CARGO was launched in 1996 by Toronto entrepreneur, Hana Zalzal. After working in the field as a civil engineer, Hana decided that designing cables just didn’t suit her personality. Instead, she decided to take her love for cosmetics to the next level by starting a makeup line that not only caters to the pros, but would also be a consumer go-to for everyday, wearable products with efficient packaging.

Today, CARGO is touted for just that. Catapulting to notoriety with their innovative formulas and packaging, they have made their lip gloss “tins,” foundations-in-a-pouch, and portable “ColorCards” (eye shadows that fit in your wallet), all a testament to the brand’s unique approach to makeup.

The brand is also a well-known staple in the goody bags for high-profile events such as the Oscars, Emmys, and The Golden Globes. The launch of Cargo’s highly-pigmented “blu_ray” products (to meet the needs of makeup artists dealing with hi-def TV), and celeb-designed lipsticks in their ecological “PlantLove” line have made them a Hollywood favorite.

Their tagline is “Be.you.tiful.”

The Good:

PlantLove is their completely natural makeup line. According to their site, “PlantLove™ - a complete line of eco-fabulous makeup, is as beautiful as it is progressive. 100% natural and packed with organic ingredients, PlantLove is as green as it gets! Add to that revolutionary and award-winning packaging made entirely out of corn (yes, corn!) as well as the Ecocert endorsement, and you can be assured that PlantLove is environmentally responsible in product, packaging, and process.”

All of their PlantLove products are made without:
Parabens
Synthetic fragrances
Synthetic dyes
Petro-chemicals
Phthalates


Two dollars from every PlantLove lipstick sale is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The Bad:

Aside from PlantLove, not everything from their product line comes up smelling like a bed of roses. It’s truly unfortunate that they have such a great line, but yet still continue to product products with questionable ingredients.

The Truth:

While CARGO’s PlantLove collection is a maverick in the green movement (not only is it free of parabens and dyes, the lipstick tubes are biodegradeable and the outer carton is made of flower paper you can plant after use), the use of talc and parabens found in many of their other products, including their blu ray pressed powder and liquid foundation trumps bragging rights for the few benefits of vitamins and other natural extracts they harp on.