Why Urban Decay Are A Vegan’s Best Beauty Friend

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If you’ve been following the Hell For Pleather Instagram page, you’ll know that I’ve been trialling a 100% vegan and cruelty-free beauty routine for the past week, for a feature for instyle.co.uk.

I wanted to do this experiment to prove that going vegan in terms of your beauty regime was easy and that everyone should switch immediately, but if I’m being honest, it was actually quite hard – there were so many brands I had to kick out of my make-up bag, and some of the replacements took a bit of getting used to.

But while I dearly, dearly miss red lipstick and nude eyeshadow, one brand I was MASSIVELY impressed with is Urban Decay. An editor’s favourite in their own right thanks to their high quality formulas, cult products and vast range of shades, I was thrilled to learn that the brand are cruelty-free, with pretty strict regulations for their suppliers. A statement on their website reads:

Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand and is committed to ending animal testing. We do not test our products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf. Additionally, we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals. Our Brand is certified by both PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program (CCIC) as cruelty-free.

A huge percentage of their entire range is vegan, too – over 75% if I remember correctly (Phyrra has a fantastic list here, you’ll just need to check shade names in the UK). While some of their products do still use beeswax, carmine and other non-vegan ingredients, the statement on their website claims:

We have an ongoing initiative with our laboratories to not only create shades (and entire product lines) that are vegan from the start, but also to identify which of our non-vegan products can be converted. In many situations, plant-derived or synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients become available. As long as we can deliver the same high-quality products with rich Colour and texture, we will convert that product to 100% vegan ingredients, so be on the lookout for new offerings.

Be still my beating heart – to have a clear and unambiguous statement readily available on their website is a big plus for vegan beauty fans, who so often have to decode misleading statements that sound positive but don’t actually say anything about a brand’s stance on animal testing. Then there’s the fact that they’re actively working towards vegan alternatives across all of their products, and aren’t afraid to say it.

There’s such a negative perception of vegan beauty products sometimes: in the same way as vegan fashion is seen as drab, shapeless hemp, Urban Decay are proof that not all vegan make-up is hippy, dippy shades of brown in recycled cardboard packaging – not that I’m against that, btw. Urban Decay are exactly the kind of brand that turn vegetarians like me on, who don’t want to stop having fun with fashion but aren’t willing to sacrifice animal lives for it. It’s official, I’m a convert.


You can read my full article on InStyle.co.uk at some point next week – follow my Twitter and Instagram pages for details!

Are there any vegan beauty brands that you love? Please let me know in the comments!


4 thoughts on “Why Urban Decay Are A Vegan’s Best Beauty Friend

  1. youmeandcrueltyfree says:

    What a fab post! I really want to try out some UD make up, as I have heard so many great things about their products. Hopefully I will get the chance soon.It is really difficult to find good quality make up that is not just cruelty free, but also vegan friendly. I agree, when I first became vegan I had to give up many of the items I would previously have repurchased. Keep up the good work, and I hope your journey in to cruelty free products goes well!

  2. Cheap and Cruelty Free says:

    I agree with your stance on the whole cruelty free thing (even though a lot of brands like Urban Decay are cruelty free). The thing with Urban Decay is that their parent company is Loeal which is not a cruelty free company. That matters to me and keeps me from buying products from companies Loreal owns like Urban and NYX who have good records for being bunny friendly outside of the fact they are owned by a company that does test on animals. It’s up to you if that effects your decision on a company but it may be something to mention in your articles.

    • Isabella says:

      Hi! Thanks so much for your comment, I definitely see where you’re coming from. I’ve been doing some research on this as I’m writing an article about it for InStyle, and I looked into only using brands that were 100% vegan and cruelty free rather than only some products being vegan and being owned by animal-testing parent companies etc. It’s such a minefield. Hopefully I’ll be able to go into it in a bit more depth on that article. On a personal level, I think I need to do some more research before I make a decision for myself on whether I continue to buy from parent companies or not – I’m definitely still learning!

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