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.