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Is Maybelline Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)

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Maybelline is not cruelty free and vegan. Their products are tested on animals.

This brand is owned by L’Oréal, which is not cruelty free. Maybelline is also not vegetarian-friendly.

Read my analysis below and find out why Maybelline is not cruelty free and vegan.

Also, I’ll share my favorite list of cruelty free and vegan alternatives for Maybelline’s most popular products.

Does Maybelline test on animals?

Yes, Maybelline tests on animals.

They have the same animal testing policy as their parent brand L’Oréal. They state that they do not test on animals unless legal and regulatory authorities require that.

I checked the FAQ on their website, where they explain their animal testing policy. This is what it says:

L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.

You can see a more thorough answer by L’Oréal regarding this question here.

Chinese authorities require animal testing of all cosmetics. Therefore, this brand’s products are subject to testing in order to be compliant with China’s regulations. So, Maybelline is not cruelty free. They don’t have any cruelty free certifications.

Is Maybelline owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Yes, Maybelline is a subsidiary of the French cosmetics company L’Oréal.

L’Oréal is a little controversial regarding this question, but the bottom line is that they still test on animals, so they’re not cruelty free.

Is Maybelline sold in China?

Yes, Maybelline is sold in China, where animal testing is required by law.

Why can’t cruelty free brands sell in mainland China?

Animal testing is still happening for products sold in physical stores in mainland China.

Pre-market animal testing is required for all special-use imported products, and non-routine post-market testing on animals may also be done in cases of customer complaints.

However, please keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to products sold in stores at the airports, or in Hong Kong.

Also, products can be sold online and shipped to mainland China without being tested on animals.

Is Maybelline vegan?

Maybelline is not vegan.

This is their official answer:

Hi there! L’Oréal Group is always attentive to respecting the personal choices of its consumers throughout the world and therefore offers a very wide range of products to meet their diverse beauty needs. L’Oréal does not use any ingredient from rare or endangered animal species, nor any ingredient of porcine, bovine or ovine origin; except lanolin (which is taken from live sheep). We use derivatives of raw materials of animal origin in restricted quantities, such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, as well as fish derivatives and poultry egg derivatives.

So, basically they use different animal-based ingredients in their products.

Some of their products are vegan and are labeled as such, but as a brand, Maybelline is definitely not completely vegan.

Is Maybelline vegetarian?

Maybelline is not vegetarian.

As stated in their official answer above, they sometimes use fish derivatives in their products which is definitely not vegetarian-friendly.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Maybelline

Almost everyone who uses makeup, has a favorite product which is produced by Maybelline. Concealers, mascara, finishing powder, liquid foundation, highlighter, bronzers… the list goes on.

It can be really heartbreaking to find out that your favorite brand is not cruelty free and vegan, and doesn’t agree with your ethical standards. Since Maybelline is not cruelty free and vegan, a lot of people are having trouble finding replacements for their favorite makeup.

But don’t worry – there are a lot of cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Maybelline products. Here are some of my favorites:

Concealer

A great alternative to the Maybelline Fit Me concealer is the Tarte Shape Tape concealer which is 100% cruelty free and vegan. It’s so similar to the Maybelline Fit Me, that the cruelty free and vegan communities have declared it a great alternative. They both have a very similar consistency and are lightweight, while providing high coverage, with a soft-matte finish.

Another popular concealer by Maybelline is the Instant Age Rewind. An awesome cruelty free and completely vegan alternative to this one is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. This matte concealer provides long-lasting full coverage, and has a huge range of shades to choose from.

Mascara

The Maybelline Lash Sensational is one of the most famous mascara choices out there. The best alternative that is both cruelty free and vegan is the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara. It elongates your lashes, gives them a nice curl and really increases volume. It’s beeswax free, so if you’re looking for a vegan alternative, this one is, hands down, the best choice.

It’s very hard to find good mascara choices which are vegan as most contain beeswax and honey by-products. You can see two more cruelty free mascara recommendations below which, unfortunately, are not vegan.

Another great cruelty free alternative to Maybelline’s mascara is the Milani Lash Trifecta Mascara. They’re very similar – both have a very deep color and extreme volume. However, it’s not vegan as it contains beeswax.

If you’re looking for a low-budget alternative, a cool cruelty free alternative is the Essence Volume Stylist 18hr Lash Extension Mascara. Again, this one is not vegan either.

I’ll update this list as soon as I find more products which are both cruelty free and vegan, and are a similar alternative in terms of effect, volume and quality to the ones above.

I hope that Maybelline will update their animal testing policy soon and go cruelty free.


I’d like to hear from you.

What are your favorite cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Maybelline products?

Tell us in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Is Maybelline Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2021 Update)”

    1. Cruelty Free Only

      Hi Nimisha! The term “cruelty free” isn’t legally regulated in any way, so everyone has a different idea of what it really means. Brands often use this as an opportunity to mislead the customers that try to shop ethically, without really caring about animal welfare. That’s why there are several cruelty free certifications.

      Brands will say “Our products aren’t tested on animals” – but their ingredients are tested on animals, “We don’t test our products on animals” – but they commission third parties to do the testing for them, “We don’t test on animals, except…” – except when they do, when required by law, etc.

      I highly recommend checking out my post Cruelty Free Certifications Explained: Who Can You Trust?, because, in my opinion, it explains these misleading claims really well, why cruelty free certifications can help and how to tell whether a brand is truly cruelty free.

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