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Hourglass is *Cruelty-Free
Hourglass has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.
By our standards we would consider Hourglass to be *Cruelty-Free.
*Hourglass is owned by Unilever, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.
It’s your choice whether you want to support or boycott cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that Unilever owns Hourglass Cosmetics.
Below is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Hourglass’s website about its animal testing policy:
What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?
Hourglass has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.
As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.
Note that there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.’ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.
At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, and by any third parties.
Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.
Hourglass is Not 100% Vegan
‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.
In the case of Hourglass, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.
Also, Hourglass had pledged to become a 100% vegan brand by 2020, however, I noticed some of their non-vegan products are still available.
They kindly informed me in May 2020 that they are still working on becoming 100% vegan stating,
“We are currently in the transition of becoming fully vegan by the end of this year! You can search the term vegan on our website to see an updated product list of all the vegan products we currently carry!”
The following is a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Hourglass’s website about its vegan claims:
How to know which of Hourglass products are vegan?
All of Hourglass’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website. See below for an example.
Hourglass Vegan Product List
As of 2021, I will no longer be regularly updating this list of Hourglass vegan products as all of their vegan products are now clearly marked. Check their website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on which products are vegan or not.
Below is a list of Hourglass products that are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
Primer & Setting Spray
Foundation & Concealer
- Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
- Vanish Airbrush Concealer
- Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
- Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation
- Veil Fluid Makeup
Powder, Bronzer, Blush, Highlighter
- Ambient Lighting Blush
- Incandescent Electra
- Ambient Lighting Blush Quad
- Ambient Lighting Bronzer
- Diffused Bronze Light, Luminous Bronze Light, Nude Bronze Light
- Ambient Lighting Edit
- Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder
- Diffused Light, Dim Light, Ethereal Light, Luminous Light, Radiant Light
- Ambient Lighting Infinity Powder
- Ambient Lighting Palette
- Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette
- Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder
- Brilliant Strobe Light, Euphoric Strobe Light, Incandescent Strobe Light
- Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick
- Bronze Flash, Champagne Flash, Pink Flash, Rose Gold Flash
- Veil Retouching Fluid
- Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Eyes & Brow
- 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner
- Arch Brow
- Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
- Arch Brow Shaping Gel
- Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel
- Caution Extreme Lash Mascara
- Graphik Eyeshadow Palette
- Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow – Foil
- Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara
- Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner
- Confession Ultra Slim
High IntensityLipstick – all shades
- Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss
- Vegan Shades: Ballet, Child, Ignite, Imagine, Lush, Nectar, Origami, Primal, Reflect, Siren, Truth, Verse
- Nº 28 Lip Treatment Oil – all shades
- Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick – all shades
- Unreal™ High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss – all shades
- All Hourglass makeup brushes are vegan and made with synthetic bristles.
Not Vegan – Hourglass
Below is a list of Hourglass makeup and skincare products that were not included on Hourglass’ vegan list, the following products may contain some animal-derived ingredient or by-product.
- Ambient Lighting Blush (shades that contain carmine: Dim Infusion, Ethereal Glow, Mood Exposure, Radiant Magenta) – not vegan
- Ambient Lighting Bronzer (Radiant Bronze Light) – not vegan
- Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder (contains carmine: Mood Light) – not vegan
- Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush (shades that contain carmine: Brilliant Nude, Euphoric Fusion, Iridescent Flash) – not vegan
- Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder (contains carmine: Iridescent Strobe Light) – not vegan
- Curator Ascent Extended Wear Lash Primer – not vegan
- Curator Lash Instrument – not vegan
- Curator Realist Defining Mascara Formula – not vegan
- Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss (shades that contain carmine: Canvas, Muse, Fortune, Icon) – not vegan
- Femme Nude Lip Stylo (contains lanolin) – not vegan
- Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- GIRL Lip Stylo (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Hidden Corrective Concealer (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Illume Sheer Color Trio in Sunset (may contain carmine) – not vegan
- Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Panoramic Long Wear Lip Liner (contains beeswax) – not vegan
- Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow (shades that contain carmine: Aura, Blaze, Reflect, Smoke) – not vegan
- Vanish™ Flash Highlighting Stick (Gold Flash) – not vegan
Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.
Some common animal products used in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.
There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But it’s sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.
So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.
Where are Hourglass Cosmetics made?
I asked Hourglass where their products are manufactured and they told me:
“Most of our products are manufactured in Italy or the US.”
Ethical Mica Mining Policy
Mica is a mineral that’s used in cosmetics to add a shimmery effect. But the mining of natural mica has been linked to child labor and human rights violations.
Unless the company discloses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.
So I asked Hourglass if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor, but they never responded to any of my emails or messages.
I hope this article helped you to understand Hourglass’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!