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Post in Everything Eyes

Carmine-Free Makeup for Serious Allergies

I want to try and compile a list of carmine free eyeshadows that still look decent for those of us with serious allergies to the red dye "carmine", or for people who would just prefer to avoid makeup that contains smashed bugs as dye. I'm not vegan but if I have contact with carmine I get hives and my eyes swell completely shut, and if I swallow it (it occasionally is used in food products, like wild berry poptarts) I have to be hospitalized. For anyone unaware, "purple" allergy is usually actually a reaction to carmine, so if you find yourself having bad reactions to purple, pink, red, or any kind of rose-tinted colors, you may be allergic to carmine. My reactions were gradual from puffy red eyes and sneezing to an entire swollen face that required an emergency injection, so it can become a very serious situation, especially if you're unaware and end up eating something that uses it. 


To start off the list I'd like to start with some products I bough recently:

Make Up For Ever in M-924 (Matte Purple)

Not all of Make Up For Ever's shadows are carmine free, but M-924 is and it's a decently vibrant purple. It helps to put a primer or base on first to get the color to stay, and I find that applying it wet gives more vibrant results, but it is definitely very purple.

Urban Decay glitter eyeshadow in Solstice (brick red with green glitter shift effect) 

This was less for the red and more for the green glitter, but I'm still super happy with how it looks as a whole. Urban Decay has actually started labeling their carmine-free shadows as vegan so it's really easy to find the safe ones and to double check the unsafe ones. 

I usually go for a kind of goth-witch aesthetic, so I like to layer the glittery red-green solstice over the matte purple m-924 for a kind of green shimmering purple look. 

My next goal is to find something to do some rich red holiday looks, so any additions to this list would be greatly appreciated! 

I would also like to note something that is a definite dud for me just so no one recommends-

Kat Von D's Lolita Pallette 

...the colors are very dry, not very vibrant, kind of fade to a brownish color on my skintone. I've also experienced some weird puffiness on the inner parts of my eyelids after putting it on... maybe some kind of cross contamination??? I've seen people make some pretty looks with the pallette, I'm not trying to outright bash it, because I know my weird slightly greenish pale skintone is probably also a factor for it not working well for me, but I just didnt find it to be the best option out there. I do also prefer satin types of looks over solid matte looks. 

Re: Carmine-Free Makeup for Serious Allergies

There are a lot of good vegan brands out there now, some even indie brands.

For ex:

Linda Hallberg

Salt New York

Aether Beauty

Lethal Cosmetics

Lunar Beauty


Kaleidos cosmetics, etc


They make great products. I use all the brands above.

Re: Carmine-Free Makeup for Serious Allergies

Thanks for the post! I've gone into anaphylactic shock twice from cochineal (carmine). Just starting to wear makeup more regularly, so I'm looking to make sure these vegan products consider it in their products. I can use all the help I can get! I just contacted the KVD site to make sure they consider carmine in their products. 

RE: Carmine-Free Makeup for Serious Allergies

I am also deathly allergic to carmine!! I have a heck of a time with cosmetics.
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