When I first started going ‘ethical’ with my cosmetics I found it really difficult to figure out what I could and couldn’t buy. Besides searching for a brand on Peta (which doesn’t even seem to list half of the brands out there), I didn’t have a lot to go by. I mostly found myself lingering awkwardly in the aisles of Superdrug, scrolling through the FAQ pages of individual businesses to figure out if they were ‘ethical’.
…and what did ethical even mean? Cruelty-free? Vegan? Eco-friendly?
…and how on earth did anybody figure all of this out from an ingredients list? To me, it may as well have been in a foreign language.
Superdrug tends to be my shop of choice because they stock some of my favourite brands (although their store in Sheffield City Centre is pretty small), but there isn’t really any straight-forward information out there. I have seen a couple of ‘Cruelty-Free at Superdrug’ posts knocking about, but they’re either incomplete or a bit mislead about what cruelty-free is (which is kind of worrying).
In my opinion, if a brand wants to call themselves cruelty-free they should:
- not conduct any animal testing
- not have any other companies test on their behalf
- ensure that their raw ingredients aren’t tested on animals
- refuse to sell their products in Mainland China, due to their testing policies
There are a few different certifications from organisations like Leaping Bunny and Peta that can assure to different levels that a brand is cruelty-free, but I’ll break these down in a separate post – I don’t want to make things too complicated!
This list is also exclusive to makeup brands at Superdrug; I’ll be covering other stores and product types in future posts, so stay tuned for those!
Makeup Brands at Superdrug that ARE Cruelty-Free:
This is Superdrug’s own makeup brand. They are certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny Program and every one of their products is suitable for vegans!
Although they’re known for their nail polishes, Barry M have a wide range of makeup which is all cruelty-free; they’re associated with the Be Cruelty Free campaign run by the Humane Society. You can find out which products are suitable for vegans on their website – a special green logo will be listed by the ingredients.
Another amazing, affordable brand – I have soooo many of their eyeshadow palettes! They’re 100% cruelty free and vegan.
Although there isn’t much information on their website, the general consensus among other bloggers who’ve contacted them directly is that they’re cruelty-free. I’ve emailed them for an update, just in case, but I’m happy to leave them here in the meantime!
Gosh are another one of my favourite brands – you can see my review of their flagship foundation here. They’re cruelty-free, and the first thing you come across on their website is the option to view their list of vegan products!
These three brands are actually separate lines from the same brand, Revolution Beauty London. They’re in the same category as Sleek – their online statement is minimal but other bloggers have had confirmation from them that they’re cruelty-free and, again, I’ve contacted them for an update! They also have a very easy-to-access list of vegan products on their website, which is great.
MUA have a very affordable range of vegan products (again, you can find out which are vegan by going on their website) and they’re certified cruelty-free by Peta.
Lottie London is a fairly new brand to have appeared on the shelves of Superdrug, and they’re certified cruelty-free by Peta. Again, you can find a list of vegan products on their website!
Nip + Fab state on their website that they’re cruelty-free, but don’t go into much detail about what that means. I emailed them for a statement, and their reply satisfied me that they definitely don’t test on animals. As for vegan products, that’s still a little up in the air, I’m afraid!
There really isn’t much at all online about Tanya Burr’s makeup range. All I can find is Tanya herself quoted on Twitter saying that they’d never test on animals (but that doesn’t mean to say they make sure raw ingredients aren’t tested). They only sell via Feel Unique and Superdrug, therefore they won’t sell in China, but as for vegan products you’re just as well guessing! I could try and read the individual ingredients, but I’d be too worried about getting something wrong and accidentally buying something that wasn’t vegan.
I emailed theBalm asking them to provide more information on the cruelty free claim on their website. They told me that you have to submit proprietary information to an organisation such as Peta or Leaping Bunny to get certification, which they weren’t comfortable doing as a family business, but assured me that they don’t test on animals. They also said that they’re working on putting together a list of their vegan products, which I’m excited for!
Brands with Unclear Policies:
I contacted Cake cosmetics to find out more about their cruelty-free status, but the reply I received was slightly confusing. It said that they are cruelty-free, and in the process of applying for their ‘cruelty-free bunny’ (although it didn’t state which one. It then went on to say that some of their products are made in the UK, which meant they weren’t tested on animals. So… does that mean some others ARE tested on animals? Confused. Either way, hopefully we’ll get a clear answer when they achieve an accredited cruelty-free status!
Last year, I remember reading a tonne of blog posts about how Collection had started selling their products in China, and were therefore no longer cruelty-free, however now I’ve come to research this post I can’t find confirmation of this anywhere! How frustrating! Either way, I won’t be classing them as cruelty-free until I can be sure.
NOT Cruelty-Free Makeup:
There are many reasons that brands are considered to be ‘animal testers’ or ‘not cruelty-free’. Some companies have been caught red-handed by undercover journalists, others simply refuse to comment, and some brands sell their products in China, even though animal testing is legally required there (that means that, although they may not test on animals themselves, they’re still condoning and profiting from it). The following brands available at Superdrug are NOT cruelty-free:
- Know Cosmetics
- L’Oreal Paris
- Max Factor
- Miss Sporty