June 15, 2018, 4:00:00 AM

Cruelty Free cosmetic brands — an overview

Pictured are two guinea pigs with a pineapple in the middle

Being a lover of animals I have been a vegetarian for years now. Honestly, I'm nowhere vegan, but I try to be conscious of the suffering animals go through, to serve us people.

Hundreds of thousands of animals are being poisoned, blinded and killed every year, in outdated product tests for cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaning products, etc. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's the fact these innocent creatures have to suffer for the sake of cosmetic products.

94% of animal testing is carried out to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products, leaving only 6% for medical research. Often these tests are performed on mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs.

The tests these companies conduct are horrifying. One of these tests, the so called Draize eye test, involves placing substances into the eyes of restrained rabbits, then recording the progressive deterioration. Some research labs also carry out the lethal dose test, forcing substances (such as oven cleaner or nail polish) down animals’ throats, pumping it into their stomachs through a tube, or injecting it into their bodies, until a percentage of the animals die. After tests the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.

Europe ban

Luckily, there is some good news. In 2013 all animal tested cosmetic and household products will be banned in Europe.
Note: when a company is claiming that their products are cruelty free, they're actually referring to the finished end product. So, their statement isn't saying anything about the individual ingredients that have been used, so keep that in mind.

Mother companies & China

Some companies are owned by other companies, such as Essie who falls under the L'oreal umbrella. Back in the day, Essie used to be a cruelty free brand, but L'oreal is not. Since Essie is owned by L'oreal, you could argue they're no longer cruelty free. I suppose everyone should decide for themselves how they feel about non cruelty free mother companies.

A good indicator if a brand carries out animal tests, is the fact whether a brand is sold in China or not:

The Chinese government conducts mandatory animal tests on all cosmetic products imported into the country. The government may also conduct animal tests on items pulled from store shelves. Therefore, even if a cosmetics company does not test their products or ingredients on animals, if they sell their products in China they cannot be considered cruelty free.

Sometimes a brand, owned by a different company, actually is cruelty free and not sold in China. You could argue that these companies do fund animal testing, so again: it's up to you how you feel about this.

Cruelty free list

After doing some research of my own I found out that a lot of great brands are actually cruelty free. But, the majority of the big, popular brands are not. You can find an overview listed below:

Brands that do test on animals

  • A
    • (Giorgo) Armani (L'Oreal)
  • B
    • Bourjois
  • C
    • Chanel
    • Christian Dior
    • Clarins
    • Clinique (Estee Lauder)
    • Cover Girl (Procter and Gamble)
  • E
    • Ellen Betrix
    • Essie (L'Oreal)
    • Estee Lauder
  • H
    • Helena Rubinstein (L'Oreal)
  • K
    • Kiehls (L'Oreal)
  • L
    • L'Oreal
    • Lancôme (L'Oreal)
  • M
    • M.A.C. Cosmetics (Estee Lauder)
    • Max Factor (Coty)
    • Maybelline (L'Oreal)
    • Miss Sporty (Coty)
    • MNY (L'Oreal)
  • N
    • Nars Cosmetics (Shiseido)
    • Neutrogena (Johnson & Johnson)
    • Nicole by OPI (Coty)
  • O
    • OPI (Coty)
  • R
    • Revlon
    • Rimmel (Coty)
  • S
    • Sally Hansen (Coty)
    • Sephora by OPI (L'Oreal)
    • Sinful Colors (Revlon)
    • Shiseido Cosmetics
    • Shu Uemura (L'Oreal)
  • Y
    • Yves Rocher

Cruelty free brands

  • B
    • Barry M
    • Bloom Cosmetics
    • Burt's Bees
    • Butter London
  • C
    • Catrice
    • Cheeky Cosmetics (vegan)
    • China Glaze
    • Claire's (vegan)
    • Color Club (vegan)
    • Cuccio Colour
    • Cult Nails (vegan)
  • D
    • Deborah Lippman
  • E
    • E.L.F Cosmetics
    • Essence
    • ESN
    • Etos
    • Evil Shades
  • G
    • Gosh Cosmetics
  • H
    • H&M Cosmetics
    • Hard Candy
    • Hema/Miss Helen
    • Herôme Cosmetics
  • I
    • IsaDora
  • J
    • Joe Fresh Cosmetics
  • K
    • Koh Cosmetics
  • L
    • L.A. Colors
    • Lacquester
    • LUSH Cosmetics
  • M
    • Make Up Store
    • ManGlaze
    • Milani (vegan)
    • Misa Cosmetics LLC (vegan)
    • Models Own
  • N
    • Nubar (vegan)
    • NYX Cosmetics
  • O
    • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Inc. (vegan)
    • Orly International
    • Ozotic (Lumineye)
  • P
    • Priti Polish (vegan)
  • R
    • RGB
  • S
    • Seche
    • Smashbox Cosmetics (Estee Lauder, not sold in China)
    • SpaRitual (vegan)
  • T
    • The Body Shop (Natura Cosmeticos)
    • Trind Cosmetics
  • U
    • Urban Decay (L'Oreal, not sold in China)
  • W
    • Wet ‘n Wild
  • Z
    • Zoya (vegan)


Please note that companies do change policies, owners etc. So, if you spot a brand that should be in the other list, please let me know! Also: I've seen this overview being used on other sites, please remember I'm still waiting for a lot brands to confirm and I can only be hold responsible for information under the domain of www.lacquerized.com.

Last edited on: june 15th, 2018