Over the weekend, beauty industry BS-spotting watchdog Instagram account Estée Laundry posted a somewhat unsettling discovery: It seems that Huda Beauty's new Neon Obsession Palettes—marketed as mini eyeshadow palettes containing nine matte, shimmer, and glitter shades, many of them, as the name would imply, neon—might not actually be safe for use on our eyes.
The IG account pointed out that, in the U.S., the palettes contain a (very small) warning on its inside ingredient label, stating that the shadows are "not intended for the eye area." Huh?
Not only have the palettes been explicitly marketed for use on the eyes, but Huda Beauty founder Huda Kattan herself has shown the palette being used directly on the eye area (as have a billion more beauty influencers and YouTube stars).
In addition to Huda Beauty's Neon Obsession palettes, Estée Laundry called out other buzzy neon products, from brands like Kylie Cosmetics and Lorac, that aren't properly disclaiming that they shouldn't be used around the eyes.
It is important to note that pigment and beauty ingredient approvals vary from country to country. As Dazed points out, the neon pigments in many of the neon shades used in these palettes contain pigments that are not FDA-approved for use around the eyes in the U.S. However, elsewhere in the world, such as in the U.K. and the E.U., these pigments are considered safe for all cosmetic use.
Naturally, beauty IG was mixed: some users found it, erm, shady for brands to promote unapproved pigments as eye products, while others brushed it off, finding comfort that elsewhere in the world, it's considered safe. On a personal level, I have been a massive fan of the Huda Beauty palettes since their launch, and have put them just about everywhere on my eyes. Did I notice any irritation? None that I can remember, though, now I might think twice before using it.
We have reached out to Huda Beauty for comment but didn't receive a response at time of publishing.