Luxurious Lashes! Gluten-Free Mascara to Define Your Lovely Eyes

woman using gluten free mascara

Since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005, I've struggled with so many eye issues. From dry and itchy eyes to red, swollen and watery eyes. I blamed it on allergy season, my fur babies and my real babies (kidding not kidding). As I fell down the rabbit hole of researching gluten in cosmetics, I came to the very scary realization that not all mascaras are gluten-free. Frustratingly, it was not as easy as I thought it would be to find out if a brand carries gluten-free mascara. I was surprised to find that many of the "big brand" companies weren't transparent at all and I had to jump through several hoops to get a semi-clear answer. Read on for more about what we're putting on our peepers, gluten-free mascara options and options to definitely avoid!

Gluten-Free Mascara Brands (in no particular order)

Gabriel Cosmetics Mascara

Gabriel's mascara has a gentle and non-irritating formula with vitamin B-5 to lengthen & thicken lashes without clumping or smudging. Specially designed brush expertly defines, separates & creates maximum volume.

Gabriel Cosmetics (along with their umbrella companies Zuzu Luxe & Clean Kids Naturally) have been certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group

Their "free-from" list is extensive. Here's a few in addition to being free-from gluten and soy: peanuts & tree nuts*, coal tar derivatives, formaldehyde, lanolin, lead, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, soy & talc. Cruelty-Free. Vegan.
*Note: Lip Gloss & Cuticle Oil contain Sweet Almond Oil, Banana Smoothie Conditioner contains Shea Butter.

Via website

Gabriel-Gluten-Free-Mascara

BaeBlue Organic Mascara

BaeBlue mascara's organic oils hydrate your lashes and prevent breaking. Achieve a natural look with one swipe or easily layer to build a dramatic look! BaeBlu was born to revolutionize a paradigm shift in the beauty industry. They've harnessed the power of nature to create a skin care and cosmetic line free of damaging toxins. Their commitment is to us, to our environment, and to our planet.

Gluten-Free. Also free from artificial dyes, artificial fragrances, Bht, dimethicone, formaldehyde, mineral oil, propylene glycol, petroleum, parabens, pthalates, silicones, sulfates/sulfites, talc, triclosan. Cruelty-Free. Vegan. 100% Natural. 85% Organic.

Via website

BaeBlue-Organic-Gluten-Free-Vegan-Mascara

Red Apple Lipstick "The Lash Project" 2-in-1 Lash Conditioning Mascara

Red Apple Lipstick brand is not just lipstick. They've branched out to other cosmetics including mascara. Their 2-in-1 Lash Conditioning Mascara helps restore damaged, stubby lashes to make them healthy again. 

None of Red Apple's products contain any harsh chemicals. All of their products are certified gluten-free and made in small batches to keep things fresh. Why does Red Apple do what they do? "Because every woman deserves safe makeup".

In addition to being free from gluten, they are free from GMOs, parabens, corn, soy, phthalates, petroleum, dairy, lead, mercury, talc & toxins. Vegan.

Via Website

Red-Apple-Lipstick-Gluten-Free-Mascara-Lash-Project
gluten free mascara tubes

Ecco Bella FlowerColor Natural Mascara

Ecco Bella's mascara gives a flirtatious lash look that volumizes, extends & provides a full fringe effect. Water-resistant, but not waterproof.

Ecco Bella (which means Behold Beautiful!) is inspired by compassion for all living beings to create products that beautify and protect their customers and the planet.

Excellent for sensitive eyes. In addition to being gluten-free, their FlowerColor Natural Mascara is lacquer, shellac, alcohol, talc, FD&C dyes, fragrance & parabens. Cruelty-Free. Vegan.

Via website

EccoBella-Gluten-Free-Mascara

Zuzu Luxe Mascara

This richly pigmented mascara curls, lengthens and adds lush volume to lashes without smudging, clumping, or flaking. The luxurious nylon brush is specially designed to add length and curl while being clump free.

Zuzu Luxe has been certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group

Zuzu's "free-from" list is extensive. Here's a few in addition to being free-from gluten and soy: peanuts & tree nuts*, coal tar derivatives, formaldehyde, lanolin, lead, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, soy & talc. Cruelty-Free. Vegan.
*Note: Lip Gloss & Cuticle Oil contain Sweet Almond Oil, Banana Smoothie Conditioner contains Shea Butter.

Via website

ZuZu-Luxe-Gluten-Free-Mascara

Afterglow Mascara

Afterglow caters to women with very sensitive skin and bodies. That’s why their entire line also focuses on using certified organic ingredients and is certified gluten-free and soy-free.

Afterglow's cosmetics are made in a 100% certified gluten-free facility. This extra measure ensures there is no danger of cross-contamination between products.

Their "free-from" list is extensive. Here's a few in addition to being free from gluten & soy: mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, polybutene, polyisobutene, PEGs & talc.

Via website

Afterglow-Pure-Soul-Gluten-Free-Mascara-

Lily LoLo Mascara

Lily LoLo's mascara is easy to apply and will volumize and lengthen lashes to produce a dramatic effect. Lily Lolo is the original Natural Makeup from Europe, now available in the U.S. and Canada. Made with pure inert minerals, organic, and natural ingredients. 

Gluten-Free. Also free from GMOs, nano particles, talc, additives, harsh chemicals, parabans, bismuth oxychloride, dyes, fillers, fragrance, preservatives, petroleum based chemicals, and other questionable ingredients. Cruelty-Free. Vegan.

Via website

lily-lolo-vegan-gluten-free-mascara

Several of the above mentioned brands have a range of safe cosmetics including gluten-free eyeshadow, gluten-free eyeliner, gluten-free foundation. 


Caution-Tape

Buyer Beware - Mascara Brands Containing Gluten

Chanel (via e-mail)

We do not have a list of all our gluten free products to provide, however we are glad to inquire about specific items. Please know that Chanel Mascaras that are not waterproof, do not contain ingredients derived from barley, oats, rye, spelt or wheat, which are known sources of gluten. However, due to the wide range of raw materials used in our manufacturing facility, we cannot confirm that our products are free from any traces of gluten.

Our waterproof mascaras do contain gluten. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding gluten, we recommend that you consult your physician. Please know that Chanel Mascaras that are not waterproof, do not contain ingredients derived from barley, oats, rye, spelt or wheat, which are known sources of gluten. However, due to the wide range of raw materials used in our manufacturing facility, we cannot confirm that our products are free from any traces of gluten.

​​​​e.l.f. (via chat)

e.l.f. products do not carry the gluten-free label, however the majority of our products are products without gluten ingredients. We do not certify that they were manufactured in a gluten-free facility. Please note that the following products do contain gluten: 81911 – Wrinkle Refiner 21665 – Volumizing & Defining Mascara 81421 – Mascara Primer 81436 – Lash Extending Mascara

Urban Decay (via e-mail)

We appreciate your interest in Urban Decay. Our Cannonball Ulta Waterproof Mascara and Troublemaker Mascara are not gluten-free.

Mascara Brands with Potential Contamination or Gluten

​​​​Bare Minerals (from website)

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. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding gluten, and the ingredients contained in our formulas, we recommend that you consult your physician.

Benefit (via e-mail)

Note: I've put Benefit cosmetics under the "iffy" section despite their claim that "they ensure their products are gluten-free" due to 1) their stance that "gluten is not absorbed through the skin" and 2) their statement on "...the very low level of gluten residue exposure..."

Adverse reactions to gluten have never been verified after using cosmetic products, because gluten is not absorbed through the skin. To reassure our customers on the gluten issue, Benefit Cosmetics has enacted the following policies: We no longer formulate with gluten as a cosmetic ingredient. We have high quality standards for ingredients derived from grain sources.

Despite these precautions, trace levels of gluten could be present from some raw materials in all cosmetic products. For people suffering from intolerance to gluten who choose to avoid the use of all products derived from grain sources, we recommend avoiding the following ingredients: Triticum vulgare (wheat), Avena sative, Secale cereal and Hordeum distichon. Given our policies and the very low level of gluten residue exposure, we ensure that our cosmetic products are safe under normal and reasonable use.

​​​​Clinique (owned by Estee Lauder - see details below)

Estee Lauder (via e-mail)

In addressing your concern about gluten, we would like to explain that a vast number of raw materials from many different suppliers and sources are used in the manufacture of Estee Lauder Companies' products. It is therefore not possible for us to fully guarantee that our products are completely free of ingredients that may elicit an allergic response in highly sensitive individuals who react to gluten. 

For example, it is possible that small amounts of a wheat sourced ingredient may remain on shared manufacturing equipment even after a thorough cleaning. We therefore recommend that you discuss this with your physician, because consumer safety is of utmost concern to us. We appreciate the opportunity to explain that we do not have a comprehensive list of products that contain or don't contain certain ingredients. However, if you would kindly provide us with the specific product names with which you are interested, we will then consult our laboratories and share our findings with you. 

Lancome (owned by L'Oreal - see details below)

L'Oreal (via e-mail)

Thank you for your inquiry concerning gluten in L'Oreal products. Most ingredients derived from grain sources are highly refined and retain no traces of gluten proteins. For less refined ingredients from natural sources, The L'Oreal Group 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.

Maybelline (via e-mail)

Thank you for contacting Maybelline. Most ingredients derived from grain sources are highly refined and retain no traces of gluten proteins. For less refined ingredients from natural sources, Maybelline 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.

NARS (from website)

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. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding gluten, and the ingredients contained in our formulas, we recommend that you consult your physician.

Smashbox (owned by Estee Lauder - see details above)

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Have you found a mascara that contains gluten?

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Maureen

Maureen

Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.

5 Comments

  1. Surprise to see you did not put Tarte as a gluten free mascara. Their whole line of cosmetics is gluten-free, do you know about this line? It’s the only brand of cosmetics I will use. I’m one of those people that need to see “gluten-free“ on their packaging to feel safe about the product LOL
    TC
    Sara

      1. Hi Julinna,

        Thanks for your comment! I did a bit of research and pulled the information below from Josie Maran’s FAQ section. There’s potentially a lot of gluten (made me cringe just reading the darn disclaimer) where their gluten-free products are stored and/or produced. They also state “Studies have proven inconclusive as to whether or not wheat germ oil contains gluten“. That’s totally incorrect – wheat germ oil definitely has gluten. I personally wouldn’t feel safe using their makeup.

        On another note, thanks for the tip on Hourglass! I’ve reached out to their customer service to clarify how their gluten-free cosmetics are produced. I’ll update as soon as I have more details.

        From Josie Maran Cosmetics website:
        https://www.josiemarancosmetics.com/apps/help-center#!are-your-products-gluten-free

        Are your products gluten free?

        The Argan Moisture Stick, the Mini Argan Moisture Stick, and the Argan Color Sticks in Rosey and Petal Pink all contain wheat germ oil. Studies have proven inconclusive as to whether or not wheat germ oil contains gluten, but we believe it’s safer to err on the side of caution for those with gluten sensitivity.

        Our cosmetics are made following good manufacturing practices; however, they may be produced or stored near gluten containing ingredients like:

        Amp-isostearoyl hydrolized wheat protein
        Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran
        Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour
        Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract
        Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil
        Avena Sativa (Oat) Protein
        Barley
        Barley Extract
        Barley Lipids
        Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
        Cyclodextrin
        Dextrin
        Dextrin Palmitate
        Disodium Wheatgermamphodiacetate
        Fermented Grain Extract
        Hordeum Vulgare Extract
        Hydrolyzed Malt Extract
        Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
        Hydrolyzed Oat Protein
        Hydrolyzed Oats
        Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour
        Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
        Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
        Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer
        Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
        Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
        Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
        Malt Extract
        Maltodextrin
        Phytosphingosine Extract
        Rye
        Samino Peptide Complex
        Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Flour
        Sodium C8-16 Isoalkylsuccinyl Wheat Protein Sulfonate
        Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acid
        Steardimonium
        Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
        Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
        Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Gluten
        Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch
        Wheat Amino Acids
        Wheat Germ Glycerides
        Wheat Germamidopropalkonium Chloride
        Wheat Protein
        Wheatgermamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate
        Xantham Gum, (may be derived from wheat)
        Yeast Extract

    1. Hi Sara!

      Thanks for commenting! I went back and forth about including Tarte on my list. It’s noted on their website that they are free from gluten. Via Tarte website and chat, “All of our products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten, just to name a few.” YAY!

      However, they have a disclaimer on their website, “Tarte cannot guarantee that any ingredients or products were produced in an allergen free environment.” BOO!

      When I asked for clarification via chat on what defined an “allergen free environment”, Tarte’s response was “free pollution environment – chance of contamination, because we can’t make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction, but this never have happened.”. Since their response was pretty muddled (figuratively and grammatically), I wasn’t comfortable recommending it.

      I’ve reached out to Tarte again and will see what else I can find 🙂 Pre-celiac, I used their products and would love to add them back into my makeup arsenal!

      Thanks again for stopping by,
      Maureen

  2. Update: Tarte did respond with the following information:

    All of our products are formulated without gluten. While tarte can ensure these products were formulated with ingredients free of gluten, the plant where they are manufactured may or may not produce items with raw materials containing gluten. Since we cannot confirm this, and our priority is the safety and health of our customers, we always recommend consulting your physician before using any of our products.

    You can find the ingredient list on each one of our products at tarte.com

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