Makeup company Sephora set off all kinds of controversy when it launched "Witch Kits" and in the process upset everyone from Wiccans to Pagans to Indigenous People.
The kit, which contains a crystal, a piece of white sage for burning, and set of tarot cards upset a whole bunch of people for a whole bunch of different reasons. Some felt "basic white girls" were now going to want to become witches because it's trendy. Some Native Americans were upset by the selling of white sage which is sacred to their beliefs. The Pagans and the Wiccans felt their religion was being mocked.
Eventually the company, Pinrose, that makes the kits decided it wasn't worth the bother, and cancelled the kit. Here is there statement addressing the controversy:
First and foremost, to those who have shared their disappointment or taken offense to this product, we apologize profoundly. This was not our intent. We thank you for communicating with us and expressing your feelings. We hear you; we will not be manufacturing or making this product available for sale.
Our intention for the product was to create something that celebrates wellness, personal ceremony, and intention setting with a focus on using fragrance as a beauty ritual.
Responses to Frequently Asked Questions:
- Artwork used in the kit was purchased by Pinrose on June 24, 2018. The Print Usage License (P-EL) covers use on products for resale and never expires.
- Per the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Salvia Apiana (White Sage) is not classified as threatened or endangered. The sage that was planned to be used in this kit is sourced from a Green America Gold Certified company. The sage is grown in the wild in California and is sustainably harvested and sold by Native American owned and operated businesses.
- The product did not reference ceremonial smudging or ceremony circles.
Pinrose is based in San Francisco. The company is majority owned by its 8 full-time female employees. All Pinrose products are made in New Jersey, California, or Texas. Pinrose is an inclusive, luxury beauty company that amplifies your imagination and individuality because it inspires playful product experience, demystifies the world of fragrance, and tailors your buying journey. Our brand values include playfulness, inclusivity, individuality and making our customer "the face of our brand." We do not use celebrity or designer endorsements as we encourage our customer to be the best version of themself.
Sephora selling “witch kits” actually makes me really upset. Witchcraft isn’t something you just throw around, peop… https://t.co/75HgvpLgrI— 𝖚𝖗 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖈𝖍 𝖌𝖋 🕷 (@𝖚𝖗 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖈𝖍 𝖌𝖋 🕷)1535768650.0
People really didn't want basic white girls to become witches.
just letting you know as someone who’s done “witch” shit for years if you white girls buy one of those sephora witc… https://t.co/jYGtJolXXd— sophia (@sophia)1535820646.0
We raised our voices about this because baby witches or fake witches (i.e. trendy young white girls buying crystals… https://t.co/MT9SPckKAm— Jessica Jewett Jones (@Jessica Jewett Jones)1536277336.0
the only people buying sephoras “witch kit” are annoying indie white girls who think the death card in tarot means theyre going to die— robbie (@robbie)1535859391.0
@harlowdeco me, a caucasian witch: there is about to some white on white crime up in my local sephora bitches wont… https://t.co/wmigx0RYAU— mabz (@mabz)1535846243.0
But then people were upset that the only people upset about basic white girls doing witchcraft was basic white girls.
The outrage about white capitalism and Sephora selling “witch kits” with White Sage is actually kind of funny becau… https://t.co/QAVB50NVbg— 888 Maya Danielle 🏁 (@888 Maya Danielle 🏁)1535775092.0
gatekeeping white girls mad at sephora for selling "witch kits" is giving me life today.— Tyler Munro (@Tyler Munro)1536088169.0
White girls all mad at Sephora’s witch kit but they stay appropriating native and Indian religions.....— rose 🌈 gold (@rose 🌈 gold)1535844379.0
The Wiccans and Pagans chimed in to be heard.
Wiccans and pagans are reportedly crying foul on cosmetics retailer Sephora which introduced a "starter witch kit"… https://t.co/3G2rDpwzFT— DianaSez (@DianaSez)1536277255.0
I'm so incredibly offended by the idea that @Sephora would even HUMOR a "Starter witch kit". It's bad enough there'… https://t.co/cv7O150bLB— Megan Knight (@Megan Knight)1536286969.0
@Sephora stop selling the “witch kits” it’s a great disservice to Pagan community.— Jamie_Lynn782 (@Jamie_Lynn782)1536254432.0
If you are going to buy 'witch kits" don't buy from Sephora, buy from a reputable witch company.
We still have a few of these in stock! Mabon Blessings Kit for the Autumn Equinox https://t.co/Dt0WOUukRN #mabon… https://t.co/InRn5rLbuv— Morgan (@Morgan)1536243824.0
But it wasn't just the basic white girl witches, the Pagans and the Wiccans, people were upset for the Native American's and Indigenous people too.
@B_TruthSleuth Sage is also a part of that kit, so not only are pagans and witches upset, I’m sure Native Americans are too— Indifferent Goth 🐇 (@Indifferent Goth 🐇)1535981971.0
hey i hear your complaints abt “not gatekeeping witchcraft and spirituality” but have y’all ever considered how wit… https://t.co/bbjYrorMVj— illegally downloadable gf 🕊 (@illegally downloadable gf 🕊)1535774875.0
@rosesaagar Agreed. As a witch I don’t use sage bc of that appropriation thing, just pagan Goddesses and Gods & spe… https://t.co/Regju4sLrZ— Andrea Lambert (@Andrea Lambert)1535901480.0
And if you want to buy a smudge kit don't buy from Sephora, buy from this reputable company.
Smudge Feather Kit Beautiful Shamanic Native Wiccan Pagan Crystals Palos Santos.. https://t.co/pejzLhWf0s #sage… https://t.co/nm5NN1QZsW— The Goddess Tree (@The Goddess Tree)1491729120.0
Lesson learned don't get your makeup and your spirituality twisted!
So i just saw that #sephora is going to sell starter witch kits next month. Ummm, how about NO! As a witch this is… https://t.co/jm5wmHUWZ2— Mandy (@Mandy)1536019732.0
@Sephora Don't sell that stupid "witch kit" just to be trendy! You're cheapening the spiritual practices of actual… https://t.co/MqcrkHnpzR— TheAspieResistance (@TheAspieResistance)1536018677.0
seriously @Sephora wtf are u doing?? a witch kit?? have u any idea how offensive, stupid and possibly dangerous tha… https://t.co/w0TI21aHb1— Melody Addams 🔮💀 (@Melody Addams 🔮💀)1536004593.0
Thankfully the co-opting of witchcraft was avoided by Twitter.