look of Morgana’s lipsticks.

    For now I’d rather err on the side of caution. I think I will include some of Fryinnae’s bronzers but stick to well known professional brands for eyeshadows and lippies.


    • dolcearia
      Oct 23, 2011 @ 01:27:03

      Hehehe, I have the Milady ingredient index, as well!

      Have fun on your course! What area of makeup, specifically, will you be studying? Makeup for Photography, corrective beauty, aesthetics(usually more skincare based)

      I can’t blame you for trying to save money—have you been to Camera Ready Cosmetics online store? You can find some great cheap professional products there.(Graftobian cream foundations are pretty useful, with a variety of shades, the ability to dilute it, add luminizer, etc. to tweak the color and finish, etc.)

      Get a book on color theory, and practice alternative ways of creating the shades you need. I don’t know what kits your course recommends or allows, but you can generally make due with comparatively few products if you know how to mix your own. This book is generally pretty recommended, for makeup artists.

      (I usually keep additives for the primary colors, Red, White, Green, dark brown or black for tweaking foundation undertones, and only carry four bottles of the foundation itself—a pale yellow based foundation, a pale pink based foundation, a medium/dark yellow based foundation, and a medium/dark pink based foundation. With a bit of practice, you can get the PERFECT shade pretty quickly, every time, without having to buy 15 bottles of foundation to fit all skin tones. I know MAC Pro offers foundation adjusters(you should be able to get a pro student discount, with your enrollment, though I don’t work for MAC, or know the ins and outs of their policies). I think other companies like Face Atelier, Inglot, and MUFE also offer adjusters(Though not the MUFE on Sephora’s website). In addition to getting the foundation color right, with a bit of good color theory knowledge, you can blend these products to create custom highlight or contour shades, liquid blush colors for a “naturally glowy” look, foundations with corrective elements to supplement your concealing skills(such as concealing overall redness from rosacea, larger birthmarks, etc.))

      If you’re studying makeup for photography, specifically, you’ll want to be aware of how flashes can alter makeup. DON’T buy drugstore foundations for your kit-Anything with a SPF can change color under studio flash. The reflective particles that give it SPF are, well, reflective. So your subject will look beautiful in person, but washed out in camera. I would have to look at Fyrinnae bronzers, since I don’t own any, but you may want to be cautious, since many bronzers have shimmer, or SPF. Look for Titanium Dioxide in the ingredients list. You DON’T want these sorts of products in your kit. Try looking at the La Femme blush palette on Camera Ready Cosmetics. I’ve tried their eyeshadows and had decent luck–it’s not the best product, but it will give you a variety to work with, cheap, for your practice. Shimmery eyeshadow colors and pigments can also reflect light back, changing the overall color and contour of the application. A little can look great, but I’d be wary of including too many products with frosty, dewy finishes in a professional kit-in-progress.

      Good luck!


  5. omgosh
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 06:34:45

    I’m just about to finish my degree in a completely non-related field (social policy, psychology, Japanese) and I’ve decided I definitely want to study skincare so I’ve enrolled in a Diploma of Beauty Therapy which will allow me to be a esthetican. The make-up course I’m doing part-time is just a Certificate IV which covers TV, fashion, photography and editorial but no spfx or period make up.

    The school itself has its own brand of cosmetics and brushes which they include in a starter kit you can purchase from them but I’d rather get my own 🙂 I really want to start light and not overload myself with products but I want to have decent products. I found the Camera Ready site a couple of weeks ago, so so glad I did!

    I’m grabbing the RCMA cream sampler palettes because they’re super good value, well-received and you can re-purchase sample sizes to fill any empty gaps. I think I’m also going to grab a liquid thinner so I can turn the cream into liquid, and also I think I’m grabbing the Ben NYE Pro Poudre Palettes. From there I’m just getting a corrector palette, Eve Pearl’s Salmon trio and a few OCC products. My favourite brand for blush is NARS because of the colour pay out, but I think La Femme is the best I’ve found for a blush palette that doesn’t break the bank. I haven’t decided on cream blushes yet but I’m sure I’ll figure something out. And for eyeshadows I’m decided to go Ben NYE or do up a custom Inglot palette, or a Z palette with Yaby and some MUD refills. But definitely staying away from shimmers and going mattes. I love matte eyeshadows. For lips, I’m going OCC and getting a Japonesque lip palette and going to probably pop some Laura Mercier lipsticks in there and maybe some NARS and MAC 🙂 I’m still undecided on eyeliners and lip pencils. I know I want pencils, cake eyeliner and a gel one, but I haven’t decided on brands yet. I love Laura Mercier lip liners due to the no sharpening too 🙂 I think I’m going to stick with a normal mascara, a couple of cream mascaras and a cake one. And probably some OCC loose colour pigments as well as a couple of MAC ones for now and Kryolan’s Glamour Sparks. But still haven’t decided on anything for sure, just refining my list and my budget. I haven’t done any checks on ingredients either. Although i do like Fyrinnae’s eye shadows, especially their neutrals with low or medium shimmers, and they do have matte bronzers which I was going to sample, I’d want them pressed and have yet to find a pressing medium that I like, so still deciding on that. But I’m going with all synthetic brushes probably a combination of Crown, Real Techniques, MUG and Sigma. I know there’s a lot more I can buy, but I mean I haven’t even started out yet haha. I’m staying away from SPF for sure especially for photography. However I do want to understand skin better and make sure I have the right beauty tools for ageing skin, dehydrated skin, dry skin to create a decent base etc I love toners by Garden of Wisdom, but again, I’m wondering if it’s “okay” to use their products on clients, even though I use them and love them and have checked out their ingredient lists.

    Thanks so much for the book recommendation 🙂 I’ll definitely check it out. I’d love to get a good grasp on colour theory. I mean I do love make-up, but actually being skilled at it is a different story.


    • Ana
      Oct 23, 2011 @ 06:56:26

      Ah omgosh you’re inspiring me!!! I really need to get enrolled in some makeup course!


      • dolcearia
        Oct 23, 2011 @ 12:00:07

        I know the feeling! There’s not any schools with solid makeup programs in my area–just cosmetology(Hair cutting) and Aesthetics(Skincare science/waxing). I’d love to find a few good courses in airbrush makeup, special effects techniques… It’s always fun seeing how other people do things. Everyone has their own method, and half the time you never would have guessed some of the things that they’ve learned to love!

      • Ana
        Oct 23, 2011 @ 12:11:08

        So you never attended any makeup course/school? How did you start out as makeup artist and how did you learn all these amazing techniques?

      • dolcearia
        Oct 23, 2011 @ 12:41:11

        Nope. I started in the performing arts, and learned stage makeup in my teens, for dance performances. After high school, I had a few model friends, and I started learning makeup for photography from watching their shoots, assisting photographers/learning photography, acting as a guinea pig for photographers who were testing their own techniques, doing my own research… Mostly pretty “normal” makeup, or smoky eyes, suitable for enhancing a general shoot, but I had to learn a lot of how to work in different lighting conditions, and all of that. At that time I CERTAINLY didn’t put much thought into dramatically reshaping eyebrows, learning skincare for skin other than my own…. Especially when you are new in the industry, it’s the blind leading the blind. We all worked with what we had, and it was acceptable for the situation, but DEFINITELY worlds behind a true professional standard(At least my work was..) There was always something to learn, though, and a few of the models I met, and other makeup artists really inspired me to be a bit more glamorous than the heavily contoured stage makeup, or put-together natural studio looks.

        A few years back, I had a lot of personal drama/loss, and after having to ditch a pile of my other hobbies due to tendinitis in my wrists, I started using makeup more and more as a tool to rebuild my sanity. I was just learning to cope after cutting myself off from a number of very close and toxic relationships, and I’d internalized a lot of the more abusive messages. Makeup helped me distance myself from the anxiety and insecurity, while I tried to put my life back together. I started applying more and more of my art lessons from childhood to it, as far as blending, color choices, developing more creativity, and different techniques…

        That lead to a whole PILE more research, and ways to try developing my technique, to the point where I no longer really feel happy putting makeup on myself, since Im honestly a bit bored with the canvas…

        At some point, while I was keeping my makeup diaries, I realized I didn’t want to be painting myself forever, and the seed of doing this professionally took root. Started researching professional concerns for it(Such as the product safety, sanitation, etc.) Everyone around me is pretty convinced I have OCD, so it didn’t really change my techniques at all, except for repurchasing any creams/liquids that I had already used from the container on myself. After spending a while buying ranges of foundations, and products that couldn’t be pulled from my existing supplies, I contacted a few photographer friends I had in the area, began shooting work for my portfolio, and have pursued it from there.

        Currently, I’ve been assisting professional artists in my area, looking for their feedback, ways to improve my work, reading every makeup book I can get my hands on, building my model of work, and styling makeup for smaller commercial jobs… In the end, whether it’s a course, or your own independent study, you will ONLY get what you put in, out of any kind of education. I’ve worked hard to hone my natural artistic leanings, and the other skill sets needed to work on other people. There’s always more to learn, and I’m still looking for it.

        Case in point-I’m waiting for my airbrush compressor to arrive, and THEN we’ll see a horrifying learning curve! I’m sure I’ll be posting all of THAT here, in line with thepaintedmasks original purpose for me. Expect to see a lot of flat over-foundationed skin, uneven applications of color, red itchy skin from using too high of a pressure…. I really will be surprised if I develop the comfort and confidence with it to do it on someone else within a year. Maybe six months tops. We’ll see. The boyfriend is betting I’ll drop the gun and break it within a week. I DO drop things a lot, and I’m not sure how fragile it is….

        Everyone has a different starting place, and while schools can teach you a huge variety, we ALL have to learn from experience. That said, classrooms are nice for putting huge amounts of it in one space, and for teaching the safety basics. How many youtube artists have we seen advocating silly things, like using craft glitter on the eyes? Heck, I saw an interview with the CEO/head artist for ELF cosmetics in which he advocated using HAND SANITIZER on your face, to prevent bacteria from festering, and cut down on shine!

        Many of the artists I’ve spoken with are self taught, moved in from other artistic disciplines, or have had(at most) training from cosmetics sales positions(MAC, Sephora, etc.) There’s so much knowledge that can be gained, just from seeking it out, assisting artists who are doing the types of work you would like to improve on, experimenting on yourself or friends, researching things, sketching ideas, trying to figure out why ONE product gave you hives, but another didn’t….

        Sorry for the novel!

      • Ana
        Oct 23, 2011 @ 12:56:27

        That’s a great piece of inspiration I must say, in fact this whole page will be for many years to come!

        Talking about the book, I’ve just got it (the ebook version) and don’t know where to start. As you said it’s recommended for makeup artists, should I start reading it the way it’s organized (into chapters)? It seems more targeted towards the painters.

      • dolcearia
        Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:26:01

        Honestly, I usually read beginning to end to get an overview of the ideas, flagging pages that I think will be most useful or will need further reading fully understand. Often times, skipping ahead means you miss out on some of the in depth looks at basic ideas. Then, I go back and read the chapters that seemed most applicable to what I wanted.

        Yes, the book is targeted towards painters, but once you grasp the ideas, it’ll help a LOT in matching foundation or eyeshadow colors, replicating colors that may have been discontinued. I’m sure you don’t need the parts on cleaning brushes, or painting still life, but the information on gray values, color wheels, composing your color palette, is all useful. I think most makeup lovers know a bit of basic color theory (Green concealer over red acne, yellow concealer over bruising, coral or yellow concealer over blue/green tinged undereye bags, pink/yellow foundation undertones, red lipstick with blue tones making teeth appear whiter, etc.) but it can really get a LOT more complex….

        Some of it can be inference, and putting a LOT of thought into the art techniques you are studying, for instance shadows over skin that we read as “gray” are usually a mix of green/blue/purple—cool toned colors. So if you use a warm coppery bronzer to contour a models cheeks, it won’t look like a natural shadow, the way it would if you chose a taupe or tawny shade with more gray/blue undertones(Compare NARS Laguna and NARS Casino, if you get the chance–Laguna is much warmer, and works well as a bronzer, but Casino is MUCH more natural for contouring and whatnot).

        At any rate, understanding what you need out of the colors you are mixing will help to match foundation shades right away, without trying several swatches, and will help you to make accurate mixes without needing as much trial and error, adding more of this color or that color, until the shade is right, but you’ve pulled out three times as much product as you NEED!

        Not to mention, sections on how light changes it will be VERY useful in if you are trying to get makeup to look right on camera, or in different lighting setups–light it self can have warm or cool characteristics that can make your foundation choice look garish, or wash out the depth of your eyeshadow contours. I’d pick up books on photographic lighting, if you plan to work with that a lot. The makeup doesn’t always translate, and that smoky eye that looks gorgeous in front of the window may look flat in front of the backdrop. Art technique, photography, it ALL ties together.

        Even the bits about naming colors, describing different hues and saturation will be IMMENSELY useful when trying to communicate with people about their color choices or needs.

        I know the book is a bit dense, but trust me, it’s worth it! I’d just start at the beginning, read the overview, and then go back to reread whatever portions intrigue or confuse you.

    • dolcearia
      Oct 23, 2011 @ 12:12:58

      It sounds like the starter kit should give you something to practice with, while you build your custom kit. Plus, it’ll give you a baseline for what you like and don’t like about the products… It’s hard to know if your pet peeve with a bronzer will be that it’s pigmented, but fades within a half hour of application(ELF Blush/contour duo), or if the color just isn’t quite right for the people who will be your primary clients(NARS Laguna-too warm). Let me know how the RCMA works for you! I heard it was more difficult to thin down than the graftobian, and that swayed my choice.

      The toners should be fine—compare the ingredients list to a commercially produced toner, and look up the ingredients that aren’t in your preferred toners. Betting most of the different ingredients in the commercial toner have preservative properties…. If that is the case, you should be OK so long as you change your supply frequently(Natural products tend to have a shorter shelf life). I like to get little mini-spray bottles to use for toner, so that I don’t have product sitting in it, barely getting used, since you only need a little bit per model. If you’re REALLY nervous, you can store the unused product in the fridge between shoots/classes, to inhibit bacterial growth even further, and just clean out the jar you are using when you refill it. Have you seen any of the people who recommend doing this for lipsticks and foundations?

      (I’m paranoid, so when I change out any jarred products like Toner, Mixing Medium, etc. After emptying the mini container of old product, I boil water, pour it inside and let it sit a few minutes, pour it out, and then pour alcohol in it, shake it, dump any remaining alcohol/water out, and let it sit so the alcohol can evaporate before refilling it. I usually do it AT LEAST every 90 days, since that’s usually the recommended turnaround for the even HIGHER risk makeup products-mascara, eyeliners applied right to the eye, etc. Like I said, I’m paranoid.)…

      Have fun with your classes! I’m sure you’ll have loads to teach me by the time you’re done! 😉


  6. omgosh
    Oct 28, 2011 @ 07:34:35

    It’s actually really great that you are consistent with being sanitary with your products. Quick question – with your brushes, do you use a brush cleaner in between clients that dries in within 5-20 minutes and then do a thorough clean afterwards?

    I was thinking about the Graftobian too! I haven’t really confirmed my kit yet, all I know is that i want it to be something that I pick and choose and customize rather than buying a set kit from the school.

    Tbh Ana, choosing to study beauty and make up has been one of the hardest decisions of my life. I mean I just spent a good four years of my life completing a double degree and a diploma at University so I could get a well-paid job. Instead I’m using all the money I’ve been saving up since I was 15 to go to Japan and Europe and putting it into this. I really feel that I’m passionate enough to make it worth it and I have ridiculously high hopes and dreams. I just tell myself what do I waste all my time on when I’m proscrastinating? Definitely everything make-up and beauty related.

    Dolcearia, your story is certainly inspiring and really highlights that experience is essential. Tbh I only really do one of my friend’s make up often and the others either dislike wearing too much of it/think it’s too time consuming and others who are so particular and have their own style of doing their make-up, it’s difficult to jump in. Also your comment on photography lighting sounds really interesting 🙂 I really do enjoy photography, although I would NEVER claim being a photographer and it seems like an incredibly handy skill.


    • dolcearia
      Oct 28, 2011 @ 09:17:05

      Heh. I’m a bit obsessive, and I spent years in culinary jobs and culinary school. By the time you’ve spent a few months learning about the MANY different ways that perfectly harmless items can get contaminated, and the differences between all of the different types of poisoning or infection you can get from contact with said items, you either get REALLY paranoid or REALLY cavalier. I’m only this obsessive when I’m cooking for people, or putting makeup on people. All of the common-sense adages that seem fairly distant when you’re grabbing your favorite lipstick to put on your friend seem MUCH closer after you’ve studied all of the different bacteria that’s already on her lips, and all of the bacteria you may transfer to her….

      Regardless of all of the modern contraptions that may protect you from LEGAL responsibility for any mishap(Liability Insurance, registering as an LLC, having clients sign waivers acknowledging that it is not your responsibility if they have a reaction to any products, or services provided, etc.) who really wants the guilt of having made someone ill, or caused permanent damage(Look at all of the poor Glittersniffer clients submitting photos of their medical problems from THOSE cosmetics!). It’s better to make sure you know how to protect EVERYONE who comes into contact with your makeup, right from the beginning.

      As for my brushes—I tend to doublecheck, triplecheck. I have enough duplicates that I separate them into “sets”. This way, I can just pull out however many sets I need. Either one per client, or 3, so that I can clean them, leave them drying, pick up a clean set, and by the time I rotate back through, the first brush set will be dry. I clean them either the night before, or the morning of the booking, Once they’re dirty, I set them to the side AWAY from the clean brushes, so they don’t get accidentally replaced without cleaning. If it’s a shoot, I clean them while I watch the set, in between touch-ups, and still keep them separate while drying. If it’s an event, I clean them quickly between clients. In both cases, I give them a THOROUGH cleaning at home.

      The idea is to have a set of safeguards. Say that I might forget to clean a brush after using it on a model, it’s not in the kit I pick up for model #2, and it still gets thoroughly cleaned when I go home from the shoot. Even if I forget to clean a brush the night after the shoot, it still gets cleaned out BEFORE the next shoot. Even eyeliner pencils get sanitized before application, and after, so that if I forget either one, the product will STILL be sanitized when I use it. It’s tedious, routine, probably overkill. The important thing is setting a routine you can follow without thinking, so that there will ALWAYS be clean brushes when you need them. Keeping a pretty quick drying cleaner(like Parian spirits), or a spray bottle of alcohol(Though that’s no the best on the brushes, if you are using straight alcohol on them a lot) still helps for quickly cleaning up your area, and killing as much of the bacteria as you can. The hardest thing is just training yourself to clean brushes ASAP in case you pick them up on autopilot, and not to put dirty brushes back in your brush roll/cup/organizer.

      Hope that helps!


  7. Corey
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 13:06:09

    I contacted NYC cosmetics today and was told, per “Clifton”, that NYX slim eye pencils and NYX jumbo eye pencils were safe to be used on the lips.


    • dolcearia
      Nov 09, 2011 @ 09:08:22

      Really? THat’s great to know! Maybe I’ll get more use out of all of my NYX eye pencils, since I hated how they wore on the eyes. You made my day! I think I’d still double-check the ingredients, since it seems odd that there’d be NO restrictions for specific pigments in them. I’m a bit paranoid though.



      • Corey
        Nov 15, 2011 @ 11:32:55

        I would definitely double-check the ingredients. Let me know if you find anything. I’m still waiting on my Winter’s guide.

      • dolcearia
        Nov 15, 2011 @ 13:45:49

        Yep, it may take a bit, though. I’ve had so many last minute bookings in the last few days, that I’ll be lucky to find time to scratch my head for the next few weeks. Should be exciting! Wish I had more time for blogging, though…

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