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Cruelty-Free Beauty We Can Get Behind

By now, I’m sure you’ve all witnessed the NARS drama that’s been going down in the beauty-sphere, especially if you’re a hardcore high-end brand lover. If not, though, here’s the low-down–essentially, NARS have gone back on their promise and are now going to animal-test in order to sell in China. Cue very sad bunnies crying.

Animal testing is a pretty contentious topic nowadays, especially as more people begin to recognise it as a pretty serious yet somewhat condoned form of animal cruelty. We support any brand striving to be more considerate and ethical, so if you’re all about cruelty-free as well, here are our favourite, go-to brands.

Cruelty-Free Beauty We Can Get Behind


It’s the professional makeup brand the Kardashians use on the daily–we’re talking about Mehron. Ideal for the stage and screen or simply a full face, their products are must-haves if you want full coverage, a wide shade range and long-lasting formulas. Colour us surprised when we discovered Mehron are entirely cruelty-free and ethical–even though they originated almost 100 years ago, painting famous faces such as Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland, Mehron have made it their mission to never test on animals. Plus, a good majority of their products are vegan!

If you’re not sure to start with Mehron, perhaps the most popular product in their range is the Celebre-Pro-HD Cream Foundation. This high-coverage foundation is ideal if you want to cover up blemishes or dark spots, and it’s also great to contour with to create dimension in the face! Eyeshadow lovers will adore the E.Y.E Powder, which has a blendable and highly pigmented formula.

The Ordinary, NIOD & Hylamide

Super-scientific and very no nonsense, the products from each brand under the DECIEM umbrella are effective and highly potent. Despite being chemical by nature, you’ll be pleased to know their products are never tested on animals. Manufactured in DECIEM’s lab in Toronto, they exercise high levels of quality control and are certified cruelty-free and vegan. With a curated range full of products that really work due to featuring a small number of active ingredients, The Ordinary in particular has made waves in the beauty community. Everyone from bloggers and pros to regular folk have added a few products from The Ordinary into their routine!

Vegan beauty blogger Hayley of A Better Kind has called The Ordinary anything but ordinary, referring to them as “the beauty brand that has everyone shook!” As Hayley so gleefully put it, “EVERY SINGLE ITEM in The Ordinary line is vegan. YAY for not having to check every label!”

We’re currently obsessed with their primers, along with the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for treating blemishes, and the Natural Moisturising Factors + HA for giving dry skin a much-needed hydration boost.


OFRA Cosmetics

With hit formulas and a stunning range of highlighters, liquid lipsticks and more, OFRA Cosmetics were an instant hit in the beauty community! Now, they’ve collabed with big names like Nikkie Tutorials, Manny MUA and more on some gorgeous collections. Created by beauty professional Ofra Gaito and originating in California, OFRA’s mission has always been to formulate high quality products without the use of animal testing or animal-derived ingredients. OFRA are Leaping Bunny Certified, so you’ll have peace of mind when purchasing that they’re 100% ethical.

Shop OFRA’s bestsellers today, including the Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick, beloved by Bella Fiori, Kathleen Lights and more. Another fan fave is, of course, the Beverly Hills Highlighter–with five shades all encapsulated in the one portable compact, it’s versatile enough for everyday use.


De Lorenzo

A post shared by Rhian Elise (@rhianelise) on Apr 5, 2017 at 8:44pm PDT

Let’s switch gears a little here and move onto haircare! When it comes to finding a cruelty-free haircare brand, the pool to choose from is unfortunately a little slimmer. Quite a large percentage of the main brands in the haircare game are owned by parent companies who animal test. Even though the brand may not test themselves, if they’re owned by one of these major conglomerates, you can guarantee animal testing is going on somewhere along the chain of command. Enter De Lorenzo!

This truly Australian brand takes pride in deriving ingredients from nature, rather than overloading their products with chemicals that originate from goodness knows where. With a keen eye for hair trends and gorgeous treatments that’ll re-instil the balance back into your tresses, these guys are worth checking out. Plus, all products in their range are entirely vegan and cruelty free!

Hear what RY customer Myriam had to say about the De Lorenzo Instant Rejuven8 The Ends Sealer:

“I love love love this product. Since I’ve been bleaching my hair and colouring it various colours of the rainbow these past few years, my split ends have been pretty horrendous. Glad I found this product. I really like the fact that the ingredients are natural. Apparently, it’s something the creator Vincent De Lorenzo puts some heavy emphasis on. Works great, smells great and has no funky ingredients.”


One of our most beloved skincare brands, Skinstitut are an Australian-owned company with super-effective products that help clear up acne, prevent against ageing signs and much more. They’ve got a very dedicated following that includes beauty bloggers Shani Grimmond, Rachel Aust, Jaz Hand and Sammy Robinson. Thankfully, they’re also cruelty-free and vegan–yay! One major question Skinstitut get from their customer base is how products containing lactic acid, ‘snake venom’ and more manage to not include ingredients derived from animals. Well, we’re here to confirm that these products actually used chemically synthesised ingredients as opposed to the real thing, so all you vegan beauties can shop with ease! Check out our 5 most popular products here, including the L-Lactic Cleanser formulated with synthetically replicated lactic acid. Save the bunnies and go cruelty-free!

Let us know your thoughts on cruelty-free products–do you consciously buy products from brands that are against animal testing? Plus, don’t forget to check out our Spotlight on Vegan Beauty Brands to find out which RY favourites are suitable if you’re plant based!

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Writer and expert

I'm a journalism grad and avid makeup fan with an unhealthy addiction to buying nude lipsticks, no matter how similar they all may seem. I love chatting to anyone who will listen about my new favourite products, skincare dos and don'ts and practically any other beauty-related topic under the sun. That doesn't mean I'm frivolous with my recommendations, though--you can count on me to give you the nitty gritty on all your wishlist products. In my spare time, you'll find me binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or at brunch with a large iced coffee in my hand.