I noticed this evening that inexpensive make up brands MUA (Make Up Academy, which has its own website and is also for sale in Superdrug stores in the UK and on the Superdrug website) and VIVO (which has its own website and is also for sale in Tesco stores) come from the same beauty wholesaler. I noticed because I made a VIVO order tonight (I was lured in by the 3 for 2 offer) and also chased up a hugely delayed MUA order.
The paypal names matched up - FB Beauty Ltd. They're a beauty and perfume wholesaler with an address in London (probably for tax purposes) and offices in Cheadle Royal. The Paypal payments I made to both VIVO and MUA go to the same man, Martin Wormser. A quick search of the Companies House website revealed he is director of FB Beauty, who supply make up for people including the make up spin offs for the TV show TOWIE; as well as Accessorize and Look Beauty. *EDIT* they also make Famous Makeup as when I ordered from them my Paypal receipt was from FB Beauty. FB Beauty is part of an American company called Wormser Corp. Wormser Corp are a company who design and make whole ranges of make up and perfumes for brands. Wormser Corp have offices in New Jersey, California, Texas, UK, Germany and Shanghai, according to their website. Their factories are in China.
So far from buying English products, we're actually buying products made in China, with the money going to the US, just so you know. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but it's nice to know where things come from.
Did you know a lot of different make up brands are made by the same company? Does it bother you?
This is just another reminder for me to find out the provenance of things before I buy.
I don't feel great about people toiling away in Chinese factories, probably for a pittance and in horrid conditions. It raises some uncomfortable questions. I hope these people are getting a fair wage. Do we know enough about where things come from? Are our clothes made in sweatshops or do workers get a fair wage? Are we adding to pollution in these high-volume manufacturing countries?
Playing Devil's Advocate, you could say if everything wasn't made in
China, it'd only be somewhere else. What's more important - a bargain or
moral/social responsibility? I have all of the questions and none of
the answers, I'm afraid. I'm trying to live a kinder life but I'm more
confused than ever. I think asking myself uncomfortable questions is
good. It's OK for me not to know all the answers. I think the important
thing is I still ask them of myself and question what sits right with my
own beliefs and morals.
When you can buy a lipstick from MUA for £1 and a lipstick from VIVO for £2, is there a difference in quality or are we just paying for better packaging? Not necessarily. I find the MUA lipsticks to be slightly drying, whereas my favourite VIVO lippies are always in my make up bag as they're so moisturising. When it comes to some things like eyeshadow, the MUA shades are so smooth and pigmented already, you could argue why spend more than £1 for a single or £3-4 for a palette unless something else is the selling point? For instance I really enjoy the sexy animal print Famous Makeup packaging and don't mind paying a bit extra for it, and if they have different colours on offer to MUA or VIVO then I'll happily snap them up. Really, I'm just so glad these affordable make up ranges are all cruelty free.
I don't hold anyone else to account over their beliefs and never would. I believe in agreeing to disagree if no common ground can be found. I believe your opinion is just as valid as mine is, even if we differ. A bargain is always a bargain and times are tough right now. We all make our own decisions and live with them. What sits right with you is really none of my bees' wax, unless of course you want to chip in with a comment.
By the way, if you were wondering if VIVO is tested on animals, I did some research here
on the Tesco website (PDF - do CTRL+F 'animal testing' to find the
relevant patch of text to see for yourself.) It says: We do not support
testing on animals for cosmetic or household products, and do not carry
out or commission such tests on our own-brand products or the
ingredients they contain. We support the Fund for the Replacement of
Animals in Medical Experimentation (FRAME), which seeks to end animal
Thanks for reading.