PETA’s cruelty free list is sort of the gold standard for what qualifies as cruelty free makeup from what I can tell. I’ll quickly mention that just because something isn’t on PETA’s list doesn’t necessarily mean (...but probably does...) that it isn’t actually completely cruelty free. Brands do have to sign an agreement with PETA to make it onto that list. However, there are brands which publically call themselves cruelty free that wouldn’t make it onto PETA’s list. Every element of the production process of a product must be cruelty free to make it onto the PETA list. Some companies may test the ingredients of a product on animals for example, but not the finished product. It’s worth reading some of PETA’s FAQs to get a clear picture on how it all works.
A lot of people know this now, but a few years ago Estee Lauder, who own a lot of cosmetic brands (Mac, Clinique and a schwack of others), relinquished their cruelty free status in order to sell their products in China. China’s policy in regards to cosmetics is that they must be tested on animals before being made available for retail. I really appreciated that on PETA’s website they note their disagreement primarily lies with regulatory agencies that require animal testing and less with the actual brands that are put in a difficult position because of it. Unfortunately that move on Estee Lauder’s part means it’s a bit harder to walk into a department store and find cruelty free makeup these days.
Still, there are loads of brands in department stores and even some in the drugstore that are cruelty free. So without any greater procrastination and rambling, here are some brands to note.
High End Makeup Cruelty Free Brands:
Bare Escentuals (presumably that means Buxom and Bare Minerals)
Drugstore Makeup Cruelty Free Brands:
Wet n Wild
The Body Shop (this one’s a bit of a lone ranger – I wasn’t quite sure where to put it)
Of course there are loads more cruelty free companies out there. If you shop at Whole Foods, for example, they do the work for you in their selection process. But for this post I wanted to focus on brands that are mainstream and that we’re most often exposed to. If I’ve missed any obvious ones please do tell me.