Is Charlotte Tilbury cruelty-free? Find out now! Logical Harmony helps make cruelty-free easy!
Charlotte Tilbury is a beloved brand for many. Their Filmstar Bronze and Glow, Pillowtalk lipstick, and Hollywood Flawless Filter are a staple in the makeup collections of many. There has been a lot of buzz about their cruelty-free status lately. It’s something I have been keeping an eye on and talking to the brand about. I wanted to bring you up to speed and share the information that I have with you.
Curious to know what’s currently going on with Charlotte Tilbury? Are they cruelty-free? Do they have any vegan options? Find out what their current stance on animal testing is in this post.
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Is Charlotte Tilbury cruelty-free? Yes! Charlotte Tilbury is cruelty-free.
Charlotte Tilbury is a cruelty-free brand based on the Logical Harmony criteria for determining if a brand is Logical Harmony approved. There is no animal testing being done on Charlotte Tilbury products at any point or on any ingredients used to make Charlotte Tilbury products. They also do not sell in situations where they would be subject to required by law animal testing. There are also lots of Charlotte Tilbury vegan products to choose from too.
Does Charlotte Tilbury sell in Mainland China? Yes. Charlotte Tilbury sells in China, but only via-commerce.
Charlotte Tilbury does not sell in stores in Mainland China. Doing so would subject them to required by law animal testing. Their products are available to customers in that region via e-commerce. This is when people can place an order online and have it shipped to them.
Brands are able to sell in China via methods like e-commerce and remain cruelty-free. They are not subject to required by law animal testing by selling in this way.
What exactly happened with Charlotte Tilbury? Let’s break it down.
Photos of in-store displays of Charlotte Tilbury products first appeared on IG in December 2019 in Shanghai, China. The photos were from a Little B Pop-Up shop. Little B has been running them for years as short-term pop-ups with a different focus each time and in each location. It was unclear from the photos how the products were being sold.
What happened after the Charlotte Tilbury product display photos appeared online?
I reached out to the brand immediately when these photos surfaced. The brand was quick to respond, which I appreciated, and they provided a lot of detail.
This specific Little B pop-up was just for the holiday season. Charlotte Tilbury did have displays there. These displays did have sample products, much like the ones at Sephora or Ulta, so people could swatch products or shade-match themselves.
However, there was no inventory for sale in the stores.
If a customer wanted to purchase an item, they could not leave the store with it as they can in Sephora or Ulta. The customer could purchase in-store, but through online e-commerce methods only. Once the customer would order the product, it would be shipped to them. This is a method that allows brands to avoid required by law animal testing.
This is different from how many brands with store displays in mainland China sell their products. I think this is how a lot of people got confused about what was going on with Charlotte Tilbury. I saw rumors that the brand had opened its own stores in China (not true) and was being sold in many chains in China (also not true).
With brands like Wet n Wild, NARS, MAC, First Aid Beauty, or Physicians Formula, the brand has entered the market in mainland China with store displays where customers can not only swatch things but also purchase the product in stores. They walk out with the product in hand that day. It is not shipped to them.
So what’s the issue here? How could this have impacted the Charlottle Tilbury cruelty-free status?
Even though the method that Charlotte Tilbury was using to sell there was different, there was still the potential for animal testing.
The stores did have a very small inventory available to replace the testers in the display. These products were not for retail sale. However, there was still potential for post-market animal testing. Post-market animal testing is when the finished products are tested after they have been approved to be placed in the consumer market.
If a customer reported a reaction to one of the display testers, there was a chance that it could be pulled for animal testing. This would impact the Charlotte Tilbury cruelty-free status.
What action did Charlotte Tilbury take?
When I talked to the brand in December, they had already become aware of the potential issue with post-market animal testing and had already taken action.
From what they told me, they did not realize that display samples could put them at risk for post-market animal testing since the products are only sold via e-commerce and not physically in stores for sale. They had the sample testers pulled from the displays. While they had a contract in place with Little B to be in the pop-up store, the sample testers stopped being available in the stores.
The pop-up shop closed at the end of December, as it was scheduled to do. This means that the Charlotte Tilbury display also closed.
Charlotte Tilbury confirmed that they did not plan to try to sell via this method in the future due to the risk of animal testing. They would be selling only via e-commerce, which would allow them to avoid any required by law animal testing and remain cruelty-free.
October 2020 update: The brand is now stating that it may sell through pop-up shops in China this holiday season. I was told that if they do, product testers will not be available and the product will be shipped via e-commerce as in the past. The product will not be available for sale in the pop-up shops in a manner that would allow for animal testing to occur. If testers are used that is a concern for post-market testing. Hopefully, they do not have product testers available as they have said. Of course, I will keep an eye on the situation and will update should anything change. Until the pop-up shops are open it is hard to know what will actually happen.
January 2021 update: Charlotte Tilbury has confirmed that while they did take part in the Little B pop-up shops in the 2020 holiday season, no product testers were available and products were not available for purchase in the shops. Product packaging was used in displays but it did not contain the product. Products could be purchased only via e-commerce. This allowed them to avoid any potential post-market animal testing. The pop-up shops run for part of November and part of December only.
How do I feel about it?
Charlotte Tilbury is a cruelty-free brand and remains on the Logical Harmony Approved Cruelty-Free Brand List.
In this case, I do think it’s understandable that the brand would think they could provide products to customers without the risk of animal testing. I believe that they truly did not realize there was a risk, no matter how small, since sales were made through a channel that allowed them to bypass the animal testing laws in mainland China. I appreciate that they took action so quickly on the matter. It’s clear that their cruelty-free status is important to them.
I do think that they struggled with how to communicate this to customers who reached out. Especially since most of that customer outreach took place after the pop-up was already closed. I can see how this probably made it tough for them to know how to address it, and I do think they handled it in a rather clumsy manner as a result. It’s a very nuanced situation in this case, and I think trying to communicate that clearly and effectively would be a struggle for any brand.
Looking for more cruelty-free brands?
Here on Logical Harmony, you can find a full list of cruelty-free brands as well as shopping guides to help you find the cruelty-free brands at Dermstore, Ulta, Nordstrom, Sephora, Beauty Bay, Beautylish, Cult Beauty, and tons more. There are also lots of vegan product lists for cruelty-free brands too.
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