overall rating:



Elaine Lor
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I feel cheated because I was googling “sustainable makeup brands” and somehow Kosas ended up popping up. I was really excited because I’ve seen a lot of youtubers rave about Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation and it would’ve been awesome if it was also environmentally friendly. However, my dreams were crushed. There is nothing sustainable about the foundation or the brand and their only redeeming quality is their ingredient list and leaping bunny certification. I just don’t like how having clean ingredients is somehow equated with being sustainable. It takes so much more effort and transparency to be sustainable than it is to be clean. I also had a major issue with the lack of darker shade range and for $42, this foundation should have more than than one selling point besides being clean. So because there was no information about their source of materials, who makes the foundation, or the life cycle of it’s products, Kosas get’s nothing but a 0.25 planet.

What it's made of:


Kosas whole brand is about combing skin health and makeup, so they really emphasize using clean ingredients. 
The ingredient list was pretty easy to follow because they used recognizable names like “avocado”, “sunflower”, and “jojoba”. Usually you see lists that are 15+ingredients and have names that don’t even seem real. So it was nice to see how transparent Kosas was about their ingredients and it was consistent with their overall brand mission. Also, all their products are cruelty free, talc free, and paraben free. They specifically have the leaping bunny certification which means that through every step of production, no animals are tested on and those guidelines must be followed everywhere they sell their products. While their energy for clean ingredients and cruelty free products is great, it would be nice to see the same energy for sustainability. There’s literally no information about what packaging is used or how to recycle it, so I really can’t find a reason to give them anything but a low rating.

How it's made:


I feel like because Kosas is a relatively new brand, roughly 6 years old, they really could’ve stood out by learning from the mistakes of their peers. However, they totally ignored that opportunity and instead followed the norms of other major brands with their lack of transparency. I cannot find anything about how this foundation is made and there’s such a lack of information that you can tell their website editor absolutely struggled with their “about us” page. Because honestly that whole page is three short sentences spaced out very far apart with big pictures and bold letters to distract you from realizing that you’ve learned nothing about them except they like to be clean. So it would be great to see more information about where they source materials and more about the manufacturing processes. Otherwise, this foundation gets a big zero from me.

Who makes it:


Slightly more helpful than the “about us'” page, Kosas FAQ page was able to tell me they manufacture their products in the US, Italy, and Korea. After that, their helpfulness ends because there was nothing about how the workers are treated, working conditions in those countries, or even the company's ethics. I also have no idea no idea who exactly made the foundation. Kosas shows me the same lack of transparency and information that I've seen with many other makeup brands and just like those makeup brands, I can't give Kosas a higher rating until I start to see more transparency.
Besides the lack of transparency, the source of Kosas materials is questionable as well. Kosas whole brand is about having clean ingredients and so far it’s consistent with the Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation, but one ingredient that worries me is mica. Mica is known for giving highlighter’s their signature “glow“ so it’s no surprise to see it’s rise in popularity. However, the problem isn’t about the effects of mica, but how mica is extracted. The mica mining industry was exposed for using child labor and inhumane working conditions with high risk of injury and death. As one of the main ingredients and the large controversy around mica, Kosas should be more transparent about who they source their materials from. Until Kosas releases more information, I really can’t give them a higher rating.