Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free & Vegan?

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Last Updated on 08/30/2022

Urban Decay, owned by L’Oreal, is PETA-certified cruelty-free. It doesn’t test on animals in any way. No ingredient or finished product testing occurs by the brand or others on its behalf. However, L’Oreal does test on animals in some way.

When someone says Urban Decay, the Naked palette comes to mind. Urban Decay is a true blue name in the history of color cosmetics. Being a beauty sensation is one thing and being conscience-driven is another.


Urban Decay Naked Heat

What are some of your favorite products by them? Color-coordinated Naked series eyeshadow palettes, Primer Potion eyeshadow primers, or superbly pigmented Glide-On eye pencils… Urban Decay sassed up our eye makeup game like nobody else. Not just eyes, Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick range was a straightway international bestseller too!

Is Urban Decay & Vegan?

Urban Decay  – Past & Present

1996 – Urban Decay started its journey in 1996 with 10 lip colors & 12 nail paints. Its owners were Pat Holmes, Sandy Lerner, Wende Zomnir, and David Soward. They wanted to break all cliches lurking around makeup. Ditched the pinks, reds, and nudes and brought in some urban touch in cosmetics.

They named their products quite innovative. A few interesting ones are Smog, Rust, Oil Slick, and Acid Rain. This shackle-breaking concept was an instant hit among new-age people. Urban Decay entered into mainstream cosmetics in the US through Macy’s, Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom.

From the beginning of the new millennia, Urban Decay changed many hands. Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Falic Group, and Castanea Partners are among the previous owners.

2012 – Famous beauty company L’Oreal bought Urban Decay in 2012. The brand is running under L’Oreal currently. Naked eyeshadow range and Vice liquid lipstick are some of the phenomenal products from Urban Decay. 

Urban Decay Animal Testing

On the Animal Testing Policy page of Urban Decay’s official website, the brand mentions,

“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 PETA as cruelty-free.”

From the above-mentioned statement, one can easily see Urban Decay does not perform animal testing on its own. At the same time, it does not hire laboratories to perform testing.

They are quite strict on ingredient level animal testing as well. Their suppliers have to sign a non-cruelty-free declaration. Urban Decay is PETA-certified cruelty-free.

However, its parent brand L’Oreal Corporation is not a cruelty-free brand. They still allow their products to get tested on animals if needed. 

Cruelty-Free Timeline

2009 – Urban Decay was extremely popular among cruelty-free beauty enthusiasts. This brand started a revolution in the beauty industry by selling 100% synthetic fiber brushes.

They were made of Taclon, ditching animal hair. Urban Decay even won the Best Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Line award by PETA in 2009.

2012 – In 2012, Urban decay suddenly decided to expand its business in China. PETA demoted it from their cruelty-free list. Even avid fans started to protest. Urban Decay gave in after one month of tumult. They declared to stay cruelty-free and they are keeping this promise to this date.

Is Urban Decay Cruelty Free?

Yes. Urban Decay products are 100% cruelty-free as of now. They do not test any of the ingredients or finished products on animals. The brand doesn’t fund testing agencies or laboratories as well.

They decided to sell their products in China in 2012 but backed out shortly after, due to public protest. However, the owning brand of Urban Decay, L’Oreal, is still far from a cruelty-free business. They still test their products on animals engaging third parties.

Urban Decay fulfills both, being a sensation and conscience-driven. This beauty brand is also PETA’s Business Friend and follower of cruelty-free policies.

Who owns Urban Decay?

L’Oreal owns Urban Decay. It is not a cruelty-free owner company. L’Oreal also houses big beauty brands like NYX, Maybelline, CeraVe, Lancome, etc.

Does Urban Decay manufacture in China?

Urban Decay manufactures its products around the globe. As per my knowledge, this brand does not have a manufacturing facility in China. 

Does Urban Decay sell in China?

No. Urban Decay does not sell its products in mainland China. In 2012, Urban Decay decided to enter the Chinese market. They even dropped their cruelty-free policy for that. Fortunately, they shelved their China dream a month later due to vigorous protests by the fans of the brand.

Currently, Urban Decay doesn’t market its products in China and other countries where cruelty testing is mandatory for outsourced products.

Urban Decay Palette

Is Urban Decay vegan?

This brand actually makes it simple for vegans out there. Regarding veganism, Urban Decay says on their official website that the vegan marked products are actually 100% vegan. Simply put, they are free of animal-derived ingredients, such as carmine, beeswax, honey, etc. They also point out that not all the shades in their eyeshadow palette might be vegan. 

Some of Urban Decay’s previous bestsellers (Naked, Naked 2, etc.) had animal-derived ingredients like beeswax. The brand is currently in a transition phase. They have vegan products in almost all categories now. All of their new launches are 100% veganHowever, some of the old series products are still not vegan. The brand provides a ‘vegan’ tag with every product.

To put in a box, Nope, they are not an all-vegan brand currently, but they do have various vegan cosmetics. The good thing is you can easily distinguish between vegan and non-vegan cosmetics.

Do I recommend Urban Decay?

Urban Decay is a PETA-certified cruelty-free brand. They are taking the leap towards veganism. This is another great fact. This color cosmetic brand operates under L’Oreal Corporation.

As of now, cosmetic giant L’Oreal is an animal cruelty brand. They allow their products to get testing by any means for the sake of business gains. So, the choice is always yours.

Makeup Brands to Avoid

These brands are not cruelty-free and do animal testing.


Urban Decay Perversion

5 Highly Recommended Products

  1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

It creates a smoother crease-free base. The eyeshadow clings to the base beautifully. It goes off only when you take off your makeup. Also, it is light, so doesn’t feel icky over your lids. A little goes long way for this beauty.

Urban Decay | Ulta    |   Sephora

  1. Glide-On Eyeliner

The Glide-On Eyeliner is an award-winning creamy-colored eyeliner. Insane pigmentation and long-lasting formula are truly worth your money. If you love playing with colors, do try the vibrant purple in Psychedelic Sister. Or choose one from the 39 total shades!

 Urban DecaySephora    |     Ulta

  1. Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

Naked Heat Palette is an amazing warm neutral eyeshadow collection. You get every possible shade of warm rose gold, peach, and brown. Surely the Holy Grail, and a must-try. Alternatively, do look for the Born The Run palette.

Urban Decay |   Sephora     |     Ulta

  1. Vice Lipstick

From bold brights to muted hues, Vice Lipstick brings every color you can imagine. It is enriched with aloe vera, jojoba, etc. The long-lasting formula is available in 23 shades. Provides a creamy application. You just gotta find a good match for yourself.

Urban Decay  |  Sephora      |      Ulta

  1. UD All Nighter Setting Spray

Pretty sure you must have heard rave reviews about it. The All-Nighter Setting Spray increases the stay time like magic. The weightless formula soaks up excess oil. It is quite easy to apply and take off.

Urban Decay   |  Sephora    |     Ulta

Urban Decay is not entirely vegan but is venturing into veganism sharply. Most of its new products are vegan. The vegan products are tagged for easy discovery.

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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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