Is Maybelline a Cruelty-Free Brand? (Guide)

Is Maybelline Cruelty-Free?

A lot of people wonder if the personal care products from the company are kind to animals.

The problem with this question is that it’s tough to know for sure because they don’t make their stance on animal testing very clear.

So below, we’ll try to clarify things a bit more for you!

Check: Best Cruelty Free Clean Beauty Brands

Maybelline Animal Testing Policies

animal testing sign

Maybelline hasn’t released its formal cruelty-free policy.

However, their parent company, L’Oreal, does have an animal testing policy, and it reads like a classic loophole.

“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.”

As we’ve said time and again, when it comes to cruelty-free statements, any use of words like “if” “but” or “except” are clear red flags.

While L’Oreal on the whole is pioneering the use of alternative methods to animal testing, the fact that they still allow others to do so on their behalf is a huge problem.

Let’s go over their history and recent developments to learn more.

Related: Is Colourpop- Cruelty Free One?

History and Recent Developments

Maybelline is, in fact, relatively new to the cruelty-free and cosmetic vegan products arena. However, the company was previously selling products with testing on animals, including the infamous KY Jelly.

The company finally added a prominent statement to its website stating,

“Maybelline is proud to be committed to the responsible use of animals in research and development of our cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products. We have terminated the cosmetic testing of all product lines, which include anti-aging, makeup, skincare, eyeliner, hair care, and hair products.”

Though it may seem hard to imagine, this groundbreaking commitment started with Maybelline’s Promise. And it is working. It has resulted in significant changes to their policies, practices, and ethics.

READ MORE: Is Neutrogena Cruelty-Free?

Is Maybelline a Vegan-Friendly Brand?

vegan-friendly make up products

Although Maybelline doesn’t perform any animal testing, they do still use animal derived ingredients for some products, including Petsun DSP (Natural Elements) face cream Face Up Mascara Dawn Free DayWear Cream (which contains porcine serum, a toxin found in pig eyes) Smashbox even describes their Real FuLish Mascara as an “eye primer containing vegan-friendly ingredients.”

Maybelline has a fairly good animal testing policy, though. According to their website, Maybelline conducts “non-animal testing of their highest-performing products.”

When available, non-animal tests are used for the brand’s highest-performing products.

Also check: Is Dove Cruelty Free?

Does Maybelline’s Parent Company Test on Animals?

different cosmetic products on a white table

Maybelline is owned by L’Oréal and follows their policy on cosmetics animal testing.

Not all brands owned by a company that conducts animal testing inherit their policy.

According to the Maybelline animal testing policy, (1) no finished products or ingredients are tested on animals, and (2) no third parties test on animals on their behalf unless required by law.

There is no mention of their suppliers in this brief policy, but we know from L’Oréal’s full animal testing policy that they make an exception for some ingredients tested on animals by their suppliers.

Specifically, Maybelline states that they cannot test on animals if their products are sold in Brazil or Russia. These two countries are notorious for lacking proper regulations.

On the other hand, Maybelline states that they can test on animals if their products are sold in certain “restricted markets”, i.e., the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Taiwan, and Australia.

However, this doesn’t help people living in countries where Maybelline cosmetics are sold (such as countries within the EU).

As a result, this is the point at which many brands begin to mislead consumers by omitting key facts. Despite the fact that Maybelline as a brand is silent on testing…

They also do not disclose whether their suppliers test their ingredients on animals. In case you didn’t know… The majority of animal testing is done at the ingredient level, not at the product level.

Check: Is Benefit Cruelty-Free?

3 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan Alternatives to Maybelline

Some Maybelline products are indeed vegan and cruelty-free. But the vast majority of them are not.

Even if your favorite Maybelline products were 100% cruelty-free and vegan, their manufacturing processes and labels can still contain a small amount of animal testing.

This is not surprising. Nearly all cosmetics companies conduct animal testing for one reason or another.

It may be an unavoidable (but wrong) business practice for the companies’ survival. Or it could be because of regulations that mandate that testing has to occur.

Or it could be because of the outdated, biased, or overtly cruel idea that animal testing is somehow ‘necessary’.

Whatever the reason, companies must be transparent about their practices, so that vegans can make informed decisions.

Here are 3 Cruelty free vegan brand alternatives:

 1. Vapour Beauty

Vapour Beauty Aura Multi Stick

This vegan-certified makeup brand has awesome products if you’re into experimenting with new looks.

They have really pigmented formulas that deliver great results without costing too much, so it’s worth a shot even if you’re on a budget!

check price

 2. Lilah B

Lilah B. Lovingly Lip™ Tinted Lip Oil

Lilah Beauty is a makeup brand with a small product line, but it has some really good deals and products. All of the items here are vegan and cruelty-free, which is great if you’re looking for alternatives to Maybelline.

check price

3. Ere Perez

Ere Perez foundation

This natural skincare makeup brand is famous for its 100% cruelty-free cosmetics. Apart from makeup, they also have skincare products for different skin types and conditions.

check price


Maybelline is a leading makeup company. It’s not at all surprising, then, that it has an ethical and cruelty-free policy.

The company is following the general definition of a cruelty-free product that’s laid out by PETA and the National Consumers League.

They call it “policies in place to avoid the cruelty caused by animal testing”.

These policies were put in place to address our concern about animal testing and it’s great that Maybelline is moving away from this harmful practice.

This cosmetic brand is still working on becoming cruelty free makeup company.

I want to encourage the company and its supporters, but I also need them to acknowledge their faults so they can work towards improving themselves in order to become a true cruelty-free business.

The fact that Maybelline has implemented policies against animal testing shows they are aware of how harmful this practice is.

a close-up shot of a lips with a bright red lipstick from Maybelline

Is Maybelline cruelty free? What are your thoughts about it? Share with us below!

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.

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