Clairol Is In Trouble, Lime Crime Isn't, and Barbie's Makeup Looks Better Than Mine Ever Will

PLUS: It's not October without a pinkwashing controversy.
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PLUS: It's not October without a pinkwashing controversy.

BREAKING NEWS: Cure for the rhinovirus found!

Just kidding. That's what I wish was in the news right now, because I'm right in the middle of one hell of a snotty-ass cold. But the real news must go on!

The American Cancer Society is accused of handing out beauty products with questionable ingredients to breast cancer patients 

Breast cancer sucks. I've lost a sorority sister to the disease, and one of my oldest friends—a woman several months younger than me—recently became a survivor; it blows my mind that it's affecting my peers. And even though most of us don't need 31 days of pink everything to be reminded of its crappy existence, breast cancer awareness merchandise is still very much a Thing, and some of it is allegedly more harmful than helpful.

Breast Cancer Action, an organization that calls bullshit on corporate pinkwashing, is sounding the alarm on the American Cancer Society, of all companies. Apparently, through their Look Good Feel Better program, they've been handing out makeup bags with beauty products that contain ingredients that reportedly interfere with the effectiveness of Tamoxifen, a very common breast cancer drug. 

In response to BCA's request that the American Cancer Society and its partner in this program, the Personal Care Products Council, pay closer attention to what they're giving to patients—they launched a campaign called "Poison Isn't Pretty"—the ACS released a statement that can be boiled down to one of the sentences in it: "The Society believes the benefits of Look Good Feel Better outweigh the minimal risks." 

PCPC, however, was a little more oh-hell-no in their response to BCA: "We are among the safest industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and we take false allegations about the safety of our products very seriously."

Speaking of the FDA...

The FDA says Lime Crime has committed no ingredient crimes, according to Lime Crime

Back in July, controversial indie cosmetics brand Lime Crime got a warning letter from the FDA regarding their Velvetines Liquid Matte Lipsticks, which, according to the packaging, contained the coloring agents ferric ferrocyanide and ultramarines. These are approved for use in some cosmetics, but not lip products, because they can be absorbed by the muscous membranes of the mouth, which is apparently unsafe and icky.

Our lips are sealed... in ferric ferrocyanide?

Our lips are sealed... in ferric ferrocyanide?

When the news broke, FDA press officer Megan McSeveney told Refinery29 that "whether the company was utilizing unapproved ingredients or someone on their packaging team just made a very unfortunate typo, Lime Crime is still in violation of FDA regulation."

But now, after an FDA evaluation, Lime Crime tells Bustle that "there was a labeling issue, not a formulation error," and they're clear to sell the lip colors in question.

However, if you've read Arabelle Sicardi's riveting article about Lime Crime's contentious history, the alleged green light from the FDA may not be enough to convince you to purchase their products.

Pat McGrath is recreating some of her best Fashion Week makeup looks on Barbie

I'm always a little weirded out when dolls are posed to look as human as possible. (Muppets, too—I'm generally freaked out by Muppets.) But despite this aversion of mine, I have to appreciate the fun little collaboration that's been happening between makeup artist royalty Pat McGrath and Barbie this week.

Barbie's Instagram—yes, "she" has an Instagram—has been posting headshots of the doll wearing makeup looks by McGrath, in many cases resembling recent Fashion Week looks she's created.

Not gonna lie: if they actually made dolls with these looks, I'd probably go out of my way to befriend a little girl so I could buy her one now that my niece is too old to play with Barbies.

Christina Hendricks' Clairol Nice 'n Easy commercial has been yoinked from British TV

The last time I saw this Nice 'n Easy commercial featuring my personal beauty goddess Christina Hendricks was just a couple days ago, and I'm guessing I'll see it again soon. The same can't be said about TV viewers in the UK, though.

In the ad, Hendricks implies that she used Nice 'n Easy to "shift a shade" from her signature red hair to a golden blonde. However, after the UK's Advertising Standards Authority received complaints from hair-color experts who said that there's no way that change could've been made with a box of at-home hair color, Clairol's parent company, Procter & Gamble, admitted that, for the commercial, Hendricks' hair had actually been colored blonde first—and those portions of the ad were filmed first—and then dyed back to red. The commercial clearly implies the opposite order.

That's enough deception in the ASA's eyes to get the ad banned. 

"Given that the sequence in which the model’s hair was coloured leading up to the TV shoots did not match the depiction in the ad we concluded that it misleadingly exaggerated the capability of the product," the ASA said in a statement.

There is another version of the commercial that implies Hendricks uses Nice 'n Easy to get her red color, and she hints that she's naturally a blonde, which is true. 

That, of course, makes her "I don't know if blondes have more fun," claim in the UK-banned commercial an outright lie, and I don't know if I can ever trust my personal beauty goddess the same way ever again.

  • Do you take at-home hair color commercials with a grain of salt? 
  • Are you pro- or anti- Lime Crime? 
  • Do you ever buy pink products for breast cancer awareness in October?