A Beginner's Guide To Gluten-Free Lipstick, If You're Into That Sort Of Thing

I don't have celiac disease, but sometimes you just want to play it a little safer, you know?
Publish date:
June 7, 2013
nars, lipsticks, mac, lip glosses, maybelline, Revlon, gluten, Afterglow, celiac, Red Apple

A few years ago I decided I was going to go gluten-free because whatever, why not? I work in an office and sometimes I get bored.

So I bought a bunch of weird cookies and green spaghetti, and for five days I was really hungry and kinda cranky. I think that box of cookies is still in my cupboard. But after that week, I never thought about gluten again.

That is until last weekend when a friend raved about my lipstick shade, MAC’s Saint Germain--so French--and then asked if it was gluten-free. I felt myself get judgey for a second because I was like, uh who cares?, but the more we talked about it the more I legit cared.

She’s celiac and can’t have any gluten at all, and since at least some of your lipstick ends up not just on your mouth but in it, what she puts on her face matters. And because I’m lazy and--knock on all the wood--don’t have any allergies, I’ve never really thought about what’s in my makeup; which I realize now is insane because I think a lot about what’s in the rest of my medicine cabinet. Most of what I use on my face and body is all-natural and usually DIY.

But why do I just take lipstick, eyeshadow, etc., at face value? Because they come in pretty colours and who cares look at my sparkly blue lids? I haven’t actually looked at a cosmetics ingredients list since I was eight and a card carrying member of the World Wildlife Federation. Back then I would lecture my mom about using lipstick with whale blubber in it. Yeah, that was a thing once guys. SAVE THE WHALES!

Newayz, when I got home that day I started looking up what’s in my lipstick to see 1. what the eff is in that stuff and 2. are there are any gluten-free alternatives out there for my celiac sisters?

Turns out a few of my MAC favourites are not entirely gluten-free; the amplified crème finish, for example, has wheat and barley extracts. But some of the other variations are made with corn and soy, so they may be safer for those with sensitivities. Lipglass and Dazzleglass are totally safe, so work those shiny lips stress-free.

NARS lipsticks are entirely gluten-free, which is awesome because how amazing is Funny Face? You can’t have a bad day with hot pink lips. JK of course you can; every day is like Sunday, but at least you look great.

Most of the other drugstore brands are kind of hit or miss. Revlon ColorStay Lipsticks are gluten-free. Some Maybelline ones are gluten-free and some aren’t. Your best bet is to call the company up and ask or do some major internet sleuthing. Flargh, eyeroll, I know--it’s a lot of work to make an impromptu purchase, but for some people, it’s a crucial step.

But basically, anything containing wheat, oat, rye, barley and millet derivatives are what you're trying to avoid.

There are also a few companies that specialize in gluten-free makeup if you’re looking for something seriously serious. Check out Afterglow and Red Apple.

I can promise I’ll be paying closer attention to what’s in my makeup bag, especially since I can’t even pronounce most of the ingredients in the things I already have. And I was in advanced reading, so…

Do you have allergies that conflict with your makeup? Are you gluten-free and mad at me for not sticking to the green pasta? What lipsticks do you use and recommend?