Is Maybelline Cruelty Free & Vegan?

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Maybelline is not cruelty free or vegan brand. Unfortunately, they do test on animals in some shape or form.  Their parent brand, L’Oreal follows the same practice and often misguides consumers with their unclear statements.

Maybelline is a true-blue name in the low-end drugstore makeup category. Not only in the US but their presence is also felt around the globe. This L’Oreal owned multinational brand has captured the heart of the mass. Its USP is innovative and inexpensive makeup.

Started as a mascara-making brand, Maybelline’s portfolio now includes a wide variety of cosmetics. For example, eye makeup, highlighters, base makeup goodies, and lipsticks.

Be it a cheap dupe for your favorite MAC lipstick, NARS concealer, or an expensive Becca highlighter; you name it and they have it. The quality of their products even beat some of the big boutique brands.

However, their views on animal rights have been questioned again and again from the start of this millennia. Here’s a detain dissection of Maybelline and cruelty.

Is Maybelline Cruelty Free & Vegan?


Maybelline Cruelty Free and Vegan

Brief History of Maybelline

1915 – Maybelline was introduced in 1915 by a young New York entrepreneur Thomas Lyle Williams. They revolutionized the new world makeup market with their cake mascara Lash-Brow-Ine. Later, renamed Maybelline in memory of Williams’ elder sister Maybel.

Since that, the brand has seen many owners through business acquisitions.

1967 – In 1967 the founder of Maybelline sold it to Schering-Plough.

1990 – Schering-Plough again sold it to Wasserstein Perella & Co in 1990.

1996 – Maybelline’s current owner cosmetic giant L’Oreal bought it in 1996. Its main branch is in New York City and the main manufacturing unit is in Brooklyn.

Maybelline always believed in celebrity endorsements. Josie Maran, Miranda Kerr, Gigi Hadid, Urassaya Sperbund are a few famous faces of Maybelline.

Maybelline Animal Testing Policy

Both Maybelline and its parent brand L’Oreal often confuse the onlookers with their confusing policy statement on animal testing.

According to Maybelline:

“L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.”

This statement makes you believe they are against cruelty in all forms. However, they talk about certain ‘exceptions‘ where they permit third-party cruelty testing. Some countries accept imported cosmetics after taking them through the animal testing phase. This self-contradictory statement is mainly for their export products to those countries.

Cruelty Free Timeline

Initially – Criticism and controversy regarding animal testing policies have been a constant companion of Maybelline since its earlier days. Various owners of the brand never bothered about cruelty practices. Neither in regards to the ingredients nor the final product.

1989 – In the face of controversy, L’Oreal stopped testing their finished products on animals 1989.

1996 – When L’Oreal bought this brand in 1996, the Maybelline products followed the same rule.

2010 – Though in 2010 it was revealed that Maybelline still pays for animal testing to sell their product in the Chinese market.

Is Maybelline Cruelty Free?

Just like its parent brand L’Oreal, Maybelline also isn’t cruelty-free.

They still fund animal testing on their finished products to enter the market of China and other countries where animal testing is mandatory for all foreign cosmetic items.

Maybelline even tests some of its ingredients on animals which most brands stopped doing a long time ago. Sometimes, their products are cruelty-tested by their suppliers also.

Maybelline has manufacturing facilities in the USA as well as China. China’s home-grown cosmetics products do not require animal testing as a mandatory step. But, not all Maybelline products that are articulate in China are manufactured there. You can calculate the rest!


Is Maybelline Cruelty Free

Is Maybelline Vegan?

Cosmetics that do not contain any animal-derived ingredients are considered to be vegan. Personally, I believe, alongside they must not have a cruelty-driven testing policy to fall under the ‘true’ vegan category.

In this perspective, Maybelline is NOT at all vegan. This drugstore giant does not pay enough attention to the sources of their ingredients either.

But even if you go by the basic definition, it is not vegan, Palm oil, beeswax, carmine… you name it and they have it. They do not have any clean beauty certifications either.

Why can’t I Recommend this brand?

Can’t really recommend anything from Maybelline for their unethical practices regarding animal safety. They do a great job in exploiting the loopholes of the product testing policies.

Maybelline products undergo several rounds of cruelty testing. To increase the global market share, Maybelline allows their product testing by shady means to the importing countries as well as the suppliers.

Maybelline and its parent brand L’Oreal go hand in hand in this controversial matter.

Cruelty Free Alternatives to Maybelline

I know you love Maybelline, or maybe you did. Their products are just…so amazing. I get it!

So, here is some alternative to their most renowned products.


is Maybelline cruelty free and Vegan


1. Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

Comfy and long-staying, Fit Me Foundation is ‘it’. You can get the same medium to buildable coverage with Covergirl TruBlend Matte Foundation. It comes in 40 freaking shades. Offers medium coverage, it is buildable. Matte & lasts long! I guess it is just $5.79 at Ulta.

2. Instant Age Rewind Concealer

This is perhaps the most sought-after concealer for tired under-eyes. One of the best alternatives for this is Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. The coverage is even better. Also, you get even more stay time and a crease-free finish with Tarte.

If you’re looking for something drugstore, I suggest you LA Girl HD Pro Concealer. It is $4.99 at Ulta where they have a “Buy 1, get 1 at 50% off” going on.

3. Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Intense pigment, vibrant shade selection, and lasting finish make Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick stand out in the crowd. The favorite cruelty-free alternative to this is Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Lip range. It is a long-lasting, exciting shade range.

4. Lash Sensational Mascara

Mascara made Maybelline famous! Right now, the most happening Maybelline mascara is Lash Sensational. You can ditch this beeswax-laden non-cruelty-free one & get the same dramatic falsies effect. Introducing Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara! The travel size is 13 bucks & I absolutely love this mascara.

5. Maybelline Masterchrome Metallic Highlighter

From healthy sheen to blinding highlights, you can do anything and everything with the amazing range of Masterchrome Metallic Highlighter. Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter is a crazy competitor for this, I must say. It is $8 at their official site.

Maybelline, owned by L’Oreal is neither vegan nor cruelty-free. It tests on animals and contains animal-derived ingredients such as honey, milk, carmine, etc. Testing can be done by suppliers or third-parties too.


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Aisha K. Ashi

Ashi K. is a beauty blogger and certified makeup artist. She loves to rescue cats and currently has 2 rescue babies. Join her on the journey as she uses this beauty blog to spread awareness regarding ethical ways of living.

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