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5 Cruelty-Free Brands We Love

Posted by Sam S. on 24th Oct 2019

In 1937 a pharmaceutical company released a new medicine that treated a specific kind of infection. This medicine was quickly distributed to drugstores and into the hands of the population. Little did they know that what they were buying was an untested product with no scientific research to back it up. The medicine turned out to be extremely poisonous to the human body and caused a large poison outbreak which ended in over 100 deaths.

Something like this would never happen nowadays. But that's only because it was this tragedy that sparked a new law, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act in 1938. This law enforced rigorous guidelines on cosmetic products which led companies to start using animals to test their products before sending them into the world.

However in 1954, Charles Hume, founder of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare introduced a new testing strategy called The Three R's: Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement. This new strategy encourages researchers to minimize the use of animals for testing or to refine their methods so that they're less painful or to ultimately find a replacement test method that doesn't use animals. This new strategy still used today in cosmetic laboratories.

In 1959 a British animal rights activist, Lady Dowding, encouraged manufacturers of fake fur to use the slogan "Beauty without Cruelty" which was later turned into a charity. In the 70's the concept was introduced by Marcia Pearson founder of Fashion with Compassion. And later in the 90's a new international label was founded, the Leaping Bunny program. This label is managed under the Cruelty-Free International Organization and is given to companies that do not test their products on animals.

The Leaping Bunny program is recognized internationally, while the Cruelty-Free label applies only to the U.S.

A cruelty-free product doesn't necessarily mean it's untested, it just means that the company has found alternative testing ways that don't require animals.

1. Milani

Milani was founded in 2002 by siblings, Ralph Bijou and Laurie Minc. It's a brand inspired by Milan's fashion and it's considered a high-end drugstore makeup. High quality at an affordable price.

From baked powders to highly pigmented lip glosses, Milani's popularity is due to its wide variety of unique colors that suit all skin tones from very dark to very fair. 

Shop Milani makeup


2. Cargo

Cargo cosmetics is a Canadian-owned brand that distribute product in the U.S. through Kohl's stores. Their wide range of products are very high-quality and deliver professional results that are easy to achieve by the every-day-woman.

Shop Cargo makeup


3. NYX

NYX was founded in 1999 by Korean-American Toni Ko. It was sold to L'Oreal in 2014 for $500 million. We actually have a recent blog post where we delved into the history of the brand and show you our top 5 picks. You can find it here.

NYX is a budget-friendly brand that even makeup pros endorse. Even though they are a subsidiary of L'Oreal now, they retained their Cruelty-Free status.

Shop NYX makeup


4. Buxom

Buxom was founded in 2007 as part of the Bare Escentuals brand. While Bare Escentuals focuses on mineral-based skin products, Buxom focuses on lip products. And both are owned by Japanese brand Shiseido.

This brand delivers a strong message of dauntlessness which can be felt in their makeup collections. They're known for their lip plumping products -- and the cooling, tingling sensation they leave on your lips!

Shop Buxom makeup


5. CoverGirl

CoverGirl is an American brand founded in 1961 by Noxzema Chemical Company. It was later acquired by Procter and Gamble in 1989 and then sold to Coty, Inc in 2016.


The brand was initially marketed as "medicated makeup" since it contained Noxzema's chemical ingredients. It soon became very popular thanks to various celebrity endorsements. The whole concept behind CoverGirl is to achieve "cover model" looks with affordable consumer-grade cosmetics.

They were once the largest company that conducted animal testing but after being sold to Coty, Inc. they no longer sell their products in China (which requires by law to test on animals.) CoverGirl is a Leaping Bunny brand and they plan to add this label to all their products in late 2019.

Shop CoverGirl Makeup

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