Laura Geller Makeup Review: Does it Contain Toxic Additives?

Laura Geller Makeup Review: Does it Contain Toxic Additives?


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Laura Geller is a popular cosmetics brand that sells a wide variety of products and is often featured on QVC. The brand was founded by a makeup artist and there’s even a community of devoted customers that call themselves Geller Gals.

But are Laura Geller products better than regular cosmetic products you could find at a drugstore or Ulta? Does the brand contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate Laura Geller products? And which retailer sells this brand for the best price?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in two of Laura Geller’s most popular products (Baked Foundation, Blush) based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not the brand is a healthy choice.

We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, discuss whether makeup can ruin the skin long-term, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Laura Geller products for the best price.

We'll also share how Laura Geller spammed us, and why we recommend avoiding the brand's website if at all possible.

Baked Foundation Ingredient Analysis

Laura Geller Baked Foundation ingredients

The ingredients in the Medium, Tan and Fair shades of Laura Geller Baked Balance-n-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation are shown above.

While this is one of the brand's most popular products, it contains several ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is an ingredient more commonly referred to as octinoxate, and was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology to be toxic to the environment and to wildlife.

This ingredient was recently banned in Hawaii over toxicity concerns.

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative. As we referenced in our review of Seint Makeup, this preservative has been shown to be toxic to human cells in at least one clinical trial.

Chromium oxide green is a synthetic colorant containing the mineral chromium, which was shown in a clinical review to cause contact allergy, skin ulcers and swelling of the skin in some individuals.

Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract is an effective natural ingredient, shown in a review published in the Molecules journal to delay visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles.

Overall, we consider Laura Geller Baked Foundation somewhat likely to improve the apperance of skin given the colorants and green tea leaf extract, but we don't currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of octinoxate, phenoxyethanol and chromium oxide green.

A YouTube creator named “Beyond The Skin With Michelle" shared her experience using this foundation, including a live product demo:

Laura Geller Spammed Us

Laura Geller marketing spam example

While researching this article, we visited the Laura Geller website and received unsolicited marketing spam in the days after.

We never opted in to these emails nor was there any clear notice that our use of the website would opt us in for email spam.

We very strongly disagree with this practice and we recommend that consumers avoid brands that do this to disincentivize the behavior. It's highly disruptive and not respectful of a user's privacy.

We urge Laura Geller to stop sending marketing emails to individuals that simply visit their website but do not opt in to marketing emails, and we would recommend that consumers set on purchasing from this brand do so on Amazon to avoid this negative experience.

Blush Ingredient Analysis

Laura Geller Blush ingredients

The ingredients in the Roseberry shade of Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten Marbleized Blush are shown above, and this is another best-seller. 

Phenoxyethanol and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate are included in this product, and we explained why we recommend that consumers be wary of these ingredients in the previous Ingredient Analysis section.

BHT is a synthetic preservative that's clinically shown to break down into a compound called BHTOOH, which may promote tumors in the body, as we documented in our review of Agency Skincare (another brand that uses this ingredient).

Red 7 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake are synthetic dyes that we consider to be even worse choices than the chromium oxide green used in Laura Geller Baked Foundation.

A 2012 medical review found that Yellow 5 was frequently contaminated with carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds).

The above-linked study focused on the ingestion of these compounds, but we do not recommend using synthetic dyes on the face either, given that there was “evidence for carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, and hypersensitivity.”

Overall, our takeaway about this product is similar to our thoughts on the Foundation: it may improve skin appearance and may be a good choice from a functional perspective, but from a health perspective we consider the Blush to be even worse than the Foundation.

A YouTube creator named Kristi Bergman has a popular review of Laura Geller Blush:

Can Makeup Ruin the Skin?

Given that most commercial makeup brands use a number of questionable ingredients, consumers are often curious about whether its daily use can ruin the skin over time.

In a popular video, a dermatologist and YouTube creator named "Dr Dray" reviews claims made by actress Jessica Chastain that makeup ruined her skin:

Our Clean Beauty Pick

Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation as our top clean foundation brand.

Ilia’s makeup has natural ingredients beneficial for skin health like aloe vera juice, coconut and jojoba seed oil.

Ilia’s makeup is free of the preservative phenoxyethanol in Laura Geller and is also free of synthetic dyes. While it does contain two preservatives (ethylhexylglycerin and sodium benzoate), we consider these to be less harsh options than the inactive ingrdients in Laura Geller.

We would prefer to recommend a preservative-free makeup product but have not come across one. If we do, we will update this section of the article with that recommendation.

Interested consumers can check out Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation at this Amazon link, where it’s available in many shades.

Where to Buy Laura Geller for the Best Price

Laura Geller cosmetics are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of the two products reviewed in this article, at the time of updating this article:

Baked Foundation

Brand website: $36 (plus shipping, link)

Macy's: $36 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $23 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Marbleized Blush

Brand website: $30 (plus shipping, link)

Macy's: $28 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $27.99 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

The Laura Geller products we reviewed are currently around 15-40% cheaper on Amazon than the brand's website when factoring in shipping fees.

Real Customers Review Laura Geller

Amazon is a better resource for unbiased customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Baked Foundation is currently Laura Geller's most-reviewed product on Amazon, with over 23,000 total reviews and an average review rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Bridgette A White” who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and appreciates its ease-of-use:

“As a special effects creator I love good products that feel natural and easy to apply. I was amazed at how easy this goes on and is even better than the mineral makeup I have been using for 15 years faithfully. Smooth and blends will with bronzer/blush and stayed on all night.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Lorraine” who gives the products a 1/5 star rating, and dislikes its coverage:

“I finally fell for the ad with Patricia Heaton. I saw ads for this product daily on Facebook. I've been happy with my clean, fine powder makeup, Lily Lolo mineral foundation for years. But Heaton's ad made me wonder if I could do better. I bought it on Amazon so I wouldn't have to pay shipping. I tried it on twice. It looked bad both times. There isn't much coverage. A finer powder gives better coverage.”

Laura Geller currently has an average review rating of 1 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, which is the lowest possible rating.

More concerning than the average review rating is the fact that the brand has failed to respond to the majority of customer complaints at the time of updating this article, which is a sign of a low quality brand in our opinion.

Pros and Cons of Laura Geller

Here are the pros and cons of Laura Geller in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Mostly positive online customer reviews
  • Should improve skin appearance
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Brand uses octinoxate 
  • Brand uses synthetic preservatives
  • Brand uses synthetic colorants
  • Brand website charges for shipping on some one-time purchases
  • Products don't appear to be clinically tested
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Laura Geller makeup products seem to be effective from an aesthetic perspective. The brand has positive user reviews both on YouTube and on Amazon.

We do not currently recommend either of the brand’s most popular products due to the inclusion of ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective, such as synthetic dye and synthetic preservatives.

Laura Geller formulations are some of the worst cosmetic formulations that we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health from a health perspective.

While researching this article, we visited Laura Geller's website and were spammed by the company without opting in to email marketing or sharing our email with the company. We strongly disapprove of this marketing practice.

At the time of updating this article, Amazon currently has the best prices on Laura Geller makeup by a large margin.