The Hidden Glow: Unmasking the Dark Secret of Mica in Makeup

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#snioecbmicafreebeauty  #micafreebeauty #TogetherWeCan

For many women, makeup is a world of self-expression and beauty. A world where shimmering shadows and blush enhance our features, making us feel confident and radiant. However, this shimmering glow often hides a disturbing truth: the exploitation of children in mica mining.

As MBA students at SNU, we embarked on a research project that delved into this harsh reality, leading us to uncover a systemic issue within the cosmetics industry.

Our journey began during our consumer behaviour course, where we stumbled upon the shocking reality of child labour in mica mining, the source of the shimmery effect in many makeup products. From that moment, we were driven to expose this injustice and empower consumers to make informed choices.

Our research took us into the intimate world of women’s makeup bags, where we interviewed and observed consumers for and their beauty routines. We discovered a vibrant world of colours, textures, and individual stories. But this time, the focus shifted away from the latest trends and towards the hidden secrets behind the products.

 Together, we navigated the labyrinth of ingredient lists, deciphering cryptic codes like detectives. While some brands readily confessed their mica sourcing practices, others hid anonymously, using codes like C1 77019

Equipped with this knowledge, we witnessed a powerful transformation. Consumers, including the women we interviewed, began to view their makeup bags not simply as tools for self-expression, but as instruments of conscious consumerism. They started holding brands accountable, questioning their mica sourcing practices and demanding ethical alternatives.

This growing awareness sparked a powerful consumer movement, #micafreebeauty, uniting thousands of individuals in the fight against unethical practices in the beauty industry. The movement transcended the physical realm, capturing the attention of the SNU community and beyond through social media. 

 The #micafreebeauty movement serves as a testament to the evolving consumer landscape. It demonstrates that consumers are no longer willing to tolerate brands that exploit children. As informed consumers, we have the power to make a difference.

Shine a light on hidden exploitation! Create an Instagram post featuring your makeup bag and tag your favorite brands. Urge them to #micafreebeauty by stopping mica use or declaring its source (synthetic, natural, mining location). Choose brands like Etsy and Tint Cosmetics who stand against child labor. Spread awareness and join the movement! #TogetherWeCan

Shared by: Ameesha Varma,

Author’s bio: Ameesha is a final year Student of MBA from the prestigious Shiv Nadar University, with a strong interest in brand marketing. While she has developed a strong acumen for marketing, over a period, she has started to focus on “cause” based marketing that connects with users instantly since they in some way impact their lives. One such effort from Ameesha and the team of 5 at SNU was to study the “Beauty Segment” and the research emphasized the impacts of MICA, an ingredient used in most cosmetic brands, on children who are involved in the extraction of Mica in mines. It’s important to talk about this story and make users aware, and possible shifts in consumer behaviour.

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