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“It’s not about being perfect! And we don’t know any vegans who walk around saying that they are, or that they cause zero harm. Veganism doesn’t mean causing ZERO harm (that would be delusional)... but it definitely means causing a lot less of it!! And causing LESS harm than before (before being vegan) is definitely worth celebrating and continuing to advocate for.

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A quick and easy way to find out if your shoes are VEGAN and whether they were made from animal OR non-animal materials! 👠🌿
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Once you know, you'll never forget! ✨ I've been using this guide for YEARS now and it has saved me so much time and hassle! 💗
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Swipe 👈🏻 to see what each symbol means and which ones are considered vegan materials! 🌱
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NOTE: This pictogram does NOT guarantee whether the glue used contain animal products, please contact the shoe manufacturer/companies to inquire about the source of their glue.
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Shoes: old from @callitspring

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Never too late for a fresh start ✨ doing something is better than doing nothing 🌱
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I had failed to meet my personal goals to living minimally and more sustainably this month, but I will keep trying to do better — even if it means making some mistakes along the way! 🌎 (via @createcultivate)

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bunnies are for cuddling, not for testing 💉🚫🐇 #endanimaltesting (via @veryfatrabbit)

bunnies are for cuddling, not...

My FAVE natural + cruelty-free skincare product of the month is hands-down this @juicebeauty #StemCellular Vinifera Replenishing Oil 🌿 It's an ahhhmazing multi-tasker -- I use it as BOTH a daytime primer and also at night for extra hydration, which is much-needed during the cold winter season 🍇
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'Juice Beauty's STEM CELLULAR™ Vinifera Replenishing Oil is ideal for normal to dry complexions and especially beneficial for skin showing the signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles.'
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This product is cruelty-free, vegan, and formulated without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.
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Younique’s Animal Testing Statement; Not 100% Cruelty-Free

This post may contain affiliate links.

Is Younique 100% Cruelty-Free?

EDITED: NOV 23, 2016

Younique products have made several appearances in my social media feed in the past 2 years with their popular 3D fiber lash mascara. What intrigued me the most was that Younique and all of Younique’s representatives have been promoting their products as cruelty-free but I have not seen Younique listed on any cruelty-free database or list.

Younique is not listed on

  • Leaping Bunny
  • PETA’s Companies That Don’t Test On Animals
  • Choose Cruelty Free
  • Logical Harmony
  • Cruelty Free Kitty

So what’s the deal? Is Younique actually cruelty-free as they claim?

Younique Animal Testing Policy

Here is a statement taken directly from their website:

Younique Animal Testing Policy

“Younique does not test our products on animals. We are in the process of exploring/procuring official certification as a cruelty-free company. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.”

This is an excellent example of how anyone can virtually call their products “cruelty-free”. Although Younique may not test their products on animals, the raw ingredients may have been sourced from suppliers that do test on animals.

Younique Ingredient Suppliers

Now it’s not clear whether if their ingredient suppliers do or do not test on animals based on their statement, so I thought the best way to get a clear answer is to e-mail Younique directly and ask how far along they are in their process to being certified cruelty-free.

Related: What Makes A Product “Cruelty-Free”?

In order to be certified cruelty-free, companies must prove that:

  • none of their products are tested on animals
  • none of their ingredients are tested on animals
  • they do not commission animal testing to a third party
  • they must verify that none of their raw material suppliers test on animals
  • and finally they must not retail their products in countries that require animal testing by law (such as China)

My original email inquiry to Younique:

Hi there,

I was extremely happy to read on your website that Younique does not test their products on animals and is currently working on being certified cruelty-free. I just wanted to follow-up with this statement and was wondering how that process is going and which cruelty-free certification programs (like Leaping Bunny, PETA’s Caring Consumer, Choose Cruelty Free) are you exploring?

I’m also curious to know if any of Younique’s products retail in China or if you have plans to distribute there in the near future?

Younique’s response:

Hello Vicky,

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with further information at this time. Younique does not test our products on animals. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.

Currently, we are shipping and selling in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Mexico, and Germany.

We are beginning to expand globally. While we don’t have a definite date as to when we will be opening in other countries, we hope it’s soon

Younique’s Lack Of Transparency

What concerns me about Younique’s response is the lack of transparency. As any cruelty-free consumer knows, the statement, “Younique does not test our products on animals” does not provide us with enough assurance that their products and ingredients were not tested on animals at all stages of production.

At this point and based on their response, I would not consider Younique to be a cruelty-free brand. 

It’s up to companies to decide if they choose to do business with certain suppliers and all cruelty-free companies must verify and make sure that their ingredient suppliers consent to a no animal testing policy. Unfortunately Younique has failed to do this.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

105 Comments
  • Jane
    March 2, 2016

    I was told by a unique representer that the company is working on being certified with the leaping bunny at the moment, which according to her takes 2 years to complete, wherefore the statement is still ‘not 100% cruelty-free’. What do you think about that?

    • Vicky Ly
      March 3, 2016

      Hey Jane! =) I’ve confirmed with Leaping Bunny and the process to getting certified does not take 2 years to be completed as the Younique rep claims. As long as the company provides all of the neccessary information and documents then they can be approved within one week! I’m not sure if the Younique rep meant that it will take their company 2 years to get all of that information and documents ready and if that’s the case, then Younique is still NOT cruelty-free because they haven’t verified with their ingredient suppliers that they don’t test on animals.

      When Younique has all of that info ready, then there’s really nothing holding them back from being certified Leaping Bunny! =)

  • Fiona P
    February 12, 2016

    Thanks for the article and all the comments and information. I went to a Younique party last night and cruelty free was not mentioned until I raised a couple of questions. However there was no depth in the answers which has made me try and search for more information so thank you to all that have contributed to this.

    • Vicky Ly
      February 12, 2016

      Glad you found this post, Fiona! =) and I’m also happy to hear that you took the time to do your own research because it’s so easy to be convinced by their ‘strategic marketing tactics’ into believing whatever they are trying to sell you on.

      At the end of the day, companies and sales reps will say anything to make a sale.

      • Louise
        May 10, 2016

        Hi Irene, I am a Blue Younique presenter in the UK, I am also a skin specialist and would not entertain a company that tests products on animals, I feel the same way as you ladies but after further investigation and confirmation from our product manager Jesse we are told that the products are not tested on animals. I have just enrolled a lady in Spain who would be more than happy to talk to you.

  • Anon
    December 12, 2015

    Great letter Tonia, I see Younique are being as dismissive as usual. There are many more reasonably priced makeup items available which are better quality and cruelty free = they simply seem to be working on marketing ploys and hype. Shame on facebook allowing this!

  • Linda
    December 11, 2015

    Well, I was going to order several items until I read they don’t seem to care enough to be animal cruelty free.

    • Ashley Conrad
      August 11, 2017

      Hi everyone!
      I am a proud presenter with Younique & there are a few key points about this company I’d like to point out to you all.
      I recently attended a corporate conference in Canada where the founders were questioned about acquiring a cruelty free certification. Their answer is that while becoming certified is among the top priorities, it is not “THE” top priority. The top priority for this company and the reason it was founded is to Uplift, Empower & Validate women all over the world. They give women the ability to support themselves & build their confidence all while focusing on the support & healing for women who are victims of childhood sexual abuse. Proceeds from these products fund many programs to help these victims including The Younique Foundation, The Defend Innocence Campaign & Safe Haven Retreat in Utah.
      There is nothing shameful about this companie’s purpose or practices I can assure you. This is not your standard direct sales company & I really just wanted to put into perspective for you where Younique’s main priorities really lie.

  • Anon
    December 2, 2015

    Yes, and they have been going for over a year so this explanation is utter rubbish. I know a couple of Younique presenters (unfortunately) and they also spout rubbish to sell the products – to increase sales and commission of course! Most positive reviews on products are made by Younique ‘sales people’ as the market has now been flooded with them. I scream every time I find a shared advert on my facebook! Fair enough, if they were upfront, didn’t lie about products or state they were cruelty-free,, then I wouldn’t have an issue, I would be able to make an informed decision whether to purchase or not!

  • Amy
    November 26, 2015

    Not sure if someone asked about this but I noticed one of their makeup brushes (maybe more I have yet to look) is made with pony hair. I’m wondering how this falls into their cruelty free policy?

    • Vicky Ly
      December 1, 2015

      Great question, Amy! Unfortunately there is no legal or standard definition for the term ‘cruelty-free’. Companies can use dog or cat hair for makeup brushes and get away with calling them ‘cruelty-free’. Similar to how some mink eyelashes are sometimes labelled as cruelty-free.

      If makeup brushes are made without animal hair then they should be labelled as vegan, I’m not sure if Younique has made any official statements saying any of their makeup brushes are vegan but are made with pony hair. If so, then that’s false information and they shouldn’t be labelled as vegan. Hope that clears things up for ya! =)

  • Alena
    November 6, 2015

    Supposedly, I’ve heard from Younique sellers that they cannot claim they are cruelty free because the company has not been up long enough to establish that. I’m not too sure that this is true but that is what I have heard from multiple sellers.

    • Vicky Ly
      December 1, 2015

      Hi Alena! Just saw your comment now, apologize for the delayed response. As far as I know, any company (new or old) can take the necessary steps to ensure that none of their products or ingredients are tested on animals.

      As far as being CERTIFIED cruelty-free, both Leaping Bunny and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program will accept newly establish companies. I know the Australian cruelty-free certification from Choose Cruelty Free require companies to be at least a year old.

      Hope that helps answer your question =)

  • Tonia
    September 30, 2015

    Here is my latest email from April of this year….They are still singing the SAME song!!! My email to Younique in April 2015 – the above email was from 2014….
    Hello,
    I reached out via FB back in June (see below) and your staff was very helpful on the questions I had at the time. Now that it’s been nearly a year I thought I would check again as I have another dear friend who is currently selling your products and I would love to support her. However, I am a bit disappointed as in checking your website again as of last week it appears that you are still singing the same tune of not being able to answer consumers questions about the ingredients.

    1. Have you received Leaping Bunny Certification yet?
    a. If not is this something you hope to do?
    ANSWER: Younique does not test our products on animals. We are in the process of exploring/procuring official certification as a cruelty-free company. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time.

    2. Are you shipping out to China yet?
    a. If not is there a date in which you plan to?
    ANSWER: Currently, we are shipping and selling in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. We have also recently announced our upcoming market openings in Mexico, Germany, and a US Latina Presenter ship scheduled for this year. While we don’t have a definite date as to when we will be in China, we hope it’s soon.
    b. Are you aware of the requirements to export product to China? NO ANSWER

    3. Are you able to validate and confirm where the ingredients originate from and what testing is being done there? NO ANSWER
    a. If not why is this taking so long, as it leads to suspicion of just being a buffer or the general public and that you know they are not cruelty free NO ANSWER
    4. There are a lot of your brushes made of animal hair, can you confirm the origin of these animals?
    a. Are you able or have you confirmed the animal welfare that is taken place during this process.
    i. I believe I was told it’s a 1st cut only – can you confirm this?
    ANSWER: Younique cosmetic brushes are made from synthetic materials and from First Cut animal hair. First Cut animal hair is obtained from animals that can offer “Live” hair such as goats and pony. These animals are simply getting a haircut.
    ii. Also are the animals farm raised, caged or free range? NO ANSWER
    iii. If you are the 1st cut only what happens to the animal after that? NO ANSWER

    5. Are you able to validate your “cruelty free” claim? Meaning define what that means to Younique? NO ANSWER
    a. Is this based solely on the fact that Younique doesn’t test but your supplier does? NO ANSWER
    b. Is this based solely on your internal practice here in the US? NO ANSWER
    c. Is this based solely on just the finished product itself? NO ANSWER
    6. What measures have you done to decrease the use of animals for testing? NO ANSWER
    7. Are you supporting and/or providing profits to raise awareness for an end to animal testing for cosmetics? NO ANSWER

    My overall point is this:
    When you make a claim as strong as “cruelty free” you are giving the consumers an ambiguous statement which in turn makes the claim and label meaningless.

    Of course these consumers typically fail to do their homework, failing to understand that each company can define their own version of cruelty free claims, fail to understand that the government does not have regulations in place for this or worst yet and most commonly consumers that just turn a blind eye and pretend they are doing a good thing solely based on your label.

    This misconception that they are buying from a company that has taken pride in ensuring animals are not tested in my opinion makes me respect a company less as its being used as a selling tactic despite the company’s overall lack of research and/or due diligence.

    I hope you are able to put my mind at ease in order to support my friends who have embarked on this adventure.

    I look forward to your reply
    Best regards,
    Tonia Downard

    ANSWER: (If you want to call it that) Thank you for taking the time to write and express your concerns. Consumer safety is a top priority for Younique, and we are constantly working to improve our products and formulas using safe, high-quality ingredients while maximizing cosmetic performance. While we are not able to discuss specific details or sourcing of our product ingredients and formulas for proprietary reasons, our ingredient lists are provided on each respective product page on the website. If you are interested in researching additional information about selected ingredients and/or the safety of certain ingredients and cosmetics, you might find the website http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org. to be a helpful resource.
    Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to assist you.
    Have a great day!
    Thank you,
    Younique Support Team

    • Vicky Ly
      September 30, 2015

      Ohmygoodness, Tonia! I gotta give you some mad props for your patience while dealing with them! I would have given up! You’re totally right… the “cruelty-free” claim they are making is so ambiguous and none of their reps can provide a concrete answer to any of our specific questions! and I would have been fine if they said that they honestly don’t know the answers and will direct it to someone in their company that can properly address it which may take time to hear back.

      But with the information you’ve provided me, makes me question their brand’s integrity and leaves me wondering what they are trying to hide from their customers… arghs.

  • Tonia
    September 30, 2015

    Interesting article as this is the exact same conversation I had with them a year ago, so its obvious nothing has changed!!

    Conversation started June 30 2014
    6/30 – Me: Hello,In consideration in ordering your product from one of your direct sellers I started to do some research and was wondering the following…..• I saw a statement back in May where Younique was working on getting the certification to back the cruelty free statement down to the ingredients, so I was curious if this had been accomplished yet?
    • Are you shipping to China?
    • Do you know how the animals are raised/farmed for the use of your products that do contain animal products such as hair?
    Are these caged animals or free range?

    7/2, – Younique – Corporate
    Hi Tonia!
    Thank you so much for your interest in Younique! Currently, we are only shipping and selling in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. However, we are beginning to expand globally. We don’t have a definite date on when we will be in China but we hope to be there soon. In the meantime, please continue to watch our website (www.youniqueproducts.com) and our corporate Facebook page (www.facebook.com/youniqueproducts) for news about our company launching in other countries. We are still working on the Leaping Bunny cruelty-free certification and it is quite an extensive process but while we are working on getting that certification we are practicing everything needed to be cruelty free. So even though we don’t have the certification yet, we are still practicing that way. For the other questions you had about animals and how they are raised, I suggest contacting our support team. They will know more about that detail. To contact support, click on the link below to enter a ticket or to chat live during business hours. You can also contact them on the phone, if you prefer. https://www.youniqueproducts.com/business/support Thank you!.
    …7/2 Me: Thank you and if you ship to China it will take you completely out of the Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free program as China REQUIRES you to actually test on animals – so ridiculous of China so you would be better off to avoid that country. Thanks again..
    …7/2, Younique – Corporate – Oh! That is excellent info! I will send that to our Marketing dept.

  • Mich
    August 26, 2015

    Great article. I also emailed Younique but received no response. I note apparentl they ‘package’ in China although in China, it is mandatory to test on animals before the product is sold. There is also a wholesale company selling their mascara which states 100% same ingredients as Younique – so is it Younique. Why am I unhappy – a I pointed this out to a Younique presenter who’s response was “I don’t care if they test on animals as long as I’m making money”….. Integrity speaks volumes…

    • Vicky Ly
      August 26, 2015

      I haven’t tracked down where Younique products are made or packaged, but if they were manufactured in China but not SOLD in their country.. then I know that those products are not required to be tested on animals. Their law states that all imported cosmetics must be tested on animals before they’re allow to sell in their country.

      Ahh, that’s very interesting that you found another mascara with the exact same ingredients as Younique… I can imagine this is quite common in the beauty industry to re-use the same formulas but repackage and rename it. But this is raising another red flag for Younique! and I can’t believe one of their reps said that to you!

“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

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