Cruelty-free and carmine-free, Code Red lipsticks have strong color payoff without the nasties.

Have you heard of cochineal? 

Also known as carmine, it’s a popular ingredient in red lipsticks. You might have seen it on the ingredients label of some of your makeup products — but do you know where this widely-used dye comes from? 

Cochineal is a red insect dye that is extracted from a parasitic insect native to Central and South America, and Mexico. The tiny bug is harvested, dried out, ground down to a powder and mixed with water to create the striking red color used in both the cosmetic and textile industries – as well as in some processed foods!

If you find this horrifying, you’re not alone. Despite alternative color sources being available, cochineal is still widely used today, and is often described as “natural” and “non-toxic.” But at CTZN, creating cruelty-free and vegan makeup is a priority, and all of our lipsticks are carmine-free.

Our Code Red collection of 6 inclusive red lipstick shades for every skin tone, is proof that you can have strong color payoff without harming and harvesting bugs! From an orangey-red to a deep mahogany, our Code Red red hues are ultra-creamy and highly pigmented with a velvety matte finish.

At a time when clean beauty is gaining more awareness and urgency, it’s important to look at the ingredients on your labels before buying them. Code Red is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, carmine-free, paraben-free and gluten-free.

Here are the key ingredients that go into each of our Code Red lipsticks:

  •       Raspberry leaf extract – this hydrates and moisturizes the lips by inducing the genes responsible for producing hyaluronic acid and ceramides. It aso fights the formation of wrinkles by preserving and nourishing the hydrolipidic film barrier of the lips!
  •       Shea butter – this helps soften, moisturize and protect the lips from harsh elements.

Our Code Red shade Laal won “Best Matte Lipstick” at the 2022 Women’s Health Beauty Awards. Do your part to support clean beauty practices and find the perfect red shade match for your complexion here.


July 14, 2023 — Enas Hamdan
Tags: Articles