When I was browsing Ulta with Cristina on Tuesday, we realized that there’s a misconception that it’s expensive to be cruelty-free. So I decided to share some affordable cruelty-free brands with you. You can always verify cruelty-free status by directly emailing the company. Please view my FAQ for what cruelty-free means to me.
Little bebe Phaedra
My favorite resources for researching mainstream companies are My Beauty Bunny and Logical Harmony. You can also check Leaping Bunny and PETA – Companies that don’t test, Companies that do test. Please remember that neither Leaping Bunny nor PETA are wholly accurate (though I am sure they do try their best), and they most likely will not have indie companies listed.
I purchase cruelty-free beauty products whenever possible. I will purchase from cruelty-free companies that belong to a parent company that is not cruelty-free because I want to encourage that company to see the value in cruelty-free. Example: I will purchase from NARS or OPI. I own non-cruelty-free products that I am finishing up and will not repurchase once I run out. Example: I own a ton of MAC, purchased when MAC was CF but it is no longer CF. I am using that up but once it’s gone I will not repurchase unless MAC is CF again. Because I have rosacea, some products I use are under the recommendation of my doctor, such as Cetaphil. I will always do the best I can to be honest and disclose. With makeup I find that it’s easy to find cruelty-free products. I find it more difficult to find cruelty-free skincare that works with my rosacea.
If a company is not cruelty-free but decides to go cruelty-free, I will support them. I want companies to be encouraged to change their status to cruelty-free.
Some affordable companies to keep in mind (not all of these are cosmetics):
I miss Phaedra’s fur being long like this. She’s such a goof.
Some more expensive companies also worth mentioning:
My list is by no means comprehensive, but I did want to share these options with you, as I think it really helps if you know so that you can keep these companies in mind. This list is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
With all the controversy about Urban Decay and so forth lately I keep seeing conflicting information about Revlon. I still picked up a couple of those new lip balms yesterday, but I tend to look at NYX or Physicians Formula first. My understanding is the Ulta brand is cruelty free as well, but I’ve never tried any of their stuff other than a couple nail polishes. As for the prestige section, I tend to stick to Tarte, Too Faced, and Stila, although many websites also list Benefit and Bare Essenscuals. I’m skeptical about Benefit and I’ve never tried Bare Minerals or anything.
All the Sephora store brands are supposedly cruelty free, but at Sephora I tend to gravitate toward Illamasqua, Hourglass, and Josie Maran (before silencing my conscience in the YSL aisle). I’ve never known where to begin with NARS but the recent Urban Decay fiasco has me looking for a new favorite brand and Tarte and NARS seem like the best choices at the moment. I just wish that Illamasqua did value sets once in a while…
I’ve seen that Revlon is cruelty-free and they have been for years. I have heard that all the Sephora brands are CF as well. Yeah it would be nice if Illamasqua did value sets!
I’ve been having trouble finding definitive information about Revlon. What I do know is that PETA says they test on animals and that Leaping Bunny says they’ve been trying to get Revlon to sign one of their commitments for years, to no avail. Most dishearteningly, while researching animal testing policies yesterday I stumbled upon a number of blog posts from the past couple of weeks suggesting NYX is using third party animal testing because they are about to launch in China.
This is a great resource/list! I saw on Facebook the other day that Too Faced is also cruelty free (they said so themselves in response to a fan on their page), not sure if they are on any cruelty free list(s) though.
Hi Jeanne, I just added Too Faced. I love them, I know they’re cruelty-free, and I can’t believe I forgot to add them!
This is a great list – and much easier to navigate than the PETA list. Thank you!
You’re welcome Danielle!
Nars is owned by Shiseido, well-known for NOT being cruelty-free. I guess it’s up to everyone whether they will patronize a company for their inhumane parent. I’m on the fence about Milani. THey refuse to be part of the PETA or leapingbunny.org program so that makes me suspect. I have emailed Tarina T twice about their status since they appear on no cruelty-free list and have yet to hear a thing back from them. Again, suspect. Love, love Jane Iredale products. Also, 100% Pure is a great company with good products and are cruelty-free.
My take is that I will purchase from a cruelty-free brand, even if the parent company is not cruelty-free. I wouldn’t want to be blamed for the awful things my mother does, as we’re both adults.
Thereby still giving the testers your money.
Taicraven, you have to do what you feel is right for you, just like I do what I feel is right for me. I no longer am purchasing from Revlon because they are testing.
I am still supporting NARS as a cruelty-free company, though I will not buy from their parent company own.
Great list, thank you! This combines my favorite makeup characteristics – indie and cruelty-free!
But what about Aromaleigh? I’m really digging v 2.0 and it’s a cruelty-free company
Yeah, it’s not a comprehensive list. There are many indie companies I didn’t list. I’m glad you find it helpful!
Great post—thanks! I have been trying very hard to be cruelty-free for years, but sometimes you do get conflicting info, and sometimes you learn it after the fact. I trusted Clinique for a long time, just to find out they are owned by Elizabeth Arden. It almost seems as if half the cosmetic world is owned by that company, and it’s infuriating. I think a lot of people feel (as do I) that we were cheated or duped into thinking we were doing the right thing by buying a certain brand. I am so glad that so many brands are hearing us and doing what’s right and humane, as well that we have the option of so many new indie companies. Thanks so much for the list. It will be very useful for me.
And little Phaedra is precious. Her fur was so beautiful and silky-looking! Love puppy pics!
I personally don’t mind buying from a CF company, even if their parent company is non-CF. It seems like 1/2 of the companies are owned by Elizabeth Arden and the other 1/2 are owned by Estee Lauder.
I’m glad you find the list helpful
And yes, I couldn’t pass up the cute puppy pictures.
I’ll favorite this post. You’re right about PETA/ Leaping Bunny not listing lesser-known/ indie brands. I thought Stila is owned by EL, I might be wrong though. Awww, baby and mommy are gorgeous in this pic!
Yeah, I don’t want to see the indie brands discounted because they’re not listed on PETA or Leaping Bunny. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Fyrinnae is cruelty-free and vegan, but they’re not on either list.
I had always assumed Stila was a private company but I see that Estee Lauder owned it until 2006 when they sold it to a private equity firm. I guess it makes sense that it’s harder for independent companies to get in to stores like Ulta and Sephora.
I think it’s definitely harder, because Sephora store space (and Ulta too) is limited, so they are taking a risk when they devote space to say, Illamasqua.
Don’t agree.. 100% CF
Hmm, Tashina from Logical Harmony had let me know that Victoria’s Secret was cruelty-free and they’re on PETA’s list.
NARS Official statement:
Nars does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, including our suppliers, conduct animal testing on our behalf. Nars uses only the highest quality ingredients which have a proven safety record and are widely used in the cosmetics industry
With both NARS and Victoria’s Secret, their parent companies aren’t cruelty free but they definitely are.
Thanks Phyrra! I appreciate you getting the lists together. I am having a tuff time finding a good cruelty free cheap mascara, WnW and Revlon are not working out. Any ideas?
Nyx and Milani Milani Runway Lashes (yellow cap) and Nyx Pin-Up-Curl Mascara.
I think it should be noted that Tom’s also makes toothpaste and soap as well as deodorant.
OK, I will note that.
Thanks for creating this resource. I’m moving more and more to buying only cruelty-free products.
If earning the ‘rabbit’ symbol and the PETA logo are anything like the organic ‘frog’ and ‘tree’ labels that foods go through, it would make sense that indie companies will find it harder to getting the rabbit or PETA logo.
Companies have to offer certifications and reports to those companies stating their intent to be organic and such. The also have to pay a fee and then annually to keep that symbol. The clearinghouse for these companies do conduct random investigations but for the most part, it is just acceptable for the offered information to qualify them to be organic.
Even a few companies who have the peta bunny on them, such as Smashbox, are no longer cruelty-free. It comes off as false advertising, because the bunny SHOULD be a way to tell that a product is CF.
Yeah I think you’re right and that’s why indie companies are rarely on the list, because of all the hoops they have to go through.
This is a great post! Thank you! I knew about some of the drugstore brands (NYX, WnW) and others were a pleasant surprise (Milani, Mitchum). I’ll definitely be referencing this in the future!
Isn’t Bobbi Brown cruelty free as well?
No Bobbi Brown, like MAC and Smashbox, are no longer cruelty-free because of selling in China. They all have the statement ‘except when required by law,’ which means that they are selling in China.
I love that you included so many independent companies in this list! It’s really great to see a lot of new brands on here.
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i believe that revlon is no longer cruelty-free as they sell in china.
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Wet n Wild and ELF are cruelty free? That’s very surprising. I assumed the opposite because they’re both made in China. So is it only brands *sold* in China that have to be animal tested according to government regulations? Or are all cosmetics made there subject to testing?
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I was surprised about ELF & WnW for the exact same reason as Sandra TK!!! I appreciate this list, my daughter & I have pledged not to spend another dime on non cruelty free brands.
I believe Vincent Longo and sue devitt are also CF
So this list include third party animal testing? Sad, because it’s so hard to find lists of real cruelty-free brands (which includes 3rd party)…
@KateM55 You’re welcome to view my policy on animal testing and what I consider cruelty-free. It’s on my FAQ page.
thank u so much for this, very usefull. i have just decided to go vegan with nails and skin so please check my list of cruelty free brands and help me increase it. i’d be honoured if u’d follow my blog’s little community of nail art lovers. http://nailsnoob.blogspot.it