Hourglass cosmetics launches new vegan, carmine-free red lipstick | Totally Vegan Buzz
Hourglass cosmetics launches new vegan, carmine-free red lipstick
Image: Hourglass Cosmetics

The new insect-free lipstick uses an innovative ingredient Red 0 that symbolizes ‘Hourglass’ ongoing commitment to animal welfare’.

Luxury beauty brand Hourglass has launched a vegan carmine alternative in partnership with consumer goods giant Unilever.

While carmine lipsticks get their characteristic red tinge from crushed cochineal beetles – a whopping 70,000 insects are killed for just one pound of carmine – Hourglass’ new Confession™ Refillable Lipstick Red 0 is a 100% vegan red lipstick formulated with a patent-pending replacement for carmine.

This special-edition shade uses an innovative ingredient Red 0 that symbolizes ‘Hourglass’ ongoing commitment to animal welfare’.

Research teams of the two companies took 175 colour experiments, 26 pigment combinations, and 19 formulations over three years to achieve a saturated, true red hue with animal-friendly pigments that have the “right vibrancy and depth — that doesn’t sacrifice performance”.

Announcing the launch on Instagram, Hourglass wrote: “It can take up to 1,000 crushed female insects to create the red hue in a typical tube of lipstick.​

“Red 0 symbolizes our ongoing commitment to animal welfare: zero animal byproducts, zero insects harmed. “

The brand is also releasing an exclusive red case adorned with a beetle on the packaging to celebrate the newest launch.

Although the metallic crimson packaging will be a limited edition, it can be refilled with any of the brand’s Confession lipsticks.

“Learning about the carmine extraction process really struck a chord in me. These insects are bred, dried, crushed, and boiled — all to make the red pigment used in a typical tube of lipstick,” Hourglass cosmetics founder and CEO Carisa Janes told TZR.

“I knew there had to be a better way, one that doesn’t treat living beings as expendable.

“I knew it was going to be challenging given that carmine has been used for centuries in everything from beauty products to paint to food, but it was an important step for us in our journey to becoming fully vegan.”

Hourglass has been working to become fully vegan since 2017 and also announced plans at the time of going 100% vegan by 2020.

While it launched an animal-free range in December 2020, all of its products are still not cruelty-free and fully vegan.

The vegan carmine lipstick is priced at $40 and is available to purchase on the brand’s official website.

Vegan cosmetics market

The demand for cruelty-free products is burgeoning with concerns regarding health and safety, and consumer awareness on animal-testing increasing.

 According to research firm MarketGlass, the global vegan cosmetics market will exceed $21 billion by the year 2027.

It noted that the industry is currently worth a staggering $15.1 billion and will grow at a CAGR of 5.1 percent over the next seven years.

The vegan cosmetics industry is also being promoted by a slew of celebrities.

Last September, Selena Gomez launched a cruelty-free cosmetics brand, Rare Beauty, in Sephora. The makeup collection included foundation, concealer, lipstick, and eyeshadow.

Gomez later released two vegan and cruelty-free eyeshadow palettes as part of the brand’s 2020 Holiday Collection.

Around the same time, celebrity singer-songwriter Rihanna unveiled a new exclusively vegan unisex skincare range under her Fenty brand to embody her personal skincare journey, her globe-trotting lifestyle and her goal to provide easy solutions for all skin types and tones.

Last November, celebrity musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams launched a new skincare brand called Humanrace featuring vegan products.

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