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How to Make Sure Your Cruelty-Free Makeup is Actually Cruelty-Free

Today it is hard to imagine that only a few years ago it was near impossible to find cruelty free makeup. If you had made the right decision to lead a cruelty-free life and were a makeup lover, the struggle was real for you. There were only about a couple of brands that offered PETA approved cruelty-free products. Today, we’re fortunate enough to have beauty aisles filled with cruelty free brands. More and more brands are switching to cruelty free and responding to the demand for animal-friendly makeup. Or are they?

Think Twice

Despite how simple it may seem to buy cruelty-free makeup, precautions are still necessary. While we’re happy with the progress being made, there are still some hidden issues. Many of these brands are lying to us. There are so many products that claim to be cruelty free while they really aren’t.

We know, it’s crazy to think that they can just get away with lying and false advertising; but they’ve devised sneaky ways to get away with it. We’re here to pull the curtain down and help you figure out when you’re being lied to and how to make sure your cruelty-free makeup is actually cruelty free!

The Two Tattle-Tales

To truly figure out whether a brand that claims to be cruelty free actually is you will need to do some extensive research. It takes a very close eye to figure out the truth. A simple way to figure it out on the spot is to keep an eye out for the two most common lies that blow brands’ covers.


It is very simple; in order to sell in China, a brand cannot be cruelty-free. Beauty sold in China must conduct mandatory animal testing. It’s horrible, we know, but unfortunately true. Brands may claim to be cruelty free, but if they are selling in China, there’s no way they can be.

Many brands have tried to keep their sales in China under the radar. Sadly, there have also been brands such as NARS that were entirely cruelty-free and only recently decided to start selling in China to increase revenue. It’s heartbreaking but true.


Another quick way for you to figure out if the product you’re eyeing is cruelty free is to take a look at the ingredients list. You should generally always be looking to the ingredients list to make sure there are no harmful chemicals in your products. But, more importantly you should pay close attention if you’re looking for cruelty-free.

There are certain ingredients that can instantly give it away. For example, if a product contains glycerin then it is instantly not cruelty free. Cruelty free products use vegetable glycerin. The same applies for the common use of squalane versus the cruelty free squalene.

Another infamous one is mink lashes. Huda Beauty claims to sell cruelty free mink lashes, but simply by being Mink they are inherently using animals!

Mother Companies

After reviewing all of these factors, there still remains one simple way to count out a whole bunch of brands from being cruelty free; mother companies.

You may not realize it, but there are mother companies such as L’Oreal or Estee Lauder under which many brands fall. If you can figure out whether the mother comapny is or isn’t cruelty free, you can automatically count out all of the branches that fall under it!

If a mother company is testing on animals, then you can guarantee that all of the brands that fall under it will as well. Despite their claims, you cannot trust them!


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