pocketvenus

Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

[ Edited ]

My UD Naked palette states that it was assembled in the Dominican Republic, the accompanying shadow brush was made in China and the Primer Potion was made in the US. That made me start thinking - where is our makeup made? Who puts it all together? Are those people paid fair wages and do they have decent, respectful working conditions?

 

I know where my daily products like food, clothes, electronics come from and I know about problems with human/labour rights in the production of these things. But I don't have a clue about the makeup industry. I know it must be different for every brand, and different products within the same brand are probably sourced from a variety of places but does anyone on BT know of any  journalism on this topic? Can a Sephora representative direct me to some kind of report?

dianabt

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

Hi pocketvenus, 

 

Thanks for such a thought-provoking post :smileyhappy: To be honest, I really think it depends on the brands, and often times (with brands I have worked with) their production and ingredients tend to be hidden and not mentioned to the public or workers. 

 

As far as the products often times they are printed with the "made in" label depending on their last location. So the makeup could have been made in Europe and then packaged in China (very common). As far as things like fair trade and wages.. gosh I really wish that I did have and know more information about the products and where they are manufactured and created.  I hate to think about things like that with my clothes and food I buy but then again.. why not consider it with makeup as well? I'll definitely update you if I am able to find anything out regarding cosmetics and any other sort of reports. :cathappy:

Luv&Lipgloss, Diana
pocketvenus

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?


dianabt wrote:

Hi pocketvenus, 

 

Thanks for such a thought-provoking post :smileyhappy: To be honest, I really think it depends on the brands, and often times (with brands I have worked with) their production and ingredients tend to be hidden and not mentioned to the public or workers. 

 

As far as the products often times they are printed with the "made in" label depending on their last location. So the makeup could have been made in Europe and then packaged in China (very common). As far as things like fair trade and wages.. gosh I really wish that I did have and know more information about the products and where they are manufactured and created.  I hate to think about things like that with my clothes and food I buy but then again.. why not consider it with makeup as well? I'll definitely update you if I am able to find anything out regarding cosmetics and any other sort of reports. :cathappy:


Thank you dianabt :smileyhappy: I understand that Sephora is a broker for selling makeup so other than its in house line, it might not be able to access this kind of information if the company is a private one or a subsidiary.

msmisty

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

Wow, I wonder if Urban Decay is going the Stila route. My previous Urban Decay products have all stated made in the USA. It has been at least a year though since I purchased anything new from them. I agree with what you're saying though and I opt for cruelty free brands but what's the point of cruelty free if the working conditions are bad and cheap labor is being exploited, ya know? In scientific terms humans are part of the animalia kingdom too :smileywink:. Urban Decay has not lowered prices on their products so I suppose this is a way for them to maximize profits. You make really good thinking points, kudos.

pocketvenus

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?


msmisty wrote:

Wow, I wonder if Urban Decay is going the Stila route. My previous Urban Decay products have all stated made in the USA. It has been at least a year though since I purchased anything new from them. I agree with what you're saying though and I opt for cruelty free brands but what's the point of cruelty free if the working conditions are bad and cheap labor is being exploited, ya know? In scientific terms humans are part of the animalia kingdom too :smileywink:. Urban Decay has not lowered prices on their products so I suppose this is a way for them to maximize profits. You make really good thinking points, kudos.


Thank you! I completely agree. Consumers have pressured the industry into more humane practices for testing cosmetics but the treament of people involved in the manufacturing process is important as well!

ran8

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

That is an interesting question.  The answer would be different from each brand, even to each product. And in some cases, the complexity would vary.  If I had more time to draw out a chart, it would probably be more useful and readable than this limited sketch notes:

 

Ingredients (and raw materials/derivatives) - from the source, harvested, farmed, lab created. 

Lab - Formula

Production line

Either sent out to another facility or fully combined in house with container product

Distribution

 

Container/Dispenser/Well

Design - sent to manufacturing

mold - either hand made or factory.  Case is either made in the same place as the formula or made elsewhere and shipped to the next step in the processed. 

 

Packaging - sourced material (paper, mixed paper, recyclable materials, recycled material)

From one place to another, consider the transportation services in between.

 

L'Occitane has a video on their website that has some information on Shea butter. 

There are other companies that have brief information on their sourcing and manufacturing of products.  Fair Trade.  Responsible sourcing, etc. 

 

You may also be able to find certain reports though educational (dissertations, studies, etc) and business published papers through either free or paid (subscription; usually expensive licenses) services.  If there is a university library nearby with access, they should be able to set you in the right direction.  

pocketvenus

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

[ Edited ]

 

ran8 wrote:

That is an interesting question.  The answer would be different from each brand, even to each product. And in some cases, the complexity would vary.  If I had more time to draw out a chart, it would probably be more useful and readable than this limited sketch notes:

 

Ingredients (and raw materials/derivatives) - from the source, harvested, farmed, lab created. 

Lab - Formula

Production line

Either sent out to another facility or fully combined in house with container product

Distribution

 

Container/Dispenser/Well

Design - sent to manufacturing

mold - either hand made or factory.  Case is either made in the same place as the formula or made elsewhere and shipped to the next step in the processed. 

 

Packaging - sourced material (paper, mixed paper, recyclable materials, recycled material)

From one place to another, consider the transportation services in between.

 

L'Occitane has a video on their website that has some information on Shea butter. 

There are other companies that have brief information on their sourcing and manufacturing of products.  Fair Trade.  Responsible sourcing, etc. 

 

You may also be able to find certain reports though educational (dissertations, studies, etc) and business published papers through either free or paid (subscription; usually expensive licenses) services.  If there is a university library nearby with access, they should be able to set you in the right direction.  


Thanks for your detailed reply, ran8! <3 I wonder if Sephora and makeup brands could be more forthcoming about production/labour practices. Otherwise it is a lot of research to ask of an individual consumer. I'm happy to do it, but the average consumer probably does not have the time to do so.

 

I'm also surprized and a bit disappointed that there doesn't seem to be much interest from BT posters on this topic...

ran8

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

As far as research goes, it will take some digging into to find reports.  Sometimes if lucky, some of the more global business magazines might have an article about sourcing raw materials.  Otherwise, the public or university libraries are the best inexpensive options.  Certain fashion magazines may touch on the subject (company, the people, etc) but the frequency is not often and may not be related to beauty products. 

 

There are other industries where finding out the source and labor of trade are very important to stakeholders.  Coffee and gemstones (non lab created) for example.  I have known quite a few people who would not buy certain types of jewelry due to conflict zones.   And I am not sure if it is as prevalent today yet I remember concern over paper sources and the wood used to create pencils.  There used to be a big debate about using rainforest wood from South America. 

 

Responsible sourcing is probably somewhat important to most people.  As a consumer, I can only hope that companies do look out in the best interests for all the stakeholders (some better than others).  From the treatment and labor practices of source and raw materials to responsible replenishment (ie cut down a tree, plant more in its place).  Conservation is also important as well.

 

I wish you well in your researching efforts.  Let us know if you have found anything that is a great read.  If I come across anything online (with accessibility), I’ll try to let you know (within BT guidelines). 

pocketvenus

Re: Where does our makeup come from? Who makes it?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I wish I could give your posts more than one heart each. If I come across anything comprehensive or online, I will post it here although I'm not sure if that will violate board rules? My suspicion however, is that it will largely be piecemeal.

 

To start, here's a list of brands ranked by sales figures (outdated though, 2004). A current list might be expensive.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3027409/Top-100-Cosmetic-Manufacturers

 

Well, I have to wait until Tuesday for the library to reopen but I suspect the best place to start is to look for any investigative journalism and business reports. Also, maybe annual reports for public companies mention something but this would be company by company - not very efficient.

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