I don't normally write about cosmetics but a recent lip allergy lead me to find out that there are lots of you out there who have also, unfortunately, developed random out of the blue allergies to lip products. After learning that the allergy would never go away, I became my own personal guinea pig to find out what I was/wasn't allergic to and which products I could wear that would't blow up my lips and cause them to peel and spew out liquid (pretty picture, right?). For me, fragrances (both artificial and naturally occurring) and dyes (particularly, Red Lakes) were the culprit. In my mad search online, I found a bunch of brands that don't use fragrances and dyes (yes, they exist!) and reached out to them. They were all completely understanding of allergies/unbelievably helpful and sent me a bunch of free samples to try.
After trying a multitude of brands and colors, these were the superstars:
I tried four different shades from Vapour's Siren Lipstick line and while all came up safe, "Courage" and "Purr" shades were my favorites. On me, Courage is a deep cherry red (2 applications lasted all day) and Purr is a really pretty mod pink with a slight shimmer. Also, how beautiful is the packaging?! It's the little things in life, people.
Real Purity had the most extensive selection of colors, from a variety of brights to nudes in all shades of red, pink, mauve and coral. I tested eight colors and loved the flattering mauve-y pink of "Dewberry" for everyday, the bright apple red of "Clover Red," and the vibrant coral of "Rose."
Update: After getting the full-size of all three colors and trying to wear them everyday, I experienced swelling and itching, so it's possible my tolerance for some of the ingredients have decreased :(
For a more subtle, soft warm pink, I liked Sante's "NO.21" - the only thing is that it is quite sheer, so you do need to re-apply often. The cool pink/red (more deep pink than red on me) of "NO.23" lasted longer as it left a nice stain as it wore off.
Although the lipsticks by Zosimos Botanicals caused a reaction on me (itchiness and slight swelling) due to the macadamia and avocado oils; if you're not allergic to either of those ingredients, their mini-lipstick samples (pictured above) are a super convenient way to try without committing to the full size. The lip pencils were completely safe on me but tend to crumble a lot so you need to carefully apply it so it doesn't fall all over your floor. My favorite shade of the lip pencil was "Garnet," an intense burgundy with a metallic sheen.
It's not a lipstick post without a swatch pic, right? Here are all the colors I loved that didn't cause a reaction. If you've developed an insane/painful allergy to fragrances and dyes in lip colors, I hope this helps!