In 2012, myself 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 Smashbox behind closed doors for months now.
I am so excited to share some exciting news about Smashbox to share with you – Smashbox has now been added to the Cruelty-Free Brand List!
Is Smashbox cruelty-free? The answer is yes! Smashbox is cruelty-free – there is no animal testing occurring anywhere. They are not selling in any markets that require animal testing and have updated the Smashbox cruelty-free policy to reflect this change. For those who are concerned, Smashbox is still owned by Esteé Lauder, which does test on animals.
In addition, Smashbox also wrote this statement for readers of Logical Harmony that I have permission to share here on Logical Harmony:
“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!”
Does Smashbox have any vegan products? Creating a list of their vegan products is something that Smashbox has expressed interested in and is currently working on. Once they are aware of what their vegan options are, they are going to let me know. Smashbox used to have a lot of vegan options, so I am very hopeful that they still do.
Does Smashbox use any ingredients that are tested on animals? No. Smashbox does not use ingredients that are tested on animals. This is something that they have always been able to clearly communicate, and I appreciate that from them.
Does Smashbox test on animals when required by law? No. After talking to them extensively, I feel that I can confidently say that Smashbox does not test on animals when required by law. Nor do they pay for any required by law testing to occur on their products.
Does Smashbox sell in China? No. Smashbox does not sell in China.
Does Smashbox sell in any markets that require animal testing per local or regional laws? No. Smashbox does not sell in any markets that require animal testing.
Even before I was cruelty-free, Smashbox was one of my favorite brands. When I became cruelty-free, I was so excited that Smashbox was 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, Smashbox 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 Smashbox displays that they said were taken in stores located in China. When I discussed this with Smashbox, 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 Smashbox having an open discussion with me about this.
In the summer of 2016, Smashbox 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. The Smashbox FAQ page currently 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 Smashbox but had a hard time getting through to the correct people. This was concerning to me at the time and so Smashbox 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 Smashbox 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.
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 Smashbox truly does 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.
I am working on getting a list of the vegan options from Smashbox, so please sit tight and I will share that when I am able to. Smashbox has been amazing during this process. I really appreciate their understanding, communication, and how lovely they have been to work with. Please let them know that you appreciate them being cruelty-free!
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