The expression “cruelty-free” is used to identify all those products that do not use nor include ingredients or components of animal origin.

Several companies offer cruelty-free products among their collections.

But how can you be sure of which companies are actually following the strict standards of this label?

One way to do so is to check that the brand presents a cruelty-free label on their products, or check if the brand is mentioned on the websites of the associations that carry out adequate checks on beauty and make-up products.

Animal Testing

Those who produce cruelty-free make-up must ensure that all the components that are part of the finished product have not been tested on animals.

Many make-up companies do not test the finished product and do not fully check the whole testing process on ingredients and components. For this reason, many brands are not certified as cruelty-free, despite openly declaring that they are.

It is also extremely important to be able to discern between cruelty-free (free of animal-testing) and vegan, which means free of animal-derived ingredients.

There are more and more beauty salons and perfumeries offering vegan make-up products, as many brands are adapting to this new frontier of “ethical” make-up. In the world, moreover, there has been an increase in the number of vegans and vegetarians in the population, and their philosophy is not limited only to the sphere of nutrition, but to make sure that in general, their life choices do not cause suffering, pain or death of animals.

Making sure to use cruelty-free, and possibly vegan, products is extremely important to ensure that such phenomena as animal torture, vivisection, and other horrible injustices are completely eradicated.

In this article, we will explore the available cruelty-free brands in the UK, which of these are also vegan and which certifications they present. For those of you interested in UK brands of vegan make-up, we won’t miss to mention our favorite ones, so keep reading!

1. Kat Von D

KVD Vegan Beauty
via @kvdveganbeauty

Most of Kat Von D’s products are 100% vegan and have not been tested on animals because Kat, also known as an activist, firmly believes in protecting and respecting animals and has the goal to benefit them by creating shelters all over the U.S.

Kat Von D’s cruelty-free status has been certified by PETA. However, not all of her products are vegan, therefore we recommend checking out online which ones are before purchasing.

If you love black, bold colors and you’re vegan, you won’t help but fall in love with the look of Kat Von D, the famous Mexican tattoo artist, who has become a TV personality thanks to the reality show L.A. Ink, shot from 2007 to 2011 in his tattoo studio.

Despite all the controversy surrounding her and her brand, Kat continues to create innovative products like the Tattoo liner, an easy to apply eyeliner with a very thin tip that allows you to design a precise line, eye shadows coming in a thousand different shades and extreme, flashy and bright lipsticks.

Kat Von D’s products in the UK are available at Debnhams.

2. Hourglass

Hourglass Cosmetics
via @hourglasscosmetics

Hourglass has confirmed that they don’t test on animals during the production of their products. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law, and this has all been certified by PETA.

The brand was born in England in 2004, thanks to the intuition of Carisa Janes, its founder. The idea was to create a luxury and niche cosmetics brand that would combine technology and high quality with respect for the environment.

The first Boutique arrived in California, but in a few years this brand has become one of the most loved by divas and make-up artists from all over the world, ensuring important retailers such as American department stores and today is also sold by Sephora.

The main features of the brand are luxury packaging and few products but technologically advanced. The fame comes in particular thanks to AMBIENT® a patented technology of photoluminescent particles that is applied in particular to Hourglass powders.

It is also one of the most loved brands by those looking for very high-quality products: certainly luxurious but respectful of organic certifications. Hourglass is respectful of animals both in the testing phases and in the use of non-animal ingredients.

Hourglass is available in the UK via their UK website Hourglass Cosmetics UK

3. Barry M

Barry M Official Instagram
via @barrymcosmetics

The amazing brand Barry M is dedicated to offering a 100% cruelty-free range of products. Currently, All Barry M products are vegetarian and 97% are vegan (3% are not quite there, because they showcase ingredients such as Beeswax). However, Barry M isn’t certified by any official cruelty-free organization.

Barry M was founded in London in 1982 by the cosmetics producer Barry Mero, who was an expert in the field, and decided to create a make-up line that could respond to the particular aesthetic needs of that period. The 80’s London stood out for the new romantic, punk and dark movements, and because of this Barry M has always been a brand that is not afraid to dare with unusual colors and textures, thus becoming one of the most loved brands from young British people.

The range of super-colored make-up products made in the UK by Barry M is vast and includes sheer lipsticks with a matte finish, fine powder eye shadows and, among others, the legendary Nail Pant, icon of this cosmetic brand, characterized by countless shades, finishes and “special” effects.

The range of super-colored make-up products made in the UK by Barry M is vast and includes sheer lipsticks with a matt finish, eye shadows in the finest powder and, among others, the legendary Nail Pant, glazes icon of this cosmetic brand, characterized by innumerable nuances of color, finish and “special” effects.

Barry M is available for in the UK via online stores including Barry M Official Website or Barry M on Superdrug.

4. Chantecaille

via @chantecaille

Chantecaille claims to be “cruelty-free” on their website but other than that, they have not been certified by any cruelty-free organization. However, they do not test their products or ingredients on animals, they do not use third party testing to test on animals, their products are sold in Hong Kong, but not Mainland China.

This brand is French and is perhaps not as well known as many other competitors because of its prices, but it is very popular in the extra-luxury departments of department stores. In this case, the packaging plays an important role, but also the fame of their products is quite important, since their quality seems to be very good.

One of their most famous products is the “Protect the Wolfes” palette. 5% of its price is donated to support animal welfare organizations that protect wolves, and it is stunning beautiful.

Their products are available in the UK from some stores, including Chentecaille on Liberty London and Chantecaille on Harvey Nichols.

5. Burt’s Bees

Burt's Bees
via @burtsbees

Burt’s Bees entered the Chinese market in 2017, and claimed that they were exempt from animal testing two to only selling “non-special use cosmetics”.

No cosmetics brand can sell cosmetics in mainland China without agreeing to potential animal tests being performed on their products.

Burt’s Bees changed their policy, and they now claim to sell to China online, which makes them able to bypass any animal testing. Because of these conflicting claims, it’s unclear whether or not Burt’s Bees tests on animals in China.

They’re still on Leaping Bunny’s list as well as PETA’s caring consumer list.

Burt’s Bees, an American natural cosmetics brand, offers only natural and certified products, starting from creams up until the mythical lip balms: it is a very complete brand that sells hundreds of amazing products.

Recognized as one of the best brands and highly appreciated for the quality of its products, Burt’s Bees has been producing only natural ingredients since 1991. They sell absolutely everything you need for skin, face and body-care, in addition to makeup and make-up removers. Furthermore, the brand also sells products for the care of the newborns and everything for both the mum and the baby.

Their products are available in the UK on their website at Burt’s Bees.

6. Inika Organic

INIKA Organic
via @inikaorganic

Inika is cruelty-free. They don’t test on animals during the production of their cosmetics. Inika is available in or ships to USA, Canada, UK / Europe, Australia and International. Inika is certified by Leaping Bunny and PETA.

They sell ecobio cosmetics and mineral & vegan make-up with top quality Australian ingredients. In fact, they are proud to sell 100% natural beauty products from Australia.

Founded in 2006, Inika has revolutionized the world of mineral cosmetic products! Inika make-up is not comedogenic, does not irritate the skin and does not clog pores! They are therefore ideal for those of you who suffer of allergies and for people with sensitive skin! The entire catalog consists of only natural products for sensitive skin, they are talc-free and, naturally, cruelty-free.

Their products are available in the UK on their website INIKA Organic!

7. BareMinerals

via @bareminerals

BareMinerals is a cruelty-free makeup brand that is PETA certified. They do not sell their products in China, where animal testing is required by law.

Bare Minerals is a cosmetic line created by Bare Escentuals, a manufacturing company founded in 1976 in California and which, since the beginning of its work, has always promoted natural beauty products, free of potentially dangerous ingredients.

The boom in popularity came with the release of the Bare Minerals foundation. The product was advertised as completely natural and free of preservatives.

The biggest advantage of the Bare Minerals line is certainly given by the long life of the products. They last all day without needing to be touched up. Bare Minerals products are not expensive and every good make-up enthusiast will be thrilled to find out that Bare Escentuals also sells customized makeup sets and tools.

Their products are available in the UK on their website at Bare Minerals!

8. Illamasqua

via @illamasqua

PETA has recognized the diligent work of Illamasqua, and look forward to continuing to promote a more cruelty-free lifestyle while encouraging other brands to get away from this inhuman and unnecessary process.

Illamasqua’s continually challenge the status quo and speaks on matters that have important effects on our human rights and responsibilities, while always celebrating diversity in beauty.

Illamasqua is an extraordinary British brand inspired by the innovative masters of make-up in the 1920s, who created a professional and long-lasting make-up tradition. Almost a century later, Illamasqua is ready to meet the same needs. The wide range of make-up is the most complete you could wish for and includes everything from primers, eye shadows, and lipsticks. Illamasqua is the brand that every beauty fanatic has to try at least once in their lifetime.

Their products are available for the UK on their website at Illamasqua.

9. Soap & Glory

Soap & Glory
via @soapandglory

On Soap & Glory’s website, they clearly establish that they test their formulations on people, not animals. Furthermore, they also ensure that Soap & Glory regularly audit their manufacturing partners to ensure they are following a no animal testing policy as well.

Soap & Glory has vintage packaging and sells many amazing body products, above all scrubs and perfumed creams, but they are also selling also a beautiful line of skincare and make-up.

Among some of their bestsellers, you’ll find blushes, eyebrow pencils, eyeshadows and lipsticks.

You can order Soap and Glory in the UK from their official website Soap and Glory UK!

10. Lime Crime

via @limecrimemakeup

Lime Crime loves animals and the environment. They exclusively offer cruelty-free cosmetics, which they do not test on animals and certify that all of their makeup products are 100% vegan. They are also part of the PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program.

Among their bestseller products we’ll find matte and liquid lipsticks, metal/shiny eyeliner and eye palettes that will conquer everyone’s heart.

However, many polemics surround the brand, because of some of their ethical choices and a scandal that happened a few years back and concerned stolen data of their clients.

You can get Lime Crime in the UK from a number of approved sellers, listed on their website at Lime Crime.

11. Cover FX

Cover FX
via @coverfx

This brand has confirmed that they don’t test on animals whilst they produce their make-up and beauty products. Cover FX is certified by PETA, and is not owned by a parent company that tests their products on animals. Furthermore, they confirmed that they are 100% vegan.

FX Cover is available in or ships to USA, Canada and UK / Europe. They can be found at Sephora and Ulta.

They are a global leader in vegan and cruelty-free beauty, since they create award-winning, high performance formulas made with clean, safe ingredients. Their products are recommended for all skin types.

Among their bestsellers, there surely are their eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks and foundations.

Cover FX are available from online stores including Cover FX on Beauty Bay


Companies that are really 100% cruelty-free do not test on animals the finished product, do not commission animal tests on finished product and ingredients, and do not use ingredients tested by on animals by the manufacturers. In this way, in fact, they do not increase experimentation on animals.

All other companies are not to be considered “cruelty-free”, even if they bear the words “not tested on animals” or similar on the packaging, until they have confirmed their company policy in one of the two ways described above.

The definition of cruelty-free includes only the issue of animal tests, and not the possible origin of the ingredients used. That is to say that, when we say “cruelty-free”, in this context we refer exclusively to tests animals are subjected to, such as vivisection.

Once again, cruelty-free does not mean that in a given product there are no ingredients of animal origin. In the context of European companies, this represents the whole market, for legal reasons. But when buying foreigners brands, always pay attention to labels and do a quick search online before purchasing.

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