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The Cruelty Free Guide to Makeup Brands:

The Cruelty Free Guide to Makeup Brands:

Albert Einstein– “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

I have recently aimed to go cruelty free with my makeup as I have been vegan for nearly a year. I’ve decided that – even though I am vegan more for health reasons than animal rights – I no longer want to be a part of animal suffering for my own vanity. I will continue to use my non-cruelty free makeup until it runs out, since I am a student and can’t afford to re-buy loads of makeup, then I will only buy cruelty free. I have also been noticing an influx of new products featured on Instagram with the hashtag ‘#vegan’, and it got me wondering, how much of my makeup bag and beauty products are cruelty free?

Drugstore Makeup:

The answer is, luckily, lots. However, sadly most of my favourite items aren’t (heartbroken over my mascara). What I found is that most drugstore brands aren’t cruelty free, i’m guessing because they are cheaper. The brands that aren’t:

  • L’Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Rimmel
  • Revlon 
  • Max Factor
  • Covergirl
  • Essie
  • EOS
  • Sally Hansen
  • Bourjois
  • Miss Sporty

These brands are what I would call the main ones that are featured in Boots/Superdrug, however sadly test on animals. Don’t let them fool you! I’ve seen some brands (MAC I saw you on Instagram comments) try and convince people that they are cruelty free, however if they sell in China – they aren’t – because in China it is the law to test all cosmetic products on animals. The following brands drugstore brands can be bought with the knowledge that they are cruelty free:

  • B Makeup (Superdrug own)
  • Ardell (are eyelashes makeup?)
  • e.l.f
  • pixi
  • Real Techniques
  • Eco Tools
  • Makeup Revolution
  • Bleach London
  • Sleek Makeup
  • Smashbox
  • Collection
  • Freedom
  • Lottie london
  • Tanya Burr Cosmetics
  • Lush – not drugstore but cruelty free. Burt’s Bee’s is also cruelty free.


  • Barry M
  • GOSH
  • Milani
  • NYX – This is a tricky one, it claims to be fully vegan, however it is owned by L’Oreal which is categorically NOT cruelty free. You have to decide how you feel about parent companies.
  • MUA claims it is cruelty free, however it isn’t vegan. “Our products are not Vegan or Vegetarian suited as some of the ingredients are derived from sources not accepted by Vegans or Vegetarians.”
  • Nip + Fab
  • Sleek – Cruelty Free but some products have beeswax etc in them so not all Vegan.
  • The Balm – Cruelty Free but the same as sleek, not all vegan.

High-end Makeup:

Whilst I theorised that lots of drugstore makeup wasn’t vegan as it was cheaper, there are also a lot of higher end brands that aren’t cruelty free. These are some of the well known ones to avoid if you are thinking about going cruelty free.

  • Benefit (Gutted – my favourite mascara will not be repurchased again, any recommendations??)
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • NARS
  • Estee Lauder
  • MAC
  • Lancome
  • Clinique
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Chanel
  • YSL
  • Tom Ford
  • Sephora
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Burberry
  • Dior
  • La Mer
  • Guerlain
  • Avon
  • Dolce and Gabbana

These are ones I have researched and found to be cruelty-free, I hope there’s something for everyone!

  • Anastasia Beverley Hills
  • Kat Von D
  • Urban Decay
  • Too Faced
  • Charlotte Tilbury
  • Becca
  • Huda Beauty
  • Jouer
  • Tarte
  • Ciate
  • The Body Shop
  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics
  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • Milk Makeup
  • Lush
  • By Terry
  • Iconic London
  • Illamasqua
  • Fenty Beauty
  • Hourglass
  • NYX Cosmetics
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty
  • Aesop
  • Ardell
  • Beauty Pie
  • Beauty Blender
  • Buxom
  • Makeup Geek
  • Cover FX
  • Eyeko
  • Glossier
  • ColourPop
  • Pixi
  • Zoeva
  • Bare Minerals

I know that by me going cruelty-free and eating vegan, I feel better about myself and my decisions however I am very aware that it will not make a huge difference to the rest of the world. This is why I will continue to wear and use my non-vegan products, but I am aiming to keep this to a minimum where I can and so far I haven’t bought any makeup that isn’t cruelty free in months. It’s all about personal preference and beliefs, i’m not trying to ram this down your throat or convince you to do the same, merely educate you as I was surprised when I researched this. Gotta start somewhere!



  1. November 19, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    Its so sad how many companies still test on animals. I didn’t know some of these companies did, it makes me sad to think about.

    • November 19, 2017 / 6:47 pm

      I didn’t either! I was shocked so I thought a comprehensive but relatively short list would be interesting for people 🙂 xx

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