Last Updated on 09/01/2022
Estee Lauder bought Smashbox in 2010. Although the parent brand tests on animals, Smashbox is certified cruelty-free. It is listed in PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies. Smashbox doesn’t test finished products or ingredients by itself. It also doesn’t allow any third-party testing.
Smashbox makes some ‘legendary’ makeup products like primers, primer water, high coverage foundations, and long-lasting lip colors. Not just cruelty-free makeup lovers, this brand seems to be a huge favorite among all makeup lovers.
During its 24 years lifetime, Smashbox has changed its views regarding cruelty quite a few times already. Making cruelty-free products, selling in China, allowing animal tests, revoking from China, getting cruelty-free status from PETA… it has been a long ride.
Consumers often get confused regarding the brand’s animal testing policies. Couldn’t agree more! I feel your dilemma. Hop through this report and you’ll know what you didn’t about Smashbox Cosmetics.
Is Smashbox Cruelty Free & Vegan?
Smashbox – Past & Present
1990s: It all started with the great-grandson of the famous Max Factor (yes, I’m talking about the founder of beauty brand Max Factor), Davis Factor. Davis had seen plenty of professional photography studios in L.A. during the 90s.
In that period, there were multiple world-class photo studios for magazine cover shoots. But, L.A. lacked in one thing.
1996: And that was a common studio where makeup, as well as photoshoots, can be done. Davis and his brother Dean started Smashbox Studios to fill this gap. Today’s Smashbox cosmetics debuted in 1996.
It was and still is a huge part of Smashbox Studios. All Smashbox products still get tested on models at Smashbox Studios. The main aim of this brand was to provide long-lasting TV and screen makeup that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.
The brand was a huge success in the drugstores of the US.
2010: In 2010, Estee Lauder which does animal testing bought Smashbox and started launching it overseas. Smashbox is now available in the US, UK, and South-East Asia among others. Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are among the celebrity fans of Smashbox.
Smashbox Animal Testing
Q: Does Smashbox test on animals?
A: 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
Smashbox has changed its official testing policies quite a number of times since 2010. In their latest testing policy documentation, Smashbox claims to be a cruelty-free brand.
They also said they test their products on volunteers. The old clause of “allowing animal testing when required” is out of their statement data now.
Answering a query from certain consumers Smashbox said they do not test their products or ingredients on animals.
Cruelty Free Timeline
Initially: Smashbox was not very particular about animal testing in its starting years. Initially, its products were made and sold in the US and some other countries where animal testing is not mandatory. Naturally, the brand was free from cruelty tests.
2010: Famous non-cruelty-free brand Estee Lauder bought Smashbox in 2010. Smashbox lost its cruelty-free status when it started selling in mainland China.
2014 & ’16: In 2014 and 2016 Smashbox brought slight changes in its testing policy. Still, the provision of allowing animal testing on a need basis remained the same as before.
For a brief period, Smashbox pulled out of the China market but the reason was not related to cruelty testing.
2017: Since 2017, Smashbox does not sell its products in China. Hence, Smashbox became cruelty-free again.
It is now listed in PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies campaign.
Is Smashbox Cruelty Free?
Yes, it is. None of the Smashbox products get tested on animals anywhere in the world. Both their ingredients and finished products are free from animal testing.
Who owns Smashbox?
Estee Lauder owns Smashbox. It is the parent company which is itself not cruelty-free.
Estee Lauder also owns more prestigious brands such as MAC, Clinique, The Ordinary, etc. Some of its sub-brands like Clinique is not cruelty free. MAC also tests on animals while Too Faced is cruelty free. Even after the Estee acquisition, The Ordinary remains cruelty free.
Does Smashbox manufacture in China?
No. Smashbox has manufacturing units in the US. They are free from cruelty tests.
Does it sell in China?
No. Smashbox products are not available in consumer markets in China.
Is Smashbox vegan?
No. Smashbox is not a 100% vegan brand. It’s true that Smashbox’s vegan makeup range is expanding day after day. But, Smashbox has not been able to shift into the vegan makeup domain completely till now.
The happy news is, that they do attach a tag to point out their vegan products. There are lots of vegan options in each category of makeup.
Do I recommend Smashbox?
Yes. I do suggest Smashbox as it is completely free from animal testing.
However, this PETA-certified cruelty-free brand works under the umbrella of the non-cruelty-free brand Estee Lauder. If you consider non-cruelty-free owned cruelty-free brands as passive supporters of cruelty, you can skip this one.
Brands to Support
These brands are cruelty-free and don’t do any animal testing.
5 Highly Recommended Products
Let’s be friends with USA’s no.1 cruelty-free primer. It is a light and non-greasy primer. A vegan primer that provides flawless & smooth skin with zero pores. Parabens, phthalates, oil, oil talc…no such nasty chemicals in this!
If you are to buy only one thing from Smashbox, definitely go for this one! This is a worldwide bestseller range and is a cult favorite too! It is an ultra-matte liquid lipstick range that comes with a super nice moist formula. You’ll get one swipe pigmentation & an amazing shade range.
Smashbox’s original intention was to create a lightweight drugstore foundation with great coverage. It comes in 40 shades – ranging from light to deep shades in cool, warm, and neutral categories.
This is a six-pan palette that contains blush, bronzer, contour, and powder highlighter. With this one palette, you can create any number of looks… starting from fresh flushed cheeks to sun-kissed sultry looks.
The blush tint is one of the reasons behind Smashbox’s huge fan following. O-Glow is actually the traditional cream blush in a tube. The unique formula looks like a clear gel in a tube. After application, it adapts to your skin and turns into a beautiful shade of pink. It gives a ‘glow from within’ kind of look to your daily makeup.
Although cruelty-free, still Smashbox is not 100% vegan. Some of its products contain animal by-products. The brand tags its vegan products. So you can spot them easily and not get mistaken.
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