Claire's Accessories Scandal; How Safe Are Our Children?

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Child’s play
Do you remember playing with makeup as a child? One of my earliest memories involved three-year-old me colouring all my fingernails using felt tip pens because I was too young to use nail varnish; my dad having to use a nail brush to get it off my nails. There were countless times I would try and raid my mother’s makeup collection and I think I had some makeup designed for children as I used to paint the face of my Girl’s World.
As children, we were discouraged from ‘adult’ makeup and steered towards makeup that was designed for us youngsters, with its cute packaging, sparkly glitter and rainbow of colours. Our parents trusted that this ‘child-friendly’ makeup was safe for our delicate skin and we would not come to any harm; after all, you give your children child-safe scissors in order that they do not cut themselves because that’s the type of thing a caring parent does, shields their child from risk.

So what happened?
Claire’s Accessories is a company that specialises in the child/teen friendly makeup and is a big name on the high street, it has been around for many years and has encouraged youngsters to experiment with makeup and fashion. As a parent imagine my horror when I read the following article about asbestos being found in Claire’s Accessories makeup. Claire’s response was to at first deny these findings, questioning the independent lab results, but then to recall a considerable amount of its products in order to conduct its own investigation.
This news throws up a whole range of questions and worries as both a parent and as a consumer; do we know what is in our makeup and should we be letting our precious offspring near it? No matter what the result of the investigation is, this news has cast yet more doubt on whether some big brands have their customers at the heart of their business. As a makeup addict, I do not expect my makeup to contain toxic elements and to risk my health let alone risk the health of my children, it does not bear thinking of.
As a mother of two adorable little minions I am happy for them to be creative and experiment with things like makeup at home and in moderation/supervised, I believe makeup is a form of self-expression and if they want to ‘play’ with makeup then I can support them. I have a niece that is older than my children who loves makeup and she has often received the spoils of my decluttering, I have even bought her ‘children’s makeup’ sets for Christmas and that, in the light of the Claire’s scandal, makes me sick to my stomach.

Whether you agree with children wearing makeup as a form of play or not, this case throws the big question to every parent and indeed to ourselves as consumers; how much do we know about the company we buy from and whether or not the products are in fact safe? We continue to be warned about fake products and the dangers that they have, but do we ever research what is in the products that we buy from the high street/reputable brands? The resounding answer to that is no, as we trust that the company has gone through extensive tests to ensure that the product is safe for use. Likewise, our own country/government has put laws in place that means that these companies cannot sell products that could be harmful right?
There is a massive trend in people demanding vegan and cruelty-free products and as a beauty community we are a lot more conscious of the practices of big brands when it comes to their products; but how can we sure that what we get is safe and ethically made? As a consumer, we need to demand transparency from brands as to where and how they get their products; laws on safety and testing are different in every country and it is up to the business to ensure that their factories meet the government laws in term of safety.
The question you might be asking is ‘how could a company allow this to happen in the first place?’ the answer is often a case of profit. The main reason for these companies is to make money and so it is logical to think that they could often be guilty of ‘cutting corners’ in order to increase profit margins after all ‘business is business’.

In the wake of this scandal and the concern it brings for parents letting their children experiment with makeup it is hard to know what to do; do we deny our children the wonder of experimenting creatively with makeup through fear of contamination or do we trust that these companies make the best decision for our children? I personally believe that we as consumers need to stand up and make our voices heard; we will not sit by and let ourselves and our children suffer just for the sake of a companies profit margin. We need to demand more information on how our products are made and who makes them because knowledge is power and it helps us make an informed decision. I also believe that we need to demand more from our governments to regulate what is in our products with more stringency and prosecute companies that are found selling possibly ‘dangerous’ products.
This has been a wake-up call for myself and I shall be cautious and wary of what I buy or use in regards to my children, it is sad that we cannot trust a big brand that is geared towards children/teens. I have been all too aware of beauty brands twisting the truth for the sake of profit but when it comes to my children, that is where I will not waver. In future, I will be making sure that I do my best to check what is inside the things I use with them because I am all too aware that when it comes to most businesses, morals go out of the window.
What is your opinion of the Claire’s Accessories scandal; let me know what you think in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx
*Since writing this article, Claire’s Accessories have conducted their own investigation and refute the claims entirely, read about it here.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandra Dyas says:

    You also need to know which country the product is made in. I got a shock when I found out how to read bar codes

    1. lifewithmrst says:

      It’s so sad that we cannot even trust companies anymore who should really be protecting our interests

  2. Robyn says:

    I have always hated this company for many reasons. Its cheap and they dont have good standard’s. Everything is made in bulk in china and the makeup is cheap. I think its good that these qiestions are being raised and companies should be more transparent and open about the prouducts they use. A lot of makeup brands dont even know what goes into the products as the recipes are already founded and they just test them for colours ect. I did a lot of research into this when i started out and it was disgusting what i found. All makeup should be safe and it shouldnt even be a question.

    1. lifewithmrst says:

      I really need to do some research about what is in make-up products it’s on my to-do list it’s really hard knowing who you can trust as a company nowadays as competition means that they cut so many corners

  3. adashofdanish says:

    I hadn’t heard of this and definitely shocking. I remember Claire’s from when I was a teen but haven’t been in a store in years. I now have a 4-year-old and definitely need to watch especially the presents she gets.

    1. lifewithmrst says:

      It’s such a shame we have to do this, you would think a company aimed at children would actually care about children’s health

  4. This is really scary! I took my daughters here to get their ears piereced, and they liked to buy the toys. But, since i have so much makeup, I never had to by them kid’s stuff, luckily.

    1. lifewithmrst says:

      I have started keeping some of my makeup for when my kids want to mess around I think I would rather buy them make-up from A reputable drugstore brand than Claire’s

  5. Victoria says:

    I used to shop at Claire’s, but I would never purchase cosmetics from there anyway. It’s crazy how many chemicals our children are exposed to these days

    1. lifewithmrst says:

      It’s a sad sign of the times the more technologically advanced we get the more chemicals we are exposed to

  6. We have different legal standards (at the moment of course) as part of the EU, which has made many of us a bit sheltered in terms of what is allowed in some places (including the USA – I think this scandal applied to Claire’s USA).
    One thing that concerns me is people’s complete trust if a product is labelled ‘cruelty free’ or ‘vegan’, when they think they are being savvy and it will be safer and never make anyone react. It doesn’t always mean the ingredients are good or safe (bleach can be vegan and not tested on animals, for example, and peach kernals have arsinic in them which is why they exfoliate so well!! But don’t eat them!) and companies use this. It’s better to get a reliable resource (as in an actual chemistry book and/or beautician’s training site) and check any ingredients if a product seems to cheap to be true.

    1. lifewithmrst says:

      This is really good advice, we are lucky that we are covered by EU law. You make an interesting point about the cruelty free and vegan labels

  7. XoBriLeeXo says:

    Wow! Had no idea! & ive just contemplating taking my daughter to Claire’s for a fun girl’s day…won’t be doing that now. Thanks for the information!

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