Is Smashbox Cruelty-Free in 2023?

Is Smashbox Cruelty-Free?

Best known for their camera-ready foundations and amazing setting sprays, is Smashbox cruelty-free?

Smashbox is one of those brands that seems to have stood the test of time. They stick to making high-quality complexion products that are the go-to for so many people out there. If you want a foundation that looks flawless on camera or a setting spray that will last all night, Smashbox is the brand for you.

There have been rumors over the years that they test on animals. So what’s going on with the Smashbox cruelty-free status? Does Smashbox test on animals? Let’s dig into it!

Image via Smashbox on Instagram.

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Is Smashbox cruelty-free? Yes!

Smashbox is cruelty-free! They do not test on animals at any stage. They use ingredients that are not tested on animals. They do not hire others to test on animals on their behalf.

Quick cruelty-free notes:

  • CRUELTY-FREE: Smashbox is cruelty-free!
  • VEGAN OPTIONS: Smashbox has vegan options.
  • CERTIFICATIONS: Certified by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies.

Smashbox Cosmetics meets all the criteria to be a Logical Harmony Approved cruelty-free brand.

Being cruelty-free means that there is no animal testing occurring anywhere on their products. This starts with the ingredients used and extends to the final product that you see for sale in your local stores. They are not selling in any markets that require animal testing either.

Yes! We live for lipstick and are serious about primers—but we also really care about animals. That’s why we are a cruelty free makeup brand. We test our products on human volunteers, not animals.

FAQ Page

They are one of the many cruelty-free brands at Sephora and cruelty-free brands at Ulta.

Use the Cruelty-Free Checklist:

  • No animal testing on ingredients
  • No animal testing on formulations
  • No animal testing during production
  • No animal testing on the final product
  • No required by law animal testing
  1. Are the ingredients used in Smashbox products tested on animals? No. Smashbox Cosmetics does not use ingredients that are tested on animals.
  2. Are Smashbox products tested on animals during production? No. Smashbox products are not tested on animals during production and their formulas are not tested on animals.
  3. Are Smashbox finished products tested on animals? No. Smashbox finished products are not tested on animals.
  4. Are Smashbox products sold in markets that require animal testing? No. Smashbox products are not sold in markets that require animal testing, such as mainland China.
  5. Do any third-party groups test Smashbox products on animals? No. Smashbox products are not tested on animals by any third-party groups.
  6. Does Smashbox have a parent company that tests on animals? Yes. Smashbox is owned by Estee Lauder, who is not cruelty-free.
  7. Is Smashbox certified cruelty-free by any organizations? Yes. Smashbox is certified cruelty-free by the PETA Beauty Without Bunnies program. They are not certified by Leaping Bunny at this time.
  8. Where is Smashbox sold? On their own website, UltaSephora, and Amazon.

What about a parent company? Is Smashbox owned by Estee Lauder?

Smashbox is owned by Estee Lauder. Some avoid brands that have a parent company that is not cruelty-free. In July, 2010 Smashbox was added to the Estee Lauder portfolio of brands. Estee Lauder is not a cruelty-free company. 

Opinions on supporting brands that don’t test on animals, but are owned by a company who does vary. At the end of the day, I think that we all have to pick what’s best for ourselves. Picking any cruelty-free option makes a difference and is worth doing.

Is Smashbox vegan?

Smashbox is not a vegan brand. They are cruelty-free and have some vegan options. Confused by the terms cruelty-free and vegan? Learn about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan here

Smashbox vegan product list:

Looking for a list of Smashbox’s vegan products? I’ve got you covered! All of the products below are free of animal or animal-derived ingredients. Some examples of these are beeswax, carmine, silk, or lanolin. This list will be kept as up-to-date as possible.

Some vegan favorites that have been discontinued are Photo Finish Primer Water and the classic Photo Finish Setting Spray.

So, what’s the backstory here? Where did the confusion come from?

Note: This part of this post was written in 2018. I am leaving it in because I do think there is still a lot of confusion about their animal testing stance out there because of this older statement from the beauty brand. I think it’s important to give people information that can help them come to conclusions for themselves. Sometimes historical information is a part of that.

In 2012, I and many others in the cruelty-free community were heartbroken when Smashbox, a well-known cruelty-free brand, began to state that they were no longer cruelty-free and did test on animals when required by law. Since that time, one of the most common questions I would get from readers was, “Is Smashbox cruelty-free?” It’s been a few years and I have been talking to the brand behind closed doors for months now. In this post, I share all the details so that you are caught up on their cruelty-free status, and understand what’s gone on since 2012.

Even before I was cruelty-free, Smashbox was one of my favorite brands. When I became cruelty-free, I was so excited that they were not just cruelty-free but also had vegan options. I went through a countless number of tubes of the Photo Finish Foundation Primer over the years and tried nearly every vegan option they offered.

After being purchased by Esteé Lauder, they began sharing the following animal testing policy – “Smashbox has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” This led them to be removed from the go-to lists of many cruelty-free consumers.

Back in 2012 and 2013, several readers had sent me photos of product displays that they said were taken in stores located in China. When I discussed this with the brand, they were surprised as they said that despite the “required by law” stance they had at the time, they were never actually sold in stores in China. 

After talking about this, what is most likely is that these photos were of in-store displays in Hong Kong. While it is a part of China, Hong Kong is allowed to have many of its own laws still and animal testing is not required there. I apologize for any confusion that I may have caused in sharing the information that I received. This was not my intent, and I truly appreciate them having an open discussion with me about this.

In the summer of 2016, they updated their FAQ page and completely removed any “required by law” statements from their animal testing policy. This was a huge positive change and it was very encouraging to see it happen. As of April 2017, the FAQ page reads:

“We live for lipstick and are serious about primers—but we also really care about animals. That’s why we are cruelty-free. We test our products on human volunteers, not animals.”

I continued to reach out to the beauty brand but had a hard time getting through to the correct people. This was concerning to me at the time and so they remained on the Brands to Avoid list until the fall of 2016. I was finally able to start talking to the right people at Smashbox to get to the bottom of things and am so thankful that I was able to connect with them. At this point, I moved them to the Grey Area list because they expressed a great interest in being known as a cruelty-free brand and talking about their animal testing status and policies.

Smashbox wrote this statement for readers of Logical Harmony that I have permission to share here:

“Smashbox is cruelty-free and always has been. We are a PETA-certified, cruelty-free brand. We don’t test our products or ingredients on animals, and we don’t ask any other companies to test our products or ingredients on our behalf.

We require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacturing of our products are not tested on animals. We also don’t sell in China and never have.

Our previous FAQ statement might have led to some confusion, so we have updated it now to state clearly that we only test our products on human volunteers, not animals.

Additionally, we brought the PETA bunny back. Although nothing has changed and we stayed cruelty-free, we just weren’t using the bunny the way we had been a few years back. Smashbox began with a commitment to end animal testing, and that commitment remains today. Thank you for letting us clear this up!”

As of March 2018, the following statement appears on their FAQ page:

Is Smashbox cruelty-free? Yes! We live for lipstick and are serious about primers—but we also really care about animals. That’s why we are a cruelty-free makeup brand. We test our products on human volunteers, not animals.

It’s been a long road with Smashbox over the years, but they have been amazing to work with to add them to the Cruelty-Free Brand List here on Logical Harmony. It’s clear that they truly do care about their cruelty-free status, and I commend them for this. It’s always wonderful to add additional brands to the Cruelty-Free Brand List, and especially great when it’s one with such a huge cult following.

Shop Smashbox Best Sellers

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. I only recommend products and brands that align with my values and that I genuinely believe in. Your support through these links helps me to be able to create valuable content for you. Thank you for your support!


  1. Does anyone have word on whether the Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation is vegan? It used to be a favourite so fingers crossed!

  2. This is so cool! I’ve always wanted to try Smashbox because I was curious about the brand, but I was under the impression that they tested on animals. So happy that’s no longer the case.

  3. This is awesome news! Thank you so so much for your work with them.
    My sister finally decided to go cruelty free (after years of talking to her about it) and it’s so helpful for her to have more accessible brands that are cruelty free. I’m definitely planning to send them an email thanking them for going through the process with LH too–like you said on instagram, it’s important for brands and their parent companies to know that we respect their cruelty free stance and appreciate them specifically going through Logical Harmony.
    I know the parent company issue is a complicated one for many people, but I really appreciate that you keep us up to date on both. I’m excited to see the vegan product list from Smashbox!

  4. I still wouldn’t use their products since they are owned by Estee Lauder. Also, cruelty free is great but these companies need to stop using animal by-products in their cosmetics. There needs to be more vegan cosmetics. Nobody needs crushed beetles in their lipsticks and other disgusting items.

    1. Don’t forget the only way we can get these big names to start heading down that path is if we make it desireable (I.e only purchase products by them thatt are vegan, cruelty free) gotta send the message that– vegan, etc. is the future!)

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