Hypoallergenic Eyeliner – 6 Best Reviewed
If you’re a lover of makeup and beauty products like me, you probably adore eyeliner. Whether you’re an avid beauty blogger follower, makeup fanatic or prefer minimal makeup looks, the chances are you pretty much always finish your eye look off with eyeliner. From small flicks to the cat eye and more, eyeliner is, and always will be amazing.
As you can tell, I am a huge lover of eyeliner, so a few years ago when I started to react badly to my favorite eyeliner of all time, I was left feeling devastated! I kept wondering if I would ever find an eyeliner that glided across my eye as wonderfully as the well known and loved brand I’d been using for years. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be told about hypoallergenic makeup. Even better, I found out about makeup created for even the most sensitive of eyes (like mine had suddenly become).
I’ve tried what feels like thousands of products over the last few years; I’ve reviewed a few below so that you don’t have to go out and buy dozens like I did.
Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Liner
MCC ECOCERT Organic Green Tea Volumizing Mascara & Eyeliner Waterproof Set
Almay Eye Liner With Built In Sharpener
Helan Natural Mineral Oil Free, Paraben Free, Vegan & Nickel Tested Liquid Eyeliner
KROMA Eye Liner
1. Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Liner
Neutrogena’s Nourishing Eyeliner has to go at the top of the list for me. It is absolutely incredible and I still use this eyeliner the majority of the time.
Usually, when purchasing a new product, my eyes react within the first few days, but with the Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner, my eyes didn’t get red and puffy at all. After the first two weeks were over, I knew that this would forever be one of my favorite products. I was right and have repurchased this a fair few times!
What’s So Good About Neutrogena’s Nourishing Eyeliner?
The ingredients in this product are specifically chosen to be kind to the eyes. The eyeliner contains shea butter and olive oil, both known for their softening and nourishing qualities. As well as these nourishing ingredients, the pencil also comes with a sharpener, making it perfect for quick on-the-go looks (without needing to take out your whole makeup bag). If that isn’t good enough, one end of the eyeliner is a smudger, meaning it’s easy to create both sharp and soft looks on the eye!
I found this eyeliner to apply really easily (probably due to all the wonderful ingredients inside). It really glides over the eye without the need to pull and tug at the skin.
Neutrogena’s Nourishing Eyeliner easily gets a 10/10 for their affordable (only $5.50) eyeliner that is easy to apply, looks great, and most importantly, doesn’t irritate the skin.
2. MCC ECOCERT Organic Green Tea Volumizing Mascara & Eyeliner Waterproof Set
The MCC Ecocert eyeliner and mascara set is perfect for those of us
with sensitive eyes who do not want to shop around for hours on end searching for products that work well together.
The Best Bits MCC ECOCERT
Not only did this set help me to create a wonderful eye look, it also stayed on all night. The products claimed to be waterproof, and they didn’t lie! The most marvellous part about it, though, was the fact that when I came to wash my face, it came off easily with my regular cleansing routine. No scrubbing or harsh products were needed to get it off!
I’d give this set a 6/10. There was nothing wrong with the products included in the set, I just feel that some of the others I have reviewed today are slightly better.
3. Almay Eye Liner With Built-In Sharpener
Like the Neutrogena eyeliner, the Almay pencil comes with its own sharpener, making it an incredible
product for those of us who are always on the go, or constantly lose our eye pencil sharpeners (seriously, the amount I have bought over the years is astonishing!) Saying this, the Almay Eyeliner lasts for ages, so the chances are that you’ll not have to top it up as the day goes on! Perfect!
The Best Bits of the Almay Eyeliner:
Almay’s eyeliner is enriched with vitamin E, which is great for nourishing the skin. This is one of the things that I loved the most about this product. The second thing is that you receive two eyeliners in the packet. This is perfect for those of us who fear of running out of a product. However, if you have millions of eyeliners already, you could do what I did - give one of the pencils to your bestie!
I’d give the Almay Eyeliner 8/10. It would have scored more but I think that the product wasn’t as smooth enough as I’d have liked, meaning I was tempted to pull at my eyelid - a big no-no in my eyes!
4. Helan Natural Mineral Oil Free, Paraben Free, Vegan, & Nickel Tested Eyeliner
If you’re looking for a liquid eyeliner instead of a pencil one, this Helan eyeliner is perfect!
If you’re new to applying liquid eyeliner, you may get frustrated. Trust me, once you’ve become used to applying liquid eyeliner, you’ll fall in love with this product like I did.
What Is Fabulous About the Helan Natural Eyeliner?
It’s vegan, which is great for vegans AND those looking to put less harsh ingredients on their face. The product has been certified for ethical and sustainable manufacturing too. This product literally checks off all the boxes for me.
For me personally, I would give this product a huge thumbs up, even 10/10. However, because many people prefer to stick to pencil eyeliners, a 7/10 may be a fairer evaluation. It definitely scores points for its manufacturing and ingredients!
5. KROMA Eye Liner
I love this product because of its color range. Sometimes, we don’t want to stick to blacks and browns, do we?
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic eyeliner pencil in more vibrant and daring colors, have a look at the Kroma range. You will not be left feeling disappointed!
What I Love About the Kroma Eyeliner Pencil
Although the Kroma eyeliner pencil range is a pencil, it isn’t dry or difficult to put on. The fact that it is a pencil allows the wearer to create sharp lines (by ensuring the pencil is sharp before starting) yet it glides on smoothly.
This pencil is a little more expensive than the others in the review, yet it is so worth it. If you’re worried about money, I’d still recommend this product, just only wear it from time to time and have one of the cheaper hypoallergenic eyeliners as your day-to-day today eyeliner. The Kroma Eyeliner gets a 9/10.
What is hypoallergenic makeup?
Unfortunately, there are many chemicals in regular makeup that can have the worst reactions to all types of skin, especially the more sensitive of skin. Many people (like myself) can go for years using this makeup, then suddenly your skin decides it doesn’t like it anymore. Many makeup and beauty brands have become aware of this issue and have developed products that are created without a lot of these harsh elements and are specifically designed for sensitive skin and are extremely unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. This is especially important when using makeup around the eye area.
Types of Eyeliner
There are many types of eyeliners available these days, the top three are as follows:
Gel eyeliners can glide on like a dream, however, finding one that doesn’t dry out after the first few uses can be difficult, which is why many people tend to have a disliking for them. Don’t let this put you off! Gel eyeliners can be great and often create darker lines than pencil eyeliners.
Pencil eyeliners are a classic go to. Always keep your pencil sharp and find a great product. You’ll be drawing on the perfect line in no time.
Many people find liquid eyeliners to be messy. Although I agree to a point, I find that once the art of applying them is perfected, they can create the best eyeliner looks. If you have hooded eyelids, make sure you allow enough drying time before opening your eye and you’ll be onto a winner!
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Why Do Some of Us Suffer When Wearing Makeup?
It’s unfortunate that many of us will go through the torment of not being able to wear makeup without having some kind of reaction. The question we are all wondering, however, is why does this happen? Why is there a need for hypoallergenic makeup and eyeliners? I know I wonder this when I see my friends purchasing the latest makeup they’ve seen their favorite makeup gurus use on social media, leaving me feeling a little annoyed that I can’t jump on the bandwagon too!
A study done in 2010 showed that at least one-third of people surveyed had had an allergic reaction to makeup at some point in their life. That is a huge amount of people, so you’re not on your own. Allergic reactions to makeup are just part of life and no different to having a food allergy or any other common allergy. So, that’s why your eyes are going red and itchy, don’t worry about it.
How to Check if You're Allergic to Eyeliner
There are a few ways to tell if you are allergic to eyeliner and/or other makeup products. Reactions can be sudden, gradual, sometimes they can be from a few products and/or but sometimes they can be from certain ingredients (meaning you should stop using a wide range of brands).
The above can make it hard to know if you are actually allergic or not, especially in the changing seasons and weather (how are you meant to know if you’re suffering from hay fever or not). Below I have given some tips on the most common signs to look out for (the ones that are probably your body’s way of telling you to stop using a product).
Your eyes react similarly to other parts of your body, if something doesn’t sit well, you’ll go red. As I said above, it’s sometimes difficult to know if the cause is your eyeliner right away. Take a break from it and if the problem stops, you should change your eyeliner.
Having itchy eyes is tricky because quite often, the weather and seasons can be the cause of the problem. If you suffer from seasonal allergies (such as hay fever), the best thing to do would be to stop wearing eyeliner for a few days and see if the problem persists. If your eyes are still itchy without wearing any eyeliner or other eye makeup, it’s probably your seasonal allergies. Of course, if your eyes stop itching and causing you discomfort, the problem most likely lies in the eyeliner you were wearing. Switch to one of the hypoallergenic products mentioned above instead.
Eyes may water when something is stuck, you’re tired, and more. However, constant eye watering is uncommon and can be one way your eyes are telling you to stop using those harsh products.
Swelling and Puffiness
If your eyes puff up, you need to back away from the eyeliner you’re using. Wait until any puffiness has gone down fully before switching to another product.
Your eyes feeling like they are burning is a huge indicator that you’re allergic to the product you’re using. The burning sensation sometimes instantly occurs when applying your eyeliner (in which case, take it off immediately) but sometimes can be hours after taking the product off. If any products make you feel like your eyes are burning, switch to another product that is hypoallergenic! (Be sure to give your eyes time to recover between products).
Your eyes are very sensitive, so the chances are that if you are allergic, you’ll get a few (sometimes only one, sometimes all) of the above reactions at the same time. When you’re suffering from red, puffy, burning AND itchy eyes, all at the same time, it is very tempting to keep rubbing and touching the eye area and face. It is difficult to resist the urge to do this but try your hardest to not rub the eye area, you’ll only irritate it more if you do.
What Should You Do if You Have a Reaction?
While it may be annoying to have to go bare-faced for a few days if you’ve had an allergic reaction, it is crucial. Plus, it gives your entire face a breather and a chance to recover properly.
You should do the following if you suspect your eyes are reacting badly to the eyeliner you’ve used:
- Use a gentle face cleanser to wash off all the products on your face - don’t leave any product behind as it is much better to allow your entire face to be bare.
- Dry your face and do not apply any products for as long as possible (at least 24 hours but longer if you can).
After your face has had a chance to recover, you may want to try using the product that may have caused the reaction. Trying the product again is fine but if a reaction happens again, it is safe to say that that is the cause and they only place the product is fit for is the trash! Do NOT be tempted to use it anyway and do not give the product to a friend or relative, no matter how close you are. Eye infections are easily spread and sharing eyeliner products is never a good idea.
It may be easy to keep pushing through the discomfort, however, in the long run, you could be causing yourself some real damage. Never ignore a reaction and always get rid of eyeliners that are creating issues for you. Your eye health is not worth risking!
What Ingredients to Look for When Shopping for a Hypoallergenic Eyeliner
With so many products on the market and so many ingredients in them all, you may be wondering which eyeliners are the best. Which products do as they say and which should you avoid? Below are what you should be looking for and what to avoid at all costs:
Say yes to as many natural ingredients in your hypoallergenic makeup as possible. Natural oils and butters and natural colorings. If it is possible, try to stick to organic products.
If you suffer from allergic reactions to makeup, check to make sure these ingredients are NOT present in your hypoallergenic eyeliner. This list includes (but is not by any means limited to) the following:
- Coal Tar Dyes
- Carbon Black
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
- Aluminium powder
- Heavy metals
- Titanium dioxide
- Benzalkonium chloride
Many of these ingredients can irritate the skin. Many researchers, makeup fanatics, health enthusiasts and scientists have also expressed their concerns about the ingredients and their links to cancer, so taking them out of your daily makeup routine will only do you good!
It is often difficult to understand all the writing on eyeliner labels. It’s printed in the tiniest of writing and is often like another language. If you’re ever unsure about any of the ingredients in a product you’re interested in, contact the company directly or ask one of the representatives in the store you’re purchasing from.
Applying eyeliner can be frustrating if it’s something you’re not used to doing, however, once you’ve practiced, practiced and practiced some more, the amount of satisfaction you get from applying your eyeliner will be great.
Here are a few tips on how to perfect the perfect eyeliner look:
1. No Pulling
It can be tricky to apply eyeliner without wanting to stretch out the eyelid. Try to avoid this! It’s hard to get out of the habit of doing so if you’ve been pulling and stretching your eyelid out for years but once you get the swing of it, you’ll create a beautiful line. Why is pulling your eyelid bad practice? Wrinkles. Think of how much pulling and tugging you’re doing on your eye over the course of a lifetime… The more pulling you do… the greater the wrinkles.
Top tip: lift your head slightly and look down into a mirror when applying your hypoallergenic eyeliner. Don’t pull.
2. Always Keep Your Pencil Sharp
Never try to draw on sharp looking lines with a blunt and unsharpened pencil. You’ll end up getting annoyed at the results and have to wash it all off and start again.
3. Dotted Lines
Many people like to draw dotted lines along their eye and join them up to create a straight and even line. Do this to start and once you’re a pro, you’ll be able to create a lovely line in a few sweeps.
4. Card or Guide
Another popular hack to create the perfect cat eye is to line up an old credit card or other piece of sturdy material to the outer corner of the eye. Place the card at your desired angle (i.e where you want your cat eye to be) and draw along the skin. Move the card away and then join up with the rest of your eyelid. If it’s a little messy, you can clean up the area using foundation after you’ve applied all your eyeliner.
If you use powder to set or bake your face, you can do the same with eyeliner! Use an eyeshadow the matches your eyeliner color, gently press a small brush into the powder then apply to the eyeliner. Remember: if you’ve been reacting badly to makeup, you need to make sure your eyeshadow isn’t going to react too. Take extra care and if in doubt, skip this step or use a hypoallergenic eyeshadow you know won’t react.
YouTube is amazing for pretty much EVERYTHING. It’s great to read articles on the internet and in magazines. However, I always find that watching videos allow me to see exactly how to do something. A quick search on YouTube on eyeliner hacks and techniques will throw out dozens upon dozens of results. Once you’ve watched a few videos, you’ll be desperate to go and try out your hypoallergenic eyeliners and will probably even end up looking at other techniques and tutorials (eyeshadow looks, etc). Who knows? You could even be the next makeup guru!
I am quite sure that all of us would love to have the natural ability to do something right away, without all the pain of mistakes and mess ups! This is the real world, though. The only way you’ll (myself included) will ever perfect the eye look you really want is by practicing! Sometimes mistakes even lead to amazing eye creations you’ll love.
I am a great believer in finding looks that are the most suitable to the wearer. One eye look may not look great on one person, but fabulous on another. Experiment with different styles, eras, and more to find your favorite eyeliner look.
Every single makeup wearer has their own way of applying their eyeliner. Once you’ve practiced, you’ll find the perfect way for you.
Good Eye Care Habits
It’s important to keep up with good eye care habits whether you suffer from allergies or not. Below are some of my top tips to keep even the most sensitive of eyes happy:
1. Keep Your Makeup Tools Clean
It is so important to keep your makeup tools clean and it will only take up a few minutes of your time. After using an eyeliner pencil, make sure you sharpen and get rid of any shavings from your pencil sharpener. Wash your makeup brushes regularly (especially the ones you use to apply eyeliner gels and eyeshadows) and let them dry fully before using again. Keeping up these practices will mean that less junk has the chance of getting into your delicate and sensitive eye area.
2. Always Take off Makeup Properly
We’ve all done it: fallen asleep wearing a full face of makeup. A couple of times is acceptable, but if you’ve gotten into the habit of doing it every day: STOP NOW! Leaving makeup on for long periods of time is so bad for your skin, especially when you’re sleeping. Sleeping is the best time to allow your skin to recover, so it’s extremely important to take off all your makeup. Check your eye area thoroughly to ensure all makeup has been removed from every part of your eye, then check again. Be sure to check in your tear ducts as gunk from your makeup and gunk from the day collects there very easily.
One of the best ways to make sure your eyes have enough time to recover from eye makeup is to let it rest. It’s hard if you simply adore makeup, but crucial. Take advantage of time not wearing makeup by giving your face a lovely pamper - cleansing creams, face masks, facial cream, eye cream, and eye patches. You’ll feel great once it’s finished and your skin will be lovely and nourished. This also creates a better base for your eyes and face once you wear makeup again.
How to Take off Eye Makeup Properly
If you’re anything like me, even if you find the best and most perfect hypoallergenic eyeliner that never causes a reaction, is great value for money, looks great and is easy to apply, you’ll STILL shop around for other products. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep buying new makeup and testing out new products and brands. The problem does arise, though, when you try a product and struggle to remove it. Scrubbing away at your eye area could result in irritation and infection (even if the product you’re using is hypoallergenic), so you have always got to be extra careful. I’ve tried and tested numerous products and methods to take off eyeliners and eye makeup. Below are the best tips:
1. Use Organic and Hypoallergenic Removers
If you’ve managed to keep your eyes from reacting to your eyeliner, don’t ruin it by then using a harsh makeup remover that will react with your eyes! Keep it as natural as possible from makeup application, to makeup removal.
2. Coconut Oil
Who doesn’t love coconut oil? It’s natural, smells great, is nourishing and cheap! Some people also swear that it helps their eyelashes grow longer and thicker. If that’s the case, I’ll continue using it. How to use coconut oil for removing eyeliner: Melt a small amount of coconut oil in the palm of your hands, dip a cotton ball in the melted oil and gently rub away the product from your eyes. Wash your face thoroughly after, ensuring no oil and/or face wash gets into your eyes. Pat your face dry and apply a hypoallergenic face cream.
3. Micellar Water
Micellar water is great if you’ve applied a light face of makeup and it is quick and easy to sweep across the entire face. Many brands have launched their own micellar water, so comparing ingredients and price has never been easier!
How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes
As I mentioned above, cleaning your makeup brushes is crucial to ensuring your eye health related to makeup. Regular cleaning ensures less junk, gunk, bacteria and generally anything disgusting is staying away from your delicate eye area as much as possible. Below are a few of my makeup brush cleaning tips:
- Use makeup remover for stubborn makeup - this is particularly good for brushes that have been dipped n gel eyeliners and left overnight to dry out. The gel dries, becomes hard, and is near enough impossible to remove. In cases like this, rub your brush in some hypoallergenic makeup remover and then rinse through with warm water. Allow to dry thoroughly.
- Warm soapy water - brushes that have been used for powders can be easily cleaned using warm soapy water (make sure you use hypoallergenic soap if your eyes are extra sensitive).
- Coconut oil - is there anything that coconut oil doesn’t do? Use the method above (makeup remover) to get the cleanest of brushes.
I truly hope that this post has helped you to see that having sensitive eyes is not a curse and with time and dedication, you’ll find some great products that will help you create beautiful makeup looks. Hypoallergenic eyeliners are not bad quality, you just have to find the right ones for you (but wouldn’t you have to do this with any other product on the market, whether it is designed for sensitive eyes or not?).
- 0.1 Quick Comparison
- 0.2 1. Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Liner
- 0.3 2. MCC ECOCERT Organic Green Tea Volumizing Mascara & Eyeliner Waterproof Set
- 0.4 3. Almay Eye Liner With Built-In Sharpener
- 0.5 4. Helan Natural Mineral Oil Free, Paraben Free, Vegan, & Nickel Tested Eyeliner
- 0.6 5. KROMA Eye Liner
- 1 What is hypoallergenic makeup?
- 2 Types of Eyeliner
- 3 Why Do Some of Us Suffer When Wearing Makeup?
- 4 How to Check if You're Allergic to Eyeliner
- 5 What Should You Do if You Have a Reaction?
- 6 What Ingredients to Look for When Shopping for a Hypoallergenic Eyeliner
- 7 How to Apply Eyeliner Properly
- 8 Good Eye Care Habits
- 9 How to Take off Eye Makeup Properly
- 10 How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes