Carmine (Karmin) is a red pigment also known as cochineal and E120, that can be found in everything from make-up, candy, painting, and sodas. Carmine gets its red color from carmine-acid that comes from drying and crushing lice, yes lice. Those little bugs that tends to crawl on your scalp and itch the living hell out you? Those exact ones.
Being vegan, to me the most important thing was that it wasn’t tested on beautiful fluffy creatures, nor contained anything from these animals. It never bothered me where the pigment/color actually came from, when it comes to make-up that is. I don’t mind wearing some insect/bug on my lips, may sound insane to some of you, and others may think like me.
But I sure as hell stay away from candy and surgery sodas, I may wear it, but I sure don’t want it inside my body, spreading itself through my entire system. It’s quite repulsing once you think about it, where humans get their ideas and methods to create these colors and everything in-between.
The colorful shield-lice are naturally from Central America, where they live on some cactus species. The red color obtained by lice is dried and ground to a powder.
Everything that is red, pink, and brown makeup on the shelves – such as blush, lipstick, nail polish, and eye shadow – may contain cochineal.