Beauty Sans Cruelty

26 August, 2009

One of the most important things in my life has been trying to be a more animal-friendly person. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, I’m not a leather-wearer (except a few pairs of old shoes), and when it comes to beauty products, I like things that are not animal-tested. It’s a way for me to not only have the beauty items I require, but to know that the animals can sleep better at night, too. It’s hard sometimes, though, finding items that are not tested-but luckily, I’m compiling a list of some brands that do not, based on their websites! This is not a list of vegan brands-it’s mainly a list of brands that do not animal-test. However, if there are vegan items I do note them.

If you talk cruelty-free beauty, we have to obviously mention Urban Decay, which has evolved into being an edgy, trend-based line for the young and young at heart known for its high-performance products that have become bonafide sensations (Primer Potions, 24/7 liners, Deluxe eyeshadows). Their motto is “We don’t test on animals. How could anyone?”, which is amazing to have from the brand, but the thing that makes Urban Decay go above and beyond, especially in a mass retail environment, is their wide range of vegan products. Every product that is a vegan product has a little paw print by its name on the displayer, so you can know before you go what the vegan products are. We’re not talking one or two isolated products here-we’re talking a significant portion of their line! Apparently the eye primer potion has been reformulated to be vegan friendly, and the new eyelash primer is as well. I had used Lancome’s but I’ve given up their products (for the most part) as they do animal-test, so to have a cruelty-free one that is also vegan makes it even better for me.A brand that does not test, and that does not get enough love in my eyes personally, is Napoleon Perdis. Australia’s hottest home-grown beauty brand, Napoleon brings high-performance products with some fun touches to every ULTA store as well as selected salons and beauty shops. Stocking NP at ULTA was a big coup for Mr. Perdis himself, as his line was now more accessible than ever-and I don’t just mean his Target line-but it was also a coup for ULTA, as they are now carrying more and more prestige lines. To me, I’d almost say that NP is the Australian MAC, although I figure I may be off base by quite a bit:) Right on the bottom of the page on every product info thing, it says in bold letters that the products are not tested on animals. Say what you want about his tan, but he does some darned good beauty products and if you want cruelty-free beauty, you ought to take a look.

Another artist-created line that does well by the animals, “not conducting, condoning, or endorsing animal testing”, is LORAC. Available at Sephora and ULTA, the line is advertised as “the red carpet authority”, and it features all sorts of interesting things, from a large baked line that has a good amount of matte products to the Publicity Stunt mascara (3 day long wearing? I gotta try this) to Award Show Glow, a way to get the right tan for any occasion without the UV rays. Many items do contain beeswax or lanolin, however the items are not tested on animals-and check out the new shadows for the fall! Green Room and Celebutante look absolutely gorgeous.

I’m sure that if you are a makeup fanatic, you have heard that Illamasqua, the brand that is rivaling MAC for the attention of the diehard makeup junkies the world over, is coming to the US (and it will be here at Sephora Downtown Seattle, so I will for sure be getting swatches for y’all when it comes out!). They are definitely a brand with conscience-in the Illamasqua Today section of their website (under About Us), they express their pride in none of their products, “from blushers to brushes”, being tested on our furry friends. On a side note, they have the S.O.P.H.I.E. charity, which was set up in memory of Sophie Lancaster, a woman who died from injuries related to an assault…for nothing more than looking different. The Sirens collection from this last spring had many items for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, with the S.O.P.H.I.E. standing for Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred, and Intolerance Everywhere. The goal of the charity is to make people more tolerant of others regardless of their looks, and the S.O.P.H.I.E. eye pencil-a black pencil that retails for 12 pounds-has 25% of the selling price going towards the foundation. Eyeliner with a purpose? I can get behind that. That is just one product in the vast line though-only a small portion of the line will be hitting the US in selected Sephora doors. There is everything from a selection of nail polishes that makes OPI look boring to teal lip gloss and more.

This is one that may come as a shock to some of you, as we’re talking a big company-but Chanel does NOT animal-test. According to their website, they do not test on animals, and they use universally-used (by the cosmetics industry) ingredients and are very strict as far as safety testing goes. Like LORAC and many brands, they do have items that have animal derivatives, and you can actually email them with a request to know about the ingredients of a particular product. I love Chanel beauty for many reasons-it’s not owned by one of the big corporations (it’s Chanel-it’s its own entity), the products are great, and best of all, they feel ultra-glamourous. The double-C logo has always been one that equalled a classy, sophisticated, elegant woman-and I love that.

On the note of red-carpet beauty, Too Faced is another brand that does not test! On their website, it says that “No teddy bears (or any other critters) are ever harmed in the development of our products”, which I can stand behind. All of their brushes are what they call “teddy bear hair”, and on one of their packages? “Tested on celebrities, not on animals”. The products themselves are fun-ie the Smurfs products and Girls Dig Pearls, which are a Dazzleglass rival-but we’ve also got products that give back. Lisa Blandino, the sister of Jerrod Blandino (the creator of Too Faced), is battling melanoma, and Jerrod does the best thing he could: He creates some products that have a “huge portion” of the sale price going to help find a cure for melanoma, including the $16 Love Lisa Luxury Lip Balm (a stick balm WITHOUT beeswax or lanolin) and the $32.50 Love Lisa palette, with two lipglosses, four eyeshadows, and a giant highlight/face shimmer.

I love Benefit for their fun packaging, their fun products, and oh yeah, the fact that they think the “no-makeup look” suits animals the best! Spoken as only Benefit could. They conform with EU rules about ingredients, which state that testing may not be done on animals when there is a safer, non-animal method in order to test it on. They realize that it is impossible to only use ingredients that at some point have never been tested, but at least they are honest about that! I have heard that EU regulations will be getting stricter, so it’s going to be interesting to watch.

Another great brand that would fall into the “healthy” category is Smashbox. Yes, they do use animal hair for their brushes, but they do it in a way that would not harm the animal. You can get hair in noninvasive ways-hair falls out all the time! The products are not only non-tested (as you can tell by the bunny on their site), but allergy and dermatologist-tested, with a wide variety of the products being gluten-free. Additionally, Smashbox is all about the recycled packaging, and a couple years ago they even had the Green Room collection which featured more environmentally-friendly products.

Of course, we have to mention the Estee Lauder companies-Estee Lauder, Clinique, MAC, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, and more-and specifically, that they do not animal test. Here is a short statement from the EL corporate website…”All Estée Lauder finished products are evaluated in clinical tests on human volunteers, as well as by referencing numerous scientific databases. It is our policy not to conduct animal testing, or to ask others to conduct such testing on our behalf, unless required by law.” Additionally, the EL company aims to end animal testing on ingredients, and I will post the link to their statement right here:

A brand that has really been getting a lot of buzz lately is Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, and they are one thing that most of these brands are not: a vegan line. The line is admittedly a very small one-featuring a few pigments, the Lip Tars, some colour concentrates (bright loose shadow powders), and airbrush items, but if you are looking for a vegan line, this is definitely the way to go. I really want Pollencount, Cherry Bomb, and Cavu Blue… This line is available mainly online, however some of the larger makeup shows (ie IMATS) do have a booth for this line that I’d love to try, admittedly.

Additionally, here are a few more brands that do not animal-test:
Laura Mercier
Laura Geller
Sexy Hair
CO Bigelow
Amazing Cosmetics
Bliss (tests on willing “2-legged animals” only)
Hawaiian Tropic

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather just a resource so that you know a few brands to go for!


One Response to “Beauty Sans Cruelty”

  1. *jen Says:

    Hi! Great post! For those who like bolder makeup looks, please don’t forget Urban Decay ( They’re cruelty-free, PETA-approved, and often Vegan.

    I’m not at all affiliated with the line, but just thought it was a great one to add to your list.


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