can lip liner be used as eyeliner

It’s one of those dreaded moments when your eyeliner runs out, and you’re left wondering, can lip liner be used as eyeliner?

Adding a splash of color to your dress or your face is the quickest way to make a dramatic transformation, and a good eyeliner can help you achieve that quickly.

After all, the plain old black pencil is so yesterday when there are many other colors and styles to pick from.

A wide range of colors is available to make your eyes stand out, from electric blues to metallic golds.

However, when you're specifically looking for that smokey-eye look, you want your favorite black eyeliner. But, remember, it's nowhere to be found!

Does that mean you should simply grab your lip liner and do your thing?

Lip liners are not a substitute for your eyeliner.  While both makeup products go onto your face, they are not created equal. Use a lipliner on your eyes and be prepared to cope with the fallout.

Can Lip Liner Be Used As Eyeliner?

can lip liner go in your eyes

The idea of using a lip liner as eyeliner is definitely not new; it’s been around for decades. But the latest beauty trend has people asking: what’s the point?

Apparently, the components of lip liners and pencil eyeliners are virtually always the same.

The pigments and color additives used in each product set them apart.

The confusing part? 

The components are not always easily discernible on the ingredient list.

Ask any cosmetic chemist, and they wouldn’t recommend switching between these two products.

The eye products are designed with pigments that are safe for the eye area. You need to be careful near your eyes; take no chances.

Tip: Simply dab a touch of mascara onto the brush of your existing eyeliner and use it to fill in the lash line in place of eyeliner.  

What Does the FDA have to Say?

what the fda says

The FDA appears to be taking this situation quite seriously. When it comes to eye makeup, there are tight regulations regarding the usage of color additives.

Lip liner and any other cosmetic product not designed for use near the eye are specifically discouraged.

Therefore, you should never bring any kind of blush, lipstick, lip liner, or general makeup product anywhere near your eyes. 

You should expect, at best, to have some little eye discomfort. What’s the worst that might happen?

If you use colorants that have not been approved for use around your eyes, you might go blind.

The Popularity of Using Lip Liner as Eyeliner

the popularity of lip liner

Celebrities have a role to play in setting new beauty trends.

From the Kardashians to Kylie Jenner, women follow their every move and apply the same tricks, trends, and makeup themes without fail.

Discover the “Barrymore” Effect

What seemed like a “quick tip” from Drew Barrymore had people talking endlessly about using lip liner as eyeliner.

Traditional beauty advice says that a touch of white eyeliner along the waterline may do wonders for giving the impression of a refreshed and trendy appearance to the eyes. 

But, Drew Barrymore cautioned that the hack might not be as effective as you imagine.

Furthermore, white isn’t a natural hue for the area beneath your eyes and might make you seem chalky.

(When did you last see someone whose under-eyes were completely white?) So what was her cure? Nude lip liner!

Tip: Wet your angled brush under the sink and dip it into your preferred shade of eye shadow before moving over your upper and lower eyelids like a liquid liner.

Lip liner: Is It a Safe Way to Have Larger Eyes?

safe way for large eyes

Barrymore has said in interviews that she makes her eyes stand out by using nude lip liner to the waterline rather than white eyeliner.

She claimed that the peachy hue, which is more in keeping with her skin tone than stark white, makes her eyes appear larger and more alert without being overdone.

Did She Back All Lip Liners?

Of course, not. Her remarks put beauty police on alert, and they came hard at Barrymore for this “hack”.

But, turned out she was also aware of the fact that not all lip liners are safe.

She was talking about the liners from her own cosmetics line and referred to them as “multipurpose”.

Now, the thing is that if you cannot afford a liner from her cosmetics line, or even if you can but don’t know what’s in it, you’d be better off staying away from it.

Importance of Reading the Ingredients

the importance of reading ingredients

When using a beauty product for something it is not meant for, you should carefully consider what it contains. 

Know the Regulations

Regulations adopted under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act are key consumer protection statutes requiring all cosmetic products to include an ingredient statement on the label.

Checking the ingredient declaration is useful if you want to avoid specific components or compare the contents of various brands.

Know Your Rights

Without an ingredient statement, a cosmetic supplied at retail is deemed misbranded and prohibited in interstate commerce.

If the ingredient disclosure isn’t listed on the packaging or in the store’s display case, don’t be shy about inquiring with the store manager or the manufacturer about the specifics of this policy.

What Renders Lip Liners “Dangerous” for Eyes?

dangerous for the eyes

Quite like anti-chafing lotion and diaper cream, cosmetic products are designed for specialized uses.

Unlike lip cosmetics, those intended for use around the eyes include substances safe to apply around the eyes.

Kohl, a toxic combination of mostly lead, was formerly used in eyeliners.

However, today’s safe-to-use eyeliners are formulated with less-hazardous chemicals.

Oils, clay, waxes, and pigments are the primary components that go into making eyeliner.

Pigments like iron oxide are utilized in the production of brown and dark eyeliners, whereas titanium dioxide is the component of choice for white eyeliner. 

Tip: Try spraying an eyeliner brush with setting spray before applying eyeshadow to get the defined line you desire while still picking a more subtle shade.

Lip liners also contain some of these ingredients but in much higher quantities.

Here are some reasons why the answer to “can you use lip liner as eyeliner?” is a big no!

Harmful Color Additives

a harmful additive colors

Color additives are an example of an ingredient included in lip cosmetics that carries the potential to irritate the eyes.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, such chemicals are subject to stringent regulations in the US.

But, even though some of them have been approved for use in cosmetics, the FDA does not permit their use anywhere near the eye. 


In addition to their ingredients, lip cosmetics may contain eye irritants responsible for causing infection, inflammation, and sometimes blindness. 

There are gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria in the mouth area, which may be exceedingly destructive to the eye’s structures.

If they penetrate farther into the eye, irreversible blindness can result.

Many people apply and reapply lip liners without ever washing their hands.  

Applying a lip product to your eyes increases the risk of infection since you transfer bacteria from one region to another.

Testing Procedures

the testing procedures

Last but not least, unlike lip cosmetics, eye products must undergo specialized ocular safety testing before they can be sold.

You have to be careful.

After all, you wouldn’t want to deal with issues like redness, pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and crusting just because you were too lazy to go out and buy a new eyeliner. 

You really don’t have to when you can find other alternatives to using lip liner in place of eyeliner

Tip: Glance down at your hand while you line your upper lid and avoid staring directly into the mirror to prevent inadequate application, such as spaces between the eyeliner and the lash line.

Read Next: Why Do My Lips Swell When I Cry?


So, now you know the answer to “can lip liner be used as eyeliner?”

Remember, it’s vital that you only use safe products for your eyes and any cosmetics designed for the skin near them. If you’re unsure, read the packaging carefully. 

Never buy it because it’s trending or someone on Tik Tok told you to. 

Lip liner does not work for most people and may cause eye problems like allergies, contact dermatitis, and bacterial conjunctivitis. Be safe; your eyes are precious!

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