Hourglass Cosmetics and Unilever R&D team have worked together to create a vegan replacement for carmine – a red pigment made from crushed female insects, which is used in many colour cosmetics to give products the shade of ultra-vibrant red.
The patent-pending pigment took three years to develop, and has been successful in replicating carmine’s vibrant hue with animal-friendly pigments.
In a social media post, Hourglass wrote, “Introducing Confession Red 0: a 100% vegan red lipstick formulated with our patent-pending replacement for carmine. Zero animal byproducts, zero insects harmed.”
“Carmine is a centuries-old pigment made from crushed female insects that is used in most colour cosmetics. Its vibrancy and boldness have been extremely difficult to capture by other means—until now.”
“Our patent-pending ingredient, Red 0, replicates carmine’s vibrant red hue with vegan pigments and without sacrificing performance,” it added.
Carmine has always been a cause of concern for vegetarians and vegans, as over 1,000 insects have to killed to make one traditional tube of lipstick!
Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, said in a post, “It might have taken three years, but it’s totally worth the wait. Red 0 is sensational. Purpose and product beautifully woven together.”
The special-edition shade using Hourglass’ innovative ingredient, Red 0, is available in an exclusive red applicator adorned with a beetle.
According to the company, Red 0 delivers creamy, saturated, long-wearing colour with a satin finish, and doesn’t smudge or feather. The product is free from alcohol, gluten, mineral oil, nanoparticle, parabens, phthalates, sulfate and talc.
Unilever acquired Hourglass in 2017, making it the first luxury colour cosmetics brand to be added to the company’s portfolio. The Anglo-Dutch company founded in 2004 by Carisa Janes is known for its breakthrough formulations and technological innovation and luxe packaging.