Cruelty-Free Cosmetics: What it Means + Where to Find Them!

leaping bunny logoIn the simplest explanation, ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetics companies ensure that none of their products are tested on animals. When buying products that are cruelty-free, you want to look for the “Leaping Bunny” seal on the product and/or the website. Only products bearing the Leaping Bunny mark are certified ‘cruelty free’ under the rigorous internationally-recognized Humane Cosmetics or Humane Household Products Standards. You can read more about that here.

Favorite Cruelty-Free Drugstore Makeup

Burt’s Bees

This planet-friendly brand also has a robust makeup line that is also animal-testing free. While they do clearly identify the Leaping Bunny logo on their products, they are owned by Clorox. Clorox does test on animals, so this could be a conflict of interest for you if you due to their parent company.

Flower Cosmetics

I started using this brand not too long ago, as I was intrigued after watching an interview with Drew Barrymore. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! I am in love with their lip gloss and the Skincognito stick foundation, which is a gym-bag essential for me. Please note: the brand is only available at Wal-Mart.


This is a brand I really like and use a lot in my own everyday makeup and with clients. Just for clarity, the L’Oreal acquisition does not change NYX’s ethical policies as they continue to be cruelty-free. In addition, “most products are vegan/gluten-free, but some do contain animal derived ingredients and/or could contain gluten. Always read the label for every product do It is best for the customer to decipher if there is any ingredient that could be derived from animals and/or contains gluten.” Happy shopping!

Physicians Formula

In addition to being a great option for our sensitive skin ladies, this makeup brand is also kind to animals. My personal favorites are the bronzers, and they do have a great product line for mature women that ranges from anti-aging to hormonal aging products.

Here are a few other drugstore brands to check out:

  • Nuance by Salma Hayek (exclusively at CVS)
  • Milani
  • ELF
  • Kiss My Face
  • Wet ‘n Wild

Additional Brands that are Easily Accessible

bareMinerals/Bare Essentuals /BUXOM

bareMinerals makeup is one of my personal favorites especially when I need to give my skin a break from traditional foundation and in the summer months. Make sure you use the primer or you will not achieve your desired look!

The company does state that they do not conduct animal testing or work with manufacturers that do…however, their “natural hair” makeup brushes are made of goat and pony hair. While they claim no animals are hurt in the making of the brushes, they do have high a nice variety of high-end synthetic brushes for consumers who are looking for non-animal haired brushes.

Urban Decay

You can find this at your local Sephora and this cruelty-free brand has a plethora of awesome products. I use their eye shadow primer on almost all of my clients. Love it! They do have some vegan certified products as well, if that is your thing!

The Body Shop

Tried and true, this brand has been around for a while and has a great selection of cruelty-free products for your makeup needs. Personal favorite: All-in-One BB Cream– fantastic for your skin and doesn’t settle into fine lines. Win win!


Cruelty-free, Women Owned and eco-friendly. What I love most about this company is that not only are they kind to our furry friends, but owner and CEO Lynn Tilton is passionate about creating and saving American jobs. Check out their eye shadow sets and lip-gloss sets for under $20.00 at your local Ulta and some Kohl’s retailers.

There is a ton of information out there, but like all things, the more educated you are, the better decision you will be able to make for yourself. Here are a few more helpful links:

Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics Shopping Guide

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

Leaping Bunny


  1. Thank you for researching cruelty-free cosmetics. Never knew Burt’s Bees was owned by Clorox. They promote themselves as cruelty-free and was quite surprised to read about the Clorox connection. Never really dug far enough in to really find out the full scoop.

    • Loury,

      There is a bit more information on their site, but as of the present, they are still maintaining the core values and commitments to their brand, as before they were acquired. Go Burt’s Bees! 🙂 More info can be found here.

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