Makeup Labels

Oil Free, All-Natural, and Long-Lasting – these are just three of the many claims most makeup labels display. Chances are you have read some of these phrases on your favorite brands, and maybe you have even chosen a brand because of these claims. For many, these are the key terms that they look for when picking a new make-up brand. But what exactly do they mean?

Unfortunately, many of these terms don’t guarantee much since they aren’t regulated. As the buyer, in the end, it’s your responsibility to read ingredients and research the brand beyond the one-liners on the label. Let’s go into a little more detail behind some common claims.


People who are prone to breakouts choose products that are oil-free because they think that added moisture from the oil could only make the breakouts worse, or that the oil could clog their pores. Sadly, when you look at the back label of the make-up, you may see oil as one of its ingredients anyway. Instead of being totally oil-free, some products that claim to be oil free use organic oil as one of its ingredients instead of synthetic oil. Don’t lose hope just yet! Organic oil can indeed be less likely to cause breakouts than synthetic oil. But, if you are truly trying to cut all oils from your makeup selection, be sure to read the label carefully.


It is fantastic to know that more and more make-up companies are adding SPF to their products. Sunscreen provides protection from the harsh rays of the sun, making it possible for anyone to go out in the sun with their make-up on without worrying about UV protection. When picking the right make-up brand, try to go for the ones that contain physical sunscreen as it acts as a barrier on your skin and reflects the UV rays to keep them away instead of absorbing them (like a chemical sunscreen). Physical sunscreen can also be easier on sensitive skin, like the skin around your eyes, when used in lieu of chemical sunscreen.


The FDA has not given specifics about what is considered as all-natural, so cosmetics companies must use their own judgment as to what they consider “natural”. The unfortunate thing is that a person’s interpretation of “natural” can be relative. If you read “all natural” on the label of a cosmetic product, be sure to read the ingredients list to ensure that your definition of “all natural” aligns with that of the producer. Also remember, just because something’s all-natural, it doesn’t guarantee that it will not irritate your skin. When you check the ingredients, keep an eye out for anything that could irritate you or that you could be allergic to.


Having “long-lasting” listed on the label just brings up more questions… how long is “long enough” to be “long-lasting”? It may be wise to see if there are any specific numbers cited on the label for how long the makeup can last. Or, you could always check out some online reviews of the product on Sephora, Ulta or YouTube. No reviews yet? Try the product out and make your own review… help out another makeup lover with the same question!

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