The word “CoverGirl” can invoke a lot of different emotions- for some people, it’s their go-to value brand. For those of us that believe beauty should be inclusive (of all people and our animal friends), the brand in the past may have presented us with the struggle of wanting affordable and quality makeup that holds ethical values. We as consumers are becoming more aware and demanding transparency from companies. Luckily, some of that inner turmoil can finally come to an end with the brand’s recent efforts to uphold more ethnical standards. CoverGirl has announced that they are eliminating animal testing and are now cruelty-free, making them the largest makeup retailer in the world to do so! The brand has been Leaping Bunny certified by Cruelty-Free International, with the company’s CEO stating, “The Leaping Bunny certification of COVERGIRL marks a new milestone in this area as the largest makeup brand to be certified cruelty free after having met our rigorous criteria.  It demonstrates how it’s possible to be an accessible and innovative brand without inflicting suffering on animals. We hope today’s announcement encourages more cosmetics companies to do the right thing.”

I have to admit, when I first heard the news I was a little suspicious about how a beauty giant like CoverGirl could actually pull off all the technicalities that come with being 100% cruelty-free. However, the company has completely pulled their products out of China and stopped all production in the country, where testing of all cosmetics on animals is required by law. This is a giant leap forward for the cruelty-free beauty movement. While the movement has been gaining traction over the years and has been popularized by vegan influencers and bloggers, having a well-recognized drugstore brand take a bold stance behind the cause is incredibly influential in spreading awareness and helping other brands realize how simple it is to ditch animal testing. Fingers crossed that more companies will follow suit so that cruelty-free beauty can be affordable and accessible to everyone.

 

While we LOVE what CoverGirl is doing for our furry friends, we can’t overlook another group that typically gets left out in the beauty community. For women of color and those of those with deep skin tones, the struggle to find foundations and concealers with the same nuisances of shades of makeup catering to the white consumer can be seriously real. CoverGirl has taken the initiative to become more shade inclusive with products such as their Trublend Foundation, a 40 shade range that claims to match 99% of skin tones. While I’m not completely sold on the science (99% seems like an awfully big claim), the brand deserves credit for putting in actual effort and acknowledging that this is a real issue within the beauty world.

The beauty behemoth’s products aren’t the only thing that’s gotten a major overhaul recently, as their marketing has taken a new approach to promoting inclusivity. CoverGirl’s iconic “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” slogan has also been traded for the new bold phrase “I Am What I Make Up”, aiming for a more empowering message that focuses on how badass babes we can be outside of our appearances. Issa Rae and Ayesha Curry have also been brought on as ambassadors who are committed to helping CoverGirl become a brand where everyone can find something that makes them feel confident

CoverGirl has also addressed an issue that a lot of companies tend to tiptoe around- forced labor, child labor, and modern day slavery. Parent Company Coty Inc. stated in a press release that the sourcing and manufacturing of its products are completely free of any slave labor. They’ve got the regulations in place to back it up as well, with a Supply Chain Code of Conduct that their business partners must comply with. CoverGirl also has begun conducting supply chain analyses through a third party called EcoVadis that evaluates the risk of forced or child labor in each step of their production. One of the most harmful and widespread incidences of child labor that occurs in the beauty industry is the use of child labor in mica mining, a mineral that is used for many glitter and sparkle products. The brand has joined the Responsible Mica Initiative to make sure their supply of the mineral has been ethically sourced.

 

CoverGirl has taken giant strides towards proving that even beauty giants like themselves can easily uphold ethical standards by becoming cruelty and child labor free, as well as inclusive. We hope to see more brands following their lead in the future.