By: Cindy Pasillas
Many would argue makeup has to be one of the best creations known to man. Used by both men and woman, makeup has become a form of art where people let their creativity flow emphasizing their best features and hiding those they don’t like as much. There are entire communities dedicated to trying and reviewing the latest beauty products on the market or creating makeup tutorials on YouTube you have the self proclaimed “beauty gurus” and then there’s also the beauty bloggers.
Makeup has become a huge part of our culture and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It allows people to express themselves and at the end of the day they can take it off and experiment some more the next day. For those with a passion for makeup, there are plenty of career paths within the beauty industry whether it be working as a makeup artist on the set of a photo shoot or starting their own cosmetics line or company. Makeup is incredible and can be a very positive outlet for many but there are a few problems within the industry that shouldn’t be ignored and need to be brought to light.
When the United States passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act in 1938 it became mandatory to test on animals to get an idea as to how safe new products actually were to the public before entering the market. Although it is no longer mandatory for cosmetic companies within the United States to test on animals many still do. Bunnies, guinea pigs, mice and rats are usually the victims of cosmetic tests. Due to animal testing 100 million animals are tortured and killed each year within the United States alone.
Animal testing is an impractical and unnecessary method due to the fact that there are 7,000 safe ingredients companies could be choosing from that wouldn’t require any testing. Also the genetics of a human and an animal are different therefore the research is usually inaccurate and meaningless.
Then there’s the double standard of animal abuse laws not protecting the rights of laboratory animals which is ridiculous, an animal is an animal whether it’s in a lab or not. Technology plays an ample role in our world we need to come up with more ethical forms of testing the safety of new ingredient without abusing animals.
There are governments around the world that have already banned or are planning on banning animal testing for cosmetics such as the European Union, Norway, Israel, and India. We should probably consider doing the same.
If you’re a self proclaimed animal lover you should really reconsider which companies you give your money to and support. Try shopping with companies that are cruelty free. Cruelty free makeup brands do not test on animals and there are ton of brands to choose from both high end and low end. It’ll usually state on the packaging of the product if it is cruelty free and it may even have a little bunny on it. Look for the bunny that is the cruelty free logo.
There’s really no excuse for the abuse of animals or supporting it by purchasing from companies that choose not to be cruelty free.The list down below lists which companies do and do not test on animals but if you’d like to learn more you can visit Cruelty Free Kitty. They have tons of really interesting posts and shopping guides for Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, and drugstores making it easier to shop for products that are cruelty free.
Not enough foundation shades for people of color
Walk down the makeup aisle of your nearest drugstore and you’ll find many light shades of foundation that look very identical but not as many medium and deeper shades. Many companies don’t offer enough a good variety of shades for people of color which isn’t fair at all. There should be a variation in the tones of foundation so everyone has a shade to match them perfectly. Our world is so diverse our makeup should be too.
Although I personally don’t have this problem, I think it should still be brought up. Simply because I don’t have this problem doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Foundation is the base of everything else that you apply to your face so it’s crucial that you have a shade that’s right for your skin tone.
This isn’t a problem that only average folks face many supermodels have confessed that they struggle finding foundation shades that match their skin tones. Victoria’s Secret model Leomie Anderson gave the internet her thoughts after a makeup artist at NYFW didn’t have the correct foundation for her skin tone tweeting the following.
This was also a problem for Somali supermodel Iman so she began her own line of cosmetics. Which also happens to be cruelty free! According to the IMAN cosmetics website, IMAN Cosmetics are designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a myriad of shades. A few other brands that carry a good variety of foundation shades are Black|Up Cosmetics, Black Opal Beauty, Fashion Fair, and Shea Moisture and yes, all of these brands are cruelty free. People of all skin tones are beautiful and deserve to be treated equally even in the world of makeup. Makeup companies need to broaden their shade ranges so all their customers can find their perfect shade.
Problematic beauty companies
There are so many amazing makeup brand to purchases from and support but there are also a few that are very questionable. Whether it be horrible customer service, dishonesty in regards to their products, or the owner of a particular makeup brand is a very controversial and problematic person I feel like many purchase cosmetics blindly. Many people don’t take a moment to researching who exactly their giving their money to. Which is horrible people should really do a simple Google search to see who they’re supporting because you might be surprised at what you find.
Lime Crime and Jeffree Star Cosmetics both notorious indie makeup brands. Lime Crime best known for their Matte Velvetine Lipsticks, and Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipsticks. Both brands are known for their broad range of both conventional and unconventional shades. They have so many shades to pick from there’s something for everyone. Feeding into the liquid lipstick trend they quickly became cult favorites within the beauty community with many beauty gurus and even average people raving about their products they quickly became two of the more popular indie makeup brands.
That being said both of these companies have been involved with various controversies that make you question the integrity of the companies themselves and the owners. So many people continue to give their hard earned cash to these companies that don’t deserve it, let me give you a glimpse as to who you’re actually purchasing from and supporting when you purchase from Lime Crime or Jeffree Star Cosmetics.
Lime Crime founded in 2008 by Xenia Vorotova best known are Doe Deere. She wanted to launch something that was different and matched her eccentric style so she did just that. From the very beginning Lime Crime has had problems one of the very first scandals that broke out for them was that they were selling repackaged products. They were using the products of other companies and selling them for much higher prices.
Then in 2012 they put out their China Doll palette which didn’t sit well with many people due to the stereotypical, sexist, and inaccurate depiction of Chinese culture for this launch. Lime Crime thought it’d be a good idea to use a white model dressed in traditional Japanese garments. First of all that’s cultural appropriation and second of all I thought it was a China Doll palette not a Japanese Doll palette. The cultures aren’t the same Doe! Oh yeah and shortly after the launch of this palette Ms. Deere thought it’d be a good idea to rile people up some more and dress as none other than Hitler for Halloween. Right because you weren’t already receiving criticism for mocking people’s culture but sure continue to be insensitive I guess.
Lime Crime is also well known for lying to their customers. They began to promote their products as vegan when in reality they weren’t. They were still using beeswax in their formulation making the products nonvegan.
Then there was the time when their website was hacked and they didn’t email their customers to notify them. Many of Lime Crime’s customer information was compromised, their credit cards were being used to make purchases on other sites. Tons and tons of customers lost up to $300 in unauthorized purchases. Instead of being up front and informing customers about the breach via email they notified them in the comment section of their Instagram account. They didn’t even have the decency to notify their consumers in the caption of their Instagram post, they did it in the comment section.
This company has also had problems with the FDA. Ferric ferrocyanide and ultramarines was allegedly being used in their Velvetine Lipsticks which are a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. Once again they didn’t put out an official statement or email for their customers initially, instead they addressed the problem in the comment section of their Instagram. It wasn’t until days later that a statement was put out.
Doe started her company with good intentions I’m sure but Lime Crime clearly has a history with being a bit unprofessional. The way they go about things is very sketchy and it’s almost as if they’re always trying to hide something. They really can’t be trusted.
The infamous Jeffree Star someone that’s admired and hated by many. An inspiration to some and a monster to others for various reasons. Star is a man that rocks an androgynous look and a face full of makeup. He’s also openly gay, incredibly fierce and apologetically himself.
There are thousands of people that look up to him, boys that wear makeup in particular. They admire how confident and comfortable he is with being himself. Which is fantastic guys should totally wear makeup if that’s what makes them happy. It’s awesome that they have someone with the popularity that Jeffree has to make them feel like they aren’t alone or weird for being who they are.
That being said there are also people that demonize Star for being gay and wearing makeup. Of course not everyone is open to the idea of men wearing makeup, everyone’s entitled to their opinion but there are other reasons Jeffree Star is despised by many.
The problem here isn’t so much the cosmetics but it’s his past and how he treats people.
Star gained a large fanbase years ago through MySpace, at the time he was a musician and fashion designer. So when he decided to start his own makeup brand his very dedicated fans decided to follow and support it as any dedicated fan base does. It’s a bit of a shock to know he has so many fans still considering there are numerous videos from throughout the years of him insulting and threatening fans. I won’t be linking any videos due to how vulgar and insulting they are but if you’re curious you can definitely find them on YouTube there’s quite a few.
He’s also been known to start a unnecessary drama with other makeup artists and companies. One of the very first people he had a bit of a moment with was none other than Kylie Jenner. After receiving some of Kylie’s lip glosses he went on a Snapchat rant all because the brushes on the glosses appeared to be defective. Then there was the time Kat Von D called him out for never paying the artist that designed the logo he uses for his cosmetics line.
And perhaps the most disturbing feud was with a beauty guru that goes by the name MakeupShayla. Jeffree and Shayla had attended the same event and shortly after Star went on a Snapchat rampage. He began with saying that Shayla allegedly told someone that had attended the same event they needed lip fillers and they had a disproportionate face. He then proceeded to start with the name calling, calling her various demeaning and derogatory terms. Things only got worse when he began to threaten to beat her, he made that threat more than once. Shayla however didn’t stay silent. On her own Snapchat she stated that Star has been all smiles when they ran into one another at the event. Once things began to escalated she tweeted the following to which Jeffree Star responded. He quickly deleted the tweet but many people had already gotten screenshots.
The last and possibly the most prominent reason as to why supporting Jeffree Star isn’t a very good idea is a video he did around 10 years ago. It’s was a skit posted to MySpace he did with a drag queen friend that just so happened to be wearing blackface. In the video Star makes many racist and sexist comments all while him and his friend pretend to be stereotypical black woman. One of the most vile comments he makes is about how he wants to throw battery acid on black woman to lighten their skin so foundation matches them properly. People will bring up the fact that the video is 10 years old but that doesn’t change anything. He was an adult and knew exactly that what he was saying was unacceptable. Again the video is very inappropriate to link but it can be found on YouTube.
It’s almost as if Jeffree has gotten away with a lot of the horrible things he’s done and said simply because he’s a part of a minority and due to the fact that his products are loved by many. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s racist and rude.
This is what I mean when I say you should research who you’re buying from. Lime Crime and Jeffree Star Cosmetics aren’t the only two problematic companies out there, there are plenty more. So do your research before giving your money to horrible people. Be an informed consumer!
These are plenty of other problems within the makeup industry but, these are the three problems that I feel deserve some light shined upon them. I feel like many makeup addicts just go on and with their lives without even thinking about the problems within the beauty community as a whole. People need to know that innocent creatures are being hurt in the making of makeup, that not everyone is being treated equally by makeup companies, and that certain companies are just downright horrible so they don’t deserve our money.
Yes makeup is fantastic but the makeup industry and us as consumers should strive to be even better. There’s always room for improvement.