Tuesday, 14 February 2012

This is my first blog post here, so please bear with me! I just thought I'd start by saying (briefly) what I stand for (and don't!) in the cosmetics world.

I've been a vegetarian for close to 6 years, so it makes sense that I'm nowhere close to being oblivious to the nasty ingredients that infiltrate many food and drinks products in everyday life, even more so if you're vegan. However, it's only been over the past year or two that I've began to understand that many of the same ingredients are present in a LOT of cosmetics. I'm talking primarily of Carmine (I'll get to that in a bit), but understand fully what nastiness can be found lurking in a long list of ingredients in small print on the bottom of that little tube of lipstick or that pot of moisturiser sitting on the dressing table, disguised under long and seemingly foreign names or presented as a long series of numbers that most nobody would know other than those in the labs.

How many of you know what C.I. 75470 actually is?
C.I. 75470, Cochineal, Crimson Lake, E120, among one or two others are, in fact, different names for the ingredient Carmine. For those of you who are still unclear as to what Carmine is, see the dictionary.com definition below -


  1. A vivid crimson color.
  2. A vivid crimson pigment made from cochineal.

It doesn't exactly tell us what it is, so let's Google 'cochineal' -


  1. A scarlet dye used chiefly for coloring food.
  2. The dried bodies of a female scale insect, which are crushed to yield this dye.
That's right, crushed insects are being used to give that lovely shade of red to lipsticks, blushers, eyeshadows, eyeliners, liquid and powder foundations, among other products. However, it's a little more complicated - this ingredient is not limited to red shades and hues, and the only way to be sure of avoiding it completely is to either check the ingredients list (keeping in mind it can be listed as a 'natural colouring') or email the company themselves. 

Right, back to the purpose of this blog. I aim to research and review various products, ranging from makeup and skincare to hair care and nail products to find the best products on the market that offer value for money, and above all, are free from animal testing (I'll save that for another post!) and have no Carmine in them. Let's be honest - who wants to be knowingly wearing crushed insects? 

What do you think? Do you share the same opinion?
Let me know if you've found any amazing products in the comments section!


  1. Rhiannon, I completely agree. I don't want to wear or eat crushed beetles. A few years ago, I finally figured out that I was allergic to carmine. I had been having awful issues where my eyes would suddenly swell shut, my mouth and throat would swell, etc. It took many years to identify that it was the carmine. I discovered it after eating Yoplait Whips Yogurt (U.S.). After the second episode when I had eaten nothing else, I knew. Then, I began noticing the same reaction with cosmetics. I read the labels, and yes, it was carmine again. It's disgusting anyway, and I don't need the Emergency Room trips. It's a known allergen, so why do they continue to use this stuff? I have always read labels for cosmetics that don't do animal testing. It is tough to find good companies that don't test on animals AND that don't use animal products, but then many companies call themselves vegan, but they use carmine and beeswax. Their definition of vegan is crazy. Thanks for your work.

  2. I agree with no crushed bugs, but isn't supporting grinding up male chicks alive or suffocating them, which is something that the egg industry does because it has no use for these chicks [1], just as bad, if not worse?
    (They don't use them for meat, because they haven't been bred to grow as fast.)

    [1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ--faib7to