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Cosmetic Parent Companies and Cruelty Free Brands


It was recently announced that Estee Lauder has acquired two of my favourite cosmetic brands, Too Faced and Becca Cosmetics. Both brands were originally independently owned and cruelty free. Both brands have stated that they will continue to not test on animals and not sell in countries where animal testing is required, but at the end of the day, the profits from these brands are now going to the Estee Lauder group. Estee Lauder allow animal testing “where required by law” which to me means that they care more about the profits they get than the welfare of the animals who are tortured. Many people were upset when the same thing happened with L’Oreal acquiring Urban Decay, NYX and The Body Shop. I have a put together a list of all the brands that Estee Lauder and L’Oreal own so that you are able to make an informed decision when buying beauty products in future.

Cosmetic Parent Companies and Cruelty Free Brands - Polish and Paws Blog
Cosmetic Parent Companies and Cruelty Free Brands

I try not to buy from brands that have parent companies that are not cruelty free but there is a lot of debate within the cruelty free community about it. Some believe that by buying from brands that are cruelty free but have a non-cruelty free parent company, you are showing the parent company that there is money to be made by going cruelty free. I am more in the boat that I don’t want any money I spend to go towards animal testing or companies that support it. If I buy from a brand that doesn’t test on animals but has a non-cruelty free parent company, the profits that are made eventually end up with the parent company that supports torturing animals. In saying that, I still own some products from brands like Urban Decay and NYX but I will try to find replacements for those products when they run out. I will of course prioritize buying from a cruelty free brand that has a non-cruelty free parent company over buying directly from a brand that tests on animals themselves. I loved both Too Faced and Becca, so I have a lot of products from each brand in my collection, as well as some on the way from America that I purchased months ago. I have no intention of throwing out these products as that is very wasteful, but I will look to replace them with products from brands that do not have a parent company or are owned by a cruelty free parent company in future.

Too Faced and Becca Cosmetics are now owned by Estee Lauder - Polish and Paws Blog
Too Faced and Becca Cosmetics are now owned by Estee Lauder

The two main parent companies I always to try avoid are Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. Both companies sell into China, where animal testing is required on imported cosmetics, because they want to. Each brand could choose to withdraw from China, as many ethical companies have done, but they put profit above animal welfare. I have put together a list of all the brands that L’Oreal and Estee Lauder own so that you can refer to it in future if you do not want to support them.

Estée Lauder Owns

AERIN Beauty
Bobbi Brown
Darphin Paris
Estée Lauder
La Mer
Lab Series
Too Faced


Donna Karan
Ermenegildo Zegna
Frederic Malle
Jo Malone London
Le Labo
Michael Kors
RODIN Olio Lusso
Tommy Hilfiger
Tom Ford Beauty
Tory Burch


Bumble and Bumble

L’Oreal Owns

L’Oreal Luxe Brands

Giorgio Armani
Yves Saint Laurent Beaute
Ralph Lauren
Shu Uemura
Helena Rubinstein
Yue Sai
Maison Margiela
Urban Decay
Guy Laroche
Paloma Picasso
Proenza Schouler

Consumer Products Division

L’Oreal Paris
Maybelline New York
NYX Professional Makeup
African Beauty Brands

Professional Products Division

L’Oreal Professionnel
Shu Uemura Art of Hair

Active Cosmetics Division

La Roche-Posay

The Body Shop

Other big parent companies include Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Revlon, Unilever, Shiseido, Kose, Coty etc. Many cosmetic parent companies also have a parent company themselves, like Kendo who are owned by Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy (LVMH). Neither Kendo or LVMH test on animals but they own a mix of cruelty free and non-cruelty free brands. One of the brands Kendo owns is Kat Von D Beauty (cruelty free) and one brand that LVMH owns is Sephora’s makeup line (sells in China). I personally choose to support Kat Von D as the profits aren’t directly going to a company that is testing on animals, but there are others who don’t. It is up to each individual to choose where they draw the line.

Too Faced is now owned by Estee Lauder - Polish and Paws Blog
Too Faced is now owned by Estee Lauder

I’m never able to remember who owns who so I google the brand name and either ‘owned by’ or ‘parent company’ and the answer is usually easy to find. If a brand or parent company include that they test on animals ‘only where required by law’ then you know that the brand or parent company is supporting the testing of beauty products on animals. You can find more information about cruelty free companies in my Vegan and Cruelty Free Standards in Beauty blog post.

What is your stance on cosmetic parent companies? Will you be trying to avoid brands owned by non-cruelty free parent companies in future?

To see other beauty bloggers posts, visit Fabulous and Fun Life’s blog link up.

Love, Alinta


  • Shell 22/11/2016 at 8:55 am

    I buy cruelty free products where possible, however, I’m not perfect in that regard as I own a fair number of polishes from OPI & Essie (probably my 2 favourite mainstream brands) as well as perfumes from DKNY & Jo Malone. I know that I’m a complete hypocrite as I consider myself anti-animal cruelty; however I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian either, so….catch 22 I guess. I would like to increase my Aussie indie polish stash though. I just don’t understand why animal testing still goes on when there’s plenty of perfectly healthy humans who could do the job.

    • Alinta McMurdo 28/11/2016 at 4:03 pm

      I actually found the easiest thing to do was drop essie and opi. I originally thought I wouldn’t be able to replace the opi nudes but between zoya and indies I have heaps. I think it would have been much harder if I wasn’t fully into indie polish already as Zoya can be expensive here and China Glaze hard to come by (that hasn’t stopped me having a huge CG collection though lol). If you specifically want cremes to replace your essie and OPI polishes, then Pretty Serious and Powder Perfect are great places to look. My previous post has links to all the aus indie websites if you ever need it. I’m far from perfect. I still think I’m on a journey (well I think everyone is). Lots of people consider me hypocritical for buying cruelty free items but not vegan (I have lots of products with beeswax and some carmine etc) but I am doing the best I can right now and that’s what matters. We all do what’s best for us 🙂

  • Michelle Morchella 24/11/2016 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you for this list, it’s always great to have everything in one place. I’ve never paid my attention to this, but I’m starting to think I should.

    Michelle Morchella

    • Alinta McMurdo 28/11/2016 at 4:05 pm

      Glad it has helped. I was going to try and list all the big companies and brands under them but I quickly realised that that was going to be a huge effort. I am starting to look more into indie cosmetics so that I don’t have to think about the parent companies etc and that might make it easier for me to avoid them 🙂

  • Marisa Robinson 24/11/2016 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for such an informative post! I do try where possible and I am lucky that a lot of brands and products I love are cruelty free, I just wish they all were! Hopefully that will be the way of the future so none of our furry friends are harmed in the name of beauty x

    • Alinta McMurdo 28/11/2016 at 4:10 pm

      I was so surprised when I first found out about animal testing. I had assumed it was just a thing of the past. Hopefully it is one day 🙂

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    I’m Alinta, an animal lover who writes reviews about cruelty free products as a distraction from my chronic illnesses. Read more…

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