What does vegan-friendly and Cruelty free mean?

Vegan-friendly means free of all animal products and animal by-products such as milk substance, egg whites and honey. Cruelty-free means that neither the products nor their ingredients have been tested on animals during the development process. Something that is vegan is not necessarily cruelty-free, although many products are both. So, for example, a vegan lip balm wouldn’t contain the ingredient Lanolin as this is derived directly from sheep.

Animal by-products you need to look out for

Unfortunately it might not be easy to spot whether your product is cruelty free or not. common ingredients to avoid if you’re looking for vegan beauty products are listed below.


Often used in anti-ageing products due to its plumping and firming effect, collagen is naturally produced in animals. In order to get the protein for beauty purposes, it is normally taken from dead animal’s bones, connective tissue and skin – definitely not vegan-friendly!

Beeswax (aka cera alba, cera lava)

This is taken directly from a bee hive and can be used in eye shadow, foundation or lipstick. It is taken from worker bees and can take six or more pounds of honey to create just one pound of wax.


Known by many different names such as cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, E120 and carminic acid – phew! This deep red colour is taken from crushed insect body and legs.


Used to give you luscious hair this is a protein that is naturally found in mammals, it’s generally taken from hair, nails and horns.

Guanine (aka CI 75170)

This gives extra shine and sparkle to your blusher, eyeshadow and nail polish. It is created by scraping fish scales off dead fish and soaking them in alcohol to create an iridescent solution.


Sometimes used in lip balms and lotions, this is a fat that’s created from the grease in sheep’s hair.


Commonly used in various moisturisers and cosmetics this ingredient is made from the oils found in the liver of sharks.

Whether you’ve recently embraced a vegan lifestyle or want peace of mind when using beauty products. This article will hopefully help identify a few noteable products and brands.

1. Tarte

Although Tarte cosmetics are a cruelty free brand, they are owned by Kose. Kose is a non cruelty free Japanese brand. A stand out vegan product of Terre would be their shape tape foundation and concealer.

2. Millani

Milan is a mid range makeup brand that’s cruelty free and offers plenty of vegan friendly options.

3. Anastasia Beverly hills

Anatasia Beverly hills started out specialising in eyebrows and have now expanded to a full range of makeup.

4. NYX

Cruelty free

Not all of the NYX range is vegan friendly. However, although being bought by loreal, NYX still remain 100% cruelty free.

5. Make-up geek

Are cruelty free and majority of their products vegan free also. The non vegan products containing animal by products such as beeswax, milk etc.

6. Too faced

Too faced do not test on animals and have a selection of vegan friendly products. Also they do not sell in foreign markets that require animal testing.

7. Lush


Lush have classed themselves as a vegetarian company, but not completely vegan. As it stands 80% of lush products are vegan.

8. Urban decay

All Nighter Waterproof Full-Coverage Concealer provides flawless matte coverage that lasts all day and all night.

9. Glossier

Glossier are cruelty free with some vegan options available. Unfortunately there was controversy surrounding their ‘lash slick mascara. They labelled the pro9as vegan in error, they immediately recalled the product and ordered refunds.