Happy Earth Day! We all want to have a healthy thriving planet that is going to be able to sustain us for generations to come. The amount of decisions you have to make in order to be “green” or environmentally responsible can be overwhelming. The good news is that every small change you make adds up.
With beauty bloggers showing off enormous IKEA ALEX Vanities full of makeup and hair products and the inundation of ads we see everyday, it’s hard to resist buying more beauty products than we actually need. How can we do our part when it comes to makeup?
I recently watched an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about Fashion that focused on where fast fashion aka inexpensive and trendy clothes are made, who makes them, and what kind of conditions they are made in (spoiler alert: they’re mostly made by children in developing countries in terrible and unsafe conditions for little pay). This inspired me to do a post about makeup and beauty products that are made in the USA. It was SO hard to find information about this!!
The best way to find out where a product is made is to look at the packaging which usually has the country of origin or where the products was made. The problem comes when you don’t have the packaging yet or are seeking out American made products and then the research becomes a bit more difficult. Lucky for you all I went through my makeup collection and I emailed a ton of these companies to find out where they manufacture their makeup to help you out!
Makeup Made in the USA
Here’s a few companies that make their cosmetics in the USA that you should check out:
Update: As of 8/16/17 I’ve started to add (CF) to the list to signify Cruelty Free brands. I’m in the process of going through all of the brands I already have listed and updating whether they are cruelty free or not 🙂
ColourPop – Made in the USA, Cruelty Free, and Vegan
If you haven’t heard about ColourPop yet, they have fantastically pigmented lipsticks, coordinating lip pencils, and eyeshadows that are high quality and super affordable! They come in tons of amazing colors and I really feel that this brand comes up with some of the most interesting, trendy shades on the market. Plus, at these super affordable prices you can afford to experiment! This company is also cruelty free and vegan. I love that they always post swatches on different skin tones too! Their products are available online. (Source)
I love this company and the owner Marlena! Affordable, high quality products made by a company lead by a kick ass woman who is passionate about what she does. If you haven’t heard of Makeup Geek yet, their eyeshadow quality is very similar to MACs at a fraction of the cost . I also love their pigments and glitters and I’m dying to try their new foiled eyeshadows which have been getting great reviews. (Source)
This company is all over Instagram with their Smitten Liptint Mousse which is a a velvet matte liquid lipstick that is waterproof, smudge-proof, and won’t transfer or fade. They also come in cool colors like blue and green. These get awesome reviews, yet another product I need to try ASAP! (Source; Source)
Glo Skin Beauty – (CF) “The majority of products are made in the USA (California, Colorado and Arizona). One exception here, some of our lip products are manufactured in Germany.” (source: email with CS 5/17/18)
Hynt Beauty – (CF) Most made in the USA (NJ) except eye pencils which are made in Italy. (source: email with CS 9/10/18)
Ilia Beauty – (CF) “Yes! Our new Mascara is made in Italy. Packaging is in China, but all goods are from the good ol’ US of A.” (source: IG DM 5/20/18)
Jane Iredale – (CF)Most made in USA except their eye and lip pencils are made in the Czech Republic (source; email with CS 6/4/15)
Josie Maran – (CF) “Our products are manufactured in the United States, and our Argan Oil is fair trade” (source: email with CS 8/16/17)
Jouer – (CF) Most made in USA, some made in Europe and Canada (source: email with CS 8/7/17)
L’Oreal – All of the L’Oreal I own says made in the USA
Mary Kay – Most made in USA, some made by third-party manufacturers to supplement production (email with CS 3/27/17)
Maybelline – “Most products sold in the US are manufactured here”
Philosophy – “Most of our products are manufactured in the US” (source: email with CS 3/28/16)
Prestige Cosmetics – (CF) “Most of our makeup is made in the USA & Czech Republic. We manufacturer in NY & distribute out of Florida. (source: email with CS 9/10/18)
Revlon – Most products made in USA (at flagship manufacturing facility in NC)
Makeup Not Entirely Made in the USA
Here’s a list of companies whose makeup is not solely made in the USA. For this list I was trying to just figure out where they were made (if it’s not the USA). It’s not an exhaustive list of every country the company makes products in. If you want to find out where a specific product you want to buy is made and don’t have access to the packaging to check, I recommend contacting the company directly.
Here are where cosmetics from some other companies are made:
Alima Pure – (CF) USA, Italy, China (source: email with CS 9/7/18)
While doing research on this topic I learned a lot. Here’s some things to keep in mind.
California Transparency in Supply Chain Act
“On January 1, 2012, the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act will go into effect in California. This act requires retail sellers and manufacturers doing business in the state to disclose the efforts they are making to ensure their supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking in effort to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from product supply chains.”
I wouldn’t say the manufacturers are totally transparent at this point, but because of this if you contact them they should be able to tell you where your products are made. I’m not saying you should only buy makeup made in the USA, but it’s good to be a conscientious consumer.
Made in the USA Label Requirements
Procter & Gamble let me know that “Please note, there is no federal or state requirement to label “Made in USA” for products that are made in the USA (except for automobiles, textile, wool, and fur products.) It is strictly optional for manufacturing companies to include this on their label.”
Made in the USA as a Marketing Tool
Another hint- manufacturing in the USA is now more important to consumers so if a company makes their products solely in the USA, it’s usually a lot easier to find that out because they put it in big, bold letters.
Why can’t companies just use a Made in the USA label?
People have lots of reasons why they do or do not want to purchase cosmetics made in China.
Pros of Manufacturing Cosmetics in China
The cost of manufacturing is much cheaper in China vs. Europe or USA so brands can keep the cost of goods down if they outsource.
Cons of Manufacturing Cosmetics in China
When you outsource manufacturing to countries with different economic structures it can sometimes (but not always!) lead to poorer quality control or poor working conditions. Poor quality control and working conditions can occur in any country and it’s up to the brands to ensure they are doing regular inspections and being transparent to their consumers about the conditions for workers.
Animal Testing for Cosmetics in China
Another major controversy about cosmetics made in China is related to animal testing. Companies that sell cosmetics in China sometimes have to show animal testing results to prove safety. Not all cosmetics that are made in China are sold in China though, so just because something is made in China does not guarantee it has been tested on animals.
“PRC” means Made in China (People’s Republic of China)
Sometimes cosmetics companies will put “PRC” instead of “Made in China.” I’m not sure if this is a marketing distraction because of consumers negative associations with products made in China or what.