Nico Blauw Takes On Children’s Makeup

Nico Blauw is President and CEO of BOTI, Ltd., and BOTI Europe, BV. Nico has an impressive resume, having founded BOTI and serving as the CEO of Upper Deck International BV/Upper Deck Europe BV. He is an outspoken advocate for the toy industry. Here is his take on children’s cosmetics.

The other day, I was watching an Instagram post of the #nontoxicdad about kids’ make-up. Here is the specific link to that video.

The guy is touching a sensitive point. Kids love make-up, they love paint, they love coloring. It is a huge category in our industry. The make-up industry, in general, is enormous.

The NotToxicDad says:

“Research shows multiple brands of children’s make-up contain hormone disruption chemicals and heavy metals”. And he was referring to Body Glitter, Face paint, Nail Polish Lip Gloss and Fragrances.”


For #NonToxicDad, the reason to add children’s makeup to his cancelled list is:  

“If you cannot eat it, don’t put it on your face, skin or lips”


He refers to a study done by scientists at Columbia University.

Having kids’ makeup for breakfast is not something I would recommend to anyone, but if you feel the urge, then indeed be careful as a lot of the kids’ makeup contains chemicals and shouldn’t be sold in (toy) stores to kids under the age of 12, to my humble opinion. Quite frankly, I believe kids’ makeup should always be graded 3+.

If kids’ makeup doesn’t pass toy testing, it shouldn’t be sold to or used by kids under 12. The reality is that it is an impossible task for most suppliers. Most chemicals are not allowed when safety tested.

 At the same time, however, producing an almost 100% natural-based product is hardly possible in terms of pricing and look & feel. And for makeup, it is all about look and feel.

So, how do suppliers get away with it? They have makeup cosmetics tested, put an age grade of 12 on it, have the packaging show teenagers, and sell it to retail as such. This is how it ends up in the toy section. The reality is that 12+ kids don’t buy that makeup, but the younger ones do. A 12+ teenager will want to buy the “adult” makeup and won’t go to a toy store for that purpose, right? This is also our industry; we walk the line if we must. At the same time, authorities are not acting, primarily due to a lack of resources.

Most of us (and some for-PR reasons) promote environmentally friendly products. Companies like Lego, Moose, and others have published when, what, and how milestones. And that is all fantastic and necessary. But what will our industry do if we cannot produce at a cost level that retailers and consumers are willing to accept?

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