Veganuary: Switching to Cruelty Free Cosmetics

With January bringing about goals and resolutions, it’s the perfect time to make a step towards a lifestyle change… Dry January, joining a gym or how about becoming a Vegan? January, or Veganuary, as it’s also known, is not only good for trying a vegan diet but it could be the perfect time to start swapping your cosmetic purchases to vegan or cruelty free.

According to Soap and Glory’s Frequently Asked Questions response, ‘it’s important for you to know that no retailer or manufacturer can categorically state that ‘none’ of their raw materials or ingredients have- at some time in the past- been tested on animals.’ With this in mind, there are some beauty brands that host a Leaping Bunny logo, have signed the PETA pledge or avoid testing on animals or including animal products but don’t associate with a cruelty-free organisation.

Although some brands don’t test on animals in Britain, where it was banned in 1998, they do sell to China where animal testing is a legal requirement and therefore are not considered a cruelty free brand overall.

Each individual has a different perception on what cruelty free is so with the help of this article, you might just find the right brand for you. Whilst some brands are PETA registered, their parent company isn’t classed as cruelty free so it’s up to you to decide which brands you want to shop with.

Soap and Glory

Although not on the PETA list, Soap and Glory say, ‘we absolutely do not test our formulations on animals, however we can’t say that each and every ingredient that goes into them has not, at some point historically, been cleared for human use, by animal testing.’ Offering a range of skincare, bath and body products as well as makeup, it might be a brand worth checking out if this meets your needs.


As a vegan certified brand with cruelty free formulas, the company offers botanically-based skin care products as well as makeup, hair care and general personal care. Arbonne ‘have been on a green journey for 37 years’ and do not support animal testing. To get your hands on the products, you go through an Independent Consultant who will help wherever possible and will organise your order. Keri Wood’s site, a consultant based in the Coventry area, can be found and accessed here.


A brand that works in a similar way to Arbonne, with ambassadors on hand to help with enquiries or to place an order from. Tropic don’t test on animals ‘or cause them distress by using derivatives such as lanolin, beeswax or honey.’ Certified by The Vegan Society and Cruelty Free International, they offer skincare, bodycare and makeup! Two ambassadors based in Coventry can be found and accessed below.

Caroline Boylin’s store

Vanessa O’Neill’s store

Bare Minerals

Despite the fact that the parent company, Shiseido, is not cruelty free, Bare Minerals is PETA approved and offers a number of beauty products. The brand creates a range of mineral-based cosmetics ‘powered by nourishing, skin-loving minerals… with purity in mind.’


As an official member of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program, despite its parent company, L’Oreal, choosing to sell in China, NYX has a number of makeup products ranging from primer to mascara to metallic lipsticks. At a drugstore price, the brand originating from Los Angeles is now available in most large Boots stores.

Urban Decay

Another pledge for PETA’s cruelty free campaign, Urban Decay are slightly pricier but worth the extra splurge with a host of popular eyeshadow palettes as well as many other incredible makeup products.

The Body Shop

Offering vegan brushes as well as a number of body and face products, The Body Shop was sold to Natura Brasil in 2017 which is also reportedly a cruelty free brand. As the ‘first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in cosmetics’, not only are their products cruelty free but they actively fight to bring an end to animal testing and currently have a petition to help this cause available here if you’re interested in signing it:


The popular bath products brand is well-known for being cruelty free but, did you know they also sell a number of makeup items as well as a few scents? LUSH state that they ‘do not buy raw materials from any company that tests anything on any animals’ and that ‘materials purchased by LUSH do not contain animal derivatives that are unsuitable for vegetarians’, the full policy on animal testing can be found here:

For support in finding alternative brands or for making the step towards veganism, groups such as the Coventry Vegans can be a good form of support. “For cheaper makeup I go to Superdrug. Makeup Revolution, Barry M and ELF have vegan products and Superdrug do student discount. Another place to look is TK Maxx and Home Sense as they sometimes get vegan ranges in- they regularly have Sukin and Faith in Nature.” One ‘Coventry Vegan’, Alison Townsend, says, “vegan fairs are a great place to try and buy makeup and skin care and you are supporting ethical vegan companies that way.

Switching to vegan or cruelty free makeup doesn’t have to happen all at once either, as Jennifer Dudley says, “after deliberation I used up the products I already had purchased and then phased in cruelty free alternatives over time.”

“Us human beings have seriously lost grip of reality. So disconnected with what harm is happening to animals, the planet and humanity,” Melanie Moon adds. Instead she buys, “a lot of handmade stuff” and makes “many creams and potions, balms and lotions for friends.”

With so many cruelty free beauty brands available, it may not be as difficult as it first appears. There are still plenty of other options out there too. The likes of Liz Earle, YesTo and Too Faced all offer cruelty free products as well as a number of other brands so for a list of companies supported by PETA, you can have a look here.

Steph Lowe

(Original Photos by Steph Lowe)

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