Lead in your lipstick?

The Times just released an article the other day about lead in lipsticks.

Your favorite shade of Marilyn Monroe red may contain lead, according to a recently updated test of lipstick by the U.S. Food and Drug 120531062800/Administration (FDA). The agency found that 400 popular lipsticks contained trace amounts of the toxin.


The FDA first began testing for lead in lipsticks in response to pressure from the consumer group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, whose own 2007 test of 33 lipsticks found lead in most of them. The group has long called on the FDA to set a lead limit for lipstick, but the agency has resisted, saying that the amount of the toxin found in lipstick poses no risk to consumers, especially since so little of the makeup is actually ingested by wearers.

“We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern. The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics, including lipstick,” the FDA said on its website.

In a letter to the FDA last week, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics countered that “lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels”

Exposure to lead can cause learninglanguage and behavioral problems in children and has been linked to lower IQ; exposure in pregnant women can interfere with development of the fetus.

To a Celiac, gluten is every bit as dangerous as lead

Am I the only one who finds themselves comparing this description of lead to gluten?  Gluten symptoms are often known to accumulate after repeated exposure.  Celiac children can have learning, behavior and developmental issues, even up to Autism-like symptoms.  Celiac can cause infertility in women.  To a Celiac, gluten is every bit as dangerous as lead, though of course in a different way.

The “Campaign for Safe Cosmetics” has been fighting for the FDA to eliminate lead in cosmetics for years, but the FDA is still finding trace amounts of lead in our makeup products.  I wonder how long it would take for the FDA to require gluten to be labeled, considering how long it’s taking for them to take lead seriously?  Especially considering that even less people are affected by gluten then by lead?  Hmmmm…

Should we Test for Topical Poison?

For a Celiac, gluten is poison. There is much debate on whether or not we should avoid topical poison (gluten), but I’m not going to go into that in this post. Stay tuned for that later. ;)

What we do know is that no matter what some sides of the debate argue, some of us have reactions to topical gluten. I personally tend to have rather dramatic reactions, ranging from terrible red itchy skin, to bloody scabs and raw places, to horribly sensitive skin, to headaches.  Tiny amounts of the protein is enough to trigger a reaction. Others have come to me with similar stories and a quick search around the internet will pull up more of them. So for those of us who react, truly “gluten free” makeup, skincare, haircare and cosmetics is very important.

The trouble is that currently, there is no universal definition for “gluten free cosmetics”.  “Gluten free” can mean many different things to many different people and companies.  For those of us who are highly sensitive, not everyone’s version of “gluten free” is good enough.

I’ve spoken to companies who told me they were gluten free, but were disturbingly vague on what they meant by that. Upon further questioning, they’ve replied, “We believe we know it’s gluten free just because none of our ingredients contain gluten…“  They “believe” it’s gluten free?  How do they know that their ingredients do not contain gluten?  Do they even realize that gluten is in other ingredients other than just wheat germ oil?  Also (and here’s the biggest problem for many companies), even if the ingredients do not naturally contain gluten, how do they know that it has not been cross contaminated by their suppliers?

Answers like that happen most of the time.  In every one of these cases, two concerns remain the same:

  1. Can I trust this company to have the same idea of gluten free as I have?
  2. Can I trust their suppliers to have the same idea of gluten free as I have?

The answer is…  Maybe, but do I have to?

Whenever I want to know if a company is gluten free, no matter what it says on the site, I email them.  Many times I get the owner of the company or someone who manages.  In talking with these people, sometimes I can get a clear idea of whether or not I want to put my trust in them.  But usually, I have my doubts. And when gluten causes reactions as painful as mine, for me, it’s not worth the doubts.

I’m not the only one with this view, either.

Not too very long ago, at the beginning of my “to test or not to test” struggles, I found a company whom I trusted and whose products I adored.  I had NO reactions to them and there was no doubt in my mind that they were entirely gluten free.  But.  It turned out that they were using ELISA’s strip testing instead of sending the samples off to a lab.  As soon as this news was released, suddenly people turned nasty.  Long story short, there is much doubt that the strip test’s are in fact accurate, especially among the cream of the Gluten Free M.D. crop.  These doubters ganged up against this amazing company in utter rage, demanding that there be better testing for the products.  It was quite the fiasco, but the company rapidly made changes and is now testing every batch of their products with a large, well known lab.  Oh, and you know what?  They never had gluten in their products; not even on the first tests.

So, obviously, just because a company does not test does not mean it’s not gluten free.

But currently, gluten testing from a lab is the only universal and consistent way to judge “gluten free”.

Gluten testing takes away the need to trust a company, their employees and their suppliers.  Gluten testing makes sure that you know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase a “gluten free” product.  Gluten testing keeps everyone safe: Both the consumer and the company.

For the consumer:

  • You know exactly how little gluten is in the cosmetics you are considering using.
  • You know it’s been tested by a third party who is paid for giving unbiased results.
  • It takes away the necessity of trusting every single person who is involved and instead lays the burden on a third party, unbiased lab.

For the company:

  • You have someone to double check you, your suppliers, your employees and everyone else who ever had a hand in making your product.
  • You have something to point back to if someone comes to you screaming with complaints about having had a gluten reaction from your products; helps with liability issues.
  • It’s a selling point with your customers.

I strongly believe that gluten testing is not just “nice to know”, but necessary for the consumer’s sake and for the company’s.

So, what do y’all think about gluten testing in topical products?  Let me know in the comments.

The Ultimate Sephora Gluten-free Makeup List

Do you miss walking into stores and just buying whatever struck your fancy? Or being able to test the colors on your skin before committing to a purchase?

If you’re extremely sensitive to topical gluten, you probably already have The Gluten Free Makeup List and so know what stuff you can play with. But if you’re not-so-sensitive and just want to avoid major gluten ingredients, how do you know where to look?

I’ve gotcha, girl. I contacted every. single. company. That is CURRENTLY carried in Sephora. And yeah, if you think that took me a full work-week’s of time, you’d be darn right.

With THIS knowledge in hand, I have compiled the answers of all the companies who claim their products are gluten-free. If they gave a more detailed answer, I gave it to ‘ya.

As always, it’s up to you to decide where your comfort level is. If you only want strictly and safely gluten-free brands, check out The Gluten Free Makeup List. If you want to explore a little more, check out what you can buy in Sephora below.

Company All GF? Answer
Artis Yes
Biossance some Although many of our products do not contain gluten, none of our products are certified gluten free. As always, we encourage customers who have serious allergies to consult a doctor or conduct a patch test before using any product.
Bite Beauty some used to be all GF. Now says “Many of our shades are gluten free. For more information, please call Bite Beauty customer service at 1.844.500.2483”
Caudalie some some- https://us.caudalie.com/help/
DERMAdoctor some Has a gf page on their site. May or may not have cross-contamination issues. https://www.dermadoctor.com/categories/gluten-free
FARSÁLI Yes Thank you for your interest in our products they are 100% cruelty free, 100% Vegan friendly and they are gluten free. Although some of the products contains Omega 3’s, there are actually several vegan sources of omega 3. Including oils, nuts, and seeds and do not have any cross contamination with gluten products.
Four Sigmatic Yes all of our products are gluten-free and vegan. None of our ingredients include gluten or are derived from an animal. We do not use any Cordyceps that grow from caterpillars.

Our warehouses/facilities are not gluten-free certified.

Giorgio Armani Beauty some Most ingredients derived from grain sources are highly refined and retain no traces of gluten proteins. For less refined ingredients from natural sources,& Giorgio Armani Beauty has established strict limits on the level of potentially allergenic proteins. Since individuals exhibit a wide range of sensitivities to these proteins, if you have any questions or concerns you should discuss with your medical care provider.

All the ingredients we use in a product are listed on the package or the label of the product itself. For products too small to accommodate the list, a separate ingredient list is available on the display unit in the store for your convenience. Since some ingredients are known by more than one name, we use the standard industry FDA-recognized names. A review of the ingredients that are listed on all of our products or packages will alert you to the presence of this type of ingredient.
You may request an ingredient list by email. Please make sure to identify the full name of the product you are requesting the ingredient list for

Givenchy Yes Not only can we ensure that none of our products (lipsticks and other cosmetic products) contains gluten as an added ingredient in the formula, but in order to go even further in the vegetal risky proteins (including all wheat protein hydrolysates) from our products, even though these ingredients are still widely used elsewhere.
All documentation from our supplier indicates that the Tocopherol used in our products is gluten-free
Good Dye Young Yes GDY’s products are gluten free as well as cruelty free, vegan, and paraben free!
Hourglass some GLUTEN
Many Hourglass products are produced without gluten (wheat, barley and rye) extracts, and you can shop all gluten free products here. Please consult Hourglass packaging for the complete list of “free of” ingredients.
Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, GMO, Synthetic Fragrances, gluten, and talc
IT Cosmetics Yes
Jack Black some Most, but not all, of our products are gluten-free. Contact for more info
Jouer Cosmetics some Here is a list of Jouer products that are gluten free


Essential Jet-Set Eyeshadow Palette
Kitten Liner
Springtime in Paris Eyeshadow Palette
Slim Creme Eyeliner
Essential Matte & Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette
Powder Eyeshadows
Crème Eyeshadows

Jet-Set Lip Kits
High Pigment Lip Gloss
High Pigment Pearl Lip Gloss
Sheer Pigment Lip Gloss
Long-Wear Creme Lip Liners
Long-Wear Lip Creme Liquid Lipstick
Long-Wear Lip Topper™
Hydrating Lipstick
Essential Lip Enhancer
Tinted Lip Enhancers

Sunswept Bronzer Duos
Blush Bouquet Duos
Powder Highlighter
Essential High Coverage Creme Foundation
Cheek & Lip Tint
Crème Highlighters
Age-Repairing Concealer
Age-Repairing Perfector
Luminizing Moisture Tint
Matte Moisture Tint
Mineral Face Powder
Mattifying Translucent Powder
Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil
Daily Repair Oil
Anti-Aging Moisture Primer
Anti-Blemish Matte Primer
Luminizing Liquid Highlighter
Luminzing Brightening Powder
Sheer Matte Powder & Bronzer Duo
Sheer Bronzing Tint
Bath & Body

Bath & Body Oil

KAPLAN MD Yes KAPLAN MD formulas are 100% paraben, sulfate and gluten free. KAPLAN MD is different not only for what is inside our formulas, but what we keep out.
Kari Gran Yes While we don’t use ingredients that contain gluten, we haven’t done any lab teating/certifications. That
Is coming in 2019.
Koh Gen Do Yes Thank you for your inquiry on our products being gluten-free. Not all of our products are and I am listing below what is in our line.
If you have further questions, please let us know. I am including our PR dept in this reply.


Kopari Yes Our products are always gluten free and never contain nut oils. However, customers with allergies should review our ingredient decks with their healthcare provider prior to purchasing our products. To view a product’s ingredient deck, find that particular product on the “Shop” page, then scroll down until you see “Full Ingredient List” on the right-hand side.
KORRES Yes The Formula Facts table found on the individual product description pages makes extended reference to the natural content of each formulation as well as the ingredients that we select and those we avoid. Specifically for Gluten: WHEAT YES / this means the product may contain wheat-derived ingredients WHEAT / NUTS (added or traces) YES / this means that the product may contain wheat / nut traces yet in low-value proportions [parts-per-million (ppm)]
LANEIGE Yes While none of our products contain gluten, some do come in contact with wheat-derived ingredients, so if you’re very sensitive, we’d recommend steering away from our Multi Cleanser, Oil Free Liquid Cleanser, and Power Essential Toner.
LASHFOOD Yes Yes they are.
Lord Jones Yes Yes, all Lord Jones products are gluten free.
LXMI Yes Yes, our products are gluten free
Madison Reed Yes Yes, all of our products—colors, shampoos and conditioners—are completely gluten-free.
Moon Juice Yes
Mount Lai Yes Thank you for your email! Yes! All of our products are gluten-free!
Murad some The list of products below have been identified to have a wheat or oat derivative in them. As with any allergy it is best to consult your physician if there is any concern regarding gluten. In addition, I am certainly more than happy to assist you in creating a regimen that would address your specific concerns while avoiding any form of gluten.

Skin Perfecting Lotion (low level, wheat and oat source)

Complete Reform with Glyco Firming Complex (wheat and oat source)
Intensive Wrinkle Reducer
Perfecting Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF30 | PA+++ (wheat and oat source)
Perfecting Night Cream (oat source)
Skin Perfecting Lotion (low level, wheat and oat source)

Age Diffusing Firming Mask (wheat and oat source)

Clarity Control Professional Concentrate (oat source)

NUDESTIX Yes No way! All our products are environmentally friendly, not tested on animals, gluten free, and formulated with the most skin loving ingredients.
Olaplex Yes OLAPLEX is entirely non-toxic, free of sulfates, phthalates, DEA, peroxide, aldehydes, and gluten.
Ouidad some Here is a list of our gluten- free products:

VitalCurl Define & Shine
Curl Quencher Hydrafusion Intense Curl Cream
Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil Shampoo
Curl Recovery Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask
Curl Immersion™ No-Lather Coconut Cream Cleansing Conditioner

Curl Immersion™ Low-Lather Coconut Cleansing Conditioner
Shine Glaze Serum
Clear Control Pomade
Advanced Climate Control De-Frizzing Shampoo
Curl Quencher Conditioner
Curl Quencher Moisturizing Gel
Playcurl Amplifying Foam
Moisture Lock Leave in Conditioner

Rahua Yes Yes, Rahua® products are gluten-free. In lieu of beauty ingredients which typically contain gluten, we use quinoa. We discovered that this superfood from the Andes Mountains has a small molecular weight, which allows it to penetrate deeper, strengthening hair and improving skin’s elasticity. Those with gluten sensitivities can use our products without worry.
Skin Inc Supplement Bar Yes Our products are all gluten-free.
Skin Laundry Yes
Summer Fridays Yes Are the Jet Lag and Overtime masks gluten free?


tarte Yes all of our products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten, just to name a few. tarte cannot guarantee that any ingredients or products were produced in an allergen free environment.
Taste Beauty Yes Our products are gluten-free and never tested on animals.
Velour Lashes Yes To our knowledge, our adhesives do not contain gluten.
Verb Yes All of our products are color safe and free of parabens, gluten, and harmful sulfates. We want your hair to always look and feel its best, so we only use ingredients that keep your strands healthy in the long run.
Wander Beauty some The following items are free of gluten: On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator, Wanderess Cheek Tint, Catch the Highlighter, Love Lock Hydrating Lip Gel, Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick, Up Close Kiss Lipstick and the Exquisite Eye Liquid Eye Shadow.
YUNI Yes Yes, our products are gluten-free.

Which of these brands have you tried? Did you like them? Or did they not work for you?

BREAKING NEWS – NARS is no longer Gluten Free

I am grateful for their honesty, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed.

When I first talked to NARS, they told me how careful they were in watching their gluten content. They told me they tested periodically to double check that their products were safe. While it took some time to finally get this information from them, at least I got answers!

Well, after the Arbonne thing and the realization that I need to reevaluate my old “questionnaires”, NARS was the next obvious company on the list to double check. Big, many products and not natural in the slightest. Some of my fab, smart, observant readers also emailed me wondering the exact same thing. So I set to work finding out.

I finally got my answer back from them and I wasn’t very happy about it.

Here’s what the gal told me:

Our statement [has] changed recently to say that we can’t guarantee that there will be any traces of gluten.

Many of our products do not contain ingredients derived from barley, oats, rye, spelt or wheat, which are commonly known sources of gluten. however, due to the wide range of raw materials and equipment used during the manufacturing of our products, we cannot confirm that our products are free from any traces of gluten.

As far as ingredients derived from barley, oats, rye, spelt or wheat we provide our clients with ingredient lists for any product in which they are interested as a lot of our products do not contain such ingredients.

This is completely different than what I’d heard before. Pretty much a 180 turn around from what they told me to start with.

As sad as this makes me, better to know now than to not know, right? I am grateful we at least know now!

However, I’m a bit troubled.

I do not now know if this has always been the case and they misinformed me to begin with, or if they really did try to be 100% gluten free for a while and just gave up.

I do know that I’ve had a few mysterious “watery/burning eye” days when wearing makeup and I wasn’t 100% sure what the problem was. Allergies? Someone’s perfume? Too much wind? (all plausible for me) But it makes sense that the NARS mascara I was wearing could be cross contaminated, because in hindsight, that’s exactly how my eyes react to gluten. The reactions from the NARS mascara were just so mild I wasn’t sure where it was coming from.

Since nars is such a huge company, I’m pushing out an emergency list update to remove it.

If you’ve already signed up for the list, you will get this update in just a few seconds, or else you’ve already received it. If you’re reading this and you haven’t got the list already, you will have the updated version if you sign up.

Ugh, I just feel kinda sick about this. Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that NARS is gluten free no longer, but still. All those options just… Gone.

Thank you nars for the clarification. but i’m still really sad about this. nars- gluten free no longer.


At One Time Secretive, Now a Bit Wiser – CoverGirl

With flashy models like Taylor Swift, Queen Latifa, Christie Brinkley and Drew Barrymore, CoverGirl and its ads draw the consumers eye where ever their products are sold. Taylor Swift even has a CoverGirl booth at her concerts where her fans can go and get a makeover. Their product line is extensive, their colors are gorgeous and the price is always right.

On CoverGirl’s Facebook page, someone asked about the gluten content in their products. A quick search uncovered several threads on some Celiac forums of some very disgruntled folks who got less than satisfactory answers to their inquiries.

Says one gal who started a thread-

I’ve been using CG cosmetics since I was 15. I recently sent an email specifically listing 3 products I use and if they were gluten-free, or if a product contained gluten, would they list “gluten” or “wheat” in the ingredient list (like they do with the mineral make-up–lists ‘oats’. Before I emailed them, I tried for 1/2 hour to get thru on a customer service line and never got thru. This is the response I recieved today and I’m VERY disappointed and will most likely end up switching brands–even though this is the only brand I don’t break out with

Thanks for contacting us.

I understand how frustrating it is to have allergies! We want to help and ask that you have your physician get in touch with us listing the ingredients you are allergic to, and the product you use that might contain them. I know this sounds unusual, but because of the competitive nature of our business, specific ingredient information isn’t generally released.

Please have your doctor send a written request on office letterhead to: P&G, P.O. Box 599, Cincinnati, Ohio 45201.

Or if you prefer, fax it to us at: 1-513-983-2881

P&G Team


That’s just one example of multiple threads from multiple forums.   One thing all these threads had in common though was the date:  This thread was from July 2008.

Since then, CoverGirl has changed their tune, to the relief of everyone involved.

Thanks for contacting CoverGirl, The Gal.

We know Celiac is a serious disease, so we want to give you clear information regarding the use of our beauty care products. If wheat and/or gluten aren’t directly added to a product by us, these ingredients won’t be listed on our packages. Like many companies, we often purchase the scents for fragranced products from outside suppliers, and the components of these substances are proprietary information belonging to those companies. Therefore it’s possible that a very small amount (generally parts per million) of gluten may be present.

We sought advice from physicians; they told us it would be very unlikely a person with Celiac disease would have a reaction from a trace amount of gluten coming into contact with his skin or hair. This is because wheat, rye, barley and/or gluten generally cause symptoms when they’re ingested. Since our beauty care products are designed to be used externally on the skin, their use shouldn’t be an issue for someone with this disease.

Since gluten sensitivity can vary among people, it would be best if you consulted with your physician about the use of all types of consumable goods, if you haven’t already. You might even consider using one of our fragrance free products that doesn’t list gluten or wheat extracts on the label.

Thanks again for getting in touch with us. I hope this response has been helpful to you. For more information about Celiac, you may want to check out http://celiac.com/ and http://celiac.org

Thanks again for contacting us!

CoverGirl Team

Looks like the outrage of Celiac consumers may have had some effect.  All I can say is that I’m glad they are upfront about it now.  Their answer is truly a helpful answer, though I’m not sure what to think about the links to the sites at the end.  Wouldn’t someone inquiring about gluten already know about them?  Makes me wonder how well they know their Celiac customer.  The same with the bit in the middle  about speaking with their physicians.  If I wasn’t concerned I may be having a reaction to gluten in their products, I wouldn’t be asking about it, would I?  And if I’m having a reaction, all the doctors in the world saying it’s impossible wouldn’t stop it, would it?

Anyway…  At least CoverGirl isn’t covering up gluten anymore.  We Celiacs thank you for that much, P&G.  🙂

P.S.  I’m still working on that article about topical gluten.  There are some people I am trying to contact to get some official advice on it.  Wish me luck and hope that I can finish it soon!  😀

16 REALLY Last Minute Gluten Free Makeup Gifts

Running a bit behind in your holiday shopping? Don’t stress! Here’s how to get something for every person on your list before Christmas arrives. And we’re not even talking gift cards- we’re talking tangible gifts you can wrap and hand to your loved ones on the big day. What’s the secret to this magic list? Amazon’s 2 Day Shipping! Almost every single one of these products is shipped Amazon Prime and will get to you before Christmas if you order by the 22nd!

If you’ve got a super gluten-sensitive person on your gift list, this is the gift guide of the year.

Note: US shipping only- sorry! Also, in order to get some of these items in time for Christmas, you may need to select upgraded shipping. While all of these companies assured shipping in time for Christmas when this article was published, make sure you check and see that’s still true!

For literally anybody on your list

eos Lip Balm Stick

This company is most famous for their round little bubbles of balm (which yes, is on this list later… 😉 ). However, they also package their amazing balms in the more traditional and unisex stick form. Same formulas, different packaging!

Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Body Lotion

An excellent lotion for anyone who has skin! Which is… Everyone. It actually has very few allergens, so it’s no joke that this lotion will probably work for anyone. If you have extremely dry skin it may not be strong enough, but for normal or slightly dry skin, this is an excellent lotion to gift to your recipient, or yourself.

For the one infatuated with skincare

ACURE 100% USDA Organic Moroccan Argan Oil

This stuff is basically magic. Anyone who loves skincare should have this stuff in their arsenal. Anti-inflammatory, nicely hydrating, nourishing to the skin… You can’t go wrong with it!

Nourish Organic Rejuvenating Rose Hip and Rosewater Body Oil Mist

This stuff is incredible. It can be used anywhere on your body, from face to toes. It’s highly absorbent, and works to balance skin and improve elasticity, texture, and tone. It works for any skin type, but is particularly good for oily skin.

ACURE Radical Resurfacing Facial Treatment

You know those chemical peels that kill the top layer of skin and let you rip it off? This is like the natural, less damaging version of that. It evens out skin’s texture and tone with a blend of brightening lemon probiotic and ACURE’s proprietary organic chlorella growth factor.

For the one obsessed with their nails


32 rich colors, varying textures, super long lasting… This is the best nail polish I’ve ever tried in my life. Snag this for the nail lover in your life.

LONDONTOWN kur Nail Hardener and Base Coat

Gotta have this to start the magic lasting power…

LONDONTOWN kur Protective Top Coat

And this to finish it!

For the super low-maintenance

eos Holiday 2015 Limited Edition Lip Balm Collection

Sure, you could grab a few eos balls from the shelves of Wally World. But why do that when you can give your recipient a limited edition collection of Holiday themed lip balms? Even the vanilla flavor is special edition, so she’ll never get another gift quite like this again!

Frank Original Coffee Scrub

I know what you’re thinking- a scrub for someone low-maintenance? Hear me out though! This stuff is so easy. While in the shower, just scrub yourself down as if you were cleaning your skin. It scrubs, moisturizes and heals scarring all in one go. Your low-maintenance recipient will love you for the multi-tasking power.

For the one who never leaves the house without something on their lips

BITE BEAUTY Limited Edition Lip Lab Trio

Give them a taste of one of the only store-available gluten free lipsticks around! Creme lipstick, lush lip gloss, and a little compact mirror make up this gorgeous gift set. The colors all match, so can be worn together, or separately.

Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick

Luxurious, ultra-moisturizing, gently natural lipsticks in subtle, wearable colors. This stuff is like butter that melts into your lips and nourishes them intensely. It’s an especially good winter lipstick!

For the fashion-forward kids

Pure & Simple Nail Polish

Gorgeous, non-toxic nail polish that’s perfectly designed for children. It peels within a few days if used on naked nails. But if any of you adults get a hankering to keep their vivid colors around, use their nail polish base and it’ll last much longer. 😉

For the person who is constantly trying new products

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Gluten Free Makeup

You know that one person on your list who has tried everything and never settles down with any one product, or brand? Help fuel their addiction by giving them this eBook! Yes, it’s my eBook, so you know it’s great stuff. 😉 For every person who wants to know exactly which products to try next, this is the book for them!

For the one who’s been really good

TEMPTU Air Custom Essentials Kit

Absolutely flawless TV-quality makeup, done at home, 100% safe. There’s nothing else like it on the market! You’ll pay the price, but for someone who deserves a real treat, this is THE gift. It’s the one product on this list that Amazon doesn’t sell, but if you order on the 18th (!!) you will get it before Christmas!

For the person still figuring out the gluten thing

Gluten Free Consultation

Does your recipient just have no idea where to start with gluten free products? Wondering which products they should replace first? Got a load of questions that need answering?

Give them the gift that’ll serve them for years to come. Give them a consultation to find them ALL the products they need!

Got it all done? congratulations!

Your Christmas shopping is done for the year! Whew! What gluten free products did you purchase for your list this year?

Gluten Free Skincare w/ Glutenless Barley? – Mineral Fusion

Mineral Fusion was the first makeup+skincare+haircare line that is tested gluten free that I ever ran across.  My eye was caught by their blue and brown packaging, but it was finding out that they test for gluten that sent me scrambling for the cash register with products in hand.  And I loved them.  Some of you may remember how many times I recommended them to people searching for gluten free skin and hair care.  In fact, I was preparing a glowing review of them for this blog when we purchased another Mineral Fusion product and found that it contained “isolated barley protein”.  I stopped in my tracks and immediately contacted the company via email.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve heard of this sort of ingredient in gluten free products.  But it is certainly the first time I’ve seen it in a makeup product.  Usually, “isolated barley protein” is reserved for beer usage.

It is, basically, a part of the barley that is not the protein that Celiac’s react to.  They extract the gluten protein (“hordien“) from the barley and use just the harmless portions. In theory, this practice allows companies to use “gluten free barley” to make the beer taste closer to the fully glutened stuff.

But can you really take all the gluten out of a grain that naturally contains it?  And most important of all, how do we know it’s all gone?

In short, it’s a difficult process.

it is very tricky to test for barley contamination in food. one of the assays (sandwich omega-gliadin elisa) severely underestimates gluten contamination from barley; the other (sandwich r5 elisa) overestimates gluten contamination from barley by a factor of 2.
tricia thompson, ms, rd, the gluten-free dietitian – source

A study was recently done with gluten free beer, testing the levels of hordien in regular beers and gluten free ones made with “glutenless barley”.

the gluten level in beer may be measured using elisa, however, there are many limitations associated with accurate measurement of hordeins using current elisa technology. in this study, we have implemented a mass spectrometric assay to first characterize the complete suite of hordeins in purified hordein preparations, wort and beer and second to perform relative quantification of the most abundant hordein proteins. we have developed a robust and sensitive quantification methodology for the measurement of hordein (gluten) in beer.

significantly both barley based low-gluten beers tested, in which the hordein concentration is reduced by proprietary processing steps during brewing to reduce the concentration in the final beer product, had substantial levels of one or more hordein proteins.
journel of proteome research – source

If you look at the results, “substantial levels” means nearly as much gluten as the regular gluten filled beers.  And the original beer testers, using the standard and most accurate ELISA, did not catch it.

In other words:  currently, there is no available, trustworthy way to test for hordien content.

Mineral Fusion got back to me and confirmed that not only do they test for gluten themselves, their supplier also tests and has always received a <5ppm (which the lowest we are currently able to test for regular wheat gluten).  I do appreciate how much trouble they went to in order to answer my question!


Because of the studies that have been done and the great doubt that Mineral Fusion and their supplier have the means to accurately test for hordien, I have chosen to discontinue use of Mineral Fusion.

I urge you to also consider this before you purchase any of mineral fusion’s products.  they are excellent, but it’s up to you to judge whether or not it is worth the risk of contaminating your face with sneaky barley gluten.

Gluten Free Nail Polish? This Honest Company lets you Decide – Zoya

I get tons of questions about gluten free nail polish.

Sadly, it’s a tough product to find! With the emphasis placed on moisturizing and conditioning that nail products have, gluten derived ingredients are particularly wide spread. This is their specialty, therefore they are used in almost every nail product imaginable.

Then I found zoya.

In all my gluten free makeup travels, I’ve run across a huge variety of gluten statements. Everything from “Yes!!” (when it isn’t) to “I don’t know… Ask your doctor”.

zoya has perhaps one of the most honest gluten statements i have ever seen.
When I first talked to them on the phone, the CS rep had all her answers right at her fingertips. Without hesitation, she told me nearly everything I wanted to know. Later, when I needed a little more info, I was able to get that too without any trouble. They were polite, they were thorough, they were happy to help me.

Truly, Zoya won me over before they had even finished giving me the information.


Zoya’s policy, while honest, is not one that I have ever seen before. It exposes open ends in ways that I’ve never seen a company do before.

zoya nail polish does not contain any ingredients that are considered to be sources of gluten.

zoya does not state that we are 100% free of gluten, even if measures are taken specifically for the purpose of reducing cross-contamination, because human error is always a possible factor when it comes to manufacturing.

zoya manufacturing facilities could not confirm if manufacture of other products are not a possible source of cross-contamination. they do not have the facility set up that we could guarantee no possibility of cross-contamination during the manufacturing of other products that may include gluten-containing ingredients, but measures are taken to reduce cross-contamination as much as possible. therefore the likelihood of cross contamination is very low, but since our manufacturing methods are not specifically designed to reduce it completely, we do not guarantee that the likelihood is zero and claim our products are gluten-free.

I love them for their directness. Love them. But the big question is…

Does this make Zoya’s nail polish safe?

Well, here’s the thing… If a product is not tested gluten free, they can never guarantee it’s 100% safe. Even if their facilities are gluten free, the ingredients could come from a gluten soaked facility and we’d never really know.

This is the risk we run whenever we decide to place our trust in a company that is not tested gluten free. They only have so much control over what goes into their products.

So in essence, Zoya has one-upped some companies who do claim their products are safe. They have thoroughly sought out all possible sources of gluten and admitted that they do not have control over all aspects of the process.

If you’ve read all my notes at the end of the gluten free makeup list, you’ll see that I wrote about the risks we take when we use products that are not tested gluten free. This is something I’ve talked about, warned about, educated about, since the very beginning. It’s why I prefer to use tested gluten free lip products.

If the product is not tested, there is always a chance gluten snuck in somewhere, just as Zoya points out.

All that said, the fact still remains that zoya nail polish has the potential to be cross contaminated in some way. Because of this, they do not and will not claim that they have gluten free nail polish.

The question is… are they safe for gluten sensitive people to use?

Well… Only you can make that choice. Whatever choice you make, you know your body better than anyone else. Only you can know if the risk is worth taking or not. If gluten managed to get in there, would you be able to take the miniscule amount, or would you have a nasty reaction? If the polish flaked off into your food as you ate it, would ingesting a microscopic amount of gluten make you ill?

All these questions are ones only you can answer.Therefore i leave the choice up to you.

I am still debating adding Zoya to my list with a big “READ THIS” tag on it. Because it’s nice to know that Zoya has such a thorough, honest policy that really isn’t any worse than a lot of other “gluten free” and untested companies. But I also don’t want to spread the misconception that Zoya claims to be gluten free. They have been wonderful to work with and talk to, the last thing I want to do is cause them trouble by putting them on my “gluten free list” and then having people telling everyone that they are “gluten free” without reading the super-important notes. I have the utmost respect for Zoya due to their honesty and wish to represent them properly.

On a personal note, I have been using my Zoya nail polish. The colors are stunning, they have amazing staying power, the textures are gorgeous… In fact, I plan on writing up a quick review of them to show y’all how pretty they are. Don’t worry, I’ll be linking back to this post and restating Zoya’s policy. But they really are amazing nail polishes.



You say “Gluten Free”, I say “Gluten Unfree” – Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder is everywhere. Everyone has access to it, and so it was no surprise for me to receive a gift set of their makeup. So I sent off an email to them on 05/15/2011, asking-

do you have a list of which of your products is gluten free, if any?

thank you!
~ the gal

But after about a week, I still had received no reply. Annoyed and determined to get my answer, I called the company. Three or four branch switches later, I finally spoke to someone who knew what on earth I was saying when I asked “Do you have a list of products that do not contain gluten?” He told me that because the formulas and ingredients in the Estée Lauder products are constantly changing, they were not able to post a list on the website. However, if one were to call, they could tell them which products were currently “gluten free”. With the thought “Geez, what a lot of trouble,” running through my head, I read off the products that came in my gift set, one by one. He checked his list and told me which ones did not contain gluten and which ones did. He even knew that “cereal grains” probably meant gluten, so advised me to avoid it.

Turned out, according to his list, most of the makeup in my set was “gluten free”. Naturally, I was pleased. Not that I have any desire to stock up on cheap makeup, but if one’s in a pinch, that’s great to know, right? Ahem, well…

I used my makeup rather gleefully, playing with the eyeshadow shades and lipsticks, testing out color arrangements and stuff like that. But I began to notice that my eyes felt especially swollen and sore on the days that I had worn makeup, especially after several days of wearing it in a row. At first, I wondered if it was my eyeshadow base, which I had purchased a long time back, before I realized how important gluten free makeup was. So I ditched it and purchased a different brand (which I will be posting about in the near future). But no, I still felt glutened. It wasn’t until I winged out one of the Estée Lauder eyeliners that I finally figured out where my problem was coming from. I had used the eyeliner before, but never tried winging it out. As I traced out the second line on my other eye, I suddenly realized that my eye was on fire. It only took a moment to realize that it was the eyeliner burning my skin, so I hastily removed it. But not before it left a raw and inflamed line directly on the spot I had applied it.

Only then did all the pieces fall into place.

Only when I used my new makeup did my eyes hurt.
Just because the current recipe of Estée Lauder makeup is gluten free, how do I know that the recipe I’ve got is gluten free?
If it’s so variable, then that would mean that gluten is on all of the machines, at any given time.
In other words, NO WAY to really know if Estée Lauder makeup is 100% gluten free.
And so, all my Estée Lauder went out with the banana peels.

Over a month later, on 6/22/201, Estée Lauder FINALLY replied to my email. Pft, talk about lousy customer service.

dear the gal,

thank you for taking the time to contact us and for your interest in estée lauder.

as you may know, our product line is quite extensive. therefore, in order to respond to your inquiry regarding gluten, we need to know the exact name and shade (if applicable) of the product(s) which you use or would be interested in using. we will then consult our laboratories and share our findings with you.

we trust that the above addresses your concern. we hope you will look to estée lauder for all your beauty and fragrance needs.


boaz levin
response representative
global consumer communications
estée lauder companies

Sorry, bud, you’re too late. I am never buying Estée Lauder products again.

Is Burt’s Bees Gluten Free?

Burt’s Bees. The go-to brand for every natural girl around. With a history of skipping the chemicals and using natural oils and fragrances, Burt’s Bees has been a favorite for the health-conscious folks since the mid-90’s. My sister swears by their lip balm, saying no other product she’s tried works quite as well.

But I just recently heard a rumor that Burt’s Bees was not gluten free. *insert duh-duh-duuuuuuuh doom/horror music* What? Not gluten free? Honestly, it hadn’t even occurred to me beforehand that it wasn’t.

A dig through their site revealed no information on gluten, so off went the email to customer service.

Here’s the reply I received from Burt’s Bees.

dear the gal,
thank you for contacting burt’s bees.

while we can identify products in which we do not use raw materials containing gluten, we cannot certify that our vendors did not process these ingredients on equipment where contamination could occur. for the most accurate source of information, please refer to the list of ingredients on our website or on the product.

all of our lip products are gluten free except for our res-q lip balm.

thank you for taking the time to contact us.

leigh mize
consumer response representative
consumer services

So, what they are calling “gluten free” is simply the products without straight gluten containing ingredients in them. But if they don’t know if their ingredients are gluten free, then the product isn’t certainly gluten free.

Nevertheless, thank you Burt’s Bees for the reply! I am terribly, terribly disappointed that your products are unsafe, but am very grateful for honest info. Now to try and find someone to replace your awesomesauce lip balm… 🙁