Consumer Warning: Zora Cosmetics

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 by veggiebeauty 12 Comments

*EDIT: 8-20-12: Less than on month later, this company has come back with a new facebook page and are still selling the same soap dyes as eyeshadow.

*EDIT: 7-24-12: Zora Cosmetics has taken down their shopping cart and facebook page and says they are going to reformulate their products to ensure customer safety. Glad to hear this, and I will be monitoring their progress. 

Okay, now usually I don’t come on here openly bashing independent makeup companies. I am a reasonable person and like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I make my own cosmetics, so I understand how confusing some of the requirements can be from the FDA. That said, when I started up my business, I didn’t take making cosmetics lightly. It took me about 6-8 months to research, save up the money, and develop products before I even thought about opening up my shop.

Cosmetics are products that are going to be used on the skin and around the eye; people can get sick or damage their vision if you don’t take precaution with the ingredients you use and don’t include thorough ingredient lists for each product on your website. I also list what items are approved for just as an extra safety precaution.

I found out about a new cosmetics company named Zora Cosmetics that is just starting out via my facebook page. I found out that they were listing their products as vegan friendly even though they were including ingredients such as: carmine, silk powder, whey-milk in their ingredient listing. This is something that really bothers me…if you are going to list an item/product as being vegan friendly, shouldn’t you do research into what being a vegan is actually about? Any quick google search will tell you that vegans do not use or consume any dairy/animal byproducts. So this was the first red flag I noticed about their company. She responded by simply deleting carmine and whey-dairy off her lists of ingredients, never explaining how she could so quickly and easily “re-formulate” her products in a short amount of time, especially when they were still listed as being for sale?

Here is a screen shot of her ingredient list, which she said is accurate for all of her current products. Notice the removal of carmine, whey-dairy. These were on her list as of Saturday night, now they have been removed. These are not common ingredients used to make eyeshadow, and I know this as a cosmetic formulator:

A quick scroll down on their facebook page shows a model wearing NEON GREEN eyeshadow. This filled me with concern because this is very similar to what happened with Glittersniffer cosmetics a year or two back. Lela was using soap dyes (ingredients not approved for cosmetic use) in her eyeshadows. These ingredients are not approved for use in cosmetic products AT ALL in any form. Many people, including myself, tried to inform her of the trouble she can get into and how damaging this will be to potential customers. She deleted all of our concerns and comments, and we were being reasonable and expressing normal customer concerns. She gave the excuse that she’s only 16 and she’s allowed to make mistakes.

Okay, you’re sixteen? You aren’t allowed to have your own paypal account unless you are 18 years old first off. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what age you are…if you are selling unsafe cosmetic products you will have to pay the consequences when one of your customers reports you to the FDA for using ingredients for their unintended purposes. Not only does she not list base powders, she doesn’t reference what dyes, ultramarines, iron oxides she uses…she doesn’t even list mica, which is a very common ingredient in most cosmetic items.

There are many wonderful and safe vegan cosmetics from independent sellers, but you need to be aware that there are also people out there who do not put their customer’s safety and concerns first. Because Zora Cosmetics refuses to own up to their errors, won’t list accurate ingredients, and is continuing to claim their neon pigments are eye safe, I have no choice but to warn others about their company. This is not me being a “hater”, I simply don’t want independent cosmetics sellers to get a bad reputation because certain companies don’t do their research and are willing to put their customers in harms way to create neon eyeshadow. And yes, I understand that the European Union has different standards as far as neon pigments go, but this is referring to a shop that is based in the U.S., selling their items to U.S. customers. This is the reason Sleek Makeup cannot sell the Acid palette legally in the U.S.

Here is a screen shot of colors she currently has for sale, as of this post. There is no way that several of these do not contain soap dyes or at least lake dyes that are not eye approved.

Here is the statement, directly from TKB Trading, a popular cosmetic wholesale supplier that many companies get their ingredients from. They openly state that using soap dyes for cosmetics is dangerous: 

“The colors are not cosmetic-grade and so may not be used in cosmetics, but they are great for soap.  They have been tested by Duke University and verified to be “non-toxic”. 

6/11/2011 Update: Despite the fact that we have already advised people that the product is not cosmetic grade, and the label on the product so states, we consistently hear of people reselling this powder and advertising as OK for use in cosmetics. This includes: eye shadow, bath bombs, lotions, shampoos, etc. TKB Trading, LLC emphatically reasserts that this product is not approved for cosmetic use. It may only be used in soap, which is not a cosmetic per the FDA. In order to put a stop to the misuse of this product, we are adding a “required” checkbox which states that you understand these facts.”

Non-Eye Safe Dyes that Zora Cosmetics appears to be using (as of this post):
Lime Green- TKB Neon Green (Not approved for cosmetic use)
Neon Yellow-: TKB Neon Yellow (Not approved for cosmetic use) or Cosmetic Fluorescent Yellow (USA: General cosmetic uses, not Eye.)
EU: All cosmetics, including Eye.
Perfect Pink- TKB Neon Pink (Not approved for cosmetic use) or Cosmetic Fluorescent Strong Pink (USA: General cosmetic uses, including Lip but not Eye.
EU: All cosmetics, including Eye.)
Orange Red- TKB Cosmetic Fluorescent Red Orange (USA: External cosmetic uses, not Lip and not Eye.
EU: All cosmetics, including Eye.
Epic Orange- FD&C Yellow 6 (Not Approved for use on the eye) or Neon Orange (Not approved for cosmetic use)
Here’s another article I found on Zora Cosmetics from another concerned blogger:
The Miseducation of Zora Cosmetics

It really annoys me that these kind of business pop up all of the time. Many of these companies think its easy to start up and run a cosmetics business; it takes a lot of research and creativity to create safe and affective cosmetic products. Selling and creating cosmetics is not something that should be taken lightly; consumers that are concerned with people’s safety have a right to speak up and inform other consumers to beware of companies who think they can get away with using soap dyes in an unintended fashion.

12 Responses

  1. Jess says:

    Thanks a lot for this Post, i totally agree with you.
    Can´t stand brands lying about their products, we the consumers have to trust them when they say to be cruelty free or vegan or organic coz many times its impossible to know where they get their stuff.
    As for Zora Cosmetics its very ANNOYING when the mistakes are so evident and its not professional to say “im allowed to make mistakes coz im 16”, that’s crap.
    Somebody will sue her someday and she is gonna have to face it.

    Thanks again for the info and glad i research before buying :)
    Cheers smart doll!

  2. Melissa W. says:

    She seems upset now on her facebook page.

    I have to say, I wouldn’t want to buy makeup from a 16 year old. Not only do I not trust her to make a safe product/follow all regulations, I don’t trust her with my billing information and credit card, haha.

  3. Hottie McNaughty says:

    From her FB page:

    Dear Zora Cosmetics Fans,

    I have temporarily shut down my website. This is because I will be reformulating all of my eye shadows so that they are all 100% safe, 100% vegan, and 100% UNIQUE! Due to some misunderstanding on my part. I will need to completely revamp EVERYTHING! I am willing to do this because I love makeup and I want to be successful and share my passion and love for cosmetics with the world!

    I thank you for your patience while I work on these new formulas and I promise that the wait will be worth it!

    Zora Cosmetics

    • veggiebeauty says:

      glad to hear this…I was never trying to flame anyone, I just don’t want anyone to get hurt and my comments got deleted on their facebook page. I will keep my eye on things and I hope that she will take time to learn how to safely make cosmetics and learn what her ingredients are.

      • Hottie McNaughty says:

        There were quite a few people who tried to reach out to her, including me. I suffered chemical burns on my eyes from non FDA approved ingredients so I take it seriously. I sent her info in a non-judgemental way but she’s 16 and I think it’s hard for a lot of 16 year olds to take any kind of feedback. I have a feeling perhaps an adult stepped in as the grammar in the statements above was a big improvement to what we’d seen previously.

        • veggiebeauty says:

          I completely understand and it saddens me that anyone would consider doing this, but I’ve seen many indie companies flame indie reputations by pulling stunts like this. It gives a bad name to those who work really hard to provide safe and unique product…its not okay to sell non-cosmetic ingredient as an eyeshadow.

          I couldn’t sleep at night if I did that. Its just plain greedy and non-ethical to not read warning labels on your ingredients before you use them. I really don’t think they did much research into how to safely make cosmetics judging by the ingredients the did post for their eyeshadows. Those ingredients do not make an eyeshadow! Maybe a very odd lip product? I hope the parents are getting involved for everyone’s sake..they are the ones who are going to have to pay if she gets sued since she’s underage.

  4. Amie says:

    It’s crazy that there are so many companies with unsafe products and they don’t care. I work in the cosmetic industry ( 17 years now in a manufacturing lab) and seeing this makes me sick. I run a website that list unsafe/bad indie companies ( with proof) look like I have another to watch and add. Thanks for the great post.

  5. “Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the source?”

    • veggiebeauty says:

      Basically, you can never be 100% postive on a source unless you visit them in person. You have to go with your gut and decide if you trust a particular company. Any company in the U.S. who is selling neon pigments as eyeshadows are setting unsafe and illegal standards in their shop.

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