Shopping cruelty-free can be an ethical minefield, especially when it comes to our beloved beauty products. Although all brands sold in the EU abide by strict animal testing laws, the same can’t be said in China, where any cosmetics sold must by Chinese law be tested in their labs. Unfortunately, that means that some of our favourite mainstream beauty brands can’t be classed as cruelty-free, and many of them are very vague about their involvement with animal testing.

It’s not all bad news though, as some brilliant brands are sticking to their guns when it comes to keeping their makeup cruelty-free. Here are six of our favourites…

1) Urban Decay


You’ll be pleased to hear that you can wear your Naked palettes guilt-free, as Urban Decay has pulled out of the Chinese market until non-animal-testing methods are accepted there. This is great news for every who loves UD’s inimitable mix of wearable neutrals, bold glittery brights and signature setting sprays. (It is worth noting, however, that UD are owned by L’Oreal, who as a company do comply with Chinese animal testing laws.)

Hero product: The Naked palettes

2) Illamasqua


This bold brand is all about colourful self-expression, so we’re pleased to see that they’re also vocal when it comes to animal testing. Their website states that Illamasqua has never and will never test on animals, and as such they’re refraining from the Chinese market until a cruelty-free solution is found – which means that we can stock up on their brilliant new Metamorph collection.

Hero product: Precision Ink Eyeliner (which is also vegan) – you can find it in the Glamour Spring Edit

3) Barry M


Hurrah! One of our favourite high street brands, Barry M has been committed to the cruelty-free movement ever since the company was started in 1982. In fact, they even actively campaign to end animal testing by supported the Be Cruelty-Free campaign – which means that when you buy from Barry M, you can feel good about your bank balance AND your conscience!

Hero product: Nail Paint

4) bareMinerals


Mineral makeup lovers, rejoice! bareMinerals and their parent company Bare Escentuals don’t test on animals or sell in China, so feel free to take advantage of their incredible range of mineral bases and beautiful skincare. (As with Urban Decay, Bare Escentuals are owned by Shiseido, who do sell in China.)

Hero product: bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation – try it in the Glamour Spring Edit

5) Charlotte Tilbury


Everyone’s favourite new British beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury are fighting the good fight by remaining cruelty-free and not stocking in mainland China. We hope it stays this way, as they’re some of the most luxurious cruelty-free makeup and skincare products available on the market today. Don’t ever change, Charlotte!

Hero product: Matte Revolution lipsticks

6) MUA Cosmetics


Our beloved MUA Cosmetics are happily cruelty-free as well as extremely affordable. Their new collections have been fantastic lately (Velvet Lip Lacquers, anyone?), so we’re glad that this budget-friendly brand can be used guilt-free.

Hero product: The MUA Luxe Palettes – get your own in the Glamour Spring Edit