Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of distributors and ex-distributors, based on our own experiences. Your experience of SeneGence may be different.
One of the things about cosmetics is find that perfect color for your lips, or eyes, or blush, or skin ... and being able to get that same color for as long as you want it. I know women who have bought the same color from the same brand of lipstick — their favorite — for years. It's their favorite. The color is always the same. That's what they want.
So — consistent color is important. If you love Bella, then you ought to be able to get more of it, and be certain that the color will be the same.
This isn't' just 'a bit annoying'. Distributors have unhappy customers as a result. Here is just one such story:
I signed up in February and I tried to collect all the colors available for testers, and I had over 70 colors. I managed to sell some testers when they dropped the colors down to 36. When I went to a county fair event, I noticed most of my old testers are different than what I was selling, which are the new colors. I refuse to open more new colors for testers when I still have a lot left in my old testers. Now I have a few clients returning what they bought, because it's not the same color.
If you look at the ingredients list for LipSense, you can see that the color components are pretty standard cosmetic pigments:
LipSense® & LinerSense™ Alcohol Denat, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Isostearyl Alcohol, Silica, PPG-20 Methly Glucose Ether, Parfum, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Butylene Glycol, Aqua, Isodonis Japonicus Leaf/Stalk Extract, Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa (Tree Peony) Extract, Tilia Cordata (Linden) Extract, Citronellol, Limonene +/– may contain : CI 77163, CI 77891, CI 77499, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 45410, CI 17200, CI 15850, CI 19140, CI 42090, CI 45370, CI 77007.
All those CI (Color Index) numbers are different cosmetic pigments.
CI 77163 — bismuth oxychloride, a naturally ocurring iridescent mineral CI 77891 — titanium dioxide, a white inorganic compound CI 77499 — black iron oxide, an inorganic colorant CI 77491 — red iron oxide, an iron-based inorganic colorant CI 77492 — yellow iron oxide, an iron-based inorganic colorant CI 45410 — D&C Red 28, synthetically produced from coal tar or petroleum CI 17200 — D&C Red 33, a coal tar derived colorant CI 15850 — D&C Red 6 Lake, a synthetic red disodium salt of an azo dye CI 19140 — FD&C Yellow 5, a synthetic coal tar derivative CI 42090 — FD&C Blue No. 1, an ammonium salt CI 45370 — D&C Orange No. 5, a synthetic xanthene color CI 77007 — Ultramarine, a mineral-derived blue pigment composed of sodium, aluminum, silicate and sulfate
At first glance, it's hard to know whether these dyes and pigments have any sort of a botanical origin, and it's impossible to know, unless we could have access to the chemical data on the exact brands and origins of colorants that SeneGence is using for colouring LipSense. But a lot of them do appear, at first glance, to be synthetic or mineral in origin.
This Medium article gives an interesting discussion about cosmetic colorants.
So anyone who questions these significant color changes gets told:
As you know we do use natural colour pigments so no two batches will ever be exactly the same, just like no two pieces of natural wood are ever the same.
A couple of people have posted about this, I've noticed it too. It's to do with the variation in pigmentation of natural ingredients in the product. No two batches can be the same when dealing with nature!
Because we are made on 98% botanical with batches you may get some variations upon the pigments, it’s not noticeable once on the lips more on the hands.
This gives the lovely impression that the LipSense mixologists are squeezing pretty flowers to get the colors. But the reality of mass cosmetic production is that the dyes and pigments used need to be purified, concentrated, and refined. They are fine powders, concentrated liquids, not petals. They need to be able to be carefully and accurately measured.
It's really hard to know the true cause of the color variations. SeneGence has moved to a new manufacturing plant this year, and things such as the pH and temperature in the factory can affect the final product (including staying power and color). It depends on the form and source of the pigments too — are they using pharmaceutical-grade pigments? How pure are they? Have they changed suppliers of their pigments? Are they using powders, or liquids, or mixtures? Are some of the dyes older than others, and does shelf life have an impact? Have they changed the formulas? Has the manufacturing process changed a bit?
My guess is that the '98% botanicals that vary in color' explanation is the glib response. It would be nice if the company would just be transparent with us, and say “Look, we know the colors are varying a bit, and that you and your customers aren't happy about it. The move to our new manufacturing plant is being a bit challenging.” Or “We have new pigment suppliers and the pigments are a little different. We're doing our best to correct the discrepancies.” These color variations seem to be more pronounced and wide-spread since SeneGence moved manufacturing from Irving ('original' formula) to Foothill Farms ('new' formula). Most distributors prefer stock from Irving.
Fobbing us off with 'stop complaining' and 'because plants' is just annoying. Why can't you tell us the truth?