Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Buyer Beware- Coastal Scents Cellini Red

**I would like to make it unequivocally clear that I have no knowledge that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics ever purchased Cellini Red from Coastal Scents. This post is about an ingredient supplier and it's effect on several MMU companies and is being posted for informational purposes as Coastal Scents has not made the information public. If you are a formulator or a person who purchased Cellini Red for personal use please take a moment to check the approved uses. Though the company is not publicly acknowledging a usage change there is a chance that what you have been sold may not be used for what you intended.**

Coastal Scents Cellini Red listing has changed on their site. Once listed as safe for eye use, it is now only listed as approved for lips, face, and nails.There has been no effort on the part of CS to notify customers of this change and the issue was only brought to light by the diligence of a formulator. In the last five days five indie companies have had to issue recalls due to the use of Cellini Red in eye products. These companies were not contacted by CS themselves, but instead discovered the issue themselves, were notifed by me, or shared the information with each other. As of this post the only usage change that was found was with Cellini Red.

I emailed Coastal Scents last week to find out if Cellini Red had been reformulated and when the safe usage had changed. Here was their response:
Dear Frances

Thank you for your inquiry.  As stated on our website the Cellini Red Mica (MP-024) is only approved for use on lips, face, and nails.  We have not reformulated this product and it is not safe for use on the eyes due to Pigment Red 57.  We trust this information was helpful and any further questions please advise.

Best regards
Coastal Scents
As you can see while the question of reformulation was answered, the timeframe for when the safe usage changes occurred was not.

The formulator who originally contacted CS about Cellini Red did so back in February 2011. She was concerned as she had placed an order for a full jar of Cellini Red and the ingredients on the jar did not match the sample she had previously been sent. The jar listed Red 7 Lake, which is not approved for eye use. The label on the jar clearly states that the Cellini Red she was sent not only contains Red 7 Lake, but is approved for eye use:

Prior to contacting CS she looked for a Material Data Safety Sheet but there was not one available. As of this post there is still no MSDS sheet on the Coastal Scents site for Cellini Red (or any of the Cellini's for that matter).

The formulator then contacted Coastal Scents for the information. Their correspondence is as follows (edited only to remove personally identifying information:

According to this correspondence and the MSDS sheet that Coastal Scents sent (which can be viewed here) Cellini Red did not contain Red 7 Lake and it was a labeling issue that was corrected as of February 23, 2011. Cellini Red actually contains Pigment Red 57, a derivative of Red 7.  Pigment Red 57 is also not approved for eye use. What appeared to be a swift response and a correction from Coastal Scents was not all that is was cracked up to be.

The formulator ordered another jar of Cellini Red on February 25, 2011 to check the revised labeling.

The labels had been updated to change the ingredient list to include Pigment Red 57 instead of Red 7 Lake, but still indicated that it was approved for eyes, lips, face, and nails.  Here is a photo of both jars together.

Even after the issue was brought to CS attention in February the labels were still incorrect, listing CR as safe for eyes when it wasn't. The site, however, still listed it as safe for eye use. The formulator at that point shelved Cellini Red until she could determine what exactly the safe uses were.  

The formulator contacted CS again last week after reviewing her recipes and was assured on July 20, 2011 that the labeling and usage issue had been corrected as of February 23, 2011. Cellini Red was not approved for eye use. The information at that point had also been updated on the CS site.

Here is a jar purchased by another formulator in early May 2011.

The label clearly states it contains Pigment Red 57 but also states it is approved for eye use.

Unfortunately I was unable to locate the previous listings for Cellini Red using Google cache, but in checking out CS reviews for CR I found that initially it was not sold as eye safe, a fact that changed around March 5, 2010.

It is unknown at this point when, exactly, the approved uses were actually updated on the CS site. We know that Pigment Red 57 was changed from Red 7 Lake on the label as of late February (as evidenced by the photos), but the label still lists it as approved for eyes. This continued until at least May 2011, as per the photo from the other formulator. The issue of the safe usage of Cellini Red was brought to CS attention almost 4 months ago, but no customers who actually purchased CR were alerted as to any changes in those uses by the company, and when questioned about it this week by myself the company simply stated it wasn't eye approved, glossing over the fact that it was (and continued to be as of May 2011) sold as such. If the change was made on the CS site as of February 23, 2011, why do the labels still say approved for eye use? Why didn't CS alert any of their customers who purchased Cellini Red that the usage had changed? Why is there no MSDS sheet for CR on the Coastal Scents site even now?

It is extremely important to note that this issue stems from Coastal Scents handling of the approved usage changes, and not any formulator or Indie MMU company. Had it not been for the original formulators diligence in checking and double checking uses and ingredients the issue would never have been brought to light. In an attempt to give Coastal Scents the chance to inform customers themselves (though they've already had 4 months to do so)  I held off on this post. I did reach out to as many formulators as I knew to let them know of the change. Each and every one of them immediately pulled their affected shades, contacted customers, and issued a recall. With the climate being what it is today in Indie MMU I feel it is imperative that people know not only about the Cellini Red issue, but about the professional, swift, and safe way these formulators handled the situation.

At this point it is unknown how, or even if, Coastal Scents will address the Cellini Red issue. When I contacted them they did not offer to make any sort of correction for the CR previously being sold as eye safe, though I told them it had been used to formulate eye products. The original formulator was not offered any sort of corrective measures either. A third formulator is still awaiting a response. Their Return Policy only covers products purchased within 30 days, and even then the product must be returned to CS for refund, an impossibility when it has already been distributed. Here is the disclaimer Coastal Scents currently has posted on the MSDS page. Whether or not this disclaimer will hold true for Cellini Red, which is not listed in the MSDS page, remains to be seen.


  1. People do such grimy things. =[

  2. Thank you for making me aware of this. I was just about to debut my MMU line and since at least 4 colors have Cellini red, I'll be holding off and reformulating. It REALLY makes me mad that CS didn't let any of us know. It makes me scared to trust MMU ingredient companies. *shakes head*

  3. Jerzy- I am so sorry to hear about this. I was really looking forward to your line. I know Candy has a line on a similar mica so you may want to touch base with her. I have a followup post later tonight I'll get up as well so you may want to check some other ingredients, depending on when you purchased. I'd PM you on it now but my research is on the laptop and I'm mobile at the moment.


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