Are your favorite makeup brands actually cruelty-free? #BeautyTruthBomb

These popular brands all still test on animals. Some of them are often mistaken for being cruelty-free, but sadly this is not the case. I've included a brief description of each company's policy to explain why they aren't cruelty-free.

For the majority of these cases, the brands are sold in China, where animal testing is mandatory by law for foreign cosmetics. It's important to read the fine print when reading brand policies, as many of them will claim to be cruelty-free but then include a clause about "except when required by law".

If they are sold in stores in China, this clause then means that they are not a cruelty-free brand.


NARS was once a cruelty-free staple brand for so many. Unfortunately, earlier this year, they updated their animal testing policy to reflect their decision to join the Chinese market. From now on, NARS is going to test on animals where required by law, meaning they are no longer cruelty-free. One good thing that has come out of this horrible decision is that there has been so much media attention brought to their decision, which is helping to increase awareness about animal testing!

2. L’Oreal

L'Oreal has a notoriously misleading animal testing FAQ. They claim “L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others.” However, they do sell their products in China where animal testing is mandatory for foreign cosmetics. They address this loophole in their policy as well: “An exception could be made if authorities required it for human safety or regulatory purposes.” In order words, they do fund animal testing of their finished products in China, where the practice is required by law.

3. Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder claims that they are "committed to the elimination of animal testing", yet they do a test on animals where required by law. Since they sell their products in the Chinese market, where animal testing is required, and they aren't a cruelty-free company. Like L'Oreal, Estée Lauder also owns several other brands which are subject to this same policy.

4. MAC

MAC Cosmetics is probably one of the most popular and well-known makeup brands of all time, and they used to be a cruelty-free brand, which can lead to some confusion as to their current policy. They are owned by Estée Lauder, whose animal testing policy is not to test on animals unless required by law (as mentioned above). Because MAC is sold in China, where animal testing is required, MAC isn’t a cruelty-free company.

5. Maybelline

Another heavy hitter drugstore brand, Maybelline also shares the same policy as their parent company L'Oreal. They sell their products in China, where animal testing is mandatory for foreign cosmetics. Because of this, Maybelline isn’t a cruelty-free brand. For an affordable cruelty-free alternative to Maybelline and other drugstore brands, ELF has tons of great options!