“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline”. An iconic line from an iconic brand known for its affordable and dependable products. However, I’m not so interested if she’s born with it, but more along the lines of “Maybe it’s sustainable, maybe it’s not”. Specifically, the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder. Finishing powder is key to a perfect, beat face that lasts all day. Which is why powder is a staple in any makeup enthusiast’s beauty bag and it’s constantly being used and bought over and over again. So it makes you wonder, where do all these used containers go, who makes it, and what’s it made of? While the UK sector is making a great step with its recycling system, it would receive a higher rating if it was applied to all Maybelline sectors. As for the ingredient list, the problem is mainly the lack of studies on talc and it’s connection to cancer. While the most difficult information to find was who exactly makes these products and if they are ethical. Honestly the main issue is with L’Oreal, who owns Maybelline, and their contradicting message about discrimination and transparency. There’s common theme of lack of information with Maybelline’s product and until there’s more transparency, they get an overall rating of one planet.
The powder keeps things simple with three main ingredients on the list: talc, dimethicone, and silica. A possibly risky standout is talc. Talc is known for its smooth, silky texture and it’s oil absorbing properties. Which makes it a popular ingredient and is used in a number of blushes, face powder, and eye shadows. However, there have been cases about how talc can be contaminated with asbestos, a human carcinogen. The cancer causing properties of talc have been more commonly studied in baby powders and feminine hygiene products. While there was an FDA investigation on cosmetics containing talc, no asbestos was found in makeup. Still that doesn’t mean cosmetics with talc get a green light because not all talc suppliers agreed to being tested and only a few cosmetic companies were investigated. So there’s still not enough information about talc to conclude if it’s safe in makeup.
The Maybelline UK based center has recently partnered up with TerraCycle, a recycling company that collects hard to recycle waste from companies. Any product containers can be dropped off besides glass and nail polish. The UK website even provides a FAQ page on how to recycle and even allows customers to drop off different company products to be recycled. It’s a great first step in taking responsibility for the waste they make. However, one recommendation would be to see an expansion of this recycling system in other Maybelline centers.
There honestly isn’t much about how the powder itself is made, but Maybelline is owned by L’Oreal which has centers in the United States, France, Brazil, India, Japan and China. Again, it’s not very clear where this product specifically comes from and even my own makeup product says it's made in Canada. L’Oreal also stated in the website that they no longer test on animals unless it’s required by the country’s regulations. So even if a country requires animal testing, they’ll do it in order to continue selling their products in that country. Basically they don’t actually care about animal testing as long as they can sell their products.
While Maybelline hasn’t been exposed for any mistreatment of workers, it’s still owned by L’Oreal who has a long history of violations. Ironically L’Oreal’s global CEO did a whole interview in 2019 about being “the most ethical company in the world” and went on about creating an environment for its workers to speak up about mistreatment. But a year before this interview, a former employee was suing the company for wrongful termination and discriminaton. L’Oreal didn’t even contact the employee to get their side of the story and tried to discredit their story. The lawsuit is still ongoing, but it's weird to see how this lawsuit was happening and yet the next year L’Oreal tried to brand itself as “ethical” without acknowledging this investigation. It just sounds shady and is nowhere near the transparent company it tries to sell itself as. So combined with L’Oreal’s questionable history and the lack of information from Maybelline, there’s no suggestion that it deserves any type of positive rating.