On Facebook, I asked if any of my readers boycott beauty brands. A handful of people said they don’t care about anything beyond the performance of a product. But, to my surprise, most people had one or more brands that they wouldn’t support.
Because it was such a good discussion, I’ve rounded up the brands that came up the most. Note – inclusion on this list doesn’t mean I am boycotting or agree with the boycott. I am presenting the facts, with a healthy side of drama.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a dozen times, you’re probably on the marketing team at Lime Crime.
I’m not going to catalogue the brand’s missteps – from a ’07 Nazi costume to an ongoing class-action lawsuit – there’s too much.
As it stands, Lime Crime boycotters in 2017 take issue with one of three problems:
Racism – For a palette inspired by China, the model was dressed in traditional Japanese clothing and wore yellow face. When Lime Crime was called out, the response was ‘Hey, Disney did it wit Aladdin!’
Credit Card Fraud – Lime Crime left their online store vulnerable to hackers by not having proper security in place. In 2014, customers had their credit card details stolen, their bank accounts emptied. Do I even have to editorialise here? Bad, bad, bad. No. Nil Pois.
Lime Crime has since improved digital security measures, but some former customers are still thousands of dollars out of pocket. Rude.
Vegan Claims – Not everyone trusts that Lime Crime is completely vegan. Rumours came from labels on some of the liquid lipsticks. They were listed as vegan, but the ingredients given included to animal products.
Lime Crime claimed the product was totally clean, that the issue was incorrect labelling. Still, some hardcore vegans aren’t willing to take the risk. Also, at this stage, Lime Crime could say the sky is blue and I’d be like ‘bitch, you sure though?’
Urban Decay gets mad points for pulling out of China so they could remain cruelty free. And, it has to be said, their controversy is more of a marketing misstep than a sacking offence.
In 2016, the promo for new Razor Sharp Eyeliner featured a swatch shot. The swatches were thinly done and lined the wrist of the model. The photo was captioned with ‘Ready for some Razor Sharp Swatches?’
Urban Decay shot down assertions that the swatches and branding were anything to do with self harm. Personally? I think it was their typical edgy shtick, but that they misjudged how far they could push it, how on the nose the tagline was.
I mean, they have previous – they’re called Urban Decay, ‘inspired by seedier facets of the urban landscape’. They regularly launch products with names that offend: Druggie, Half Baked, Junkie, the list goes on.
Kat Von D
Another case where trying to be edgy just ended up being weird. Kat launched Underage Red, Celebutard and Lolita lipsticks. She’s stood her ground on Underage Red, saying it was about her own makeup choices as a teen.
Sephora pulled Celebutard off shelves and apologised. Kat tweeted that it was ‘just a fucking lipstick’. Indeed.
The Jenner child is launching new lipsticks called Virginity, X Rated and Barely Legal, along with a few other more chill titles like Hopeless Romantic.
Barely Legal is causing most of the controversy, because duh. It’s also very uncomfortable that, when you google the product and brand name together, you just get news stories about how her partner is alleged to have hit on a minor.
The whole thing makes me cringe.I’m not on a hard boycott, but I prefer to stick to the zillions of liquid lip products that don’t make me think about the sexualisation of minors/the harmful notion of virginity/Tyga’s creepy moustache.
Jeffree Star Cosmetics
I don’t think anyone has a problem with Jeffree Star Cosmetics. They products get good reviews, the customer service is fine, apparently. The controversy here centres around Jeffree Star himself.
His history is so nasty that I feel itchy just typing it out. Can I just drop a video link to him calling somebody the n-word and move on? Tnx.
Makeup Revolution is in trouble for copy catting. There had been grumblings about the brand for some time – I enjoyed this post on Beauty and The Bunny – but Kat Von D blew it open.
She compared her Shade and Light palette to Makeup Revolution’s Light and Shade palette. The verdict? Yep – MUR definitely copies luxury brands. At least, it copies the appearance of their products.
Interestingly, while I feel like it’s a clean cut case of copying, it generated way more discussion online than the Jefree Star n-word situation. You’d think the latter would be way more inflammatory, right? No. Some people think MUR is a bit of a beauty Robin Hood, helping people who can’t afford Kat Von D to feel like they can still get in on the action.