Is Your Makeup Routine Cruelty-Free?

If you use makeup, you know what a difficult process it is to find the products you like best. We look at quality, color and price most often, yet something that can be overlooked or forgotten is a company’s stance on animal testing. Because most of this knowledge is hidden by companies, it can sometimes be difficult to find.

PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) says, “Every year, millions of animals are poisoned and killed in barbaric and outdated tests that attempt to evaluate the hazards of consumer products and their ingredients. In an effort to measure toxic effects, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other animals are forced to swallow or inhale massive quantities of a test substance or have a chemical smeared in their eyes or on their skin.”

Unfortunately, it's not illegal to test on animals in the United States, so companies can choose to conduct tests on animals or not. So, I did a little research. Are the products I use most frequently actually cruelty-free or am I contributing to the company’s harming of animals?

First, I decided to look in my own makeup bag and determine what products are and are not tested on animals. The results were truly shocking.

Photo courtesy of Neely Hoegen

The makeup bag of Neely Hoegen, Carthage College junior

NYX: <3 (Cruelty-free)

Covergirl: X (Not cruelty-free)

Ulta: <3

Rimmel: X

ELF: <3

Essence: <3

I am personally shocked by the results of my research. My go-to brands like Covergirl and Rimmel are not cruelty-free products. I also find it interesting that the most expensive products of my everyday wear are actually tested on animals.

Something else I learned during this research is that some companies claim to be cruelty-free but in small print say “except for where required”. Surprisingly, products sold in China are required to be tested on animals before being put on the market.This means that any company that sells their products in China is in fact not cruelty-free.

This led me to wonder if other collegiettes really knew the truth behind what is in their makeup bag. I reached out to a few Carthage women and these are the results:

Photo courtesy of Amanda Goecke

The makeup bag of Amanda Goecke, senior

Maybelline: X 

Tarte: <3

Too Faced: <3

Merle Norman: <3

Becca: <3

It looks like other than her mascara, Amanda’s bag is fairly cruelty-free!

When I showed Amanda her results, she said, “Maybelline was the first brand of mascara I used when starting out with makeup, and I've loved their different kinds of products ever since. However, I am starting to be more conscious of my choice is regards to animal cruelty, because there are so many wonderful cruelty-free brands out there. I have been aware of Maybelline's status for a while, so I'm looking to make the transition to more animal-friendly companies. I am a HUGE fan of Too Faced and Tarte, so I'm happy to learn that a majority of my favorite brands are cruelty-free!”

Photo courtesy of Noelle Jay

The makeup bag of Noelle Jay, junior

NYX: <3

Too Faced: <3

Ulta: <3

Almay: X

Clinique: X

It looks like the products Noelle Jay owns the most of (Too Faced and NYX) are indeed cruelty-free. The Clinique color sticks and Almay liner are tested on animals though!

Noelle was shocked. “I had no idea that those products were tested on animals! I am surprised by the results because I had assumed that all of the products I was using were cruelty-free. I don’t think I’m going to use or buy these products anymore.”

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Lutkus

Alexandra Lutkus, junior

Maybelline: X

Urban Decay: <3

Rimmel: X

Bare Minerals: <3

Hempz: <3

Good news for all: Naked palettes are cruelty-free! However, like my bag, there are many brands that test on animals.

Alex says, “It’s a little surprising to see what passed and what didn’t! I usually check to see if the products I use are cruelty free and it’s disheartening to see that I’ve been using products from companies that use animal testing. As for if I will use them anymore, I’d have to say no! I watched a video about what happens to those animals and it’s disgusting!”  

This experiment was surprising to me. Out of four collegiettes, there was not a single makeup bag that didn’t have at least one product produced by a company that tests on animals.

Here’s a tip: Look inside your bag and determine if your fave products are cruelty-free. Which products in your bag are actually tested on animals? Next time you purchase makeup, be prepared. Either take a minute to prepare ahead of time and do your research or do a quick internet search on your phone before you make the purchase. Not buying these products is a great way to encourage them to stop testing on animals.

Additionally, write your go-to companies an email! Explain to them why you have stopped buying their products… make your voice heard! Be informed and fight animal cruelty!

Rep image courtesy of Pexels