The Cruelty free / vegan beauty trap ! what you need to know

The Beauty Edition| cruelty free / vegan beauty trap! |cruelty free makeup | Vegan Vanity |beauty

The Cruelty free / vegan beauty and cosmetics trap! what you need to know.

The Beauty Edition| cruelty free / vegan beauty trap! |cruelty free makeup | Vegan Vanity |beauty
Lancome , Mac and QUO all test on animals !

Hello Beauties,

I am sure you are aware that there is a lot of brands now getting behind the cruelty free/ vegan beauty and cosmetics hype. This ethical movement is both amazing and now somewhat misleading in some cases.

As some of you know I am now vegan and I will be fully switching to only cruelty free / vegan products. As I have been researching this for months I have also come across some misleading brands that actually make me angry because they are essentially misrepresenting their brand as ethical while tricking customers into thinking they are doing the more ethical thing. In some cases their vegan/cruelty free products are even inflated in price as well.

In 2017 Animal testing is not needed or ethical !

Now don’t get me wrong I am totally fine with paying more so some poor bunny doesn’t have to but it makes me and I’m sure all of you angry when I pay extra in some cases for something that is in fact not cruelty free at all.


As consumers we have a responsibility to know what we are putting our hard earned money towards and which industries we are supporting. This sounds way easier than it actually is, this world is confusing and misleading so below I will attempt to break it down. I also have an e book that I am compiling to come out later this year which will be more in depth and I will list all brands that are truly cruelty free etc. That being said I feel you deserve at least the basic information now so you can be an informed consumer.


Cruelty free is a label brands use to let you know that they don’t harm or kill animals for the purposes of their products including animals testing.

Third party testing?

That sounds great but … and here is where it gets real, A lot of companies who claim to be cruelty free still have blood on their hands. They mislead you by using “Third Party Testing “ which is a nice way of saying they pay another company to torture and test on animals but since they themselves didn’t handle the testing they can call themselves “Cruelty –Free”. Now before you break out the pitchforks understand this is not all companies but some.

Second problem Chinese law:

In China to sell products in the cosmetics or beauty industry the products MUST be tested on animals before they are allowed to be sold. This means if a company claims to be cruelty free and they are selling in china .. they are lying to you.

Important to know that the law doesn’t apply to companies made in china but sold elsewhere. This law only applies if they are sold in china.

Third problem Misleading logo’s

Another problem is misleading logos. Many companies use tricky variations of the bunny logo with the words “not tested on animals”, “we love animals” etc. etc. But this does not make the product certified cruelty free. If you are ever in doubt on this you can see the below symbols which are certified by PETA and other organizations that are promoting animal welfare and these are third party sources you can trust.


PETA Logo’s to look for :




Other Logos for certified Cruelty free( not by PETA)



Vegan products:

How vegan products differ is that the product must not contain animal by-products . Cruelty free beauty products by law can still contain animal by-products where vegan products cannot but don’t let the vegan name fool you because some companies advertise vegan makeup that isn’t always cruelty free.


Companies have become very smart, misleading wordsmiths! So both products that say cruelty free or vegan are still cause for concern. I know this is confusing trust me I do but here are a few terms to watch out for ( hidden products).


Hidden products;

Carmine :

Carmine is often found in makeup and nail polish and is crushed up beetles … yes you read that right some of your fav items may be from bugs ( soo gross)

Guanine :

This has been used in mascaras nail polish and a lot of other beauty products. Guanine is just ground up fish scales( GAG!!!)


In a lot of shampoos and haircare products you will find this one. But what they don’t say is its really ground up animal hooves and horns.


This is a vitamin A which is almost always animal derived but some companies have found plant versions but be careful.

Tallow :

A common ingredient in a lot of eye shadow etc is just animal fat from boiling used up animal carcasses.

Collagen :

This much talked about ingredient is simply protein from animal tissue. Collagen has no scientific proof for boosting your own collagen production.


When in doubt .. Email it out!

If you have any questions about a companies ethics the best thing you can do is email them. Below I will list a few questions to ask to help you get started!Also some companies like Nars and Kat Von D don’t have symbols but they are cruelty free or check on PETA’s website they have full lists of companies and a search feature.

Do you test on animals at any point during the process?

Do you third party test / pay other companies to test on your behalf?

Are you products certified cruelty free / vegan?

Do you sell in china?

Most of these questions will give you a clear indication of the companies ethical values. Also if they are truly cruelty free and/or vegan.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post ! I will have an e-book coming hopefully in the fall/winter with a total breakdown of all things beauty and cruelty-free /vegan!

Have a great week!

Xoxo Mandi


For more information on this issue from PETA please see the following links :

For some reviews on Cruelty free/vegan beauty and cosmetics, i will link the posts below

4 Lust Worthy Lipsticks Cruelty Free

Tarte Cosmetics

Wet n Wild


Disclaimer : All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies or organizations mentioned.

More about MandiDawson

Mandi Dawson Is a 26 year old Makeup Artist and Beauty Blogger . A dual citizen calling both Toronto, Canada and The United Kingdom home.