Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free?

Yes, Urban Decay is cruelty-free. They don’t test their ingredients or completed products on animals. And they don’t let their suppliers or other companies do it either. Urban Decay’s beauty product and nail polish lines aren’t sold anywhere that requires animal testing by law (think mainland China). They are, however, owned by a company that is not cruelty-free.

So, what does this mean? This situation can get a bit confusing. We know that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay. And that L’Oréal is not cruelty-free, but Urban Decay is… It may sound strange, but it’s not all that uncommon. This particular company just doesn’t force all of its brands to follow the same policies. Sometimes, across the board, the brands are allowed to make their own decisions regarding their animal testing policies.

Here’s why: bigger brands buy smaller ones (or even similarly sized or larger ones) every day. A cruelty-free company might agree to being acquired by a larger company if they’re allowed to maintain their cruelty-free status. There are other reasons a cruelty-free brand might be owned by a company that allows animal testing, too. This is just one of the more common ones. Either way, there’s really nothing to worry about with the non-cruelty-free parent. Urban Decay was simply acquired by a larger company that could help them grow.

For us, this just means that Urban Decay can keep doing what they do, get their products out there, and remain an easily accessible cruelty-free option. Urban Decay is PETA certified, so we know that they’ve provided the proof and documentation they needed to confirm that their testing policies are truly cruelty-free. As such, this is a brand you can feel good about.

Even better: supporting Urban Decay instead of brands like L’Oréal shows non-cruelty-free companies where the consumers’ priorities are. Soon, they’ll be forced to choose between updating their hurtful policies or becoming obsolete. Luckily, Urban Decay’s mid-range makeup and nail polish lines are easy to find. They’re available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe.  

Among the most popular Urban Decay products are:

As if that’s not enough, they’ve got a long list of other fantastic products, too. Urban Decay has all of your cruelty-free makeup, brush, and beauty product needs covered. You should expect to pay a bit more than you would for a traditional beauty product or a budget cruelty-free beauty product. If you’re not sure if the higher quality is worth the extra price, order some samples or a product or two to try out before you replace everything in your makeup bag. But if you already know that you’re looking for something more affordable or you just want to have some alternatives to choose from, here are some other great cruelty-free companies to try out:

These fantastic companies are normalizing cruelty-free policies. They’re offering high-quality products with cute Leaping Bunny and strong PETA certifications on their bottles. You can find all of the skincare, beauty products, nail polish, and hair care that you need in the links above. Many of them offer vegan options, too. Not only are these products cruelty-free, but they’re also free of animal byproducts like beeswax and lanolin.

The best part: this list keeps never stops growing. These companies and conscious consumers are encouraging other companies to join the cruelty-free movement and it’s easy to see that it’s working. But it’s not just a win for animals and the cruelty-free shoppers, it’s a win for your skin, too. These cruelty-free options are often made with healthier ingredients than regular beauty and cosmetic products.

You’ll have to check the labels or online product information to see which ones are the best for what you’re looking for (dry skin or oily skin, straight hair or wavy hair, etc.). And while you’re there, you’ll notice that these products contain fewer chemicals and impossible to pronounce synthetics and additives. Instead, you’ll see much more natural ingredients like shea butter and coconut milk.

No wonder so many people are making the switch! Healthier skin is happier skin. Your happy, healthy, cruelty-free new purchases will be less likely to cause you to break out with acne or a rash, have an allergic reaction, or experience inflammation. And last but not least, most cruelty-free beauty products are just as affordable as their traditional alternatives. Urban Decay happens to be a bit pricier, but some people are happy to pay the extra for the quality they’re getting. And others find that they can get everything they’re looking for from more budget-friendly cruelty-free lineups like the ones they offer at ELF and Physician’s Formula. So, they’re better for the animals, better for your skin, better for the planet, and you can still buy them on a budget.

It’s time to get started!

Is Laura Mercier Cruelty Free?

While the popular cosmetics company Laura Mercier may land in a bit of a grey area, they are technically considered to be cruelty-free.

Laura Mercier is owned by a parent company (Shiseido) whose testing policy is not cruelty-free. This fact alone is not enough for them to lose their cruelty-free status. Big corporations like Shiseido allow the other brands in their portfolio to operated based on their own preferred animal testing policies.

This means that even if a parent brand doesn’t follow cruelty-free procedures, it doesn’t necessarily mean the same for the company under consideration. Along with Laura Mercier, Shiseido is the parent company of two other cruelty-free brands: Bare Minerals and Buxom.

Laura Mercier itself does not allow animal testing, doesn’t allow third parties to test on animals and doesn’t sell its products in areas like mainland China where animal testing is required by law. They’ve done their due diligence and earned their cruelty-free status, despite it being a long and difficult road.

For a while, they were following cruelty-free policies at home in the United States, but they were allowing their products to be sold in places where animal testing was required by law. Then, they changed this policy so that they could be considered completely cruelty-free. But since being acquired by their parent company, many people have shown concern that they’d adopt their non-cruelty-free practices and start selling in mainland China.

These concerns have not yet come to life, although it does seem like a possibility considering how rocky their cruelty-free status has been throughout the years. Laura Mercier, along with a few other companies, certainly seems to fall into an ethical grey area. While I believe that they’re cruelty-free for the time being, it’s best to keep an eye on the situation.

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding Laura Mercier’s cruelty-free status, and their answers to questions and policy changes can be interpreted as them switching back and forth or sitting on the fence. I have no indication that they’re not cruelty-free, for now, but their approaches to the situation have been a bit of a cause for concern.

On top of being difficult to assess, Laura Mercier is not certified by the Leaping Bunny or PETA. While this doesn’t automatically mean that they’re not cruelty-free, it doesn’t help their case. Corporations this large that are truly cruelty-free should apply for cruelty-free certification. Otherwise, they’re leaving things wide open for interpretation, keeping the doors open to allow policy changes, and confusing their loyal and potential customers.

My recommendation: proceed with caution. If Laura Mercier is your favorite brand and you’re not open to trying out alternatives, or you really want to try them out, there’s nothing directly damaging or convincing enough to prevent you from shopping for their products for the time being.

But if you’re not a fan of ethical grey areas, confusing responses or policies, or being uncertain, you may want to steer clear until they can show us more solid evidence or certifications that tell us that they are truly cruelty-free.

In the meantime, here is a list of some of the most popular cruelty-free brands to check out:

These brands are all certified cruelty-free, so there’s no confusion or wondering involved when you shop their products. In addition to being better for all of the animals (it’s not just lab rats, it’s cats and dogs too) that can’t speak for themselves, there are a few other notable benefits of shopping cruelty-free:

  • A clear conscience
  • Budget-friendly options (cruelty-free products aren’t nearly as expensive as most people think they are, and if you’re on a particularly tight budget at the moment, start by trying ELF or Physician’s Formula cosmetics)
  • Better ingredients (fewer dyes and chemicals means fewer breakouts, blemishes, irritations, and allergic reactions)
  • More mindful beauty practices allow us to condense and cut the clutter out of our beauty routines
  • It’s really just not necessary to test on animals (and this was true in the past, too, but with where we are today, it’s truer than ever before)

Think about it: that’s a pretty well-rounded list of benefits. Products that aren’t used to torture innocent animals are better for your skin, are just as affordable as their harsher alternatives, and help you organize your space? It seems like a no-brainer!

Companies that care about animal cruelty are the same ones that are more likely to truly care about their customers, too. You can be a part of the movement that lets big beauty and cosmetics companies know that we’re here, we’re watching and listening, and we’re not going anywhere. You can be a part of a massive, beautiful change in the world.

What could possibly be better than that? I am so happy that you’re taking this journey with me, and I can’t wait to hear about what you find.