Consumer Burnout, Exploitation and the Dark Side of That Glowing Complexion.

Today’s post is not for the faint of heart. It seems we are living in a never ending cycle of bad news, corruption and exploitation. It can be easy and tempting to tune out. On the whole the U.S and the west in general are suffering from bad news fatigue and I don’t mean to add to the dismay but I am. The fashion industry has been hit for a number of years now with negative stories of exploitation and the less then positive impact fast fashion is having on the environment.

And I thought with beauty products we were a bit safer when it came to exploitation But alas this is not the case. Refinery 29 recently did an eye opening story on the cosmetic industry’s appetite for mica and how this much sought after natural element is produced. Who would think that our desire for bright glowing complexions could have such a dark side.”

“The issue is complicated—just banning real mica or not buying products made with real mica does not solve the underlying problem of a lack of work in third world countries and the lack of governmental oversight in these countries and governments of the west turning a blind eye.”

This is not to say that consumers should not be responsible but at the same time, it is government officials that are being paid to have oversight, and yet time and time again it is left to the consumer to make a difference. A consumer base that is already burnt out on a cycle of doom.

Watch this video, it is important and what say you? How do think this could be resolved? You can also read more here.

Images via Refinery29


Allie founder and creative director for ALLIE NYC

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram



  1. May 27, 2019 / 10:38 am

    The local authorities should really step up on their measures & make the world a better place for all to live in. Great sharing, babe! xoxo

  2. May 27, 2019 / 10:50 am

    Thank you for sharing. Yes, this topic is more imporant as we are sometimes aware off and this video is really important. Personally, I try to be as conscious as possible also when buying cosmetics but I see that I still don’t have any necessary information for my decisions.
    xx Rena

  3. May 27, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    This is an issue I remember reading about awhile back and it’s a good thing it has resurfaced because it is indeed very disturbing and alarming. While the attention is good, something really needs to be done to stop these terrible child labour practices. Maybe a human rights group can step in to help but at the same time companies really need to take a closer look at their supply chains and provide transparency while consumers need to do their research and support brands that practice ethical mica mining

  4. May 27, 2019 / 2:58 pm

    Wow this is really eye opening. Thank you for sharing this Allie.

  5. May 27, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    That´s terrible Allie!!
    I must see in my products if they have mica!!
    Lush has a great policy!!
    Its so sad what is happening!! Poor sweet childs!!

  6. May 27, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    I watched the entire video. Thanks for raising awareness as I had no clue what mica was. It’s heartbreaking to watch these children who don’t have a childhood being used by others, so that they can make a profit. From now on, I will pay more attention to hte kind of make up I’m buying.

    Anouk |

  7. May 27, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    Wow I hadn’t known. Thanks for sharing.

  8. May 28, 2019 / 9:22 am

    I also heard that problem, and I am so sad.
    There are different traps in the world, so your post is so great!
    Thank you for sharing!!
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog <3


  9. May 28, 2019 / 2:13 pm

    Even I had seen this video, so happy that you sharing it ahead doing one of our step to stop this

  10. May 28, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    It’s crazy how unethical and unsustainable so many fashion and beauty practices are- I think learning about them is key to fixing the issue. They’re complicated, of course; there isn’t an easy fix-it-quick solution. But getting educated on the reality is the first step!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  11. May 28, 2019 / 8:26 pm

    Wow this is so sad~ But this is the real life

  12. May 28, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    This is such a sad story, true and sad story. As a consumer we can only monitorate the list of ingredients and stop using products with ingredients harvested using underpaid manwork or slavery, or that put at risk the health of our planet. I for example stay as far as possible from palm oil, silicones and mineral oils. I wasn’t aware of the problems with the extraction of mica but a informed person is an aware citizen that could discourage such techniques.
    Have a beautiful evening!

  13. May 28, 2019 / 11:38 pm

    Very nice❣

  14. May 28, 2019 / 11:38 pm

    This is such a different post from the other blogs I’ve read today – it’s so authentic and eye-opening… I wish authorities would get their act together!!! This has made me angry but it needs to be acknowledged and dealt with! Well done!!!

  15. May 29, 2019 / 1:51 am

    Thanks for sharing this. This is such a sad story.
    Hope everyone can notice this and do something to help these children.

    xo, Joling

  16. May 29, 2019 / 1:57 am

    Wow, this was really eye opening. I had no idea that mica is what they used to get shimmer in makeup and how they get it. It is heartbreaking what those kids go through. There’s no easy solution but having brands be more transparent about their supply chain and to support the kids there to help them get an education is definitely a start. Brands shouldn’t stop using mica altogether since that’s what these families live on, but there definitely is a better way of getting it. Thank you so much for sharing this Allie.

  17. May 29, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    Oh wow I had no idea this was happening! It’s definitely been more and more in the news lately about the damage fast fashion can do but I never thought of makeup being similar. Luckily I buy even less makeup than I do clothes, haha! I have been curbing my shopping a lot more lately.

    Hope that your week has been going well 🙂

  18. May 30, 2019 / 12:07 pm

    This is really terrible, I won’t buy products with mica anymore.
    But I think that it’s the fault of government officials, when it comes to their profits, they do not have any rules.

  19. June 2, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    so sad to learn about the dark side of beauty industry. I wasn’t familiar with mica or the issues surrounded with it, but I’m very aware of the hypocrisy of western politicians. I think we need to realize that as consumers we have power. If we stop or reduce our consumption of unethical brands and products, we can make a difference.

  20. June 3, 2019 / 1:58 pm

    I never realized this was happening. It’s horrendous to see these child labor practices existing. I really hope the companies themselves find alternatives or create more sustainable, traceable and safe supply chains.

Looking for Something?