Make Up For Ever Watertone Foundation

overall rating:



Sally Tang
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This Watertone foundation is Make Up For Ever’s first step into the green beauty industry. This foundation is made with 94% natural origin ingredients, containing no animal-derived ingredients, and has mostly safe-to-use ingredients. It also comes in a recyclable glass bottle and cardboard packaging sourced from sustainably managed forests and has complementary tools that also have sustainable elements. The fact that they consider packaging and tools makes the experience more all-round. I believe that this product is a good start for Make Up For Ever to be sustainable, but also think that they should speed up in putting these elements into all of their products. Despite having this product, the company itself is very upsetting in the lack of transparency. There isn’t any information regarding the production, source of materials, nor their social and environmental commitments. The only related commitments found are from their parent company LVMH, but even some of these commitments are quite vague and exaggerated. Although the product seemed quite good, the fact that Make Up For Ever hid a lot of information is disappointing and not acceptable.

What it's made of:


This product is made with 94% natural origin ingredients, containing no animal-derived ingredients, parabens, silicones, or other concerning chemicals like polyethylene glycol (PEGs) and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). It contains less than 1% fragrance. On its website, it clearly states that 94% was calculated based on the ISO Standard 16128 Part II and supplier data. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations who develop and publish worldwide technical, industrial, and commercial standards. The part Make Up For Ever quoted describes approaches to calculate natural origins for cosmetics. Make Up For Ever also explained the remaining 6% is used for texture and stability. Although this provides more transparency, it still does not tell consumers whether the 6% are toxic or not. When delving into the list of ingredients, most of them are safe to use and have less risk of allergies, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) certificationThis system ranks the safety of chemicals used in different products on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the safest); they also certify products that are totally free of harmful chemicals. Among all ingredients, only chlorphenesin might cause moderate irritation and allergies, whereas sodium hydroxide and sodium benzoate have very mild reactions. Overall, the ingredients seemed quite safe, and most have a natural origin and are not animal-derived. However, Make Up For Ever did not provide any further details regarding its sources, which is upsetting. 

This foundation’s glass bottle is 100% recyclable (but they did not launch any recycling program). The cardboard packaging is sourced from sustainably managed forests, and the complementary tools also have sustainable elements. The sponge is latex-free and encased in a 100% recyclable plastic box made from 30% recyclable materials, while the artisan brush #116 is made with synthetic fibres and an eco-label beechwood handle. At first sight, this is encouraging as they considered the packaging and the related tools that might be required by customers, creating a more all-around sustainable experience. However, when viewing with higher standards, they can actually stop using cardboard packaging (some brands already entirely eradicated cardboard packaging) and not sell sponges because sponges have to be replaced quite frequently.

How it's made:


Make Up For Ever did not provide any information regarding its production process, labour practices, nor their place of manufacturing. There is also no information regarding its manufacturing process from other internet sources. This lack of transparency is very disappointing. I would also bear in mind that its parent company, LVMH, is known for unethical labour practices, making the whole production process even more suspicious when no information is known. Since Make Up For Ever’s products are sold in over 60 countries and there are more than 3200 points of sale around the world, no matter where the products are produced, a large amount of worldwide shipping has definitely caused huge amounts of carbon emissions through air travel. According to PETA, although Make Up For Ever does not voluntarily do animal testing, they are still willing to do animal tests when required by law, hence they are not cruelty-free. 

Who makes it:


Make Up For Ever is a French cosmetics brand owned by LVMH. Sadly, on the Make Up For Ever website, there is no information introducing their environmental and social work. This Watertone foundation is their first “sustainable product,” which makes me wonder why they couldn’t expand these sustainable designs to all of their products. One project that Make Up For Ever is involved in is for vulnerable women to regain self-confidence. Make Up For Ever provided the makeup workshop as part of the program.

The LVMH website does have a page for social and environmental responsibility. LVMH’s environmental program, Life 360, revolves around biodiversity, climate change, a circular economy, and transparency. There is a list of goals they set to achieve before 2030, such as making all products “sustainable” and traceable, but these goals are very vague in wording. They have annual reports on their environmental work, but they largely consist of descriptive words and large paragraphs that don’t provide much concrete progress. They also offer employee training on environmental issues and made their stores more energy efficient, but there are not many details. For social work, they have funding and training for their employees, especially on gender equality, model wellbeing, and emergency support. They also have funding projects that support sickle cell anemia research and patient care. Despite all these initiatives, LVMH is boycotted in the #GrabYourWallet campaign because its chairman supports the Trump administration. The #GrabYourWallet campaign boycotts against companies that have connections to Donald Trump in response to the leak of a lewd conversation where Trump said "grab them by the pussy" in reference to how he treats women.

Since these works are found on the LVMH website, we have very little information on what Make Up For Ever is doing.Also, overall, the content describing the works LVMH is doing is quite vague and LVMH makes things like using LED lights (which is not a significant move) seem really notable, which makes the statements even less convincing.