Today well loved cruelty-free brand Too Faced announced that they are now part of the Estee Lauder family of brands. Rumors of this acquisition started circulating last year but were put to rest when Too Faced received the financial backing of a financial institution instead of another cosmetic company. Now, without warning, it was announced today that Estee Lauder has completed their acquisition of Too Faced.
Today it was announced that Estée Lauder is buying BECCA Cosmetics. The acquisition is expected to close in November 2016. Logical Harmony first posted about the rumors circulating that Estée Lauder had their eye on BECCA Cosmetics a few weeks ago (details below), but neither brand would comment on the matter. Today, both brands made statements about the future acquisition.
BECCA is a cruelty-free brand with lots of vegan options. While they are saying that the future acquisition will not change their animal testing policies or cruelty-free stance, Estée Lauder is known for not being a cruelty-free company.
So far Logical Harmony has let people know that popular Estee Lauder brands MAC and Smashbox are no longer cruelty free and now test on animals. With this change happening with two popular brands, I wanted to check with all of the other Estee Lauder brands to see if their stance has changed as well. Estee Lauder has openly tested on animals for a long time. A lot of the cosmetics brands owned by them did not used to test on animals. However, these brands have undergone a recent policy change.
In total, Estee Lauder owns 25 brands. Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and bumble, Clinique, Estee Lauder, La Mer, MAC, Ojon, Origins and Smashbox are all popular brands owned by Estee Lauder. What my research into all Estee Lauder brands has found is that they all either openly state that they now test on animals or, as is the case with the fragrances, they make it very difficult to get an answer from them at all.
While many of these brands have never claimed to be cruelty free, many were once free of animal testing and also offered products suitable for vegans (free of both animal testing and ingredients). Please note that when the term “cruelty free” is used here on Logical Harmony, it means that the products were not tested by any company at any point during production and do not contain any ingredients that were tested by any company. In cases where all but the finished product is tested on animals or the testing is required by law, those brands will not be endorsed by Logical Harmony and will not be deemed cruelty free.
In this post, Logical Harmony will provide An Update on All Estee Lauder Brands and Animal Testing.
Since there are so many brands to cover, please click “read more” to read the entire post.
Just like fellow Estee Lauder brand MAC Cosmetics, Smashbox has also had a change of heart when it comes to their stance on animal testing. Smashbox is a brand that I have promoted here on Logical Harmony before. They didn’t used to test on animals, use ingredients that were tested, and they offered a lot of vegan options. Smashbox had quite possibly the best customer service when it came to helping people find vegan options, too. This is why sharing this news is so sad.
In 2015, Smashbox changed their public facing animal testing policy to the following.
Do you test on animals?
We don’t test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law.
What countries require animal testing?
China, most notably, in addition to a few others that conduct testing by law of cosmetic products or ingredients to demonstrate safety.
Does Smashbox sell in any of these countries?
What are we doing to end animal testing?
Our founders launched with a commitment to end animal testing, and that commitment remains. For instance, we only conduct or commission in vitro/human volunteer testing to show our products are safe, and we’re part of the European Partnership for Alternatives to Animal Testing, among other efforts.
Thank you for reading—and caring!”
It is great that Smashbox has pulled out of the Chinese market! This is definitely worth commending them for as it’s a huge step for a brand to make that change in the right direction. However, they still state that they do test when required by law. I have reached out to them several times to try and find out why they still state this.
Required by law animal testing can happen in any country around the world and is not exclusive to China. It is also not exclusive to finished products.
Does this mean they use ingredients that are required to be tested on animals or that some of their formulations are required to be tested on animals? Or is this just something their parent company requires they include but it has no impact on their animal testing stance?
I have been unable to get clarity from Smashbox. While I would love to state that they are cruelty-free, I am simply not comfortable doing so at this time.
For years, I’ve relied on Smashbox to give me great products that I knew were not tested on animals. After I decided to go vegan, I thought that I could rely on them for vegan options. Their former customer service department was extremely helpful and was even willing to check on specific shades of products to find out if they were vegan or not. Knowing that, for the first time in years, I will need to replace my PhotoFinish Foundation Primer is just heartbreaking. A lot of people were upset by the news about MAC, but I’m a Smashbox girl and have been for years. To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement.
Just as with MAC, Smashbox is owned by Estee Lauder. This company has been openly testing on animals for a long time, and with all the recent changes to their once cruelty free brands, I wanted to check in on Smashbox as well. By some standards, Smashbox being owned by Estee Lauder is enough to not consider them cruelty free. With a parent company that supports animal testing, any profit Smashbox makes does then support animal cruelty. However, Iâ€™ve always found it best to support the animal friendly brands and let people make their own decisions about the parent companies.
Normally I post the entire email response from companies, but this email from Smashbox has a disclosure that prohibits me from doing so without permission. I have emailed asking for permission to copy the entire email but have received no reply. So I am only going to re-post one sentence here, and, just like with MAC, it is the only sentence that matters.
Smashbox has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.
This means that Smashbox is no longer cruelty free and now tests on animals. It seems that Estee Lauder has decided opening up their brands to a bigger consumer market outweighs the benefits of Smashbox being a cruelty free company with lots of vegan options.
Because of this, Logical Harmony will no longer be supporting Smashbox cosmetics. All previous posts mentioning them will have a disclaimer added and Smashbox will be removed from any lists of cruelty free or vegan cosmetics. Also, just as with MAC, both PETA and PETA UK have quietly removed Smashbox from their lists of brands who don’t test on animals.
For a long time, one of the most well-known cruelty free brands has been MAC Cosmetics. It was also a common rumor in the vegan community that all their products are also vegan. Sadly, MAC Cosmetics is no longer cruelty free.
Known for their bright and bold collections as well as their wide range of classic shades, MAC seems to have something to offer to everyone. Staying up to date on what companies are animal friendly is a big priority for me. I only purchase vegan items, and I don’t want to buy any product that has caused harm to any animals. Even if I have checked with a company in the past, I email them again every couple of months to see if anything has changed in their response that might effect their status.
MAC Cosmetics is owned by Estee Lauder. This cosmetics giant has openly tested on animals for a long time and has recently come under fire for conducting secret tests on cosmetics in China. It was this controversy that sparked me to check in with MAC about their status as a cruelty free company who offers vegan options. By some standards, MAC being owned by Estee Lauder is enough to not consider them cruelty free. With a parent company that supports animal testing, any profit MAC makes does then support animal cruelty. However, I’ve always found it best to support the animal friendly brands and let people make their own decisions about the parent companies.
Sadly, in my recent response from MAC, I noticed a change that effects their status as a cruelty free company. In order for Logical Harmony to promote a company as cruelty free, I want to make sure that there is no testing on animals at any point during the production of the products or in the materials used to create the products. This includes by the company itself or third parties that may provide ingredients. If a company can’t give a straight response to those questions, I don’t endorse them and I don’t feature them on Logical Harmony.
Normally I post the entire email response from companies, but this email from MAC has a disclosure that prohibits me from doing so without permission. I have emailed asking for permission to copy the entire email but have received no reply. So I am only going to re-post one sentence here, and it’s the only sentence that matters.
M.A.C has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.
“Except when required by law” is a phrase often used by brands who are selling their products in markets, such as China, that do require animal testing to sell there. Since these tests are done by a 3rd party, the brands often still try to claim to be cruelty free. This means that MAC, long known for being cruelty free, does test on animals. I emailed them back asking for clarification on what the terms for “required by law” are but have not received a reply. I also noticed that while PETA has endorsed them in the past, MAC has been removed from their list of companies who don’t test on animals. It’s not on the list of companies who do test, but it being removed from the don’t test list says a lot.
Because of this response, Logical Harmony will no longer be featuring any MAC Cosmetics products. All previous posts featuring MAC will be deleted or have the brand removed from the post. This just shows how important it is to support the vegan cosmetic companies out there. Cruelty free may mean no testing on animals, but there are animal ingredients used in the production that do cause harm to animals to produce. “Cruelty free” is far from actually being free from cruelty to animals. Cruelty free products are featured on Logical Harmony as a step for people who are concerned about becoming animal friendly but aren’t ready to transition to vegan cosmetics.
So what can you do?
- If you are concerned about buying animal friendly cosmetics, please no longer purchase MAC items.
- If you are a cruelty free or animal friendly blogger, please don’t feature MAC on your blog anymore. Please do a post about their change in testing policies and spread the word to your readers!
- Promote this post on social networking sites to let your friends know!
- Let your friends who use MAC know about the change!
- I urge you to contact MAC yourself and ask them to change their stance on animal testing!
I also urge you all to consider trying vegan cosmetics brands. There are so many out there who produce amazing products without any harm to animals!
Edited on March 16, 2012 to add : If you are interested in letting MAC know how you feel about this change, please check out this post from Phyrra – Heartbroken by MAC. In it, she gives an excellent letter template for you to submit to MAC!