Bugs in your Lipstick!

We all love a good red lipstick, that’s a given, but how much do you know about what actually goes into your favourite lippy to give it that gorgeous colour?

Cochineal extract, derived from the remains of a parasitic beetle native to Mexico and South America, has been used as a coloring agent since as early as the 15th century, as a coloring agent. However, despite the years of progressing in technologyand being able to create artificial colours so easily, you’d be surprised to know just how many lipstick manufacturers STILL continue to use the extracts of the bugs in their products.

Now before you grab your makeup bag and stat rifling through for signs of dead creepy crawlies, note that this red base is usually listed as “Carmine,” “Natural Red 4,” or “Crimson Lake” on product labels. yes ladies, there are potentially crushed bugs in lipstick.

MAC are fantastic and they will reply to emails you send them inquiring about the ingredients in any of their lipsticks and many of them don’t have carmine (woohoo) however NARS have openly said that “all color/makeup products such as eyeshadow, blush, multiple stick, lip gloss, etc contain the ingredient Carmine.”

I know most people will be grossed out and a small percentage will say well so what? If you go back to my posts on parabens and sulphates, you’ll understand that anything that you put ON your body, eventually finds it’s way into your body…and I for one, am not too keen on having dead bugs floating around inside me!

On a side note, sorry to break it to you chocoholics but Red m&m’s that are manufactured in the UK are also coloured with the same red base (also known as E120).

Did you know about carmine? Will this post be affecting your future buys? What is your favourite shade of red lipstick?


What are your thoughts?