Sunday, June 12, 2011

Regarding Neon Pigments

I'm sure by now that most of you have already read about this elsewhere from more prominent bloggers, but I wanted to put another post out there for anybody who is looking for answers and unable to find them elsewhere.  Fantastic Faces Cosmetics is a company that was started fairly recently, headed by a woman who calls herself Ms. Stephanie.  She recently released a collection of neon pigments that had heads turning and eyebrows raised in the beauty blogger community.


Above: pigments sold by an E-bay seller as cosmetic-safe, Below: Ms. Stephanie's neon "shadows."  She has asked that her pictures not be used by others and some have respected that request.  However, I feel that she has completely disrespected a number of people by attacking them and/or banning them, so I have decided to show her exactly as much respect as she has shown me and my peers.  TKB lists all of their neons as not eye safe, and the FDA does not approve any neon pigments for eye use.  Before I started blogging, I had done an extensive amount of research on a couple of shady companies I had heard of lately; it actually is what inspired me to start a makeup blog.  I wanted to do what I could to sing the praises of cosmetic companies that run their businesses correctly and warn others of companies who don't.  The fact of the matter here is that no neon is FDA-approved for use on the eyes, but here Ms. Stephanie has somehow magically found a way around that and created neon pigments?  People wanted to know more, so they started asking questions.  Some already knew that there was no way the pigments could be safe, so they addressed the issue accordingly and were promptly removed and/or banned from the Fabulous Faces facebook fan page.  I would post a link, but I've been blocked.  For the record, I posted this in response to Ms. Stephanie saying that her customers could believe what they wanted, but she wasn't going to stop doing what she is good at: "Nobody is asking you to stop making cosmetics; they are only asking questions for their own safety and the safety of others. Not labeling full-size cosmetics with ingredients is against FDA regulations, and being an indie brand does not make you exempt from following them. It would not be acceptable just to put 'mica' on a label either, as every mica actually has many different ingredients in it; for example, a mica called "Cosmetic Fluorescent Strong Pink" on TKBtrading.com contains red 28 and polyester-3, and is not approved for eye use. A pigment being labeled as cosmetic grade does not mean that it is approved for all cosmetic uses. It may mean that it is acceptable for use on lips, but not eyes, or vice versa, or that it should not be used directly on the skin but you can use it in small amounts in soaps."  My subsequent banning took about ten minutes, and there was no response from Ms. Stephanie.

There's no way for me to tell for sure, but I'd wager money that it's not up anymore if you visit the fan page.  She has responded to inquiries about the content of her neon shadows and the lack of labeling and ingredients disclosure with statements that her pigments are 100% eye-safe, the only ingredient she uses is mica, and she is getting labels soon.  It is obvious she has previously had no idea what FDA regulations are for labeling and safe ingredients, or has blatantly disregarded them.  I myself, and several other bloggers, have tried to help her understand that she is in direct violation of these regulations and she obviously has no interest in becoming compliant.  I hope that she comes to her senses and pulls these products before somebody suffers a serious injury and she has a much bigger issue on her hands than a couple of curious customers and some blog posts.

You can read more about the debacle in these posts:

Cupcake's Quirky Corner made a post about the safety of neons, and then wrote a follow-up including her own experiences and some detective work, and another follow-up.

And the Snarky Princess made a post regarding her ingredient inquiries and the response she received.

*EDIT* 6/12/11 5:48 p.m.  Ms. Stephanie posted on the facebook page at approximately 2:30 p.m. that she is discontinuing the neon shadows, but made no statement about the safety issues.  She should definitely have made a statement about the shadows and the fact that they are not eye-safe, but at least she pulled them from her line.  One follower responded that she was glad she got two sets before she stopped distributing them.  I hope that this customer does not run into any issues with the  shadows, and I am glad that Ms. Stephanie (sort of) did the right thing.  I can say now that I will never place an order from this company, but I truly hope she turns things around.


*EDIT* 6/15/11 2:23 p.m.  I will say that I didn't trust her further than I can throw her, but lo and behold, Ms Stephanie has gone against her word and is still offering the neons in sample packs offered through a shop add-on on her facebook fanpage.  Her other store, where the neon "shadows" were still listed as a "last chance" item after she made her flimsy statement, appears to be closed at the moment.  The shadows in the sample packs are chosen at random, and oops there are totally neon shadows in the picture she used to illustrate what they might look like.  After pleas and attempts from bloggers and concerned members of the indie beauty company, she has chosen to continue selling these dangerous pigments.  If she will sell them straight, who's to say she wouldn't mix them with other colors?  I can only hope that she will pull the pigments and bow out gracefully, but I just don't see that happening.  I implore you not to purchase from this seller, and to spread the word about unsafe pigments.

12 comments:

  1. Excellent writing my dear!

    I can't believe she has the gall to continue to operate the way she is... But whatever! Karma's a bitch!

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  2. Thanks. She did post today that she is continuing her line without the neons (see the edit above) but did not make a statement about the pigments being unsafe. I'm glad she pulled the products, but upset that she neglected to inform the people who already had them that they aren't safe. And who knows whether she'll still sell them to people who already have them or not? This was her previous fix for the problem, so just saying she isn't going to sell them anymore doesn't exactly seal the deal for me...

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  3. Sadly she has started selling these soap dyes again.

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  4. I see them listed in her shop as "last chance" and on her fanpage in her surprise sample sets. (I guess my ban was short-lived) So disheartening with all of the evidence that has been provided to her, she still refuses to pull these dangerous pigments from her line...

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. She decided to start this line after working for a true indie cosmetic label, the label she worked for is very cautious about what she places in her products and what she sells.

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  7. FYI: She is still selling the neon pigments....As a formulator, I can honestly say this: In the listing for 6 neon pigments, that states for serious buyers only, it is possible to make the following colors with approved ingredients: orange, purple, green, and blue. I say this, becasue when you do photograph the colors, the flash on the camera can make them "appear" more vibrant, and I do own and use mica colors that look VERY similar to those, if not exactly like those, so it is possible that someone could make those colors I just listed, BUT it is possible that you can BUY these colors, and they are INDEED not approved for eye use, so I cannot be 100% positive. So here are my STRONG suspicions:

    The Blue is this: http://www.tkbtrading.com/item.php?item_id=28&category_id=43
    It looks to me like they could of possibly used the FD&C blue #1 mixed with some sericite to get it like that.

    The purple is this: http://www.tkbtrading.com/item.php?item_id=123&category_id=43..Again, it could be this mixed with some sericite

    NOW, I could be totally off on this, becasue like I said, I do have micas that look very very similar to these colors, and if you are a formulator, you can make these colors by blending together ingredients, so I am NOT 100% sure about these:)

    As far as the Orange color, it looks like a florescent I have seen, but I cannot remember where:( And same goes for the green one. AGAIN: These colors can be achieved if you are a good formulator, BUT...In my experience, I have made an orange eyeshadow that looks similar, but when I attempted to photograph it, I tried so HARD to make the vibrancy show up on camera..I tried several different ways, to no avail...So, maybe it is ok, and they somehow captured the vibrancy I couldn't.

    Here is my problem with the Pink, and RED pigment in the collection: PINK: I am 100% sure that the PINK neon pigment is NOT safe to use for eye use. It is NOT possible to make a pink like that using approved ingredients safe for the eyes. That PINK pigment in that listing is a unapproved neon/florescent colorant that is NOT approved for eye use! See for yourself here: Here is the link to the TKB color that I am 100% sure they are using for the pink: http://www.tkbtrading.com/item.php?item_id=49&category_id=43
    Now, look at that picture, then go and look at the pink in the 6 neon pigment listing..Looks identical, doesn't it??? Aside from a slight difference due to camera flash, I am 100% sure that the pink in the collection is actually Florescent Soft Pink sold by TKB (and other suppliers), and this is NOT FDA approved for eye use! RED: I am suspicious about the red pigment, because it looks exactly like TKB's D&C Red 27 Alum: Link here: http://www.tkbtrading.com/item.php?item_id=102&category_id=43

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  8. Now, with that said, It is very possible that I am wrong, and it is not this color...My reason is this: Due to how someone photographs the pigment, it can indeed be a pigment that is made with Carmine (not vegan, but is FDA approved for eyes)AND, I do own a mica color that is VERY similar to this color, and it does NOT contain carmine...This particular mica color I own is actually colored with iron oxides, and it is very possible that the red in that collection is the same mica color I own, but the flash from the camera makes it appear more vibrant and somewhat neon looking. The mica color I am talking about is called Raspberry Pop, and it was sold at TKB, and it has been discontinued for a while now. NOW THIS IS JUST A POSSIBILITY...Possibility a slight possibility...The point is, I cannot 100% say that the red pigment is 100% indeed the D&C red 27, becasue I know for my experience, that I have made a color similar to this, but again could not get a good photograph on it, but my personal opinion is that it is the D&C red 27...I feel STRONGLY that it is the D&C red 27...I just have a strong suspicion and gut feeling it is:(. As far as the other colors I listed, that could be made with mica colors that are blended...BUT they look to me like they are could possibly be repackaged mica colors, OR are eyeshadow colors that I, myself could formulate using approved ingredients...Does that mean that they are? NO...I am just saying that it is possible...But there is a good chance that they are using nothing more than unapproved ingredients. All of the color links I provided show that they are NOT FDA approved for eye use. I looked at the Fantastic surprise collection, and alot of them look like nothing more than repackaged mica colors. For instance, the color labeled I lov yu, looks like a mica that another supplier sells (Carmine red OR hot side pink from CS, NOTE the photos on CS do not actually look like the mica color.

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  9. The Carmine red picture on CS does not look like the actual Carmine red mica, as I have the carmine red mica, and it is brighter in person, and looks so similar to the i luv yu color) Another example: Penny pincher looks like a mica that TKB sells. Now, the lipglosses (MY personal opinions): The problem I have is that it is very difficult to find a lip approved green or blue mica to use. The POPS from TKB were safe for lips, but they were discontinued. The Money lipgloss looks like it nothing more than the eyeshadow that is in the brights pigment set...It is just put into lipgloss. I would be very careful of those 2 colors, and I would demand to know what the ingredients are. Also, I find it very odd that my small mineral company has had a Pretty in Pink collection for years now, and here I see a collection with the same name...(I have also seen another company with the same collection name recently too)...I am NOT insinuating that they "stole" the idea, I am just finding it odd that my Pretty in Pink collection consisted of 5 colors, and I had been on Ebay for a few years until recently, and I had that collection on Ebay until I moved my store/company to another site. Maybe I am looking into it too much, and it is just a coincidence. The fact of the matter is this: I would NOT buy, or use form a company that does not list any ingredients on their site, or on the individual listings, or if they do not have a page dedicated to ingredients. An honest company has no problem listing ingredients on there site, and Do list them, becasue how else are customers suppose to know what they want to purchase, or use..Ingredients are a HUGE part, becasue a customer could be avoiding a certain ingredient due to allergies..So, how is a customer suppose to know what to buy, and what to avoid? Makes no sense to me as a business owner! What also makes me suspicious is the reaction from the owner. If the company is not doing anything wrong, then they should be transparent. The owner should of just stated, and explained the ingredients, and she could of easily stopped the "rumors", and easily prevented things from happening...In my opinion, if this happened to me, as a mineral company owner, and formulator, I would of explained and provided the ingredients, and I would of proved PROOF that I indeed was NOT using soap dyes, and dyes that are not approved for eye use. There are SEVERAL ways I can think of off the top of my head, that I could "clear" up any misunderstandings....So, the reaction tells me and confirms that this company is NOT honest, and that they are indeed hiding something....Also, a reputable mineral company does not purchase their RAW ingredinets off EBAY!!!

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  10. They go right to the supplier, and I am sorry to say this, but the suppliers are NOT on Ebay...Yes, so me suppliers do have some listings on Ebay, or have in the past, when they were first starting out, but it was to direct the traffic to their website!! I do not know of ANY other formulator that buys raw material from Ebay...and I know alot of other mineral formulators, and business owners. I find this very odd...

    AS I am typing this, I just looked on the facebook page of Fantastic Faces, and I came across this picture: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=223265064369843&set=a.220388994657450.71514.205152282847788&type=1&theater

    Right off the bat..I am 100% positive that the following ARE neon/florescent UNAPPROVED for eye use: neon red, neon orange, neon blue, neon green, neon pink, neon purple.....

    Now that I see them swatched, I am 100% positive!! This is unbelievable!! I am aware of all of the stuff with some companies selling and using soap dyes, and unapproved ingredients, and I have no gotten involved, and I normally just sit back and watch, becasue I don't want to get involved and have any backlash..BUT, right now, today, I am sick of this!! I have not ever bashed, or said bad things about another mineral company, and I have never to tried to "out" a company when I feel they are doing wrong, or are shady, becasue of personal reasons, BUT I AM FED UP!! I am sick and tired of these people doing this, and making ALL of us look BAD...The more that this happens, the closer we are ALL to being shut down, and having laws passed that prevent ANYONE from formulating mineral cosmetics! Currently, they are trying to pass laws that will make it impossible for small mineral companies to exist, and it is companies like this that just reinforce and push the FDA and government to pass these laws! I am so tired of this....These people who run these companies that do this stuff make all of the small mineral companies that work HARD, use approved ingredients, care about people(customers), who have spent years educating themselves, and who also abide by the FDA regulations, LOOK JUST AS BAD AS THEM!!! I can tell you this, I am going to take action myself....Not just becasue I am a business owner, and I have a mineral company that I started to provide people with affordable, high quality mineral make-up that doesn't use crap ingredients, becasue I actually CARE about people, or becasue I rely on my business for income, and have invested alot of money into it, and have spent SO MUCH Of my time educating myself, and making sure I am compliant with the FDA, and not becasue I have several friends who do the same, but becasue I AM ALSO A CONSUMER...and I am tired of people/companies taking advantage of us! I am tired of them putting all of us at RISK, and knowingly doing it to make money...I am tired of them taking advantage of customers, and hurting people, and I am tired of them not caring about anyone but themselves....

    I am extremely angry right now, becasue I am imagining all of the girls/woman who are using this crap, and I am imagining an innocent woman, or someone I love innocently buying this company's products, and suddenly having a severe reaction and going blind!

    I really hope you all keep on top of this..Do not back down, because you are not wrong, and you deserve to buy from honest companies! This is YOUR body...It is YOUR eyes, and it is YOUR health that will be affected by this....Keep standing up to companies like this..I applaud ALL of you who do!

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  11. Sorry for all of the comments, but I had to break them up, and I am so sorry it is so long, I just wanted to explain it all, and I am very up-set...

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  12. Not to mention that there's evidence of her purchasing the neon soap dyes from her "supplier" on her Ebay account. It's very disheartening. I tried to tell her repeatedly that what she is doing is wrong, and dangerous, but she won't listen. All I've been able to do is spread the word through my blog, twitter... I hope that you can do something more than I could. Best of luck!

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