Is there Carmine hiding in your cruelty free lipstick?

June 16, 2014

I will say straight away - This is not an 'original' post, I first read about this on Amber's Beauty Talk and you can too, click here.

Basically, Amber flagged up that one of my favourite natural, cruelty free brands uses carmine (crushed up beetles). If I'm not mistaken (please let me know if I am wrong) I believe they used to list it purely under it's colour name 'Cl 75470'. Since Amber's post they have started writing (carmine) in brackets after the number.



I think that a lot of brands that market themselves to those of us who want a more natural or a cruelty free option can list carmine 'secretly' in their ingredients by only referring to it as a number. I have recently made an effort to memorise the number so that I can be extra vigilant. 

I'm sad to say that a huge amount of the Lily Lolo lipsticks and lip glosses that I featured in my lip swatch post and video use carmine as an ingredient. Unfortunately my ignorance meant that I missed this fact and I have been recommending them to you, my readers, without the full information.



When I publish this post I will also make sure I update my original post. Unfortunately I cannot do much on my video, I will add a note into the description box, put an annotation on the video and write a comment that I will ask people to 'like' so that it goes to the top as a 'top comment' but I worry that this is still not enough.

As a blogger/vlogger I have a responsibility to be knowledgeable and informed about what I am using, recommending and blogging about. I feel that I have failed on this occasion and I will do what I can to rectify it.



I do not want to get into the discussion of whether carmine is 'right' or 'wrong' as this is a personal matter - I am sure that some of my readers will be meat eaters with leather handbags who might over look carmine if it means a nice colour - which is fine. Other readers may be strict vegans who would not touch carmine with a barge pole. The rest will fall somewhere in between with their own, personal opinion. A lot of readers will strongly believe, as I do, that make up should be cruelty free and carmine falls into a grey area there.

The real issue I am raising here is not 'is carmine right' but more the fact that it should be clearly listed as an ingredient - not just a number that doesn't mean much to a lot of people.



I also want to know how a product can be considered 'cruelty free' when an animal has been killed to make it? It may 'only' be a bug but it is an animal none the less, it has suffered and died for my beauty - that doesn't sit well with me although I do own products containing carmine and I am an occasional meat eater. 

What are your thoughts? Is it 'cruelty free' if it contains carmine? Do you avoid carmine? Did you know that Cl 75470 is carmine?
post signature
FYI Sarah Sugarpuffish has a post about carmine free make up here.

I have a video about this on my channel, click here.

Information: 
This post does not include any products sent for consideration. 
The links are not affiliated. 
All opinions are honest and my own, any suggestions made are based on my own experiences and are meant as a guide. 
Please always take care when making any DIY products and patch test to rule out an adverse reaction.

11 comments:

  1. Firstly, thanks for the mention. Secondly, don't beat yourself up for what is a common mistake, it's not clearly marked & we can't be expected to remember everything all the time. I don't like that a cruelty free company will openly use an ingredient derived from the death of an animal, no matter how big or small that animal may be. I still can't wrap my head around that one. I believe animals should not be used for our own personal vanity but of course not everyone will feel the same.

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    1. Thanks Sarah, I agree, an insect is still an animal, I do not feel comfortable with the idea that an animal suffered for my vanity but sometimes I do get swept up with the 'prettiness' of a product, shameful but honest.

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  2. Like you, I also missed the fact that Lily Lolo products contain carmine, I do feel that instead of listing the numbers for identification it should be labelled more clearly as Carmine in the list of ingredients. There are already several id's for carmine which I think can be a little confusing and misleading to the public. Great post, I'm with you! xx

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    1. Thanks Louise :-) I'm glad I'm not the only one who missed it... I got swept up and carried away... you never can get complacent can you. xx

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  3. Aw Rachel don't be so hard on yourself, it's really an easy mistake not to have seen that and have given out the recommendations. I didn't actually realise Lily Lolo used carmine - I'm assuming it's in their rosey glow Shimmer Strips that you put in a picture of? I just did a review so think I'll be putting in a note about that too! I totally agree that brands who market themselves as being cruelty free should label everything carefully and point out when something is derived from an animal, otherwise it's just incredibly misleading x

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    1. ah thanks Tania. Yep the ingredients say 'may contain' Cl 74570, same with the bronzer one too :-(
      Agree with you, it is very misleading. xx

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  4. You are an honest person, and it really comes across in your videos and in your blog :) I had no idea about this so it's defiantly something to ponder. x

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    1. Thank you :-) I'm glad that comes across xx

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  5. Rachel don't be hard on yourself - it was easily missed! I wouldn't have noticed it if the lipgloss didn't smell of chocolate as that's why I checked the ingredients list on the box....it had CI75470 (Carmine) on the box but not on their website! It's a shame that it means they're still able to be called cruelty free just because its a beetle!

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    1. Humf, what can we do? Just wish they'd use something else instead :-(

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  6. ahhhh no! I love Lily Lolo. Do you know if they use it in any of their foundations or bronzers?

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