Going against the grain: Smashbox's Mother Earth palette

Smashbox me In honor of Earth Day today I'm looking at Smashbox's new Mother Earth palette.  It rivals Cargo's PlantLove line in that it features both organic products (4 eye shadows and a blush) and packaging made from sustainable materials.  And for every palette purchased a tree will be planted by Trees for the Future, which is also a strategy adopted by Cargo. 
As our planet gets more polluted and global warming increases, let's hope more companies come out with more environmentally-friendly packaging and products.  It's becoming more common now, but it's still not totally mainstream.  I'd love to walk into Sephora and have each and every product be organic and come in recyclable/compostable packaging that also didn't harm the environment during production.  Hopefully this will be a reality in a few years.  In any case, Happy Earth Day! 

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News brief: innovations in cosmetic packaging decorations

According to this article by Cosmetic Design Europe, a company called RPC Beauté has created two new ways to decorate cosmetic packages:  HotFix and EcoCoat.  Hotfix is an automated process for setting gemstones into plastic.  Up to now, placing stones into plastic had to be done by hand, rather than mass-produced, which upped the price of the finished item.  RPC Beauté general manager Gerald Martines noted that with HotFix, "capacity can match typical production outputs for million-unit ‘blockbuster’ launches as well as limited ensuring a uniformity of cost in affixing stones to the pack, the biggest decision facing brands is how much to spend on the stones themselves.”  Does this mean we can get emerald-studded compacts and ruby-encrusted lipsticks for mere pennies?   Probably not, but I thought this was a pretty interesting development.

The other innovation is Eco-Coat, a new environmentally-friendly alternative to varnishing on plastic but one that looks just as nice.  Eco-Coat does not emit the greenhouse gases the way regular varnish does, and the fact that it is thinner than varnish coats means "logistics and handling are significantly simplified and reduced."   What's more, it can come in a variety of finishes, including metallic.  Shiny AND eco-friendly?!  I'll be waiting to see which company employs this new technique first - will it be the usual suspects (Cargo or Urban Decay) or a cosmetics giant like L'Oreal?  Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Panda food as packaging: Urban Decay Sustainable Shadow Box

Move over, Cargo PlantLove!  Urban Decay's newest palette, the Sustainable Shadow Box, contains ten eyeshadows that sit in recycled paper and a cruelty-free brush to apply them, while the cover is made out of eco-friendly bamboo.  I think the use of this material is pretty ingenious.  I've seen clothing made out of bamboo before, but not cosmetics.  According to Cosmetics and Personal Care Packaging, the palette is the first in the industry to make use of bamboo.  


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Urban Decay says the designs on the palette's cover are supposed to be "reminiscent of your high school notebook".  But a not-so-environmentally friendly silk-screen and lacquering process was used for the designs.  "'We tried to use greener decorating options, but unfortunately, they didn't work very well,' says Nick Gardner, vice president of sales, HCT Packaging USA (Los Angeles). The decision was made to with the best option that looked best, aesthetically." Thus it seems that there still lies a conflict between green packaging and aesthetics - the technology hasn't come quite full circle yet in terms of hip, modern design.  (The use of corn-based plastic - the kind used to package Cargo's PlantLove line -  may have offered more eco-friendly design options, but still required the use of oil in its manufacturing.)   While Urban Decay acknowledges the palette isn't as green as it possibly could be, I think that the company, along with Cargo, has done an excellent job in leading the way towards greener packaging without sacrificing design.  I'm hoping more cosmetics companies follow their lead.  They strive to stay on top of the latest trends in product ingredients or even products in general (case in point:  nearly all makeup lines now have at least one or two mineral makeup items in their lineup after Bare Escentuals products became best-sellers) so they should compete to see who can come up with the greenest, chicest packaging.  

Groovy, baby! Cargo's expanded PlantLove line

Cargo plantloveI was browsing Sephora online (one of the Curator's favorite activities, of course) and discovered that Cargo has created an entire line of PlantLove products.  The extensive lineup includes blush, highlighter, mineral foundation, lip gloss and eye shadow, all of which are paraben- and phalate-free and are housed in biodegradable (not to mention adorable) packaging.   According to Sephora, the plastic cases are "100% compostable" and is made from plant-based plastic that is  "green house gas neutral and doesn't contribute to global warming." 

I've posted about the cute and environmentally sound PlantLove lipstick packaging before, and I'm so glad Cargo expanded the line - not just because it's eco-friendly and contains natural ingredients , but because these new items feature slightly different packaging than the original lipsticks.  ;)  I definitely need to get my hands on some of these!

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Friday Fun: Cargo Plant Love lipsticks

P172734_hero The Curator still has not gotten around to purchasing one of these yet, but really should.  The 60s-inspired packaging of Cargo's PlantLove lipsticks caught my attention when they were first released over a year ago.  This sort of hippie-esque packaging isn't something you see all that much in cosmetics.  Then I discovered that the groovy design correlates to a much bigger idea - biodegradable, eco-friendly packaging.  The lipstick tube is made out of corn, while the outer box contains wildflower seeds that can actually be planted.  And that's not all:  two dollars from every lipstick sold goes to St. Jude's Research Hospital.  PlantLove lipsticks are proof that companies can create artistic, interesting packaging while being environmentally conscious.  

For more on these, check out  Here you can also plant a virtual flower - for every one planted at the site, Cargo makes a donation to Conservation International.  

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