Our carmine is an extraordinary pigment made from the cochineal insect, which is native to Central and South America. It was prized by Aztec and Incan cultures and was one of the very first treasures brought by the Spanish back to the Old World. Carmine has been worn by women for centuries—including Cleopatra, who used kermes carmine crushed in beeswax to create her iconic red lip—and because of its rarity, is vastly more expensive than synthetic coal and petroleum-based colorants used in most cosmetics. It is a true luxury of incredible beauty.
Early modern production of carmine was sparked in Peru as an effort to stimulate the economy with traditional natural resources, with cochineal bringing farmers similar rates as coca and therefore offering them a viable alternative. The areas where cochineal is harvested supports local economies and education, and those areas are scattered across Peru to ensure sustained growth.
The pigment that defines Written in Blood Forbidden Lipstick, and an essential part of many other Rituel de Fille colors, carmine imparts a vibrant blood red of stunning depth unmatched by other dyes.