Updated: Apr 28, 2020

Makeup allows us to express ourselves and be confident, so it comes as no surprise that the industry is ever growing. Brits spend £10 billion each year on cosmetics on hundreds of different brands. Unfortunately, the price we pay doesn't stop at the tag. Marketing campaigns lead to endless amounts of unnecessary packaging and the ever continuing animal testing by many brands and their suppliers. This post covers some of the most popular cosmetics brands and their cruelty free status as well as some great suggestions for new ones to check out.

Most Popular Makeup Brands

Animal tested products cause the suffering and death of millions of animals per year. The brands listed below are some of the most popular in the UK and we trust them to supply us with great products, but should they cost the natural world as well as our pockets? Take a look to see their cruelty free status:

Charlotte Tilbury Cruelty Free, hooray! Shoutout to Charlotte, none of her products or suppliers test on animals <3. If I could afford to buy makeup from here I sure would!


Not Cruelty Free... my heart is breaking. Goodbye face and body foundation... I will miss you.


Not Cruelty Free - c'est la vie

Benefit Cosmetics

Not Cruelty Free, I love a lot of these guys products so I was really disappointed when I found out they aren't cruelty free. You just can't have it all.

L'Oréal - Maybelline - Yves Saint Laurent

Not cruelty free - all these brands are some of the most popular in the UK and they are all owned by L'Oréal, who knew? Unfortunately, this means that all of these brands aren't cruelty free.

Urban Decay

Cruelty Free - Woo, now I can keep all my eye shadow pallets!!


Not Cruelty Free - pricey stuff too, save yourself the money and the guilt!


Not Cruelty Free - I didn't expect this from Clinique, I always imagined they would be cruelty free because it's all so natural and skin loving... I was mistaken!


Well there you have it, do any of these come as a surprise to you? 8/10 of the most popular brands in the UK are not cruelty free and one of the biggest reasons for this is China. As one of the worlds fasted growing economies cosmetic brands are going to want to sell their products here and although they allow products to be made here without animal testing, no products can be sold that haven't been. These laws also don't apply to Hong Kong; so products that are sold here don't have to be tested. A lot of companies aren't cruelty free so that they are able to sell their products in China and it makes sense that they wouldn't want to miss out on a market this big but it just sucks for all us animal lovers. On the brighter side, recent statements from the Chinese government suggest that they might abolish these laws in 2020. YAY! Perhaps in a few years 10/10 of these companies will be cruelty free. For now we'll just have to wait and see!


Brands that love back

All the brands below produce high quality, loveable products without animal testing. Have a look to see if you can find a new beauty routine thats kinder to nature:


Oh yes, we do love glossier! It focuses on minimalism and creating intuitive, uncomplicated products that extenuate you're natural beauty and creating a skin-loving routine; and of course they are cruelty free always!

The ordinary

The ordinary offers products that tell you how it is, by stripping back unnecessary packaging and misleading ingredients. Their products work and come highly rated at tiny prices you wouldn't believe. Alike to glossier it focuses on taking care of your skin through your makeup.


Tarte are currently offering 20% off to celebrate 20 years of cruelty free - I think it says it all. Tarte focuses on using natural ingredients while still creating efficient makeup that can live up to the test with a handy vegan range too! They also pride themselves on giving back to the areas in which their ingredients are sourced, with environmental conservation schemes e.g partnering up with the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Anastasia Beverly Hills

I am so glad that Anastasia Beverly Hills is cruelty free because their dip brow is a life saver; the only one I can use where my eyebrows don't just end up ginger. ABH rose to the top of beauty scene due its brow revolution but now is renowned for its stunning eyeshadow pallets and so much more.


Confusingly, NYX is owned by L'Oréal but is in fact cruelty free unlike the other brands owned by L'Oréal such as Maybelline and YSL. It creates a range of long lasting and quality products at drug store prices and has become increasingly popular over the last few years. A like to other brands, it also offers vegan products <3

Too faced

Too faced is based on 90's themes and a love of Paris which compliments its unabashed girliness which it makes it unique in the beauty industry. With vegan lines and scented pallets, two faced is just what your beauty routine has been missing.


Elf is proud to be 100% vegan and cruelty free worldwide as 'kindness is chic', so you can look and feel good. With originality as their inspiration they have styles for everyone and they are defiantly worth your while.


Lush not only has the best and craziest bath bombs but also a 100% vegetarian, handmade makeup products. The range has it all from foundation to lipsticks and is not only tackling animal cruelty but packaging waste as well by creating refillable lipstick cases and sticks. So, if you haven't checked it out already, go go go!


So, after reading you can see there are so many options if you want to go cruelty free in your makeup routine, and that you can look pretty good doing it. Again with all sustainable acts, you can't beat yourself up about it. I personally have had things in my makeup collection for a while now and bought them long before I started to consider the affects they were having. Throwing these products out might be a statement but would also be very wasteful and pretty uneconomical. Instead, try to be more aware of it next time you need a restock your mascara or foundation (which always seems to happen at once and when my bank account is at £0.00) and opt for a cruelty free option. There are soooo many more brands that are cruelty free and hopefully one day they all will be :) <3

Check out Cruelty Free Kitty for a full list of cruelty free brands at:

As always thanks for reading

Antonia :)

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