As a makeup artist, or even as a consumer, it's a very valuable thing to be informed about what goes into the products that you're using. TLDR: THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST RESOURCE FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTS: brought to you by Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. I don't normally offer TLDR options, because I believe information is important, but I know the language following is a lot of legalese and if you don't have the time or patience right now, come back to it later and finish reading and at least bookmark and browse the link above if you do nothing else. FOR MORE DETAILS, READ ON: Regulations in the cosmetics industry are very limited and the FDA only investigates the safety of cosmetic products AFTER a complaint has been made against a company. It is important for consumers to be informed about the products they are using. From the FDA handbook: “The FD & C act does not require that cosmetic manufacturers or marketers test their products for safety, the FDA strongly urges cosmetic manufacturers to conduct whatever toxicological or other tests are appropriate to substantiate the safety of their cosmetics. If the safety of a cosmetic is not adequately substantiated, the product may be considered misbranded and may be subject to regulatory action unless the label bears the following statement. “Warning-The safety of this product has not been determined.”” This means cosmetics companies get to decide what testing they deem necessary to prove safety, there is no outside board or testing required by law. Each company decides what they do as far as testing is concerned. Furthermore, if animal testing is important to you, know that any makeup company that ships to China, must by Chinese law conduct animal testing. Many companies claim to be cruelty free but still do testing on animals so that they can ship to China. Other companies refuse to test on animals entirely, so they must refuse to ship to China entirely to be honest in that statement. 

 Other issues involving China and makeup are with the sale of knockoff designer makeup brands. You can find very cheap versions of well known brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Jeffree Star and Lime Crime (we aren't endorsing any of these brands, merely listing examples) and oftentimes, they are fake and contain ingredients that are not FDA approved and often harmful. You can find these knockoffs on websites like Ebay, Wish, Alibaba, Aliexpress and others. There are plenty of great products on these sites, but if you see a steeply discounted makeup product that is normally expensive, it's probably safest to skip it. It should be stated that “Natural” products aren’t always better for the skin just like many other claims by various cosmetics companies aren’t necessarily true. The term “Natural” is not regulated for use in describing cosmetics. Furthermore, some advocacy groups discourage people from using products that have ingredients that are difficult to pronounce and not easily recognized by the average person. That’s not necessarily a fair assessment either, considering that the official scientific names of many commonly recognized ingredients aren’t as well known, but are usually what’s listed. Something being natural, doesn't make it automatically good for you or your skin. Poison Ivy is natural, sometimes synthetic products are better. Synthetic makeup brushes are the only option if you want vegan makeup brushes. The European Union Cosmetics Directive has banned 1,100 chemicals in cosmetics; the Food and Drug Administration in America has banned only ten & U.S. law can’t prevent other countries from importing prohibited cosmetics. Companies also aren’t required to register their cosmetic establishments, file data on ingredients, or report cosmetic-related injuries to FDA. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), a self-policing safety panel, is the FDA’s primary source of scientific data. According to its Web site, the CIR “thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.” however, the CIR is funded by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), an industry group of more than six hundred cosmetic companies. In fact, the PCPC reportedly spent over $600,000 on lobbyists in Sacramento to prevent the California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005, a law that would have required manufacturers to post any unsafe ingredients on product labels, from passing. Reports from environmental and public-health groups, like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, have often directly contradicted the “safe” findings of the CIR. Yet the FDA states that UV Reactive and Glitter shouldn’t be used on eyes, only lips. While the EU allows its use for both. The FDA is also unclear about labeling products meant for eyes vs lips. THIS BASICALLY MEANS THAT THERE IS A LOT OF AMBIGUITY IN LABELING REQUIREMENTS OF PRODUCTS. Many companies still use glitter in eye products with impunity for the most part, while it's technically not FDA approved to do so. The reason the FDA does not approve of glitter (even microfine glitter) is because of the risk of damage to the eye if cut by a larger than expected particle of glitter. We aren't saying don't use glitter on your eyelids or around your eyes, because we know many people do, just use caution and do so carefully. Almost any makeup will irritate your eye if it gets in your eye. Most of us have had the misfortune of accidentally stabbing ourselves in the eye with eyeliner or mascara while first learning to apply it, or being startled while applying it or maybe just trying to do so in a moving vehicle. Wash your eye out with water if it's really bad or let your eye do it's thing and clean itself out with tears. Material Safety Data Sheets can be helpful for learning more about cosmetic ingredients but they don't tell the whole picture. Many products are perfectly safe in a certain quantity or when combined with other ingredients but if used in it's pure form or in excess become unsafe. Many cosmetic ingredients are listed as dangerous to inhale. Don't breathe in the makeup. Safety really comes down to knowledge and common sense. (Don't breathe this. < We couldn't resist, it's funny. It's worth it. ) THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST RESOURCE FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTS: brought to you by Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop who wrote "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me". The written guide is a little outdated though now, since so many new products have come out since then. That's why the website is the best resource. Paula Begoun is the founder and innovative force behind Paula's Choice skin care and cosmetics. She is the author of 20+ best-selling books on skin care, makeup, and hair care.Paula's books have sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide. Her work as a nationally-recognized consumer expert for the cosmetics industry has led to repeat appearances on CNN, as well as programs such as Oprah, The Today Show, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The View, and Dr. Oz. Each member of The Research Team is personally trained by Paula to honestly and scientifically analyze thousands of product formulations. The team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin. Learn more about Paula herself, here: To learn about the ingredients we use and the science behind them, go here: shop now