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If you’ve seen TikTokers throwing away their expensive makeup products panicking about a documentary called Not So Pretty, you might be wondering what the heck is going on. The HBO film has gone viral for the way it works to expose the beauty industry for using ingredients that could be harmful and choosing profits over people. One of these ingredients is talc, which is why talc-free eyeshadow is currently on everyone’s lips.
The documentary uses the case of talcum-based products that contain asbestos, which is known for causing cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, “talc that has asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled.” But beauty brands are supposed to use talc that’s asbestos-free. Unfortunately, there’s no great data about asbestos-free talc.
So, based on the lack of data from both human and animal studies, The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies inhaled talc not containing asbestos as “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans.”
What does that mean for you buying and wearing makeup containing talc? Well, it’s a personal choice. Some say we use “possible” cancer-causing things every day and we can’t worry about tiny risks, while others prefer to avoid or limit their use of products that contain talc just to be on the safe side. Luckily, talc-free powders, including eyeshadows, have trendy shades with killer payoff so you’re not making any sacrifices.
Shop some of our favorite talc-free eyeshadows, below.
These six talc-free, long-wearing eyeshadows are buttery smooth with matte, satin and metallic finishes.
Pacifica’s colorful 28-shade palette contains matte, reflective and shimmer eyeshadows without talc, parabens, phthalates or mineral oil.
Three Lid Illumes eyeshadows and one of Roen’s new sparkle powder formulas make this 4-pan palette easy to use for a variety of day-to-night makeup looks.
This rose-quartz infused eyeshadow palette features 10 unique shades in shimmer, metallic and matte finishes.
This new palette features eight shades with a mix of matte and shimmer finishes. The color story was inspired by the brand’s best-selling Truffle Liquid Matte Lipstick — with the addition of complementary hues.
There are four different colorways of this 8-shade palette but this one in Punked is our favorite. Each was inspired by makeup trends seen and shot at Smashbox’s Los Angeles photo studio.
Choose from seven different eyeshadow trios that contain finely milled mineral pigments for intense color payoff.
These eyeshadow singles contain actual fruit pigments, as well as skin-softening rice starch, for buildable, nourishing color.
There are 18 gorgeous shades in a variety of finishes, from neutrals to bold pops of color, in this popular eyeshadow palette. Use your fingers to apply shimmers for the best color payoff.
These 10 velvety shades are versatile for any occasion, especially with the addition of black and cream shades for the perfect smoky eye.