POP Beauty Plump Pout, part 3

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

WARNING: If you received the POP Beauty Plump Pout Mini gloss from the February Ipsy GlamBag and if your gloss smells bad in any way DISCONTINUE using it, if you have not used it DO NOT use it!

Yesterday evening POP Beauty posted on their Facebook wall their statement on the issue with the Plump Pout minis sent out in the February. I have also replied to their post on their wall and on mine and as promised am keeping my blog readers informed of the situation as it now stands.

Dear Ipsters,

Unfortunately some of you received a POP Plump Pout Mini with an “off” taste or smell as part of the IPSY send-out in February. We want to address this issue and explain exactly what we have been doing about it.

First and foremost we want to assure you that all of the ingredients used in the Plump Pout Mini, which are listed on the shrink wrap on the product packaging, are FDA approved and 100% safe for use.

The reason for the disparity between the ingredients listed on the product packaging and the website is that the full size version of the Plump Pout Mini is manufactured in the USA, while the Mini is manufactured in Taiwan. We recently reformulated the product, and our factory in Taiwan used the new formula to make the Mini.

We apologise if you have had a negative experience with this gloss. We have never encountered a problem of this nature with our products, and we assure you that we are taking this very seriously. If you feel that you have received a defective Plump Pout Mini, please do not hesitate to e-mail POP’s customer service at the e-mail address below. We guarantee that every e-mail will
receive a response.

Yours sincerely,
POP beauty

My reply:

While the ingredients are FDA approved, which was never the issue, how can you be sure that the ingredients in the lip gloss are what is listed? The FDA has had cases where the color and smell of products were off and it turned out the manufacturer used the wrong ingredients despite what was on the label. Thankfully the ingredients were non-toxic but it still wasn't the ingredients that were suppose to be in the product. So while we know there was a manufacturing issue we still don't know what's in those glosses as the label is incorrect. Your company also has not stated specifically which ingredient was missing other than a "flavoring ingredient". Which one?

How have you determined that the glosses are safe? How can you be sure the manufacturer didn't accidentally substitute other ingredients? Were the items sent to an independent lab for chemical analysis? If so will you post proof of that that can be verified?

Also why were the Plump Pouts reformulated? Is it because the US manufacturer holds the proprietary rights to the formulation and not POP Beauty and when going with the Taiwan manufacturer you were unable to have the Taiwan manufacturer replicate it? Frankly the US made item was better with so many wonderful ingredients like aloe vera extra, lavender butter, mango butter, joboba oil, avocado oil/butter and vitamin e oil - all of which are missing from the ingredients listed on the ones made in Taiwan.

Since the minis do not contain a lot number or batch number it's not possible to know how many of the minis were manufactured incorrectly. How can you be sure the products are safe for the lips without a chemical analysis?

While it's great you finally acknowledge publicly what has been known for a week the fact is that your company has yet to be more transparent and forthcoming in what happened. Under US FDA regulations because the ingredient(s) inside the glosses are not what is listed you should be calling for a voluntary recall of these minis and tell people to stop using the products until your company can prove these are safe or not safe. It's better to be safe than sorry in my book.

First let's go over what POP Beauty has stated, they posted, "We want to address this issue and explain exactly what we have been doing about it." If you read it carefully they never did address the issue or explain what exactly happened. In fact their public response makes no mention of their claim that an ingredient flavor was left out. They merely claim the ingredients are FDA approved was never the issue, the issue is what actually in the glosses as the label is inaccurate. They have admitted privately of a manufacturing issue with a flavoring ingredient but due to the complaints, which if you notice as of late last night you can no longer post on their wall only reply to posts they make, there is something more going on.

Per the FDA website these items should be reported to them.
Product Problems

Product problems should be reported to the FDA when there is a concern about the quality, authenticity, performance, or safety of any medication or device. Problems with product quality may occur during manufacturing, shipping, or storage. They include:
  • suspect counterfeit product;
  • product contamination;
  • defective components;
  • poor packaging or product mix-up;
  • questionable stability;
  • device malfunctions; and
  • labeling concerns.

That link was on the FDA Bad Reaction to Cosmetics? Tell the FDA page.
What to Report

Katz says consumers should contact FDA if they experience a rash, hair loss, infection, or other problem—even if they didn’t follow product directions. FDA also wants to know if a product has a bad smell or unusual color—which could signal contamination—or if the item’s label is incomplete or inaccurate.

If you have any concerns about a cosmetic, contact MedWatch, FDA’s problem-reporting program, on the Web or at 1-800-332-1088; or contact the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

POP Beauty has admitted in private emails, not on Facebook, that there was a "flavoring issue" during manufacturing so who knows what else went wrong during the process. They can't simply rely on their manufacturers word that was the only issue and they shouldn't be sweeping it under the rug. Honestly, the best thing they could and should do is send out a statement via Ipsy to ALL Ipsy subscribers that there was a manufacturing issue and that at this time they recommend that "Ipsters" discontinue using the gloss until they can get an independent lab to do a chemical analysis to determine if the products are safe or not.

Prior to POP Beauty shutting down their Facebook wall to new posts, people were posting pictures of their lips showing that they had adverse reactions to the glosses. While it could have easily been an allergic reaction the problem is that no one can be sure what caused it since the ingredients inside those glosses are not known as the label on the glosses is incorrect. POP Beauty has yet to reveal WHICH ingredient was missing.

I'm also not buying their statement, "We recently reformulated the product, and our factory in Taiwan used the new formula to make the Mini." I doubt this is true and believe that since they use a private label manufacturer (PLM)  that their PLM in the United States are the proprietary owners of the formula that make the Plump Pouts and when they went to a less expensive company to make their minis they couldn't use the US PLM's formula as they (POP Beauty) don't own that formula.

Full size


Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (and) Ethylene / Propylene / Styrene Copolymer (and) Butylene / Ethylene / Styrene Copolymer Mineral Oil
Mineral Oil Polyisobutylene
Polybutene Beeswax
Beeswax Diisostearyl Malate
Copernica Cerifera (Carnouba) Wax Silica
Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate (and) Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride (and) Stearalkonium Hectorite (and) Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 Ethyl Hexyl Palmitate
Ethylhexyl Palmitate / Tribehenin Sorbitan Isostearate / Palmitoyl Oligopeptide Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Benzyl Nicotinate Ethylhexyl Palmitate
Persea Gratissima (Avocado Oil) Silica Dimethyl Silylate
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin-E) Butylene Glycol
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil Hexylene Glycol
Lavandula Angustifolia Extract / Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Lavender Butter) Phenoxyetharol
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed) Oil Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Mangifera Indica Seed Butter (Mango Butter) Tocopheryl Acetate
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract
Fragrance.  Fragrance
[+/- Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) [+/- Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)
Iron Oxides (CI 77491CI 77492CI 77499) Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
Red 7 Lake (CI 15850) Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140)
Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140) Red 6 Lake (CI 158502)
Red 33 Lake (CI 17200)].  Made in Taiwan. Designed in the USA
Made in the USA.

If you look at the full size Plump Pout which was/is made in the US the formula includes Persea Gratissima (Avocado Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin-E), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Extract / Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Lavender Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed) Oil, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter (Mango Butter) and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract all of which, with the exception of Jojoba Seed Oil, are missing from the minis which were made in Taiwan. If you notice the mini ingredients contain only two "nice" ingredients - jojoba seed oil and Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract (Elderwood). So in my mind the full size product made in the US is far superior to the minis made in Taiwan. In fact, the full size one I have smells to me like a delicious vanilla cupcake while the mini smells like a broken vacuum cleaner belt.

What's "funny" to me is that when this issue first came up Ipsy reps had claimed and continue to claim until this weekend that there were no issues with the Plump Pout Minis from POP Beauty. Some people who contacted them did get emails confirming the products smelled but the products were safe. I have been in contact with Jennifer Goldfarb, Vice President of Ipsy, and this is what I was told by her (in her first email to me):

I wanted to reach out to you directly because I know your February Glam Bag contained a POP lip gloss with the unpleasant smell. We are incredibly sorry that you, along with a number of our subscribers, had a bad experience with that product, and we have done, and will continue to do, everything we can to make the situation better for the subscribers who have been impacted.

As you know, being honest and transparent with our ipsy community is incredibly important to us, so we have had several conversations with our contacts at the brand and have worked to get answers to all of the questions that you and others have been asking about the smell, the ingredients and the manufacturing. I wanted to share what we learned and encourage you to reach out to me or the brand directly if you have any further questions. As you will see, we believe this was an honest mistake, and that POP is genuinely concerned about its customers and products, and is doing everything possible to make the situation better.

To begin, there was an issue with some of the POP lip gloss samples having an unpleasant smell when they arrived in their Glam Bag. POP has confirmed with us that there was a manufacturing issue that resulted in a batch of the lip glosses missing the flavor/fragrance that is normally included. This was a pure mistake on the part of their manufacturer, and POP is working to ensure it does not happen again. Additionally, only a small batch of lip glosses was affected, which is why many of our subscribers were able to enjoy the product as planned.

Next, as you also know, when customers contacted POP directly, the POP team issued a replacement of the full size lip gloss, instead of the deluxe sample, and these full size products were made in a different country and have a different list of ingredients. We have since learned that POP has recently undergone both a formula change and a change in manufacturing partner to make the lip gloss. This formula change was already in the works when POP and ipsy began discussions regarding the February sample and we were always contemplating the newer version of the product. The full size products that were sent out as replacements are the last batch under the previous manufacturer. The new manufacturer (located in Taiwan) made the Glam Bag samples and will make the full size product going forward. While the manufacturer is "new" for this particularly product, POP has been working with that manufacturer for 15 years, and has a strong and trusting relationship with the team (mistake on the flavor/fragrance aside). Finally, while it has some different ingredients, the new formula has been approved by the brand to deliver the same results and customer experience as the previous formula, and from the brand's perspective, is not a reduction in quality, again absent the mistake on the flavor/fragrance.

Finally, with regard to the overall safety of the products, POP has assurance from its manufacturing partner that there are no problems whatsoever with the efficacy of the product, despite the smell. The smell probably makes the sample unusable for most people, which is why both ipsy & POP are committed to replacing the item and giving subscribers a chance to enjoy the product as the brand intended. As we all know, lip glosses, especially plumpers, are subject to personal preferences, so everyone might not like the product, but we had every intention of providing a sample that everyone could like, had there not been the mistake on the flavoring, and we would like to make that happen.

I hope this information is helpful. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any further questions.


My reply to her:

I dislike that POP Beauty is attempting to sweep the matter under the rug. What Ipsy AND POP Beauty should be doing is issuing a statement that there was a manufacturing issue which resulted in the products having an acrid smell and that at this time there is no way to know for sure if there were no any other manufacturing issues. Until the products can be chemically tested and analyzed the products should be discontinued until the items are proven safe. It concerns me that there are reports – which POP Beauty removed from their wall – of people getting chemical burns. Even if it’s an allergic reaction SOMETHING in the product is not right and I firmly believe that a flavoring ingredient would not cause an acrid smell. Any number of things went wrong with the manufacturing of the minis – in both colors – but POP Beauty cannot guarantee that the products are safe until they have had the products tested by an independent lab such as SGS. Please encourage them to get this done and please make a public announcement telling people to discontinue using the item at this time.

If it turns out the products are indeed not safe yet Ipsy has continued to tell people it is wouldn’t Ipsy be held liable, even partially? If it turns out that the items are safe then that’s great and I’m more than happy to post that but I need proof that I can verify by contacting the lab that does the testing.
I didn't hear back from her for several more daysbut eventually she did reply.
I am so sorry you continue to be upset with the POP situation. At this point, we have communicated with the brand extensively and continue to relay all information we receive about the issue from the brand to our subscribers. As you know, POP continues to both assert that the product is safe to use. However, as with any products, usage should always be at the discretion of the consumer. If this is a product you or anyone else does not feel comfortable using, you should not use it. Given the circumstances around this situation, ipsy is sending a replacement item to anyone who contacts us. We cannot confirm how POP is handling individual cases, although they told us they were actively trying to help anyone who writes in as well.

Thanks again for your concern for the community and for your continued honest communication with ipsy.
My final reply to her:
Thanks Jennifer for the update.

I wish POP Beauty would stop deleting comments and make a public announcement. As I told my husband, over dinner tonight, had they simply posted on their wall, “We are aware that there was a manufacturing issue with the Plump Pout Mini glosses there were sent to Ipsy subscribers. Our manufacturer has assured us that the smell is due to a flavor ingredient was left out however for the safety of our customers and potential customers we are asking that you discontinue using the product until we can verify that the product is safe to use. If you have experienced any negative reactions from chemical burns, to rashes, to split/chapped lips after using this product please contact us as soon as possible. Your safety is important to us so please discontinue using the item until further notice.” That would have satisfied me and others since it means that POP Beauty is taking is serious.

While it’s great that Ipsy and POP Beauty are replacing the items, which I’m sure is costly between the cost of replacements and shipping, all of that could have been avoided by making a statement such as above. That’s all I want from POP Beauty and Ipsy – the acknowledgement that there was a manufacturing issue and as such people need to discontinue using the product until it’s proven safe.

As it stands Ipsy and POP Beauty refuse to voluntary recall the Plump Pout Minis insisting that the glosses are safe despite their being a manufacturing issue with at least one ingredient, if not more. Furthermore the label on the mini Plump Pouts are inaccurate as Ipsy and POP Beauty acknowledge there was an ingredient missing but have, as of this post, yet identified which ingredient was left out. As such these glosses are potentially misbranded and should be recalled. There is no way to know what was put in these glosses without a chemical analysis which POP Beauty has not stated they will do so please discontinue using these glosses because no one knows - not you, not me, not them - knows what you're putting on your lips and potentially ingesting.


  1. They are reeaaaaaallly sticking with the smell of the gloss being the only issue. It's getting old :-b

  2. Have you contacted the FDA about it??

    1. I have. There is an open complaint with the Seattle FDA.

  3. They didnt replace everyones! I think that is a point that needs to be stated. I got one of the bad ones and just got the email claiming it was safe. I tried to contact them again on facebook and through email and they continue to ignore myself and countless others. Such a shame.

  4. I enjoyed your post about this. I dislike how ipsy and pop beauty handled this. I know a lot of girls who cancel from ipsy cause they deleted their post or told them that the product was fine. With out really looking into it. Keep up the great work.

    1. It's a shame that it's essentially been swept under the rug. As of April 2, 2014 Ipsy and POP Beauty have not made any further comments about it in a public forum. The last public acknowledgment POP made was March 10. I've emailed them a few more times since asking for a status update and have yet to hear back. Basically, we'll probably never know what is inside those lip glosses.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. My first email to Pop Beauty: My mother and I are both Ipsy subscribers and both of us received Pop Beauty lip gloss which had a strong chemical smell. Within minutes of applying my Pop Beauty lip gloss I had a headache so I wiped my lip gloss off. This is especially odd because I am not especially sensitive to smells. My mother was reluctant to try or wear hers because of the way it smelled. What are your thoughts on this situation?

    Pop's response to my initial email: We appreciate you taking the time to inform us of your experience with the POP Beauty Plump Pout in the IPSY bag. We are sincerely sorry that you have received a gloss that you feel was unsatisfactory.
    Ever since POP Beauty started, our passion has always been to create the best products. With the recent POP Beauty Plump Pout in the IPSY bag, there was a flavouring issue with a small batch and we are devastated by this. We want to assure you that the product is safe for use and that most Plump Pouts delivered in this month’s glam bags taste like their regular delicious selves.
    Please accept our sincerest apology and we hope that you can forgive us for this oversight. We will be doing everything to make sure this never happens again.

    Yours Sincerely,
    POP Beauty

    My response to Pop Beauty's response:
    Thank you for responding to my email though I have to admit that I feel disappointed by its content. I appreciate that you offer an apology though I definitely do not agree with your recommendation that the product is safe to use. If the lipgloss has a smell that gives the user a headache so how can you possibly say that it is safe for me to wear? If I applied this product before leaving for work I would not be able to pay proper attention to my surroundings while driving to my job or perform assigned tasks at my job at peak efficiency - because of the effects of headache. When I wiped the lip gloss off it took roughly 30 minutes for the effects of my headache to go away. My recommendation to Pop Beauty is to employ better quality control standards. Odds are I will not use products from your brand if I receive them in a beauty subscription and I will not purchase Pop Beauty products any time in the foreseeable future, if ever. - Pop Beauty did not respond to this email sent March 8, 2014.

    My final thoughts on this issue are as follows: I would encourage everyone to boycott Pop Beauty because of their lack of accountability on this issue and the fact that they stood behind their defective product insisting that it is 'safe.' If the FDA won't take action - surely losing market share will send a message that's loud and clear!

  7. I just read this article and I didn't realize this was such a big issue. I, too, received the mini lip gloss and thought it smelled funny. It didn't smell like gasoline or anything to me, just not good for a lip gloss. I've worn it a couple times with no side effects but I figured I'd email Pop Beauty and Ipsy just to add on to their list of people. I sent the emails today and Pop Beauty wrote me back about 4 hours later with the same canned response: We apologize... flavoring issue... blah blah... still safe for use... etc. I really liked the gloss but I guess I'm going to stop using it out of the fear that it may be harmful. Such a waste...

    Thank you for a great article to bring this to people's attention!


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