Vanderpump Rules: Pucker & Pout Lipsticks: Vegan or not Vegan?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Image from Pucker & Pout
Used under Fair Use of Copyright Act 1976.

Let me preface this by making two statements.

  1. I have nothing against Julie Hewett, Katie Maloney, or anyone associated with Pucker & Pout or the tv series Vanderpump Rules.
  2. I'm not vegan, never been vegan, but as a beauty blogger, I will report on products that are both vegan and non-vegan. It's up to the individual person to decide to buy or not to buy based on the information I provide.
That all said let's get on to the nitty-gritty here.

Last week, Katie Maloney of the Bravo TV series Vanderpump Rules launched her own collection of lipsticks as a collaboration with industry makeup artist Julie Hewett which I reported about here on my blog. I know Julie's lipstick in Femme is a favorite of Eryn Krueger Mekash, who is best known as the key makeup artist on the FX tv series American Horror Story, since I asked her about the lipstick a few years ago at IMATS. Color me surprised when Julie decided to collaborate with Katie on a limited edition line of lipsticks and lip liners. I had high hopes for the lipsticks but considering I know past Bravoleberities have tried and failed due to their greed I know there was a 50-50 chance these would either be great or a fail.

These are a fail. Why? Because of the fact that Katie and company (Pucker & Pout team) LIED on Instagram in regards to her lipstick collaboration being vegan when it's not. Unfortunately, due to the lies on Katie's Instagram account for her blog, Julie is the one on the hook for any demands for refunds.

Let me back up a bit, last week it was reported that on the Julie Hewett website that they listed the ingredients for the lipsticks. Taking those ingredients to Google yielded the name of the manufacturer and the fact that these lipsticks (and liner) are catalog private label. I asked if the items were vegan and they replied my question with a yes. Other people asked and were told yes. They even hashtagged the lipsticks as vegan.
Screenshot from a PC browser.

Screenshot from a PC browser.
Now there's nothing wrong with using stock products from a private labeler and having them hot stamp your name and/or logo on it. Starlooks does it and has been successful with their subscription service. Two Cosmetics does it. So many companies do it but what gets companies into trouble is lying. Lying about the products in any shape or form can land a person/company into trouble with the FDA (who regulates labeling), the FTC (who regulates truth in advertising and consumer protections), and other non-government bodies like the BBB and even a person's bank/credit card company.

This is where Pucker & Pout went wrong. They claimed to their fans/customers that the products are vegan and cruelty-free and while the manufacturer also claims the products are cruelty-free it's clear that the products, based on the ingredients, are not vegan at all. Misleading customers, intentionally or not, is against consumer protection laws and FDA rules on labeling. I suspected that the ingredients listed on their website, which they deleted, were the correct ingredients but until people began to post images of their orders I couldn't be proven right or wrong. One thing is for sure, my answering people with "no these are not vegan" caused Pucker and Pout to ban me from their Instagram page and Twitter account!

I had to wait a week for the ingredients and thanks to Jennifer on Poshmark (username  jlynn1333) I finally was able to get a photo of the ingredients (for the color "Pump") as listed on the box. Now if Julie Hewett or even Katie Maloney claims these ingredients are wrong then that will get them into a whole other trouble with the FDA over label misbranding.
Photo by Jennifer (jlynn1333).
Used under Fair Use of Copyright Act 1976.
The lipstick ingredient from the manufacturer's website. It's exactly as listed on Auraline Beauty
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/ Candelilla Cera/ Cire de Candelilla, Octyldodecanol, Carthamus Tunctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Polyethylene, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/ Cera Carnauba/ Cire de Carnauba, Microcrystalline Wax/ Cera Microcristallina/ Cire Microcristalline, Styrene/Butadiene Copolymer, Ceresin, Jojoba Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethyl Vanillin. (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tin Oxide (CI 77861), Carmine (CI 75470), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 17 (CI 26100), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985)
Obviously, Katie and company don't understand the definition of vegan so here's the definition. Per Merriam-Webster:
Definition of vegan
: a strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals; also : one who abstains from using animal products (such as leather)
Carmine comes from the cochineal bugs. There's debate on whether or not carmine is truly cruelty-free due to the fact that the dye comes from insects that were harvested alive and then sun-dried before being crushed to make the carmine pigment. Regardless if you see it as cruelty-free or not the fact remains it's a bug and therefore anything with carmine is not vegan.

BBC documentary: "E Numbers: An Edible Adventure".

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences video on creating carmine pigment.

So, long answer short: No, the lipsticks are NOT VEGAN due to possibly containing carmine. As for the lipliners, those are still on pre-order so it's possible that these can be made without beeswax but again we'd have to wait for people to post the packaging. At this time we can only go by the manufacturer's website which shows beeswax is in it. And yes, beeswax can be synthetic but it must be labeled as synthetic per FDA labeling rules require.

If you purchased these lipsticks and felt mislead by Pucker & Pout you CAN file a dispute with your credit card company or bank per FTC Consumer Protection laws on Truth In Advertising because that's what social media is - an avenue to promote and advertise products and they were on Instagram posting how the products are vegan when carmine effectively makes the products not vegan. You can also file a complaint with the California Attorney General's office since Pucker & Pout and Julie Hewett is located in California.


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