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Love this illustration by @timetogetclean of some CF drugstore makeup brands 🐇✨
And there's many many more!! 👇🏻
100% Vegan + Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands:
🌱 ELF Cosmetics – 100% Vegan
🌱 Pacifica – 100% Vegan
🌱 B. - 100% Vegan
🌱 Emani – 100% Vegan
🌱 EcoTools – 100% Vegan
Cruelty-Free Brands with Vegan Makeup Options:
(Updated: Aug 14)
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💄 Barry M
💄 Physicians Formula
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💄 Mineral Fusion
💄 BH Cosmetics
💄 ColourPop
💄 CoverGirl
💄 L.A. Girl
💄 theBalm
💄 Makeup Revolution
💄 GOSH Cosmetics
💄 Jordana
💄 Flower Beauty
💄 Catrice
💄 Makeup Academy (MUA)
💄 Lottie London
💄 Real Techniques
💄 Ardell Lashes
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🏢 NYX Cosmetics (owned by L’Oreal)
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Estée Lauder Brands – Which Ones are Cruelty-Free or Sold in China?

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Is Estée Lauder cruelty-free?


No. Estée Lauder is not a cruelty-free corporation as some of their brands are sold in Mainland China where animal testing is required by law for all imported cosmetics.

However it should be noted that 6 of Estée Lauder brands are PETA certified cruelty-free: Aveda, Becca Cosmetics, Bumble and Bumble, Le Labo, Smashbox, and Too Faced Cosmetics.

Estee Lauder’s Animal Testing Statement (2018)

Source: Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder states that they do not test on animals or ask others to do it for them unless “a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment.” 

This implies that Estee Lauder is selling their products in countries that require animal testing, most likely in Mainland China, where animal testing is required for all imported cosmetics.

Interestingly, Estee Lauder omitted a lot of information from their current animal testing statement compared to what they had on their website 3 years ago. Thank goodness for screenshots, because I have a copy of what was written on Estee Lauder’s website in 2015 which explains a lot more about their stance on selling in China and testing on animals.

Estee Lauder’s Animal Testing Statement (2015)

Below is a screenshot I took on November 13, 2015 of Estee Lauder’s animal testing policy:

Estee Lauder's Animal Testing Statement

China’s animal testing laws that require all imported cosmetics to be tested on animals still applies in 2018 so not much has changed but it’s interesting that Estee Lauder has updated their animal testing statement and removed all of the details about China.

As explained by Estée Lauder, they are a global company and therefore some of their brands and products are sold internationally, including in China where it is required by law to test all imported cosmetics on animals.

Therefore, I would not consider Estee Lauder or any of their brands that are sold in Mainland China to be cruelty-free.

It should be noted that throughout the years, Estee Lauder has acquired 6 cruelty-free brands: Aveda, Becca Cosmetics, Bumble and Bumble, Le Labo, Smashbox, and Too Faced. These 6 brands are not sold in China and are not required to be tested on animals. These 6 brands are in fact, certified cruelty-free by PETA.

When a corporation, as large as Estee Lauder, has over 30+ brands in its portfolio, it’s sometimes hard to tell which brands are selling in China, or certified cruelty-free, or brands that naturally inherit their parent company’s animal testing policy.

List of Estee Lauder Brands

I wanted to list out all of Estee Lauder’s brands to help with:

  • Figuring out which of Estee Lauder’s brands are cruelty-free
  • Knowing which of Estee Lauder’s brands are sold in Mainland China
  • If you don’t want to support anything associated with Estee Lauder, then use this list as a reference as you should avoid all the brands on this list

Sold in China – This brand distributes its products in China where animal testing is required by law

PETA Certified – This brand is PETA Certified Cruelty-Free

No notes – It has not been confirmed whether this brand sells in China, buy or boycott at your own discretion.

Makeup Brands

  • Becca Cosmetics – PETA Certified *acquired in 2016
  • Bobbi BrownSold in China
  • Estée LauderSold in China
  • MAC Cosmetics – Sold in China
  • Smashbox – PETA Certified *acquired in 2010
  • Tom FordSold in China
  • Too Faced – PETA Certified *acquired in 2016

Skin & Hair Care Brands

  • AvedaPETA Certified *acquired in 1997
  • Bumble and Bumble – PETA Certified *acquired in 2007
  • Clinique – Sold in China
  • GLAMGLOWSold in China
  • La MerSold in China
  • Lab Series – Sold in China
  • OriginsSold in China


  • Aramis – Sold in China
  • Darphin
  • DYNY Fragrances – Sold in China
  • Donna Karen Cosmetics – Sold in China
  • Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle
  • Ermenegildo Zegna – Sold in China
  • Jo Malone London – Sold in China
  • Kilian
  • Kiton Fragrances
  • Le Labo – PETA Certified *acquired in 2014
  • Michael Kors – Sold in China
  • RODIN olio lusso
  • Tommy Hilfiger Fragrance – Sold in China
  • Tory Burch – Sold in China

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  • Marlene Boston
    July 31, 2019

    I have. Used Estes lauder double wear makeup for years but no more. I feel your company
    Is only interested in money. Shame on you. I have told many of my friends who also has
    Used your makeup but will switch immediately. So let the Chinese use lab created skin. And
    Not innocent animals. Go ahead and publish my remarks, more people need to know.

    • Marlene Boston
      August 1, 2019

      OK, I have all the answers below do not tell me if EL doublewear makeup is animal tested or
      Not. Regardless of where you sell it, is the double wear makeup I buy at Dillard’s here in
      town tested on animals or not? Please just a yes or no answer. Thank you, Marlene Boston

  • Brittney
    May 26, 2019

    What about the Estee Lauder brand itself? They make a lot of skincare products with their own brand name on them. I’m assuming they’re sold in China but wasn’t sure.

  • Nikki
    April 9, 2019


    My question is the same as Melissa’s which still appears to be unanswered.

    Please can you clarify x

    • Vicky Ly
      April 10, 2019

      Hi Nikki,

      I just answered Melissa’s question which you can view and read below.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions! =)

  • Melissa
    November 28, 2018

    Hello, thank you for this. Though I am thoroughly confused. Please excuse my ignorance. I’m thinking: if it’s China that demands that EL’s products be animal-tested before being sold there, then isn’t that done as a previous stage, where maybe, let’s suppose, China orders (super simplified example) 10 lipsticks, so maybe those 10 lipsticks only will be animal-tested somewhere. My question is: are you saying that regardless of where EL’s products are sold, are they all animal-tested everywhere as soon as they are finalized, as a matter of practicality? Basically, for logistical reasons, does EL then animal-test all of their products, since they can’t control which ones will end up in China?
    Thank you.

    • Vicky Ly
      April 10, 2019

      Hi Melissa,

      In order for companies to sell their products in-stores in Mainland China, they must register the cosmetics they want to import and sell in China with the Chinese government. And as part of this registration process, animal testing is mandatory and required by law in China.

      This registration process isn’t a matter of China “ordering” products from companies that they wish to sell to their people, this process is the responsibility and decision that cosmetic companies choose to make in order to increase profits and enter China’s lucrative market.

      So with that being said, any cosmetic companies that want to import and sell their products in Mainland China must have their products/ingredients/formulations tested on animals by Chinese officials.

      Even if these companies have proven the safety and efficacy of their products with non-animal testing methods in the US, Canada, the EU, or wherever they are based in… if they want to register and sell their products in China, their products must be re-tested by the Chinese officials, but this time, using animal test methods.

      Please note that China is making some progress in accepting more and more non-animal test methods but as of today, China still requires all imported cosmetics to be tested on animals.

      So in the case with Estee Lauder, the products or brands they are selling in-stores in Mainland China have gone through this registration process where those products or its ingredients have been tested on animals as required by China’s laws.

      Please also note: Online Sales where companies ship and sell directly to their customers in China are NOT required to have their products tested on animals because in this case, these products do not have to be registered. It’s only an issue when cosmetics are imported and sold in a physical store in China.

      Most countries (like the US, EU, Canada) do not require cosmetics to be tested on animals to prove they’re safe for human use and that’s why and how brands can be cruelty-free. But if any cosmetic brand that is selling and importing their products in Mainland China can no longer be considered cruelty-free because of China’s animal testing requirements.

      And that explains why Estee Lauder and any of EL subsidiary brands, that are sold in China, are not considered to be cruelty-free.

      I hope that helps to clear things up for you, I’m not quite sure if I answered your question but please let me know if you have any further questions and I’ll try my best to help answer them for ya!

  • Nieza
    July 12, 2017

    Hi. What a nice post! Do you know if Estee Lauder, especially the Double Wear foundation is a vegan product or not? I saw many great reviews from Youtube, etc about it but I’m a vegan…

    • Vicky Ly
      July 12, 2017

      Hi Neiza,

      I wouldn’t consider any products from Estee Lauder to be vegan because they’re a brand that test on animals and is not cruelty-free so I personally wouldn’t consider their foundation to be vegan because Estee Lauder test on animals.

      If your only concern is whether the foundation has animal ingredients (and choose to look pass how they test on animals) then you’re best bet is to ask Estee Lauder about the source of their ingredients for this foundation directly =)

  • Joshua
    June 6, 2017

    Hey! I know this is a couple years old, but Le Labo is actually not distributed in China specifically for this reason. They are against animal testing and refused to sell in China. Please update your list to reflect that. Currently it says they are in China.

    • Vicky Ly
      June 7, 2017

      Hey Joshua!
      Thanks for letting me know! I’ve updated this list to reflect those changes =)

  • Joanna Spooner
    November 29, 2016

    Mind, look at the way they go on with animals,(dogs), in China. It really doesn’t surprise me. It’s about time testing on animals stopped. Disgraceful to think that a product that is designed to help make a person look beautiful, is infact, something very ugly indeed .. .makes you think !

  • Dominique
    December 31, 2015

    RE: Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle (In Hong Kong)
    just want to clarify that, selling cosmetic in Hong Kong does not require Animal Testing.
    Aveda is selling in Hong Kong too.

    • Vicky Ly
      January 4, 2016

      Yes, you’re absolutely right about Hong Kong not requiring companies to test on animals and that’s why I’ve made the note that they only sell in Hong Kong as some caring consumers don’t like the idea of products beings old anywhere in China period.

      Does Aveda really sell in Hong Kong? I couldn’t find any concrete answers on that and in an email response, they told me that they don’t sell in China. It’s tough trying to get a solid and consistent answer from them. If you have any information that they do, please send it my way vicky@ethicalelephant.com as I’d love to verify that claim and update this list =)

      • Ado
        May 19, 2016

        Love how through you are with your investigations =D
        We need certainty and specifics in this world of assumptions and beliefs.

  • Vivi
    December 9, 2015

    Great article (!) on Estee Lauder, which highlights the most important issue – China money. As long as companies keep putting profit ahead of animal well-being (which basically means always), animals will still be suffer.
    Smashbox is so disappointing because they were so anti-testing, and lately I found out about L’Occitane as well, which was the company I used for practically everything and I’m having a hell of a time finding a replacement.

“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

L’Oreal Brands – Which Ones are Cruelty-Free or Sold in China?
Estée Lauder Brands – Which Ones are Cruelty-Free or Sold in China?