The Word: Smashbox Cosmetics and PETA

Below are inqueries to and responses from SMASHBOX and PETA. For information and tips on selecting cruelty-free cosmetics and products, read more from Philadelphia Vegetarian Examiner.

TO SMASHBOX COSMETICS:

Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 10:34 pm PST (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Vegan and/or Vegetarian Cosmetics

Hello,
I was wondering if your cosmetics contained animal derived (including insects) ingredients. If so, do you have a list of those that you make that are vegetarian and/or vegan friendly. Thank you.
Sarah

FROM SMASHBOX COSMETICS:

From: Smashbox Cosmetics <customerservice@smashbox.com>
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 12:26 PM

Inquiry #14731 – “Vegan and/or Vegetarian Cosmetics”
Hello,

technically all smashbox products are considered vegan.
“Animals” is a term widely recognized to mean mammals. Our cosmetics are free of animal ingredients. Some vegans may also consider “insects” to be animals. This is a gray area and is even debated by PETA followers. Some time ago, smashbox determined that our official interpretation of “No animal ingredients” really means “No animal ingredients…insects are not animals”. We have continued to use Carmine, Beeswax, and Honey in cosmetic formulations. Our brushes are not cosmetics so technically are not subject to this claim.

Some vegan-friendly products that do not contain any animal bi products or insect ingredients (i.e ., carmine or beeswax) are:
*Body Lights Glowing Lotion
*Anti Shine, Light
*Anti Shine, Neutral
*Backdrop Cooling Tint (all shades)
*Conversion Cream to Powder Foundation (all shades)
*Hi Definition Healthy FX Foundation (all shades)
*Photo Matte Powder
*Wet/Dry Foundation (all shades except Caramel)
*Function Self-Adjusting Powder Foundation (all shades)
*Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primers (Balance, Adjust & Blend)
*Summer 2007 Lip Gloss in a Pot (Heat, Sexy)

Best Wishes,

SMASHBOX COSMETICS

TO PETA:

Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:37 PM
Subject: Inquiry regarding PETA’s stance on Smashbox cosmetics’ vegan claims

Hello,

In January of this year, I received the below response from Smashbox cosmetics in regards to a question of whether their products are vegan/vegetarian. Since they referred to your organization’s followers in their response, I was hoping PETA might give an official response to Smashbox’s claims and statements.

Thank you for your time,

Sarah

technically all smashbox products are considered vegan.

“Animals” is a term widely recognized to mean mammals. Our cosmetics are free of animal ingredients. Some vegans may also consider “insects” to be animals. This is a gray area and is even debated by PETA followers. Some time ago, smashbox determined that our official interpretation of “No animal ingredients” really means “No animal ingredients…insects are not animals”. We have continued to use Carmine, Beeswax, and Honey in cosmetic formulations. Our brushes are not cosmetics so technically are not subject to this claim.

FROM PETA:

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your compassion for animals and for contacting PETA regarding Smashbox Cosmetics. Smashbox Cosmetics is certified as a cruelty-free company through Caring Consumer, but we do not consider them to be vegan, and they are not listed as such on our website due to their use of honey, beeswax, and carmine in their cosmetics formulations. We consider insects to be just as worthy of consideration as any other living being. All animals have feelings and have a right to live free from unnecessary suffering—regardless of whether they are considered “pests” or “ugly.”

It is important to note that through Caring Consumer, companies may be certified under two separate designations. The cruelty-free certification is designated for companies that have signed our statement of assurance verifying that they (and their suppliers) do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products, and that they pledge not do so in the future. This does not necessarily mean that their products are vegan. We also have a different certification for companies that are cruelty-free and vegan. We only certify a company as cruelty-free and vegan if their entire product line is free of animal-derived ingredients, and Smashbox does not fall into this category.

Most vegans don’t use any products that contain animal ingredients, including (but not limited to) honey, beeswax, and carmine. Many people avoid honey and beeswax due to the cruelty associated with standard bee-keeping practices. Additionally, carmine is red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. It takes a million corpses to make a kilogram of carminic acid, the more purified form of cochineal extract, and it is often used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring).

Please read our bee factsheet for more detailed information on honey production. For a comprehensive list of animal ingredients and their alternatives, please visit: http://www.peta.org/mc/factsheet_display.asp?id=72. To learn more about living in harmony with wildlife, please go to http://www.HelpingAnimals.com/wildlife_livingWith.asp.

I hope you find this information helpful! Thank you for caring and for all you do for animals.

Sincerely,

Chelsea Rhodes

Caring Consumer Specialist

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Tel: (212) 924-2948

Fax: (212) 229-6834

CaringConsumer.com

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5 thoughts on “The Word: Smashbox Cosmetics and PETA

  1. OK, just how stupid did ‘Smashbox’ sound!!!? Insects are NOT animals!!! What science class did they miss? All one has to do is look up what defines an animal, But it appears in their own words above in their ‘official interpretation’ they have ‘redefined’ what an animal is. Talk about that ‘gray area’ being milked or what!
    That truly was such a sad/lame reply from them.
    Now “Arbonne Cosmetics” IS vegan.

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