cruelty-free mascara

LAST UPDATED: 2014-05-06.
Please do continue to add updates! See the end of the post and comments… 🙂

High-end? Niche rare exotica? Drugstore? Yes, you can have your cake and eat it (and cake mascara too). Following Wednesday’s post on cruelty-free resources, here’s one just on mascara.

The good news is: there’s plenty of cruelty-free mascaras out there. More of them by the day, what with the changes that have been happening in EU legislation since the turn of the current century, leading up to the big testing bans next year. OK, they’re running late and yes youbetcha there’ll be people trying to find ways to wiggle round them.

The bad news is: not all mascaras are cruelty-free, and many of the biggest brands and biggest megacorp multinationals aren’t, and thumb their impeccable noses at the grubby likes of ethical consumers. Seeing as how any consumer with ethics is by definition an unwashed hairy hippy. You what? No, sorry: you cannot be a chic attractive sophisticate and have ethics. Can’t be true. It’s impossible. Not allowed. Powers that be will blow fuses / lobes. If you want to go ahead and cause some mayhem on that front, send in an elegant but rude letter accompanied by the most un-granola photo of yourself to your company of choice in the Hall Of (Improvable) Shame at the end of this here post. There’s always room for hope, change, redemption, second chances. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and all that.

But back to mascara, as we’ve got a long list to get through…


and associated ramblings, ramifications, and maybe the odd bit of rantiness:


Just mascara, because that’s the main makeup I use so it’s the thing I’ve researched the most over the years. I do wear lippie too, and eyeliner quite a lot, but my requirements on them are simpler so I’ve had less research to do. For lippie, it’s got to go with very pale cool-toned skin and a few freckles, which restricts what I can use pretty dramatically. For eyeliner, I’m just using brown ones, ideally with a little glimmery glamouriness but no bismuth oxychloride, so again that’s not too many. But for mascara it’s black, like most of the population… the world’s my oyster. So a post on cruelty-free mascara is probably more use to more people than, say, one on the small range of ginger-appropriate lipsticks. There’s so few of them anyway that once you’ve found the ones the work, seeing if they’re cruelty-free is a doddle. Whereas the bazillions of mascaras out there… doing some leg-work for you will save more time for more people, so it’ll be more of a service.

There’s a lot of mascara out there, with a massive range of differences from one to another and from the results on any one individual to those on any other. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, and there’s little way to tell if a mascara will work on you (your lashes, the skin around your eyes, etc.) or not without trying. Looking through reviews (ex. MUA) may help: if you see someone has used the same mascaras as you, and liked or disliked the same ones for the same reasons, that’s A Sign. “Help” in terms of increasing the probability of success, but remember, we’re still just talking probabilities here. No guarantees in this world of marvellous magical mascara adventures!

See also: the main major mascara post (first drafted April 2011, published June, and just updated a couple of days ago) and its successor, mascara (May 2012 version) (2012-05-17): mascaras I have loved, mascaras I have left, mascaras that left me, and others I might admit to lusting after…



(Further caveats follow after the list, down at the bottom…)

1. Ensure your mascara is safe. By which I mean, suitable for application to your eyes. As many an optician will tell you: you only have one pair of eyes, look after them. Eye infections are no fun. They hurt. They may damage your eyes seriously. Some may lead to blindness.
There are very, very few exceptions to this rule; most mascaras, and almost all “greener” mascaras, include water in the formula and are open to occupation, contamination, and infestation by NASTY BUGS. Bacteria, fungi, etc. Sure, bugs are very “green” themselves; but THEY MUST DIE and YOU MUST KILL THEM unless you’re so green and so post-animal that you have zero sense of self-preservation and genuinely believe that a large number of bugs have a greater right to life than you do. Bearing in mind, if we’re looking at extreme utilitarian calculus, that you yourself are not one single organism but a giant ecosystem comprising billions of others. So yes, you do actually outnumber the bugs.

If in doubt–if you’re not sure, from the ingredient list, which item is a preservative; or if you can’t locate an ingredient list anywhere: then ASK the manufacturer. If they can’t anwer you, if they fudge, if they try to fob you off that their mascara is so pure, green, healthy, and non-toxic that it is “naturally immune” from bugs: back away. Actually, do not back away: run like hell.

2. Ensure your mascara is safe. By which I mean, suitable for application to your eyes and surrounding area. Read the ingredient list carefully. Check it doesn’t include any of your own personal known irritants; even though some of these may be super-duper green. For example: fragrance, essential oils, alcohol: all of which I avoid like the plague.

3. As said previously (MUA Green board, gingerrama 11/28/2011 7:58PM):

I’m a flat-footed pragmatist: stuff should do what it says on the tin, and not try to rip me off, BS me, hoodwink me, pull the (wild free-range hand-pulled-off-trees undyed) wool over my eyes, greenwash me, claim stuff is better because it contains magic fairy dust, was made by Perfecti at the full moon, and claim other people’s stuff isn’t as good as it isn’t as pure, untainted, safe, non-toxic, chemical-filled (my favourite LOL) as their stuff.

In short: there’s a lot of crap, disguised crap, crap disguised and packaged in fancy gold brocade, and sheer cases of The Emperor’s New Clothes around the place.

Then again, I’m fussy: I have pale lashes, and any mascara must have a brush enabling application right down to the roots, and the stuff must not irritate, must stay on, should leave lashes feeling and looking like soft fluttery lashes, shouldn’t flake, smudge, smear, and certainly shouldn’t fall/run off in the rain. Actually, is that being fussy? But anyway: of those in that “article”, epic fail on all those counts.

Be sceptical. Trust no-one. With organic green natural plant-based etc. stuff just like with anything else. I mean, a nice small independent cuddly company that makes and sells mascara is still, at the end of the day, a company. That has to make money. Do business. Cover overheads, pay staff, buy raw materials, and (I hope–not always the case) do its R&D etc. just like any other company. It’s a business, whose business is selling you stuff: that’s the bottom line.

Also: No mascara is worth $35. Period. That’s taking the p!ss out of customers. Insulting and abusing them.

OK: I take it back. If it applies itself, removes itself, automatically refills itself when it’s run out, and does all my housework–and is in fact magic–yes, it’s worth it. If at least it lasts 3+ months and is fabulous, yes, I might pay that. I have paid that much for some mascaras; not worth it, with one exception ($32, lasted 3+ months and almost applied itself).

There will be another post at some point on “green-er-ish” mascaras, in terms of ingredients and their sourcing. That will be a very short list.




  1. a brand as a whole conducts no animal testing
  2. nor do they contract out testing to third parties to do on their behalf: that includes dealing with countries (or chains or other forms of retailer) who will only sell animal-tested products, and having products tested (or allowing them to be tested) so as to be sold there
  3. ideally: also, companies should not have separate lines for separate markets: as that allows a company to get around the previous point
  4. I don’t care whether a brand has always been cruelty-free or they’ve changed (and good for them if they have gone cruelty-free!): I’m not snobby that way: so long as they don’t test now
  5. no animal-testing on final finished products
  6. no animal-testing on ingredients and in processes along the way between raw ingredient and finished product, including experimenting with formulae
  7. no animal-derived ingredients that involve cruelty
    so: I’m happy with using properly-sourced lanolin, but not non-veggie glycerin or emu oil
  8. “cruelty” = the animal subject has a central nervous system and can experience pain, and has not consented to this treatment
  9. products should, however, have been tested properly by the standard available alternatives: in vitro, on human tissue samples and cultures, on willing human volunteer test subjects
    so: no testing on prisoners, as that’s cruelty to human(-animals)
  10. yes, I’m aware that many-to-most ingredients have been tested on animals at some point in human history (ex. to determine lethal dose): even basics like water, olive oil, beeswax. I have yet to see a mascara that contains no ingredients that have ever been tested on animals. Not a single one. Nope. That’s why rules (and, in the EU, legislation) based on fixed cut-off date policies are important and sensible.


  • cruelty-free resources (from Wednesday; further updated March-April 2012): share and share alike on information sources, after all, they’re all free and online and open to all
  • I also go to company websites and see what information is there, company by company
  • I check to see who owns whom; online, if need be also in company registers etc. Most of this information is online; this is plain ordinary research and reading, tracking and keeping track of results, tabulating and annotating as needed.
  • If in doubt on cruelty-free status (or if doubt has been expressed by anyone I’d consider a credible source), I contact the company directly: first their general “contact us” email address or online form.
  • If that’s just led to a customer service drone who provides a copy-paste reply off what’s publicly available on the website already (i.e. the first thing I read), is a standardised reply, and/or has failed to read my message… then I’ll email higher up the command chain. In extreme cases, I’ve written, printed out, and posted real live old-fashioned letters to big guys in suits.
  • some examples, plus some recent updates on the animal-testing status quo:



GROUP 1 = company don’t test and either they’re independent or their parent company doesn’t test either; my own preference is for “humane retailer” companies operating a FCOD policy, partly as that shows they’re informed (i.e. using water and being aware that it HAS been tested on animals…) and honest.

Some brands in italics = clarification needed: plenty word out that they’re cruelty-free and (in the few cases below) I’d contacted them myself earlier and been assured of cruelty-free status.

As and when online chums warn me of quibbling, I’ll proceed as follows:
(1) add a comment to the brand, in GROUP 1 (but keeping them there, benefit of the doubt while awaiting corporate official response)
(2) but in italics, to distinguish from other clearer cases
(3) and I’ll also add them to GROUP 3
(4) then email the company to ask

GROUP 2 = brand/company doesn’t test but parent company/group does (ex. Boots)

GROUP 3 (a few examples only) = company doesn’t test “except where required to do so by law” and there’s been recent quibbling.

In practical terms, if you’re buying some of their products in some parts of the world, they won’t have been tested on animals; and many of these companies are putting money and man-hours into alternative testing (ex. the Estee Lauder group) or claim to be so doing.

But that same product may be tested by a third party when required by law (ex. to be able to sold in China). The same will have to be true in reverse, in theory, of parent companies (ex. Shiseido) for the EU market: they’ll be required to not test as EU companies (and non-EU ones selling their products in the EU) are subject to restrictions on animal testing, moving to a ban in 2013 (delayed, alas, and here’s to hoping it does indeed come into force next year). So the same multi-national / trans-national companies will encounter some interesting legal incompatibilities when selling a same product on different markets. This will be quite the dilemma, with bestsellers like Lancôme’s mascaras.

There may be some grey areas between groups 2 and 3…
UPDATE (2014-05): see also


GROUP 1: cruelty-free

  • main place on here to check if your mascara, or one you’re contemplating or lusting after, is cruelty-free
  • this is just a simple list of mascaras: no recommendations, reviews, views, etc.

100% Pure
Ava Anderson
Barry M
Beauty Without Cruelty: inc. a great WP
Bésso de Natúra
Black Radiance
Blinc (= Kiss Me: one of the first waterproof tubing mascaras, the other contender for the title of The Original being Mirenesse)
BM Beauty
Bonne Bell
By Terry
CARGO: inc a tubing mascara
Cheeky Cosmetics
Chi Chi
Coastal Classic Creations
Coral Colours
Couleur CaramelScreen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.39.33 PMDainty Doll
Demure Cosmetics (Delúvia)
Earth’s Beauty
Ecco Bella
Ere Perez: waterproof (not tried, curious…)
FACE Atelier: inc. a tubing mascara
Face of Australia
FACE Stockholm
Geisha Ink
Glam Natural
Green People
Hard Candy
HerbanLuxe (Etsy): including a great waterproof
Honeybee Gardens
IT CosmeticsScreen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.40.08 PMJane
Jane Iredale
Jemma Kidd
Josie Maran
Juice Beauty
Just For Redheads
Kat Von D
Kevyn Aucoin
Kiko Cosmetics
Kiss Me (= Blinc: one of the first waterproof tubing mascaras)
La Femme: cake mascara
L.A. Girl
Laura Geller
Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques
Lauren Hutton
Le Métier de beauté
Lip-Ink International
Lise Watier (inc. a good tubing mascara)
Living Nature
Lola Loves Lashes cake mascara
Longcils Boncza (cake mascara)
Lotus Pure Organics

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.55.17 PMM2 Beauté
Manic Panic
Marks & Spencer (own brand)
Mehron (theatrical makeup; there’s a couple of other brands doing that sort of professional stuff)
Merle Norman
Métier de beauté, le
Michael Kors
Mineral Fusion
Mirenesse: inc. Secret Weapon tubing mascara (one of the first tubers; the other contender for the title of The Original being Blinc / Kiss Me)
Model Co
Napoleon Perdis
Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR)
Nvey Eco
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Om She
Organic Glam (The Organic Pharmacy)

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.56.02 PMPacifica
Paula Dorf: also, used to make good cake mascara (I think no more? not on their site, anyway)
Paula’s Choice (UPDATE: not selling in China, just in Hong Kong (& Macao), so different legal & test-requirement situation)
Physicians Formula
Pixi Beauty
Pure Anada
Real Purity
Red Apple Lipstick (July 2014)
Rejuva Minerals
Reviva Labs
Sainsbury’s (own brand)
Salma Hayek Nuance
Silk Naturals
Sleek Makeup
Sonia Kashuk
Sue Devitt
Sugar Baby
Superdrug (UK)
Suzanne Somers
Sweet LeiLaniScreen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.39.44 PMTarte
Thierry Mugler Beauty
TIGI (I think???)
Too Faced
Top Shop (UK, a couple of stores abroad)
Trish McEvoy
Vincent Longo
VMV Hypoallergenics
Wet n Wild
Zuii Organic

GROUP 2: brand/company is cruelty-free but company as a whole or parent company is not

—Taking a company at their word re. degree of independence vs. on a leash. In the cases below, there’s no harm in emailing (or writing to) so-called “customer service” (usually doubly-misnamed) and company HQ to ask: see what answer you receive, read carefully including between the lines, this can all be very revealing.

—It’s also good to write as the more people doing this the better: the company sees that animal testing is an issue, with a number of potential customers. The more they hear that message, the more likely it is to register on corporate radar. Here, remember: it’s a company and part of their language is numbers, facts and figures, statistics. However foreign and alien corporate pseudo-culture might be: it helps to speak their language, or at least try to translate into a near approximation…

—Argument for buying from these companies: encourages the parent company to invest more in their more ethical brands; bearing in mind that these are still businesses, and part of their language is money. (Other non-mascara examples: Burt’s Bees and GreenWorks, c/o Clorox.)

—Argument against: superficial ethical clean-up and cynical corporate greenwashing by the parent company


Barbara Daly makeup for Tesco (Tesco, UK-only)
bareMinerals (parent company, Shiseido, tests on animals)
The Body Shop (parent company, L’Oréal, tests on animals; TBS resolutely does not test on animals)
BUXOM (Shiseido)
Boots: Botanics/Natural Collection = cruelty-free since their start; 17 = cruelty-free for many years; No.7 for a decade or so; but the company as a whole DO test, in their pharmaceutical wing.
Bourjois: parent company, Chanel, deals in fur
Chanel: parent company deals in fur
Fresh (LVMH: group as a whole is far from cruelty-free: major quibble = fur)
Korres (J&J)
NARS (Shiseido)
Serge Lutens (Shiseido)
UNE: parent company, Chanel, deals in fur

GROUP 3: company doesn’t test “except where required to do so by law” and there’s been recent quibbling

—In “quibbling,” I include controversy, vagueness, ambiguity, obfuscation, and murk.

—Most of the companies listed below do not test their products on animals, but their products are tested by third parties when sold on certain markets (e.g., China).

—Including companies who don’t know (or claim not to know) if their products will be tested by Chinese authorities prior to sale on the Chinese market. Ignorance is no excuse. Shrugging and saying it’s out of your hands is no excuse. These are your products, and their standards and your ethical stance are part of your brand-identity and  USP; you are responsible for both, and both are your responsibility.

—Some people would remove these companies from their lists altogether, and I for one am not buying anything from them until they clean up the ethical act. And make it less of an “act.”

—Reason I’m listing them here: they make stupendously stonkingly good mascaras, and the fact that these companies have some track-record of cruelty-free-ness makes them a possible softer target for nagging by the general public / populace of potential customers. If your favourite mascara is made by one of the companies below: sorry for the “group 3” bad news, but do do do please consider writing to the makers of your best-beloved mascara to complain and ask for change!


UPDATE (2014-05): see also

Almay (same quibble as with Edward Bess)
Aveda (Estee Lauder)
Benefit (LVMH): used to have a cruelty-free claim very upfront on their site, not for some time
Bobbi Brown (EL)
Clarins (China)
Clé de Peau (Shiseido)
Clinique (EL group: China)
Dior (LVMH)
Edward Bess: clarification needed. Company says they do not test their products on animals (that statement’s been there for a long time), but they’ve recently moved production to China. Two fellow MUA green-boarders have emailed. A third emailed earlier, and reports that only manufacturing in China is compatible with no animal testing. I’ll move EB accordingly (be that back up fully to GROUP 1 or remaining here with an updated statement) once more is known.
Estee Lauder
Givenchy (LVMH)
Guerlain (LVMH)
Laura Mercier
Lavera (China)
Make Up For Ever (LVMH)
Mark (Avon)
Mary Kay
Maybelline (L’Oréal)
Origins (EL)
Peter Thomas Roth (China)
Revlon (same quibble as with Edward Bess)
Rimmel (Coty)
Sephora own brand
Smashbox (EL)
Stila: used to be cruelty-free, have changed position to “unless required by law.” NB: they were previously cruelty-free and are not owned by EL (though they were from 1999-2006)
Urban Decay (L’Oréal)
Yves Rocher (China)
YSL (L’Oréal)



I’m human + have a job: lists probably-to-certainly not complete and comprehensive: help me out on anything that’s missing!

This is JUST mascara: there’s loads of cruelty-free brands that don’t make mascara. They’re not on these lists.

The lists are not “inclusive” in that I’m not listing companies that aren’t cruelty-free, i.e. brands that DO TEST on animals. For these, the main offenders are brands within the following groups:

  • Johnson & Johnson: Korres, Neutrogena
  • L’Oréal: Giorgio Armani, Helena Rubinstein, Kiehl’s, Lancôme, La Roche-Posay, Maybelline, Shu Uemura, The Body Shop (NB: different, independent, status within the group), Urban Decay, YSL
  • Procter & Gamble: Cover Girl, Max Factor
  • (+ Unilever is the other main group: no mascara so far, just skin and hair care)

But (especially on L’Oréal): bear in mind that the change in EU legislation may force global brands into being cruelty-free; although, cynically, I would suspect that an international company will turn multinational / -regional, with, say a cruelty-free EU wing and other wings that continue to test.

For the mascaras listed: I’ve used some of those above myself, and at least tested out mascaras from most of the brands listed (and others besides). This here post isn’t on which mascaras I’ve liked and would buy again, but just as comprehensive a list as is possible of cruelty-free ones. I don’t necessarily like all of them, wouldn’t recommend them all or buy them myself. How mascara works on any individual varies considerably, after all.

I put together this list myself, using:

  • companies’ official statements (may include doing some more snooping arund online, company reports and suchlike–not simply doing a Google search and looking at the top five results, or merely going to a site’s FAQ)
  • reading them carefully and between the lines
  • the resources listed in Wednesday’s post
  • my own information from correspondence with companies.

The information is provided neutrally and in good faith: I don’t work for any of these companies or have any other vested interest in or relationship with them. All I’m intersted in is mascara being cruelty-free.

Some of my information (and that provided by external cruelty-free-listing resources) may be out of date or inaccurate. I’m human, so are they, and most of us are doing this sort of thing pro bono in our spare time as a public service, out of the kindness and generosity of our little hearts. Be kind and generous in return: this information should be treated as a starting-point for your own research. Even if it’s flawed, it’s a start, and will have saved you some time and effort.

This post (and indeed everything else on this blog–see this blog’s general caveats) is no substitute for doing your own work as part of your own decision-making process. What mascara you decide to buy is your own choice. I can’t do that for you! Well, I could, sort of, but only if you were to pay me the going rate for one-on-one dominatrix sessions private individually-tailored research and consultancy.

Please let me know if you think I’ve missed any purveyors of mascara, or mis-listed some. It’s always good news if a company has gone cruelty-free! For suggestions on additional companies to list: they should be more or less regularly available; if a small business, should be available online inc. shipping internationally.


    • sheila

      Ok now what about one step further. What about cruelty free for you. Unless your mascara is organic you will be subjected to chemicals such as hormone disrupters and mercury as well as other poisonous and harmful compounds. Look after the animals and yourself please.

      • gingerama

        Thanks for your comment! A quick explanation that might help, in case there was some misunderstanding here: the post on which you commented was simply on cruelty-free-ness; as you’ll see, there are others on this blog that address other ethical attributes, and other products.

        I happen to agree with most of what you say. I prefer to buy mascara made from sustainably-sourced and responsibly-produced ingredients (ex. avoiding palm oil unless I’m very, very, very sure of its origin). No mascara I’ve ever used contains mercury, and none I’ve used within living memory contains hormone disrupters or (to the best of my knowledge wnd the available scientific literature) any poisonous and harmful compounds. And I try to keep up with pertinent current scientific research as best I can.

        I see no good reason (or indeed any reason at all) why one can’t use *several* criteria in mascara-buying, or any other consumption choices. It’s partly because I consider several criteria to be important (functionality, price, lack of fearmongering marketeering or green washing or patronizing or anti-science BS, not lying to customers) that I greatly resent and disapprove of attitudes that look to a one and only number one criterion. You know, like “cruelty-free is the most important thing” or “organic is the most important thing.”

        Sure, in the real world, one has to make compromises. But there are more and more products out there that satisfy several ethical criteria, and the ethical market is ever-increasing, so I’d expect to see more and more mascaras (and other things) available that are ethically purchasable.

    • gingerama

      Nope, that’s the lot; any possible part 2 would be the sad long list of companies that *do* test on animals, and I don’t want to have to write their names more than is absolutely necessary (and give them any further named exposure), plus there’s too many of these bad guys.

      Having said that, there will be a post (in the next week or two) on mascara that’s cruelty-free AND ALSO satisfies at least *some* other ethical criteria: recycled and recyclable packaging, direct charity donation, sustainably-sourced renewable ingredients, that sort of thing.

      HTH… and best of luck LOL with the casinos.

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  2. Jennifer Arthur

    L.A. Colors makes mascara and their entire line is cruelty-free:

    Aldi has a skin care and cosmetic line, Lacura, which is cruelty-free, although I’m not certain what level. Here is their mascara:

    I did not know that Estee Lauder owns Aveda. Thumbs down.

    I *loved* Jane cosmetics, but they don’t carry them at my local Meijer store any longer. I am having a heck of a time finding a cruelty-free mascara that I like. I don’t wear it every day, so I refuse to spend $20 on a tube. I was crushed when I found out my two standards, L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara and Neutrogena Lip Gloss were not c-f. I’m having slightly better luck with gloss, but mascara is turning out to be a pain. I heard that L’Oreal is going 100% c-f in 2013, but I’m not sure I’ll be ready to forgive them yet…..

    • gingerama

      Thank you very much for the tip on L.A.Colors, never seen in person, now curious. Lacura–hadn’t thought of them (I’m in Canada, hadn’t looked in Aldi at all since last time I was back in Europe…). Very useful and much appreciated!!

    • Stephanie

      I sent you a fb request b/c I had a ? re. Voluminous mascara. Sorry for the strangeness!

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  4. Marit

    Thanks for making this great list!
    I was looking forward to testing product from Korres, I thought they were cruelty free. Aren’t they?
    Mary Kay also tests their product lines for sale in China on animals, btw. 🙂

    • gingerama

      Yes: Korea has completely different legislation from China. As does Hong Kong, on cosmetic animal testing (not required), just to complicate things. And–complicating matters further–testing isn’t required of *all* (i.e. each and every) cosmetic products in China:
      1) certain categories (alas, this includes sunscreen)
      2) new ingredients, products containing ingredients new to the Chinese market, and (as far as I can tell/interpret) products whose formulation counts as sufficiently new to become “new” in their own right.

      I’m so glad to see the news about Mary Kay (and the Estee Lauder group, and Caudalie, Clarine, Pierre Fabre, and indeed ulp Weleda and Lavera) is spreading. I knew about Mary Kay (and the others) too–reported on this back in February when the new first broke 🙂 But I’ve added them to the list and edited/updated some more in the “cruelty-free-ness” section, hope that helps.

      On that, my approximate cruelty-free list, etc. see other posts tagged “cruelty-free”; some were linked and others of the main ones have been added in this post here though, should be useful!

      Keep up the good fight!

  5. megost

    Really trying to find mascaras free of palm oil, I think they truly qualify as “cruelty-free”. Are you planning to do a list of those? It’s very tough to find that info, so far I can only find Dr. Hauschka and Tarte, are there any others?

    • gingerama

      Hi there,

      Good idea! Maybe you could do a full post on that? Several possibles further down, anyway…

      Off the top of my head: I think you’ll find plenty, just from reading ingredient-lists. Also, from the last time I browsed through ingredient-lists in the drugstore, the standard mass-market low-to-mid-ed brands (Cover Girl, L’Ucifer, Maybelline, etc.) are all stuffed to the gills with palm oil (but happen to be non-cruelty-free anyway; for the moment, and we’ll see how soon that changes de facto rather than de jure in the EU). Companies that declare themselves to be free of palm oil, or only to use sustainable palm oil, in all their products, company-wide? That will be more of a challenge…

      Ex. 1: my current one happens to fit the bill.
      Blinc Mascara Amplified: cruelty-free (from the start), a waterproof tubing one. No palm oil in here:
      Ingredients: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Silica, Glyceryl Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Nylon-66, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Ammonium Hydroxide, o-Cymen-5-OL, Laureth-12, Methylisothiazolinone. [May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).]

      Ex. 2, previous fave mascara, Reviva Labs (cruelty-free).
      Ingredients: Water, beeswax, copolymer, isododecane, PEG-20, sorbitan beeswax, glycerylstearate S.E., wheat germ oil, magnesium silicate, kaolin, cetyl phosphate, carnauba, stearyl alcohol, panthenol, cetyl alcohol, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium dehydroacstate.
      May contain iron oxides, mica, titanium dioxide, ultramarine blue.

      Ex. 3, Herbaluxe (Etsy) cruelty-free vegan waterproof mascara:
      Ingredients: distilled water, vegetable glycerin, carnauba wax, hydrogenated jojoba wax, stearic acid flakes, jojoba gel, jojobamulose, vitamin e, provitamin b5, black iron oxide, natapress (preservative)

      Ex. 4: Beauty Without Cruelty waterproof. I used the old old version of this (silver tube, great stuff); then a more recent one, a year or two ago (but not in ages: has been discontinued/out of stock/unavailable/101 stories…), not as good; another version came out after that. As I’ve not used it recently with my newer glasses, I can’t comment on its smudge-proof-ness and so on.
      Current ingredient-list: Aqua/water, Isododecane, C11-12 Isoparaffin, Oryza Sativa Bran Cera (RiceWax), Copernicia Cerifera Cera (CarnaubaWax), Vp/eicosene Copolymer, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Mica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, RhusVerniciflua Peel Cera (Japanese Fruit Wax), Hydrogenated Caster Oil, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol,Talc, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol Denat., Panthenyl Triacetate (Vitamin B5),Tocopherol (Vitamin E),Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Triethanolamine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin E),Tin Oxide, Iron Oxides,Titanium Dioxide.

      Ex. 5: Physician’s Formula. Several versions; many like them, I don’t (scent, smudging, flaking, horrid brush). Here are the two I’ve used:
      Organic wear mascara (the oldest plainest one, non-shiny tube with leaf-top):
      Ingredients: Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water*, Glycerin*, *Iron Oxides, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Beeswax*, Jojoba Esters, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Tapioca Starch*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract*, Stearic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Cellulose Gum, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate May Contain: Titanium Dioxide

      Ex. 6. Physician’s Formula Jumbo Lash mascara:
      Ingredients: Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water*, Glycerin*, Iron Oxides, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Beeswax*, Jojoba Esters, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Tapioca Starch*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract*, Stearic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Cellulose Gum, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Water, Glyceryl Caprylate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate May Contain: Titanium Dioxide

      Ex. 7: a newer Physician’s Formula one I’ve not used (this and a FakeOut one with fibres are the newest): Lash Boosting mascara:
      Ingredients: Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water*, Glycerin+, Iron Oxides, Water, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Beeswax*Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract*, Tapioca Starch*, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnuba) Wax*, Oryza Sativa, (Rice) Powder*, Jojoba Esters, Stearic Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Yogurt Extract*, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Superoxide Dismutase, Soybean Peroxidase, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide

      Ex. 8: might be options: Jane Iredale Longest Lash (the nicest of her ones, IMHO):
      Ingredients: Water, Algae Extract, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Tribehenin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Oleic Acid. May contain: Iron Oxides, Carmine, Titanium Dioxide.

      Ecco Bella mascara might also be possible. Most of their ingredients are organic, I’m not sure about the palmitic acid in this one (I just emailed them to ask):
      Ingredients: Purified water, carnauba wax, palmitic acid (from palm oil), clay, phenoxyethanol, iron oxides.

      I prefer the Blinc as I wear glasses, my current ones sit closer to my eyes, and the smudge-risk is higher. So it has to be a well-formulated waterproof smudgeproof one. Herbanluxe is one of the best, but flakes a bit on me; Reviva was fine with my previous specs, but now smudges on the lenses. Alas, many-to-most of the “greener” ones don’t fit the bill.

      Hope that helps…

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  7. shehrzad

    very helpful post.Actually i am trying to find brands free of animal ingredients which require killing of animals to get them.and even ingredients from dead animals.I,too,dont mind lanolin,bees wax,honey.can you please help.Do you consider all this when categorizing a brand cruelty free.

  8. Kristin

    Whoa there! Just because “palm oil” is not on the ingredient list does not mean that it is not made with palm-derived ingredients (and it therefore may impact orangutans, Sumatran tigers, etc.–see Stearic acid could be palm-derived ( Palmitic acid generally is palm-derived. Look at the list at, and you will be surprised at the *many* names used to describe palm-derived products. I am having such a hard time finding palm-free products that I am starting to make some of my own beauty supplies. Thanks for putting together this information. The industry makes it hard to be a cruelty-free consumer & we have to work hard to find our products–not just on the testing side, but on the whole supply chain.

  9. Jas

    Sephora’s own brand is NOT cruelty free, as they sell their products in China. I’ve looked on the Chinese Sephora website.

    • gingerama

      Thanks for the comment, very useful.

      Information was correct, to the best of my knowledge, at the time of first writing; things change, and right now it looks (fingers crossed) like they might be changing for the better. On animal ethics in cosmetics anyway. Remains to be seen if unconsenting animals are replaced by unconsenting humans in China, in the shape of prisoners.

      Have you written to Sephora to complain? I would (except I’ve not bought anything from them in years, so can’t in all honesty threaten to take away my business). I would also tell other people. Friends, family, colleagues, … Word of mouth is a powerful tool.

      But backed up by hard evidence, both to provide a clear incontrovertible case and to protect yourself. Just in case. Feel free to add any such evidence in comments here, if you wish (or link back to your blog, if you post / have posted an in-depth report and analysis there).

  10. Becky

    Laura mercier is no longer cruelty free. They updated to state testing where required by law.

  11. Kristen

    A great list!
    You should check Kiko Cosmetics (an italian company so come under the european directive)…from what is said on their site they look good -

  12. brontelover56

    Actually the ones you list, even though they may not have the words “palm” in them, could be palm oil derivatives. A good and comprehensive list I use is this one If you notice there are a LOT of derivatives. Anything with “stear” or “laur” in them are almost always palm oil. There are also derivatives that could be derived from something else (like glycerin) but often palm oil is so abundant and cheap it is very likely that unless a company specifies, it’s probably at least in part from palm oil

    • gingerama

      Thanks! Readers, consider this an amendment to the information in the post above. I may amend the original post itself at some point (do bear in mind that date of publication, years ago) or simply write up a fresh post.

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