Worldwide cosmetics compliance and GTX Facepaint

Worldwide cosmetics compliance and GTX Facepaint

Hi y'all, Amber here, owner of GTX Facepaint. 

Strap in my friends, this is going to be a long one. Here is what you can expect from this blog: 

FULL Transparency. That is what you will always get with us. I have no reason to hide anything or lie to you. We want you to love GTX and use it. How can you do that if you have any questions about our ingredients, safety or compliance? 

Let's start with our backstory: 

Ok, a bit about us first- Let me first say that I didn't need to start GTX in order to make money. I have two other thriving businesses in the brow industry, and GTX was just a fun idea I had after we started a face paint booth with my sister and daughter.

You may have heard me tell this story, and if not, here it is: in 2022 my daughter, Paige was 13 looking for a part time job, and thinking of ways to start making money. I told her that there were only a few options for kids younger than 16, babysitting (if people trust 13yos to babysit nowadays) mowing the lawns of the neighbors, and my sister had always painted faces as a teen at her local market, so I also suggested face painting. I knew my sister would be able to help my daughter with the skills required, and my daughter is artistically inclined, so she chose face painting. We started going to the local Farmer's market and paying $40 for a stalI on Saturday mornings. We would set up at 7am and break down at 2pm. This required a LOT of supplies we didn't have, so her dad and I invested about $1500-$2000 in everything she needed to do the business from a tent to tables, chairs, paint, sponges, brushes, business cards, banners, insurance, and the list goes on. The deal was that she would work for tips until she paid back the initial investment, which took the whole fall and winter season (since we only worked one day a week.) She was happy just to make tips and have fun, and because of this whole thing GTX Facepaint the brand was born.

I am not a face painter, or even very artistic in general. I don't have an artist's eye, except for cosmetic services- Hair and Brows are my thing, I have been a cosmetologist since 2004, which is why my first businesses were hair salons and professional brow product distributorships/brands. (You can go to my old IG account MicroArtistry to see my brow work, and if you scroll wayyyy back, you will see my hair work at my very first salon that I owned in CA, which opened in 2010.) 

My other current business websites are: Insta: HERE and Insta: HERE (Please follow! It's fun over there too.)

For Infinity I have a fantastic business partner from the UK, and she is the one who taught me about cosmetic compliance there. We now have three cosmetic brands including GTX.  My cosmetic products are currently in over 100 distributorships worldwide if you count all three brands together. This is why I already know a lot about compliance worldwide for cosmetics, and yes, face paint is a cosmetic product. It is considered makeup. 

So back to GTX origins, it was Oct 2022 and I was sitting up prepping for our big Halloween event at the market. I had ordered a black and white cake that turned out to be HUGE and not at all what I wanted. I frantically started cutting up our round black and white and scraping paint out and cleaning an older split in order to make a custom cake with a super thin layer of black for skull designs, knowing we would be slammed the next day and line work takes awhile for my teen. With that lightbulb moment, GTX the brand was born. I said, "This is it, this is what the painters are doing at home and they need more paint and the freedom to do it. They need big paints in a square container so they can cut these and make them themselves, instead of rush-ordering something for an upcoming gig." And the rest is history. 

So in short, I really didn't "need" to start this brand, we were plenty busy with a different salon in CA that remains open even now, two other brands, and worldwide distribution, not to mention our three kids, at that time aged 4, 7 and 13...

I started GTX because I stepped into your world for a brief time, and thought that this is what you may need. You, the face painter who is struggling to get gigs, answer email inquiries, use navigation on your phone to drive somewhere you have never been and get your heavy setup to the next gig, eat, pee if you have time, and get paid, then off to another gig, and start the process all over again. Then to finally come home to your own family, post content on Social Media and place your order for what you need as far as supplies go before you run out at the next gig.

In my mind, knowing my schedule and trying to fit in ONE stable face painting gig a week, you don't have time for that! You need a "backbar" of colors to use for your work. (Just like a hair salon! We have Backbar hair color, and we mix and blend within a line to create the color that is perfect for our client. It is the exact same thing in my mind.) This Backbar of colors would be readily available for the painter so they could create their own custom cakes to use on clients. Simple enough, and based on our feedback now, a year and a half later a lot of you agree! We have said it before and we will say it again: We are here for YOU. 

Let's move on to regulatory topics:

All of that backstory is to explain that I have been dealing with worldwide cosmetics compliance with my other companies for years now and this is not my first rodeo. I have hired MANY professionals to help me since I do not know all regulations, and frankly don't have time to submit all of my own documentation for all of my products (100+ products) to multiple different countries. But I have learned a lot since starting my companies and especially since starting GTX. I am going to use this blog post to break down compliance country by country. ALL SOURCES will be listed down at the bottom. This is not my opinion, it is true fact as I have come to understand it. If I am wrong, and things change with my understanding of all of this, I will update the blog. This blog is dated June 17, 2024. Feel free to click any of these links and do your own fact-checking.

Side note: It would be very easy for me, as the brand owner to say "I am going to label each Neon as Special Effects and ship it all over the world that way." but we want you to work INSURED. Multiple countries don't require the neon special effects label based on OUR ingredients, so we will label our neons per country so you can work insured. Again, we are only here for YOU. 

Skin Safety VS Cosmetic Compliance: 

I was on a live stream the other day and was chatting with Blake from A viewer asked this question: "Are your neons 'safe' for children?" I told her to wait until this blog came out because it is too much to talk about. SAFE, versus COMPLIANT are two different things, as are the regulations in each country for what is considered a "compliant" ingredient.  Let me please refer you to our other blog as far as "Skin Safety Testing" goes, it is HERE. The paints have been sent to Intertek, an independent US lab and have tested SKIN SAFE, with no alarming heavy metals, weird ingredients or bacteria growing in them. In that sense, YES our facepaint is safe for children. Do we have compliant ingredients? That is the actual question she meant to ask. The answer is: It depends on where you live.

Compliance by country: 

United States:  We are in the process of registering our products with MOCRA and that will be another blog for another day. We are not required to register with MOCRA, since we did not sell over 1 million dollars last year (the first year of sales) but we want to do things right all the time, and register now so we don't have to worry about it later. For now, until my registration is complete, our labeling for NEONS in the USA will be the same, and all will have the Special Effects Label until we register with all ingredients in each paint color. If anything changes, we will change labeling. 

Australia: All of the ingredients in our paint (INCLUDING NEON INGREDIENTS) are legal for cosmetic use in Australia. 

Australia has a simple portal that they use for companies to check their ingredients and compliance. If there are no "conditions for use" listed next to the ingredient, it is safe for cosmetic use. The cosmetics distributor has to be registered with the regulating bureau before importing any cosmetic products, and handles the registration of any incoming brands if need be. Our labeling in Australia will be the same for our neons as well as our regular paints and will not include the words "Special effects."  All of this information has been confirmed to me by an official in AUS, via email. Link below.

Canada: All of the ingredients in our paint (INCLUDING NEONS) are legal for cosmetic use in Canada. 

We have hired a regulatory expert to submit all of our paperwork ("Cosmetics notification forms") to the regulating authority, Health Canada. Canada has a very strict and easy to access "Hot List" of ingredients that have restrictions or bans upon them. So strict, that in our other business, the big concern was our 10 volume tint developer. Would Canada allow Hydrogen Peroxide? (Yes, they did, but our expert thought it may be an issue. If you search the hot list you can see Hydrogen peroxide is restricted. It is only allowed in certain percentages.) Our labeling in Canada will be the same as our regular paints, and will not include the words "Special effects." Again, we are labeling Neons differently based on the regulations in each country so you can work INSURED.


This seems to be the place where people are the most confused. Let's start off from the time of Brexit: When Brexit was voted in, everything (sort of) changed. The UK used to be part of the EU, which meant that all of the cosmetics laws that governed the entire EU also governed the UK. After Brexit these changes occurred: 

1. Regulatory Authorities

  • UK: cosmetics are regulated by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), which is part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
  • EU: Cosmetics continue to be regulated under the European Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, overseen by the European Commission.

2. Product Registration

  • UK: Cosmetic products must be notified to the UK’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) via the Submit Cosmetic Product Notifications (SCPN) portal.
  • EU: Products sold in the EU must be notified via the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP).

3. Responsible Person

  • UK: A Responsible Person (RP) must be based in the UK and listed on the cosmetic product label. The RP is responsible for ensuring compliance with UK regulations.
  • EU: A Responsible Person must be based in the EU for products sold within the EU. If you were using a UK-based RP before Brexit, you need to appoint a new RP in an EU member state.

4. Labelling Requirements

  • UK: Products must include the name and address of the UK Responsible Person.
  • EU: Products must include the name and address of the EU Responsible Person.
  • Language: Labelling must be in English in the UK and must comply with the local language requirements in each EU member state where the product is sold.

5. Safety Assessments and Data Sharing

  • UK: Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSR) must comply with UK standards. Safety assessors must be UK-based or have their qualifications recognized in the UK.
  • EU: CPSRs must comply with EU standards and the safety assessor must be based in the EU or recognized by EU authorities.

6. Animal Testing

  • Both the UK and EU maintain bans on animal testing for cosmetics, but companies must ensure compliance with both sets of regulations if they sell in both markets. ( ALL Paperwork must match up in PIF file.) 

7. Packaging and Claims

  • UK: Products must comply with UK packaging and advertising standards, which are similar to the EU but managed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK.
  • EU: Products must comply with EU standards and any claims made must be substantiated as per the EU guidelines.

8. Import/Export Considerations

  • UK to EU: Products exported from the UK to the EU need to comply with EU regulations, including having an EU-based Responsible Person.
  • Import into UK: Products imported into the UK must comply with UK regulations, including having a UK-based Responsible Person and SCPN registration.

I know that was a lot to read, let me summarize: 

ANY COSMETIC PRODUCT SOLD IN THE UK and EU has to be registered with the UK SCPN and EU CPNP. (TWO DIFFERENT REGULATING AUTHORITIES NOW, POST BREXIT.) There has to be a "Responsible Person" in the UK (And separate for EU if sold in both places) written ON THE LABEL OF THE PRODUCT. This is your first clue if the product is registered with the government authorities and being sold legally. The label must also be in English and there is a Safety Assessor involved that the company must pay to look over their ingredients and keep a Safety Assessment on file. The company must also submit their PIF to the RP. (Product Information File.)

Re: The wording: EC 1223/2009-- We do NOT have to list those letters on the label- we have to COMPLY with the regulation. (Which is to follow all of the rules outlined above: Register EACH PRODUCT with SCPN and CPNP, have a PIF on file, have a Safety Assessment on file and have a proper RP listed on the label, and label everything correctly.) To write "Compliant with EC 1223/2009" is something some of the manufacturers started years ago, and now the industry as a whole thinks it has to be on the label. NO IT DOES NOT. The product has to comply with the regulation. At GTX we are aware that some insurance companies in the UK haven't quite caught up and they might want to see that we are compliant with the regulation on the label in order to cover your claim, that is why EC 1223/2009 is on our label.

How a cosmetic product legally enters the UK: A cosmetic product can be legally imported into the UK if all of these things have been done. I said LEGALLY.  Read it again. LEGALLY. There are tons of different cosmetic products (INCLUDING FACE PAINT PRODUCTS THAT YOU USE) that are being ILLEGALLY imported into the UK. Importing and selling cosmetic products in the UK without the Manufacturer registering them with the SCPN can lead to serious consequences. These include:

  1. Fines and Penalties: Importers can face significant fines, which are unlimited in England and Wales and up to £5,000 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Persistent non-compliance may also result in prosecution and imprisonment for up to three months.
  2. Product Seizure: Non-registered products can be seized by regulatory authorities, including Trading Standards or customs officials, either at the point of entry or during market surveillance.
  3. Product Recall: Authorities may require the importer to recall the non-compliant products from the market, which can be financially costly and damage the business's reputation​.
  4. Business Impact: Non-compliance can lead to a loss of trust and credibility with consumers, distributors, and other stakeholders, potentially impacting sales and long-term business viability.
  5. Legal Action: Continued violations can lead to legal action and further financial penalties or imprisonment for severe breaches.

    So, this is how you get registered in the UK and EU in general. It's not that complex in actuality. Cosmetics companies like GTX hire experts to do the work for them, like we did. We are completely registered and compliant in the UK and EU. I don't know if the same can be said for most Facepaint brands. 

    VERY IMPORTANT: Any brand of ANY COSMETIC you use should have an RP listed on their label and should easily be able to tell you their SCPN and CPNP numbers if you ask: 

    This is the GTX SCPN #  UKCP-307 48727

    This is the GTX CPNP # 4371891

    It will be up to you to do your research and check your labels. Email the brand and ask for their SCPN and CPNP numbers for registration. It won't hurt to be more informed than you are now, and not because some "industry expert" told you something, but because YOU did your own research. You decide where to spend your money.

    So that is the long and short of registration and just getting the products into the country. Simple enough, but the real confusion with all of this has to do with UK NEONS. 

    Let's talk about UK Neons: 

    Ok, so back to Brexit: The EU and UK used to be under EC 2009/2023, which the UK basically adopted all of the rules from, but with their own regulatory body (OPSS) after Brexit. Easy enough, right?

    The EU still operates under EC 2009/2023 and has a database for "approved cosmetic ingredients" called the Cosing Database, and that is where you can go to look for any approved ingredients in Europe. This is important, because the UK still basically uses the Cosing Database, however the UK now post-Brexit has it's own list of ingredients BANNED from use, similar to Canada's Hot List. The areas of any cosmetic manufacturer's concern in the UK and their lists are:

    • Annex II (Banned Cosmetic Ingredients)
    • Annex III (Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients)
    • Annex IV (Approved Cosmetic Colorants.)
    • The EU Cosing Database also factors in. (Links below) 

    Huh? Yeah, I know, bear with me-- this matters because a few of our "Neon" ingredients are restricted, which we have labeled Special Effects from the get go. And some are not restricted or banned, but are not listed as a colorant. <--- this is the WHOLE ISSUE.

    Let's start with what we have labeled SE from the beginning of launching in UK: Two of our ingredients in our neons have been recently added to the restricted list These are Green 7 and Blue 15. No other country bans those ingredients. From what I can tell, it seems to be connected to a PMU pigment ban that happened at the same time. PMU and tattoo inks are injected into the body and get trapped in between the layers of skin, so in my opinion, they should be heavily regulated. A LOT of ingredients were banned from PMU and tattoo inks in the same time period, 2022, and this is also the time EU restricted use in cosmetics for Green 7 and Blue 15. (PMU is a subject that I also know a lot about, since I am a PMU expert/trainer as well, but that is a different story.) 

    Pigment Green 7 (CI 74260):

    • It is banned for use in hair dye products according to Annex II of Regulation 
    • It is allowed for use in other cosmetic products, but not in products intended for use around the eyes​ (EUR-Lex)​​ (EUR-Lex)​​ (Homepage - ECHA)​.

    Pigment Blue 15:3 (CI 74160):

    • Similar to Pigment Green 7, Pigment Blue 15:3 is banned for use in hair dye products under Annex II of the same regulation.
    • It is permitted for use in other cosmetic products, excluding those used around the eyes​ (EUR-Lex)​​ (EUR-Lex)​​ (Homepage - ECHA)​.

     Because of this, we initially were labeling our 3 colors: BUDGIE, TEXAS SKY AND ROBIN as Special Effects to be on the safe side.  (Click HERE for a VERY INTERESTING VID ABOUT GREEN 7 & AND BLUE 15 from the perspective of the tattoo industry. Spoiler alert: even with almost 200k artists signing this petition Green 7 and Blue 15 were still banned from Tattoo inks.)

    There are 3 other ingredients in question here as well:

    Basic Violet 11:1 (Up to 9% of the formula in one GTX color: Cosing database listing as a hair colorant: HERE)

    Solvent Yellow 172 (Up to 6% of the formula in 2 GTX colors: Cosing Database listing as a hair colorant: HERE

    Basic red 1:1 (Up to 5% of the formula in 2 GTX colors Cosing Listing as a hair colorant HERE

    ALL of these are approved COSMETICS INGREDIENTS, NOT BANNED IN EU OR UK. The question we have for the UK regulators is this:

    1. If they are not banned, does it mean it's ok to use outside of "hair color" even though it is listed as a hair color ingredient?

    2. If they are not listed as a colorant in Annex IV,  but aren't banned, are they ok to use in face paint?

    My RP (34 years in the business) says YES! The two independent Safety Assessors that I hired to double check my RP have also gone on the record to say YES, we can use them. (This is why we labeled all other Neons as a normal color when we launched in UK.)  

    Other interpretations of this are that if the colorant is not listed as a colorant in Annex IV in the UK, it is not to be used as one. So there is a discrepancy there- Some people say YES, these can be used in cosmetics since they have no restrictions of use and are not banned, others say NO they are not in Annex IV, so they cannot be used.

    Personally, I don't know, because I am not an expert. I hire experts and I am just trying to register GTX properly in ALL of the countries.

    Because of this uncertainty and nobody agreeing on the answer to this, and because I own three very busy businesses and have three kids and do not have time to argue, convince people (or even write this blog,) we have taken the decision to label all GTX neons as Special Effects in the UK and EU and move on with our lives. In my opinion, it is always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to government regulations, and to always try to do things right! I don't know if these UK/EU neon questions will ever have a clear answer, but we as a company and brand have to move forward.

    So, UK/EU: From now on you will see the Special Effects Sticker on all of our Neons, even the ones with no ingredients in question. Remember, we have conducted skin safety testing, and even one of our neons was tested, with no harmful bacteria or heavy metals found. Of course, anyone can be allergic or become allergic to anything at any time, so if you are concerned, do a patch test or have the parents sign a waiver that they decline to patch test.  I have never heard of an allergic reaction to face paint, (but maybe some of you have, having many year's experience in the industry.)

    However you decide to move forward- neons or no neons, and with whichever brands you choose to purchase, we advise for you to look at labeling, check for proper registration (SCPN and CPNP numbers) and ALWAYS remember the big picture: The neon ingredients in our product are considered SAFE in multiple countries. As a company, GTX is absolutely going to continue to test our line every other year for bacteria and skin safety. (Which is not required to sell, but we will do it for your peace of mind because we are here for you.) 

    On a personal note, I support all artists and that is why I started GTX, MicroArtistry and Infinity. I was a working artist in personal service for almost 20 years before I stopped working on people to focus on these businesses. I want to create products that help you do your job better and make your lives easier. That is why I pay pros to test our products and register our products properly. I want to support YOU and make your work-life easier by making our line available for your use, and giving you peace of mind while using it. 

    Even as busy as we are, I always try to be available for our customers and happily accept product feedback. All of these products are my babies, so to speak, but they only exist if you like them and want to use them. Email us with any further questions and we will try to respond as soon as possible: 

    If you made it this far, THANK YOU! 

    Please join our Fcebook group if you haven't yet: GTX Facepaint Artists and Crafters

    Thank YOU!



     Additional References:




    Back to blog