Scroll through the TikTok For You Page and you’re sure to come across one of the many viral videos “exposing” Huda Beauty’s Neon Obsession Palettes.
These videos, some with millions of views, show users peeling back the label on the Huda Beauty Neon Obsessions Palettes to reveal a hidden label with an ingredients list and a warning which reads, “NOT INTENDED FOR THE EYE AREA.”
While members of the makeup community have known about these warnings since the palettes were released in 2019, the information seems to be new for many TikTok users, so we want to help set the record straight.
Why is there a warning?
If you purchased the palette in the United States, you will find this hidden warning. The ingredients required to create many neon pigments are not FDA-approved in America for use around the eye area, as per Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
These pigments, including those used to create neon reds and yellows, are FDA approved for use on the face and lips but are not yet approved for immediate use around the eye.
Many other countries, like the UK and the EU, do not have restrictions banning particular ingredients needed to create neon hues.
Why are they approved in other countries but not the U.S?
A representative for the FDA told Refinery29 in 2019 that these ingredients may have simply not gone through the approval process yet. “FDA has not received, evaluated, and approved information supporting the safety of these color additives when used in this way,” they explained.
This can be the reason palettes may be marketed as “pressed pigments” or “pressed powder.”
Why would a brand choose to use non-FDA approved ingredients?
While we can’t say for sure, it’s likely because it’s not possible to achieve a true neon hue in certain shades without these ingredients.
Huda Beauty is not the only brand to release an eyeshadow palette in the United States with a similar warning. Others include Anastasia Beverly Hills, ColourPop Cosmetics, and Urban Decay, who released the following statement in 2014 regarding a warning on their Pressed Pigments Electric Palette:
“We created the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette with artistry in mind. Using pressed pigments was the only way for us to create heavily saturated brights with the intense pigment load we craved. Traditional eyeshadow formulas just wouldn’t cut it. To achieve shades like these, we started with our existing Eyeshadow formula and modified it to create a new Pressed Pigment formula. Everywhere but the U.S., the Electric Palette is an eyeshadow palette. Because of a technicality, in the U.S. it’s considered a multiuse artistry palette. To get the most out of this palette, experiment and see what works for you. You can use the Electric Palette all over (and that’s where the creativity comes in!). A few shades contain a colorant that has not yet been approved for the use around the immediate eye area. However, this restriction only applies in the U.S.; in every other country where Urban Decay is sold, these shades are approved for use around the eyes. Bottom line? We didn’t want to limit the Electric Palette to eyeshadow. It’s an artistry palette with unlimited possibilities! How you use these shades is up to you. (And no matter where you use them, you’ll get insane colour payout.)“
All things considered, many beauty lovers still believe these warnings should be visible to the consumer prior to purchasing.
As @alissarosereyes noted in the follow up from her Huda Beauty TikTok that went viral, this warning is hidden behind a label that the consumer would have to actively find and peel off themselves. The palettes also come wrapped in plastic, meaning the consumer doesn’t have access to this warning when considering the purchase in-store.
If these warnings make you uncomfortable, perhaps reach out to the brand themselves or consider DMing Estée Laundry with your thoughts.