5 of the best Ethical Beauty Brands

Our Hollywood mirrors look amazing on a vanity table…and they look even better when you know the makeup around them is completely cruelty-free. Awareness of just how many brands are still associated with animal testing is constantly growing, encouraging more and more of us to think twice before we buy. What’s more, an EU grant was recently given to a UK alternative to animal testing (that uses human cells!) suggesting the future’s bright in terms of waving goodbye to testing on four-legged friends. However, until it’s in the mainstream, we’ve found five of our favourite ethical beauty brands for you to use and enjoy – with the assurance that no animals were harmed in the making of your look.

Ethical Beauty Cruelty Free brands


No outfit is complete without perfect nails and ncLA have mastered both glam talons and cruelty-free beauty. Their nail wraps are beyond perfection (check out some of their instagram tags to get an idea) with a huge choice of gorgeous colours and patterns, all of which are completely vegan and cruelty-free (wahoo).

What’s more, they’re completely non-toxic and free of five well-known nasties; formaldehyde, DBP, Toulene, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor. Beauty that looks good, does good AND only has good things in it. Perhaps our favourite bit of their cruelty-free policy is the closing words on their about page; “never tested on animals because we love them” – the beauty world equivalent of a completely guiltless, fat-free chocolate brownie!

Sarah Hill Makeup

We love the popping colours and styles our homegrown UK makeup whizz Sarah Hill offers in her vast collection, but we adore the fact she’s 100% cruelty-free even more.

Fully PETA approved, the team promise they do not – nor have they EVER – tested on animals, and they will never contact an outside company to do so. We’ve always said us Brits do it better…and now we can say it with even more certainty!

Urban Decay

Ladies, relax. Your favourite Naked palettes and setting sprays are safe – Urban Decay state on their website that not only do they refuse to test on animals, but they are “committed to ending animal testing” once and for all.

What’s more, they require all suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in their products are cruelty-free, leading them to be approved by both PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program (CCIC) as ethical and safe to use. Some of the best makeup and, thankfully, some of the best morals too!


BareMinerals do not test on animals, nor are their products sold in China (which requires animal testing by law) making them completely cruelty-free. Similarly, they do not work with any manufacturers or suppliers who use testing – double win!

Their standard brushes are made of goat and pony hair, with Bare Minerals’ insistence that “no animals are harmed in the process” and, for full vegans, there is also a variety of high-end synthetic brushes instead. One thing to note is that their parent company, Shiseido, do test on animals – if you’re making a full-on protest against the larger corporations, it may be something to remember.


We’re in love with Hourglass’ high-end feel and products, but we love their high-class ethics even more. Fully cruelty-free, they do not include testing into any phrase of their makeup production or development, and provide no authorisation to any third-parties looking to test products in unethical ways.

What’s more, the beauty mavens do not sell their products in any country that requires animal testing, meaning you can rest assured that as well as feeling beautiful on the outside, you’ll continue to feel beautiful on the inside too.

What are your ethical picks for makeup and cosmetics? Let us know on social media or check out PETA’s full information here.

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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