S06 Episode 272 | Revealing lipstick's dirty little secrets & questioning the beauty industry's lack of regulation with Angela Weinberg of Kolorete


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In episode 272, Kestrel welcomes Angela Weinberg, the cofounder of Kolorete, to the show. A luxury color cosmetics brand, KOLORETE is focused on creating hydrating lipsticks made with organic ingredients.

“Lip balms and lip products are traditionally very underregulated. So, when we think of this organic, consumerism ecosystem and conversation, what do we usually think about? I think we usually think about food … it’s less common, less mainstream to think about how the lipstick that we apply to our lips or even the makeup we apply to our face — you know, our skin is an organ, and especially with lipstick, it’s connected to our mouth so we can really consume lipstick the same way we would consume our food.”

This week, we’re talking lipstick … that oh-so-fun tint so many of us don our lips with.

Taking a step back — you could say lipstick is popular. According to Allied Market Research, the lipstick market size was valued at $8.2 billion in 2018, and is expected to reach $12.5 billion by 2026.

But just like fashion – the beauty industry is largely unregulated, making it another prime space notorious for greenwashing its way into the “sustainability scene”.

This week’s guest is working to build a more thoughtful lipstick brand – it’s made of 98% organic ingredients, and she actually dreamed up the recipe in her own kitchen. But most lipsticks today aren’t that clean.

In a 2013 study done at UC Berkeley, 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores were tested. Through this research, they detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of them being at levels that could raise potential health concerns.

Alarming? For sure. As this week’s guest points out, synthetic ingredients dominate conventional beauty product recipes. Can you guess one of the recurring synthetic ingredients in lip colors? Yup, it’s petroleum, AKA oil, again — petroleum fashion and petroleum beauty.

What can we watch for when we seek out beauty products? What can we do to advocate better options in the marketplace? What regulation is missing from the equation in the U.S. today? These are just a few of the questions we explore with Angela.

Quotes & links from the conversation:

  • "One of the things I wanted to bring to KOLORETE is that idea that quality matters — the quality of the ingredients, the quality of the manufacturing, the materials, the people, the messaging — and quality should be available at any price point and it should be very accessible.” -Angela

  • *Kestrel misspoke on the documentary she recently started watching — it was actually called Toxic Beauty

  • Kolorete’s Website >

  • Follow Kolorete on Instagram >

This week's episode is brought to you by Organic Basics is a carbon-neutral, Copenhagen-based brand creating underwear, activewear and everyday essentials. If you’re interested in checking them out, you can use code CONSCIOUS10 to get 10% off. FYI – I don't receive any commissions.

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