Vegan and cruelty-free blush. Whether you're buying for yourself, or for the cruelty-free woman in your life, you can shop with confidence knowing that all of the makeup products we list on Get it Vegan, including blush, are 100% free of animal by-products, ingredients and testing.
What is ‘vegan’ & ‘cruelty-free’ blush?
The term “vegan”, with regard to blush, refers products that don’t contain ingredients that are derived or sourced from animals or insects, whereas the term “cruelty-free” refers to blush that’s free of animal testing, including the individual ingredients used in it.
What animal and insect-derived ingredients are commonly used in blush?
While it certainly isn’t exhaustive, we’ve put together a list of some common animal and insect-derived ingredients that are used in non-vegan blush. We've also included some of their aliases, reasons that they're used in blush, and some of their vegan-friendly alternatives.
Carmine: A red pigment that’s used in many blushes to achieve certain hues of red, it’s obtained by crushing the female cochineal insect. Reportedly, around 70,000 female beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye.
- Aliases: Cochineal; Carminic Acid.
- Vegan alternatives to carmine: Beet juice, alkanet root, synthetics dyes.
Lanolin: A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many blush products. The cruelty towards sheep in the wool (and as a byproduct lanolin) industry is often overlooked but well documented. “Inferior” sheep are killed; sheep are transported without food or water, in extreme heat and cold, legs are broken, eyes injured, castration without anaesthetics…and it goes on.
- Aliases: Lanolin Acids; Isopropyl Lanolate; Laneth; Lanogene; Wool Fat; Wool Wax.
- Vegan alternatives to lanolin: plant and vegetable oils.
Beeswax: Beeswax is made from melting honeycomb with boiling water, straining it, and cooling it. It’s used in blush as a thickener, and an emollient. It also happens that many bees are killed or have their wings and legs torn off because of haphazard handling when they are farmed.
- Alises: Apic cerana, Apis Mel, Apis mellifera, Apis Mellifica, Cera Alba, Cera Flava.
- Vegan alternatives to beeswax: Candelilla wax; Soy wax; Sustainable carnauba wax, Cerecin.
Milk: Taken from the milk of forcefully impregnated cows who often endure abhorrent physical abuse, in addition to living in cramped, squalid conditions. Milk is used as a skin conditioning agent in blush, as well as many other cosmetics and skin care products.
- Aliases: Hydrolyzed milk protein; Lactose.
- Vegan alternatives to milk: Plant milks; Soy protein, Other plant proteins.
Is “not tested on animals” the same as “cruelty-free”?
When shopping for blush, you’re sure to come across of myriad of statements on labels that are used to subtly mislead you into believing that the blush you're buying is 100% cruelty-free.
Unfortunately, since these terms are unregulated, companies can essentially use them in any way they see fit, which is to help sell more blush. They usually mean nothing.
For example, here are some common misleading statements you might find on a blush label at a drugstore or makeup boutique, and what they actually mean:
“Against animal testing”
- Just words on a box. This could mean that the company is opposed to animal testing, but does it anyways.
“We don’t test on animals”
- This blush was not tested on animals, but its individual ingredients were.
- Could mean anything, without 3rd party verification, they’re expecting you to take it on blind faith. Oftentimes it’s an outright lie.
So then how can I be sure the blush I’m buying is cruelty-free?
Despite the rampant deception in the cosmetics world, there are several legitimate third party certification bodies that independently assess whether or not companies and products are actually abiding by recognized cruelty-free standards.
So, the best way to ensure that you’re buying a cruelty-free blush is to find one that has the symbol of one of these third party certification bodies printed on it. 3 of the most common cruelty-free symbols include:
- Choose Cruelty Free Ltd.
- The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics - Leaping Bunny Program
Don’t be fooled! Because these certification bodies all use images of bunnies, so do scammers. Prior to buying a blush, make sure you familiarize yourself with the logos above, so you don’t get tricked into buying something that’s not actually certified as cruelty-free just because there’s a picture of a bunny on it.
What brands make vegan & cruelty-free blush?
The following brands make gel, cream and/or powder blush that’s completely vegan and cruelty-free…in other words, completely animal-friendly!
- 100% Pure
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
- Au Naturale Cosmetics
- e.l.f. Cosmetics
- Elate Clean Cosmetics
- Gabriel Cosmetics
Please Note: For the sake of simplicity, this list does not include brands that have ‘vegan options’ for blush; it only includes companies whose contour products are completely vegan and cruelty-free. Also, this list is growing! As we research more companies, we’ll add more to this list!
Why should I buy blush that’s ‘vegan’ & ‘cruelty-free’?
There’s something to be said about smearing crushed beetles and sheep sweat on your face. Aside from that, there’s a lot of cruelty that goes into sourcing these ingredients.
It’s important to buy blush that you know is vegan & cruelty-free because it creates demand for these animal-friendly of products, reduces demand for inhumane and inherently cruel products, and is thus a very effective form of animal-welfare activism (often referred to as ‘voting with your dollars’).
Similar product categories
If you’ve found this page on vegan and cruelty-free blush helpful, check out similar product categories to learn or shop more:
For companies that make vegan & cruelty-free blush
If you make vegan and cruelty-free gel, cream, liquid or powder blush, or any other vegan/cruelty-free products for that matter, we’d love to feature you and your products on the “Brands We Love” section of our site! Contact us at - info(at)getitvegan(dot)com - to get started!
Part of the information for this guide on vegan & cruelty-free blush was gathered from the following sources:
- Living: “Animal-Derived Ingredients List.” (n.d.). PETA. Retrieved July 3, 2017. https://www.peta.org/living/other/animal-ingredients-list/
- Skin Care Myths: “13 Animal Products in Cosmetics.” Lorraine Dallmeier (n.d.). Herb & Hedge Row. Retrieved July 3, 2017. http://www.herbhedgerow.co.uk/animal-products-in-cosmetics/
- Resources: “Watch Out For These Cruelty-Free Labelling Loopholes!” Vicky Ly (July 30, 2015). Gentle World. Retrieved July 3, 2017. http://ethicalelephant.com/cruelty-free-loopholes/
- Lifestyle: “Vegan Beauty - Animal-Free Skin Care and Makeup.” Leah Payne (February 1, 2017). Alive.com. Retrieved July 3, 2017. http://www.alive.com/lifestyle/vegan-beauty/