Bare Escentuals....HELP!!

shellyld05September 4, 2007

Alright, I am hoping to find someone to shed a little light on my situation. I ordered Bare Minerals around the beginning of August. I fell in love right away. I have a very uneven skin tone but I hate the cakey feeling of liquid foundation. Bare Minerals seemed heaven sent. Well I've since run into a few problems. First off, I started using ProActiv about the same time I started the Bare Minerals regime and now I can't tell if ProActiv doesn't work for me or if I'm breaking out because of the BM. I've also noticed that it doesn't last very long and I can remember numerous times when I've given my boyfriend a hug and he's left with this huge makeup smudge that none of my liquids ever even left.

Lastly, my BIGGEST issue with this makeup happened this morning. I was going about my normal routine and decided to remove all of the lids first. I opened my eyeshadow and set it down. I sort of noticed something out of the corner of my eye and looked closer. It was moving!! I stared at it for a while just to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. I moved it around a little with a q-tip and sure enough, it was a microscopic bug of some sort. It resembeled a tiny white/yellow worm but it had a sort of fan looking tail. I was disgusted to say the least! Now I didn't automatically assume this was BM's fault but after thinking about it after a while, I realized it had to be. I never use my BM around water (I have a vanity in the bedroom) and the lids are never left off longer than the time it takes to tap some powder out. I got to work and could not stop thinking about it. I searched all over the web trying to find some sort of a similar situation but with no luck. I emailed the customer service team explaining what happened and how disgusted I was. They responded later on saying that they had never heard of anything like this and it must have been contracted from my household. EXCUSE ME?!? Someone please explain to me how on Earth, no matter how clean or messy a household may be, a bug that cannot barely move climbed it's way into a sealed jar?!?! This makeup has never been exposed to water and is only about a month old. I can still return this but the fact is, I really like the mineral powder idea.

My questions are...has anyone ever heard of anything like this with a mineral makeup before? And, does anyone know of some really good yet inexpensive mineral makeups or even anything that helps cover up an uneven skin tone? I'm desperate but not desperate enough to use a powder with live bugs in it.

Thanks for any responses in advance.

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Where did you order BM from? There are ALOT of conterfeits out there. I noticed on ebay many of them have very similar names. The one thing that i dont like about Bm in comparision to my old liquid is that BM easily smugges off my face. I do have oily skin. However this makeup looks so great and natural that i'll never use anything else. As for the pro active, i havent heard many good stories from people who use it. My sister even tried it and had very little success. Sorry i cant be too much help.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:05PM
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I've never heard of such a thing. Maybe it fell in from the ceiling.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:56PM
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This story does not make any sense.

If the critter was microscopic, as you say, you would not have even noticed it.

If you were viewing the make-up under a microscope this does not sound like casual use. How many people keep a microscope on their vanity?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 5:46AM
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Alright, first off. I knew someone would comment on the fact that i said mircroscopic. Obviously i wasn't being literal. It was just very very tiny. Secondly, my supervisor and I did some research and found out that some of the Bare Minerals makeup is made with something called Carmine. Carmine is a name for the red blood dye extracted from the insect Cochineal. They boil the insects and crush them up to make this coloring. We examined the bug after it came out of its cocoon shell thing and it looks exactly like the early stages of this insect. My guess is the egg must have made it through the process of extraction as they also crush up the eggs. It takes 7000 bugs and eggs to make one pound. This coloring is used in things like store bought salmon and the strawberry milkshakes at McDonalds. The carmine is only in the blush and eyeshadows with a red or pink color. Alot of people have allergic reactions to this 'natural coloring', which can account for the itch and any swelling people may experience when they use certain mineral makeups. When it is consumed, there can be more severe allergic reactions like anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly.

As for your comment Ninos, I purchased it from the Sephora/Bare Escentuals website. I really like the make-up but was a little creeped out about the bug. I have found another mineral makeup that I think I'm going to like better. It doesn't contain the bismuth oxychloride that irritates skin. It's called Everyday Minerals and I ordered some samples that they say are free but of course you have to pay the 4 bucks for shipping. We'll see how it works out. Thanks so much for your comment!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cochineal Allergic Reactions

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:52PM
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Well, thanks, shelly, I will never again look at my make up in the same way! I was hoping it was pomegranents and berries that colored my lipstick, not insects!

I'm still sort of thinking that the thing got there from your hand or from something else though. Don't all those little creatures look the same? Do you know the life cycle time of a carmine? I'm thinking the processing of the makeup would have taken a while for the insect to only be in it's early stages and still alive. Does it feed? Would it even be the right size, etc? I guess anything's possible, just seems like a stretch.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:26PM
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Shelly, thanks for the info and the sleuthing you had to do to get it. Very informative. They advertise mineral make-up as being 100 percent minerals. I guess they aren't. I knew about Carmine but never thought that mineral make-up would have it in it because they say *100 percent mineral*. I guess it's not.

I would persue this with the manufacturer. Tell them if they do not listen to you you are going to post it on the internet beauty/make-up boards and spread the word. Oooops. :)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 1:46AM
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Wow, that is truly stomach-turning! What about your brush? Could the insect have come from the brush? Many brushes are animal hair and usually we don't keep them sealed up. so anything could have happened.

However, I would take some photos or go to a notary and show the bug or something and really pursue it with BE. At the very least, they owe you a total refund. Oh - I just had an idea - if you live near a natural history museum, or even a pest control company - you could take Mr.Insect to their Entomology dept for confirmation.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:25PM
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I've been trying to gather more info about cochineal extract and carmine in BM and cannot find anything. My Google Fu must be weak. Can you give the link you and your supervisor found? I have a friend who just started wearing this stuff and I want to pass the info along. I never believe anything I see on those late night infomercials but she fell for it. I can't believe they got away with this for so long though. I think that both the FDA and the FCC could give them the boot for false claims and improper labeling.

The BM website clearly states "This extraordinary beauty innovation is made of only crushed minerals from the earth, free of preservatives, talc, oil, fragrance and other potential skin irritants."

I guess they will have to change their name from Bare Minerals to Boiled Beetles.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 5:36AM
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Try this link, it's a docutment that my supervisor emailed to me. I uploaded it on the free website so it takes a little while for it to come up. It's really really hard to find the igredients but if you have the makeup, it says it on the back of the eyeshadow and blush. We found them on amazon. Then we just looked up carmine, once you look that up you can find lots and lots of stuff. Also, the bug is still alive and getting bigger. It has shed its skin twice and still looks exactly like any picture. Once it's bigger I may take it in. I'm going to write BM a very lenghthy letter to let them know that if they do not start warning people of this, I am going to let the entire world wide web know of this. I also received my samples from the other place and I absolutely love it! Well so far, but I know they don't use any creepy bugs!

Here is a link that might be useful: Carmine-Word Document

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 12:28PM
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I didn't listen to your link -- don't trust unknown downloads, but..

I think carmine is in a lot of makeup and even food (used as a food dye) so I'm not sure what you are going to be warning people about; it's seems to be everywhere. And, I'm not sure people really want to know carmine are the things many companies are using to color their juice, candies, and lipstick.

You may be interested in the following link and the US section with the FDA requirements...sounds like they are probably within legal rights especially since they are only a makeup and not a food. I feel for you and hope they send you a refund, but I personally don't think you have a leg to stand on legally (you just can't "prove" it came from there) and I would be cautious of threatening them.

Here is a link that might be useful: carmine

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 1:04PM
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I understand that some people might not want to know that they are putting crushed bugs on their face but there are people out there that are having allergic reactions to this and others just tell them its normal so they keep on using it. I am not trying to put BM out of business because I think they have a good product, it works well for a lot of people but they advertise it as though it is 100% pure minerals. It is not. It isn't okay to advertise that way when an ingredient in your product can harm people. It may be no big deal to you because you are not allergic but it can cause severe swelling, itching and hives in people that are. Then they believe that no mineral make up is going to work for them. Bare Escentuals is the most popular line of mineral makeup, therefore most people try it first. If they are having "allergic reactions", they won't try other mineral products that could work very well for them.

Mineral makeup is a godsend to people who have skin problems because it doesn't make you look like you have 2 inches of foundation on your face. I think if people like the way BM works for them, it shouldn't matter to them what they use to color their eyeshadows and blushes. And there is nothing wrong with letting them know about the bugs.

As far as the fact that I cannot prove where the bug came from, that's alright. I can see the bug and can compare it to hundreds of pictures of the Cochineal insect, I know that's what it is and I will no longer be using the BM line. That is my personal opinion and choice but I would have loved to know that it contained crushed up desert bugs before I decided to spend the amount of money that I did. I am not planning to sue BM or take any legal action but I will warn them that if they do not make their ingredients more accessible, I will. It is close to impossible to find their ingredients anywhere, unless you order their products. My guess, they are ashamed of what is in their product because they are not the "purest mineral make-up" around.

I do appreciate your response Carla but I still feel the same way I did and will not stop telling people about my experience and research.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 8:51PM
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You have an agenda and it seems fishy to me. I own multiple BE blush colors and the ingredients do not list carmine. Even if it did, big whoop - you can read about carmine - it's a long-time approved cosmetics ingredient. Did you know Neutrogena swiss hand cream formula contains fish oil? Whoopdy-do - it works really well.

I think you are working for a competing minerals company trying to spread rumors and weird stories and prey on nice people.

If you can prove your rumors, please do - and don't just link to someone's word doc - anyone can write anything.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 6:04PM
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These are just a few of the websites I have found information on. I emailed BM asking them to send me a list of their ingredients. I will share that when I get it. And please people, I am only interested in sharing this information with people who care. If this bothers you and/or offends you, I am sorry. Please do not insult me in this forum when I am only trying to help those who want it. Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:16AM
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FDA proposes listing red cosmetics dye

By Simon Pitman

News Archives

All news for September 2007
All news for August 2007

31/01/2006 - The FDA is making moves towards listing a red coloring derived from the ground bodies of female cochineal beetles on the basis that it is a potential safety hazard to a handful of individuals.

Used in a spectrum of cosmetics ranging from lipstick to blusher, the move comes as pressure mounts from watchdogs and consumers to label the ingredient more clearly.
Currently the FDA only require that the ingredient is labeled as a 'color added' or 'artifical color', but fears over allergic reactions as well as consumer demands to be better informed if the products they buy are animal-derived are prompting the move towards change.

Carmine extract has been used for thousands of years to provide coloring in a host of products, including foods. But, according to the consumer pressure, current labeling legislation means very few people can readily identify the ingredient.

As well as carmine, Cochineal Beetles are also used to produce Cochineal extract, another red dye derivative that is only used in food and pharmaceutical products.

Currently the Cochineal beetle is farmed in Peru and the Canary islands. The beetle bodies are first dried out before being crushed to obtain the coloring extract. As well as cosmetic products, they are also found in foods with red or pinky coloring, including yogurt, ice cream and the alcoholic drinks.

The FDA says that its main concern over the ingredient is for health and safety reasons. Allergy sufferers unwittingly using the ingredient in cosmetic products have been known to come out in rashes, hives and even succumb to anaphylaxis attacks.

The watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been lobbying the FDA to improve the labeling of products containing Cochineal extract since 1998, and has been one of the driving force behind the FDA's latest action.

CSPI says that, together with issues concerning the health risks associated with the extracts, it is also concerned that individuals who may have moral objections to purchasing insect-derived products also need to be better informed.

More specifically the concern is that vegan, vegetarian or individuals seeking animal-free products because of religious reasons should have access to clearer information about the ingredient on the product labeling to enable a more informed choice.

In an effort to meet these requirements, the FDA has published an online proposal that would require manufacturers to clearly label any products containing either extract. The public and interested parties have been given until May 1 to reply to the FDA over the proposed rulling.

But CSPI want the FDA to go one step beyond simply referring to the colorings by their real names and actually specify the coloring's origins.

"Why not use a word that people can understand?" said CSPI director Michael Jacobson. "Sending people scurrying to the dictionary or to Google to figure out what 'carmine' or 'cochineal' means is just plain sneaky. Call these coloring what they are - insect-based."

Here is a link that might be useful: FDA proposes listing red cosmetics dye

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:25PM
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I'm sorry I insulted you. Okay, looks like carmine is used in some of their blushes. But the way carmine is processed in the lab makes it impossible for there to be visible bug parts left over from the processing. So the bug you claim you found and the fact that the carmine colorant is used are two separate aspects to your story. You found a bug part - that's one thing. The carmine coloring ingredient is another thing.

Carmine is even used in food products. Yes, there's a "ick" factor to that, I agree.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:25PM
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Read the Dermal Exposure section of this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cochineal, Carmine and Carminic Acid

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:28PM
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And I do think it is very possible that an egg survived through their process. It is not impossible because I have the bug! Cochineal insects don't live in Nebraska, I know that for sure! If this was any other kind of bug, I would admit to being wrong but I find it a little ironic that the same insect they use in Peru to make the dye for Bare Escentuals is the same insect I found in my makeup that I purchased from Bare Escentuals. This was not a bug that survived being dried and crushed. It was an egg. I tiny miniscule egg. I don't find it hard to believe that it survived. I don't know why this has become such a big debate! THERE WAS A COCHINEAL INSECT IN MY PINK EYESHADOW THAT I ORDERED FROM BARE ESCENTUALS AND IT IS ALIVE. IT IS NOT A TERMITE OR AN ANT OR A COCKROACH! IT DID NOT COME FROM MY HOUSEHOLD BECAUSE AGAIN, I LIVE IN NEBRASKA AND COCHINEAL INSECTS LIVE ON CACTI IN THE DESERT! Can I be anymore clear than that?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 3:21PM
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I'm just not sure what you are so upset about...finding a bug is yuk...but the fact that they use carmine sounds like a normal thing for the industry. If you read the link I posted way above you would have already seen the FDA part kinda proves it is legal for them to use it and not list it as of this time...although you say that they do list carmine on their blush and bronzing powders. So are you upset they use it, they don't list it, or that they list but don't tell you what it is? Just what are you so upset about?

Do you have any idea how many ground up bug parts are in a jar of peanut butter? Do you know all the specifics of every ingredient for all the products you use and the fact that many could cause allergies? I just think you may not realize that there are thousands of things that you may never have thought of that are in many products you use, consume and digest that many people may have allergies to. I think carmine was substituted for red dye #2 years ago.

I just think there are way bigger things to dwell on. Carmine are used for coloring many cosmetics. If you have a problem with a certain cosmetic, try a different one. There are always going to be people that are sensitive to or allergic to one thing or another. By the way, from what I understand eating food with carmine is way worse than putting in on your skin. So, if you had a problem with it, you would probably know. Plus, I'm sure if they use something in place of carmine...some people may be sensitive to that different addictive too. What do you suggest, trying another red dye that could prove to be cancerous in 10 years? I doubt anything is 100% safe for everyone. It would be nice if they would list all ingredients for everything we consume but at some point it just really becomes overkill, IMHO.

Let us know what happens to that bug... Can you post a picture or at least a link to one that looks like it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bugs in Food- DON'T read if squeamish

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 3:21PM
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The reason that I am so "upset" about this is for a few reasons. First of all, yes they should have to list this ingredient. There are hundreds of other mineral makeups that clearly list carmine as an ingredient and they have a list easily accessible on their websites. Bare Escentuals ingredients are next to impossible to find. Their website is misleading. They list the ingredients to their foundations only, most people would assume that they are the same all around. I don't care that they are within their rights, why do you think I am talking to people in forums instead of going to a lawyer? It just isn't right.

I am not one of those consumers who will just stand by and let multi-million dollar businesses push me around. People have the right to know what is in a product. I even emailed them and they have not responded and I highly doubt they will. I don't see why you are in this forum. I am voicing MY opinion for others who wish to listen. I understand that there are ground up bugs in a lot of the products that we use but I have never found one alive in my jar of peanut butter. And just because it is a cosmetic does not mean it isn't as harmful. The effects may take longer but the buffing process of applying mineral makeup to your skin pushes this makeup into your pores. It is very possible for long term users to experience reactions later after the makeup has been absorbing daily into their pores.

Why is this such a big fight for you? That's fine if you are a consumer who just likes the taste and look of products without caring what is in them. I do care. I have accepted long ago that a lot of the foods I eat have traces of insects somewhere in them but most insects have not been shown to cause allergic reactions and asthma in people who are just working around them. Obviously there are alot of people who do not care what is in a product, as long as it works. But BM should make their ingredients more accessible to people who want to know. The only places you can find the ingredients are on websites that are not affiliated with BM at all. It's a little hard to trust that they are telling the truth and not just trying to sabotage the competitor.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 3:35PM
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shelly, you said...
"I don't see why you are in this forum"

Are you talkin' to me? Because clearly you aren't suggesting that you are the only one that has a right to express an opinion here, or that we have to agree with you to post? Maybe you should direct that quote to yourself especially considering you just joined this forum the day of your post.

If you were really serious about this issue, you would let go of your emotions and work with facts (and as far as I can see you are only working on assumptions and emotions). You jump from the bug being the issue, to the carmine being used as the issue, to the listing or not of the carmine being the issue. That wasn't even mentioned in your original post. You are jumping from problem to problem, creating issues where there really may not be any. FOCUS. I have worked with the BBB and other such advocacy groups, and, sorry, but you are no Ralph Nadar. So quit trying to act like it. You were mainly bothered by the bug and wanted suggestions for a cheap substitute makeup. Has it ever occurred to you that what you are doing by spreading the word about your bug and even the lack of the carmine listing, without knowing 100% that you are even right is just wrong? You are choosing and focusing on info from different web sites to 'support' your beliefs. Do you understand the terms slander and libel?

Here's a site that suggests that carmine isn't even in BareE Foundations. Are you so sure your site is right? Are you 100% sure that bug came from the carmine in that product? I just don't see how you could be.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ingredients: Mineral Makeups

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:36PM
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Shelly said the bug was in her eye shadow, not the foundation. BE only claims their foundations are all minerals, but not the face colors or eye shadows. Here's a couple links to Amazon listings for BE eye shadow and face color, both list carmine in the ingredient list.

BE Campy
BE Pink Passion

I don't feel that Shelly has made any slanderous comments. Vegans avoid foods and cosmetics containing carmine and publicly discuss the issue on their message boards.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:09PM
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Got to tell all you folks out there I just started using BE and love it. It doesn't smudge on my cell phone like my liquid foundation did.

As for the bugs, how many restaurants do you people go to where there are bugs in the kitchen you don't know about? I wouldn't worry about carmine thing unless you have an itchy reaction.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:18AM
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Guys, as someone who is two thirds of the way thru a college course on Microbiology, I just have one thing to say: Little critters, dead or alive, are EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Oh yes, little critters are everywhere... but it doesn't mean I'd want to rub the ones that are still crawling around on my eyelids... *shudders* I know what carmine is and where it comes from, but the dye should be an extraction created from the crushed shells... and should NOT contain living buggies. If BE is going to continue using carmine in various products, perhaps they should find a better way to refine it... or at least have some better quality control over it.

And no matter how you shake it, bugs are NOT minerals. You can't make a big deal about having 100% mineral makeup when you are using non-mineral ingredients in them. And if it's only the the foundations that are 100% minerals, then they should stop implying that ALL their makeup is 100% min. That's just my thought on the matter.

Having worked in the cosmetic industry before (but no longer) I ran into many people who had sensitivity/allergic reactions to various ingredients. Other than perfumes, one of the biggest offenders causing skin sensitivites is COLOUR. A LOT of people have reactions to products that are in shades of pink, and to lesser degrees reds and some light purples. Not all shades of pink, mind you, but enough of them to make them wary of that whole section of the colour spectrum. And since they can use other colours of shadows and blushes, they've ruled the irritants down to one or more of the dyes.

The problem with most beauty products is that there are so many ingredients listed on the labels that once you know that you react to a certain colour product, you can't usually tell which of the dyes you are sensitive to. Most people with this problem wind up avoiding the whole pink colour family just to be on the safe side. But if you know you react to a certain ingredient, like carmine, you can pass on anything that shows it on the ingredient list.

I have not seen how the ingredients are labeled on the BE packaging/website/etc, so I'm just going off of what people have posted here. My issue with the whole thing is: How are the people who KNOW they are allergic to carmine (or have any other issues with it) going to know to avoid this product? Or at least that colour? If there's no ingredient list and the company is already implying that they are 100% mineral based, that further implies that they don't use carmine... which can be a problem for those people who need to avoid carmine for allergy or lifestyle reasons. And personally, I get a little peeved when something is sold to me under false prestenses, implied or otherwise. That's just my spin on it.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 4:32AM
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This particular brand of mineral makeup contains bismuth. Many women on other makeup forums who have used this brand, or any mineral makeup that contains bismuth, report adverse reactions such as itching, breaking out, rashes, etc.

Try another brand such as Everyday Minerals, Lumiere, etc. Just check their list of ingredients and find those brands which do not use bismuth.

I have been using minerals for several months and love them. It's a whole new way of applying makeup and it looks so much more natural.

Most mineral makeup sites list their ingredients, so it should be easy to find one with ingredients that are safer and gentler for your skin.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:32AM
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hello all.... wanted to say something to this thread.... i actually work for be and just recently caught the carmine thing on the ingredient list on a blush and eyecolor. so they do actually list it in the ingredients. i am upset myself because be advertises to be 100% minerals. carmine is not a mineral. i am going to address this with our product knowledge and efficacy department this week. who knows maybe they dont even know. in the previous company i worked for we had a ingredient that could be derived from animal or lab created. well apparently somehow some product got made with the animal source. as soon as the company found out they pulled all product and reformulated. so you never know what the case could be.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 11:12PM
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First off... Bare Minerals doesn't claim that their entire line is 100% pure natural minerals... Their Foundation is 100% pure natural minerals, and there is no Carmine in the foundation. As far as BM "hiding" their ingredients from the public.. you're kidding me right? Their ingredients are posted everywhere! On the sticker on the bottom of the product, on every flyer and ad posting, and on the paid programming comercial that runs 250 time per day! Also, with that being said, Carmine is in fact from Beatles, but your research is just a little off. Carmine is the result of the wings of crushed female beatles... they dont boil them, and they arent using the entire beatle. Technically, that makes the product non- vegan, but it doesnt make it a hazard to your health, if it were, the FDA would make every cosmetic company pull all of their plum, pink, red, etc products off the market. AND last but not least... every pink, red, plum etc lipstick out there has Carmine in it, and you dont see people dropping dead from lipstick use. Besides, everyday you people put crazy chemicals on and in your body like methyl- parabens that cause cancer, lip products that contain fiber glass, and deodorants that contain parabens and aluminum and your worried about a harmless beatle... puhhleease, the air you breathe contains more toxins than anything.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 2:53AM
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OMG! Yes.both me and my sister had that exact problem!!!! Tiny little bugs crawling in it.I beleave since its a new product bare minerals would not admit to it.I recently grew really bad rashes on my face.nothing that I've ever had or seen before.I'm scared.have you found any other info on this?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 6:08AM
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Jheartbe, which Beatle? John, Paul, George or Ringo? Or did you mean "beetle"? ;-)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 6:04PM
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