Carmine is More Than Just a Bug …

Specifically, it’s an insect called the cochineal and it is harvested, crushed to a powder, which is treated with an ammonia or sodium carbonate solution, filtered and then treated again to create the deep, vibrant red. In fact it’s not just red. Depending on the processing pink, red, purple or orange can also be achieved. It takes about 70,000 of the female cochineal insect to create approximately 1 pound of carmine.

Organic & Natural Companies that use Carmine Colourant. Green Beauty Blogger Gone Swatching xo

My initial reaction to finding out there are insects in products that go on my face is disgust. However, let’s actually think this through.

Such an acidic process would strip the finished product of many impurities. Not only that, but the bulk of the insect would also be filtered out. The production of carmine isn’t a new industry either. The Aztec’s and Inca’s were already extracting the colour when the Europeans found them and wanted it for themselves. However it’s still maintained mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands, and provides a source of income for those involved.

The alternatives are synthetic red dyes such as Red No. 2 and Red No. 40, which are derived from either coal or petroleum byproducts. Not only can they affect your health, but the environment as well.

Carmine doesn’t actually pose a serious threat to a person’s health, unless they are severely allergic. There have been documented cases, which is the only reason why carmine no longer appears under the umbrella term ‘natural colour’ and it’s inclusion must be disclosed.

Synthetic dyes aren’t the best option when you chose to create organic and natural cosmetics. The companies that chose that challenge still need to compete and so they chose the safer ingredients. They can’t survive if their products don’t perform or aren’t what you want.

As consumer, you always have the power. I’m not going to tell you whether you should pick products with carmine. That must be your choice.

I don’t feel that I’m missing out, so I will continue to say no to products that have carmine.

Here is my list of companies that use carmine. Please refer to this list for the companies that use beeswax. I also have a list of cosmetics companies that are vegan.

Und Gretel

Products with Carmine –

  • Knutzen Lipgloss (shades: Matte Apricot 01, Matte Raspberry 02, Matte Nude 03, Matte Sunrise Red 04, Apricot Shimmer 05, Raspberry Shimmer 06 and Sunrise Red Shimmer 08 (contains Lanolin oil)
  • Tagarot Lipstick (shades: Rosé 01, Apricot 02, Dahlia 03, Pink Blossom 05 and Wood 06)

 Carmine Free – 

  • Wint Mascara
  • Tagarot Lipstick (shade Copper 04)
  • Knutzen Lipgloss (Nude Shimmer 07) (contains Lanolin oil and talc)
  • Luk Creme Eye Stick
  • Lieth Foundation
  • Tunkal Concealer
  • Ilge Powder
  • Sunne Lifting Modellage Powder
  • Holt Eye Pencil (the shade Hot Mocha 02 contains talc)
  • Sprusse Eyebrow Pencil (contains talc and gydrogenated vegetable oil)
  • Imbe Eyeshadow

Purchase them here: Official Website


Kosås have expanded into a full range of makeup, and I believe all their lipsticks are now formulated without carmine. They do contain beeswax lanolin Oil, beeswax and synthetic dyes.

Official Website

Luk Beautifood


Products with Carmine – 

Lip Nourish: Ruby Grapefruit, Tangerine Pomegranate and Peach Melon

Carmine Free –

Lip Nourish: Chai Shimmer, Pink Juniper, Mandarin Spice, Nude Cinnamon, Rose Lime, Tea Rose, Vanilla Chocolate

Find them here: Official Website

Alima Pure

Products with Carmine –

  • Lip Tint (also contains beeswax)
  • Lipstick (also contains beeswax)

Carmine Free – 

  • Cream Concealer (contains beeswax)
  • Natural Definition Mascara (contains beeswax)
  • Liquid Silk Foundation
  • Satin Matte Foundation
  • Pressed Foundation with Rosehip Antioxidant Complex
  • Concealer
  • Color Balancing Powder
  • Highlighter
  • Balancing Primer Powder
  • Bronzer
  • Contour Powder
  • Radiant Finishing Powder
  • Satin Finishing Powder
  • Satin Matte Blush
  • Luminous Shimmer Blush
  • Pressed Eyeshadow
  • Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow
  • Pearluster Eyeshadow
  • Satin Matte Eyeshadow
  • Satin Matte Eyeliner
  • Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner
  • Natural Definition Eye Pencil
  • Natural Definition Brow Pencil

Website is here: Official website

Tata Harper

Products with Carmine – 

  • All Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tints
  • Tinted Plumping Treatment – Be adored and Be Smitten

Carmine Free – 

  • Very Illuminating
  • Very Bronzing
  • Lip Treatment – Be True and Be Fierce

Find them at their official website.

Kjaer Weis


Products with Carmine –

  • Cream Blush: Joyful, Suntouched, Lovely, Blossoming, Desired Glow, Embrace and Precious
  • Lipgloss – all shades excluding Courage
  • Lipstick: Honor, Adore, Believe and Affection
  • Lip Tint: Sensuous Plum, Goddess, Dream State, Lover’s Choice
  • Eyeshadows: Blue Wonder, Charmed, Divine, Pretty Purple, Wisdom, Grace and Angelic (all shades contain talc and Lonicera Japonica [honeysuckle] Flower Extract)
  • Lip Pencil (only the shade Rose contains carmine. Classic and Flush contain FC&D dyes and all contain hydrogenated vegetable oil)

Carmine Free –

  • Lipgloss – only the shade Courage
  • Cream Blush: Above and Beyond (contains Yellow 5 Lake and Red 6 Lake), Abundance and Happy (contains Red 6 Lake and Red 7 Lake).
  • Bronzer
  • Masacara (contains beeswax)
  • Lipstick: Love, Empower, KW Red and Brilliant (both contain less than 1% Red 6 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake)
  • Lip Tint: Romance, Sweetness, Passionate, Blissful, Rapture, Beloved, Amazed and Captivate. (all shades include Red 6 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake)
  • Foundation

These shades contain talc – Like Porcelain, Velvety, Just Sheer, Silken, Delicate and Transparent

These shades are talc free – Paper Thin, Illusion, Subtlety, Flawless, Perfection, Ethereal and Feathery

  • Highlighter
  • Eyeshadows: Cloud Nine, Earth Calm, Magnetic and Onyx (all shades contain talc and Lonicera Japonica [honeysuckle] Flower Extract)
  • Lip Balm (contains beeswax)
  • Powder

Find them at their official website.


Vapour is one of the few companies that have collated their own list of what contains carmine and what doesn’t.

Products with Carmine – 

  • Stratus Luminous Instant Skin Perfector: 903, 904
  • Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfector: 903, 094
  • Aura Multi-Use: Courtesan, Crush, Eros, Spark, Tender and Torch
  • Siren Lipstick: Au Pair, Bold, Chere, Coquette, Courage, Dare, Desire, Hint, Incognito, Intuition, Knockout, Luscious, Madam, Naive, Pin Up, Possess, Purr, Ravish, Restraint, Saucy, Tempest, Tempt, Torrid and Tryst
  • Elixir Plumping Lip Gloss: Beguile, Bitten, Delite, Discreet, Entice, Ether, Flare, Flirt, Honor, Metro, Pout, Rebel, Trust and Vivid
  • Mesmerize Eye Color: Smoulder
  • Mesmerize Eye Shimmer: Cinder, Dusk , Ember, Firefly, Seduce and Sugar
  • Solar Translucent Bronzer: Spicy
  • Trick Stick Highlighter: Luster
  • Aura Multi-Use Stain
  • Aura Multi-Use Radiant

Carmine Free – 

  • Atmosphere Luminous Foundation
  • Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation
  • Stratus Luminous Instant Skin Perfector: 902
  • Illusionist Concealer
  • Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfector: 902
  • Aura Multi-Use: Charm, Cheeky and Virtue
  • Siren Lipstick: Holiday and Magnetic
  • Elixir Plumping Lip Gloss: Flutter, Mischief, Rogue, Suite and Tickle.
  • Mesmerize Eye Color: Ace, Embrace, Flash, Nightfall and Storm
  • Mesmerize Eye Shimmer: Gilt
  • Mesmerize Eyeliner: Ink and Truffle
  • Solar Translucent Bronzer: Mirage and Simmer
  • Trick Stick Highlighter: Dazzle and Star
  • Lux Organic Lip Conditioner

Find them at their official website.



Nudus focus solely on lipstick and their range is not vegan friendly. The formula contains beeswax and only a few shades are carmine free.

Products with Carmine – 

Dirty Diana, Halo, Just Like Jade, Precious, Revenge, Survivor, Dreamtime, Amalia, Ruby Rose, Zo Zo and Viva.

Carmine Free – 

27 Dresses, Naked, Bittersweet and Fairy Tales

Find them at their official website

Kari Gran

Products with Carmine –

  • Lip Whip: Radiant, Shimmer and Jolene (contains beeswax)
  • Blush

Carmine Free –

  • Lip Whip: Currant, Marsala and Naked (contains beeswax)
  • Wonder Whip (contains beeswax)
  • Mineral Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Eyeshadow
  • Setting Powder

Find them at their official website.

Living Nature

Products with Carmine – 

  • Lipstick: Coral Sea, Laughter, Summer Rain, Precious, Bloom

Carmine Free – 

  • Morning Sun, Sandstone, Warm Wood, Dusk, Wild Fire, Pure Passion
  • Lip balm
  • Lip pencils
  • Lip hydrator
  • Blush (contains talc)
  • Foundation (contains talc)
  • Tinted Moisturizer (contains talc and manuka honey)
  • Concealer (contains talc and manuka honey)
  • Eye pencil (contains talc and hydrogenated vegetable oil)
  • Mascara (contains beeswax and manuka honey)
  • Eyeshadow (contains talc)

Information taken from their official website.

Mineral Fusion 

Products with Carmine –

  • 3-in-1 Colour Stick
  • Lip Pencil
  • Blush (contains phenoxyethanol and Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate)
  • Illuminating Powder (contains phenoxyethanol and Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate)
  • Eye Shadow Trio (contains Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate and Phenoxyethanol)
  • Eye Shadow (contains Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate and Phenoxyethanol)

Carmine Free –

  • Liquid Mineral Foundation (contains beeswax, Glycol palmitate and dimethicone)
  • Liquid Mineral Concealer (contains beeswax, lanolin and phenoxethanol)
  • Sheer Moisture Lip Tint (contains beeswax, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate [synthetic] and Isopropyl Palmitate)
  • Lash Curling Mineral Mascara (contains beeswax, Sodium dehydroacetate and phenoxyethanol)
  • Volumizing Mascara (contains beeswax and phenoxyethanol)
  • Lengthening Mascara (contains beeswax, Synthetic Wax, Propylene Glycol Monostearate, Paraffin, Butylene Glycol, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Laurate, Propylene Glycol Laurate/Stearate and Phenoxyethanol)
  • Liquid Mineral Eyeliner (contains beeswax)
  • Waterproof Mineral Mascara (contains beeswax, Sodium dehydroacetate and phenoxyethanol)
  • Smoothing Eye Primer
  • Pressed Powder Foundation (contains Phenoxyethanol)
  • Concealer Duo (contains Phenoxyethanol)
  • Beauty Balm (contains dimethicone)
  • Setting Powder (contains Phenoxyethanol)
  • Bronzer
  • Sheer Tint Mineral Foundation (Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Polysorbate 80, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cyclomethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Dimethicone, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Cellulose Gum, PEG-12 Dimethicone)
  • Blush/Bronzer Duo
  • Face Primer (Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propanediol Dicaprylate, Cyclomethicone)
  • Hydration Mist (contains phenoxyethanol)
  • Lip Gloss
  • Lipstick (contains hydrogenated vegetable oil)
  • Lipstick Butter (contains vegetable oil)
  • Liquid Lip Gloss (the shade Polished contains Octyldodecanol)
  • Enchanted Eye Palette (Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate and Phenoxyethanol)
  • Eye pencil (contains hydrogenated cottonseed oil)

Find them here: official website

Zuii Organic

Look carefully at their shade selections. The ones that have a green ‘V’ in the corner are free of carmine. Their products also contain beeswax. Please refer to my Cruelty Free but Not Vegan Brands post for more.

Products with Carmine – 

  • Flora Liquid Foundation (shades Light Rose and Porcelain)
  • Flora Lipstick (all shades. They also contain beeswax)
  • Flora Sheer Lips Lipstick (all shades. They also contain beeswax)
  • Flora Lip Tint (all shades. They also contain beeswax)
  • Flora Satin Lip Colour (shades: Blitz, Diva, Dream, Luscious, Orchid, Summer, Sunset, Tango, Vixen and Willow
  • Flora Diamond Sparkle Blush (shades: Berry, Peach, Melon and Raspberry)
  • Flora Blush (shades: Grapefruit, Mango, Melon and Peach)
  • Flora Eyeshadow (shades: Blackberry, Blossom, Blue Marine, Pink Ice, Raspberry and Rose Mist)

Carmine Free –

  • Organic Flora Loose Powder Foundation (all shades)
  • Flora Liquid Foundation (all shades except Light Rose and Porcelain) (contains lonicera caprifolium [honeysuckle] extract)
  • Flora Powder Foundation
  • Organic Foundation Primer
  • Organic concealer pencils (contain beeswax)
  • Organic Flora Ultra Powder Foundation (contains lonicera caprifolium [honeysuckle] extract)
  • Organic Flora Colour Corrective Primer
  • Organic Make-up Remover
  • Organic Lip Liners (contains beeswax)
  • Flora Satin Lip Colour (only shades: Fresh, Lux and Perfume)
  • Flora Diamond Sparkle Blush (only shades: Mango and Blossom)
  • Flora Blush (only shade Nector)
  • Flora Volume Mascara (contains beeswax and lonicera caprifolium [honeysuckle] extract))
  • Flora Eyeshadow (shades: Apple, Black Diamond, Blue Suede, Bronze, Brownie, Chestnut, Flame, Forest, Fudge, Grape, Jade, Mermaid, Moss, Mustard, Purple Ice, Raisin, Rich Gold, Sapphire, Seaform, Slate, Sunflower, Tawney, Vanilla Frost and White Diamond
  • Flora Mascara (contains lonicera caprifolium [honeysuckle] extract)
  • Organic eyeliner pencils (contains beeswax)
  • Organic Eyebrow definer (contains beeswax)
  • Flora Maxi Lash Mascara (contains beeswax and lonicera caprifolium [honeysuckle] extract)

Click here for more information

W3LL People


Products with Carmine – 

  • Universalist Multi-Stick (contains Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate and beeswax)
  • Optimist Lipstick

Carmine Free – 

  • Nudist Colourbalm (contains beeswax and Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate)
  • Bio Brightener stick (contains beeswax and Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate)
  • Narcissist Stick foundation (contains beeswax and Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate)
  • Expressionist mascara (contains Beeswax Succinate and Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides [from palm oil])
  • Bio Extreme Gloss (contains Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tribehenin [synthetic] and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 [synthetic])
  • Realist Invisible setting powder
  • Altruist Foundation powder
  • Bio Brightener Invisible powder (contains pearl powder)
  • Bio Bronzer powder
  • Bio Bronzer stick (contains Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Orange 5 Lake and Yellow 10 Lake)
  • Bio Correct Multi-Action concealer (contains Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate, Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Tribehenin [synthetic] and triethoxycaprylylsilane [silicon])
  • Hypnotist eye pencil (contains hydrogenated vegetable oil)
  • Capitalist brow powder
  • Elitist eyeshadow powder

Find them at their official website

Ecco Bella

Products with Carmine –

  • FlowerColour Lipstick shades: Pink Rose, Mauve Rose, Claret Rose, Tuscany Rose and REDvelation
  • FlowerColour Blush shades: Burgandy Rose, Orchid Rose, Rose and Purity
  • Lip Liner Pencil shade: Mauve (contains Hydrogenated palm kernel glycerides, hydrogenated palm glycerides, hydrogenated coconut oil and hydrogenated castor oil)
  • FlowerColor Good For You Gloss shades: Pleasure and Passion

Carmine Free –

  • FlowerColour Lipstick shades: Almond, Cafe au Lait, Caramel, Latte, Merlot, Napa Grape, Peach Frost, Peach Rose, Primrose, Rosewood and Sangria
  • FlowerColor Powder Eyeliner
  • FlowerColour Shimmer Dust
  • FlowerColour Eyeshadow
  • Soft Eyeliner Pencils (contains Hydrogenated palm kernel glycerides, hydrogenated palm glycerides, hydrogenated coconut oil and hydrogenated castor oil)
  • FlowerColor Natural Mascara (contains palmitic acid and phenoxyethanol)
  • FlowerColour Blush shades: Peach Rose, Coral Rose, Earthy Rose, Wild Rose and Nutmeg
  • FlowerColor Bronzing Powder
  • FlowerColor Natural Cover Up (contains beeswax and isopropyl palmitate)
  • FlowerColor Face Powder
  • FlowerColor Natural Liquid Foundation (contains PEG-40 apricot kernel oil,  honeysuckle flower extract lonicera japonica and disodium EDTA)
  • Lip Liner Pencil shade: Terracotta (contains Hydrogenated palm kernel glycerides, hydrogenated palm glycerides, hydrogenated coconut oil and hydrogenated castor oil)
  • FlowerColor Vitamin E Lip Smoothers (contains isopropyl palmitate and octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • FlowerColor Good For You Gloss shades: Power and Peace

Their website is here

Organic & Natural Companies that use Carmine Colourant. Green Beauty Blogger Gone Swatching xo

I will continue to update this list

Let me know what you think!

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