The cochineal bug is a bright red insect that hangs out mostly on cacti in places such as Peru, Chile, Mexico, and the Canary Islands. For centuries, these bugs have been crushed for the carminic acid they produce, which is used to make a bright red dye called carmine. A common ingredient in lipsticks, rouges, and eye shadow, the dye is also synthetically produced today.
Who knew beauty products were so full of . . . bee glue, among other things? Find out more on the next page.