I have supported animal cruelty in cosmetics and so have most of you. The EU countries and India have banned animal testing for cosmetic purposes, but these heinous tests are still permitted everywhere else. As an ‘animal lover’ I often feel bewildered by our inescapable money-driven ecosystem and our continued insensitivity towards animals. What’s the point of science and technology if we’re not going to do good with it? Is it really okay for me to like a bunny rabbit post on Instagram but continue to buy lipsticks that have been tested on rabbits? It’s hypocritical, unnecessary and it needs to end!


what you can do to stop animal-cruelty in cosmetics

The Body Shop and Cruelty-Free International aim to combat animal testing with their Forever Against Animal Testing campaign (click on the link and sign the petition). Upon reaching 8 million signatures they will approach the UN General Assembly with the hope of banning this practice worldwide. At the moment they have 6.8M signatures and have August 2018 to reach their target.

Although India doesn’t allow animal testing, major international brands available here do still test on animals elsewhere, making them NOT cruelty-free brands. Just because these brands are available in India does not make the brand/product cruelty-free.

When a brand doesn’t test on animals but is owned by a parent company that tests on animals, are they a cruelty-free brand or not? some say yes, they are because they are showing that the demand for cruelty-free is high, but others say they are as good as being an animal cruelty brand. Personally, I sympathize with the second argument, however, if I’m absolutely unable to find a product that is completely cruelty-free I’d rather purchase a product from a cruelty-free subsidiary than the animal cruelty supporting parent company. Check the packaging before buying the item, it may have a cruelty-free logo or specifically mention that they don’t test on animals.

‘Improving’ yourself comes at a high moral cost and at some point we’ve all contributed to animal testing whether it be for cosmetics or medicines. However, since it’s really only a money game, why support the brands that know they are under the animal cruelty spotlight but do nothing about it? The money you give them is going towards these horrific tests, so at the end of the day, their brand name is intact, animals die and you are to thank for it. In the words of J. Cole – “choose wisely!”.

animal cruelty facts

According to Forbes, animal testing predicts human reactions to cosmetics only 40-60% of the time, whereas alternatives are accurate 80% of the time. It’s bizarre to think that even with these estimates, and the capabilities of science today (being able to generate human-like skin for testing) why some brands still test on animals. The entire system seems archaic and not in keeping with the morals and ethics of the current times.

There is pain, permanent damage and sometimes even death involved when these tests are carried out, not to mention the kinds of people working there who might even get a sadistic pleasure out of torturing an animal (it’s called zoosadism). When you go into the depths of it, it is a lot to take in, and if you’re not already, perhaps now you will stop purchasing animal-tested cosmetics. Get conscious about the brands you support, every single one of us matter so take your time, but start somewhere.


how I plan on going cruelty-free

Before Shanaya told me about this topic I wouldn’t stop myself from purchasing any particular brand. As I’ve already mentioned above, India does not allow animal testing for cosmetic purposes so as long as you buy any product manufactured here it will not be required but will be penalized for carrying out any animal testing. However, in order to really be cruelty-free you need to stop using those brands that test on animals elsewhere too. Below I’ve listed the steps I’m taking to go cruelty-free:

  1. finish all my old products but look out for cruelty-free alternatives in the meantime: Going cruelty-free to me doesn’t mean getting rid of everything and starting afresh. That would be too wasteful and expensive. Now that you already have your animal tested product, use it knowing that you need to find an alternative that is closest to it.
  2. reminding myself of the purpose: Us humans forget why we do things very quickly. Since animal cruelty has touched me considerably, I need to remind myself of why I’m boycotting certain brands.
  3. writing to the animal cruelty brands expressing my opinion of animal cruelty: Cruelty-free kitty has an email template that you can send to your favourite brands in hope that they will change their policies. When they know that a large portion of their customers are not going to buy their products anymore or are genuinely disappointed with the brand, it could have a positive impact on them.
  4. spread the message of animal cruelty but don’t force anyone to change the way the buy cosmetics: share The Body Shop petition with as many people as you can – no reasonable person wants animals to unnecessarily suffer for cosmetic fixes. However, telling someone to change their lifestyle is impossible.


cruelty-free cosmetic brands you can switch to

I’ve compiled a list of 21 companies that claim to be cruelty-free and I have also listed some of their top rated products on Nykaa (in case some of you want to get started already :D). There are brands listed that are cruelty-free which means they don’t test their ingredients or products on animals, but they may not be vegan – which doesn’t have a legally accepted definition yet.



LA Girl

This Californian based makeup brand is owned by parent company – Beauty 21 who is a member of the cruelty-free PETA organization. They have a wide selection of makeup products – such as primers, eye pencils, foundations etc. all very reasonably priced.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD – 24 shades (8gm) MRP:₹595

L.A Girl Pro Coverage Illuminating Liquid Foundation – 15 shades (28ml) MRP:₹1150

L.A. Girl HD Pro Face Pressed Powder (15 shades) MRP:₹700



Selling good quality and fragrant skin and hair care products SoulTree also make lipsticks and kajals (which double up as eyeshadows). I have one lipstick – in the shade candy floss and I like how moisturizing it is. The colour ended up being a little darker than I expected and had a slight metallic sheen to it (which I’m trying to get used to), so I will try a lighter shade when this runs out. It is not a vegan product as it does contain honey and ghee.

This brand only uses organic or forest collected materials and no synthetic chemicals. Their Ayurvedic extracts are made fresh and in-house, making their manufacturing process certified clean for the environment. They do not test on animals and all their packaging is easily recyclable.

They sell lipsticks (10 shades), kajals (16 shades), cleansers, creams, scrubs, shampoos conditioners, oils, lip balms. They do value sets so you can try more than one product at a time for a discounted price.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

SoulTree Ayurvedic Lipstick (4.5gm) MRP:₹550


Nykaa Cosmetics

We all know Nykaa.com but how many of us actively use their products? This fairly new cosmetic brand has been launching new products repeatedly over the last year. I’ve had a chance to review their SKINgenius compact, which I enjoyed using and still reach for while doing my makeup. Even though the packaging is quite basic, the quality is better than other compacts in this price range.

They sell a ton of different lipsticks (matte, creamy, paintstix, crayon..) and several different wearable shades,  eyeliner pencils and liquid eyeliners (7 shades), foundation, compact and many types of nail polish. Their specialty products include Nykaa BuffMaster Silicone Makeup Brush Cleaner and the Nykaa Trousseau Box

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Nykaa SKINgenius Skin Perfecting & Hydrating Compact (9gm) MRP:₹525₹446 (15% off)

Nykaa SKINgenius Sculpting & Hydrating Foundation (30ml) MRP:₹575

Nykaa MATTE-ilicious Crayon Lipstick – Perfect Plum 02 (2.8gm) MRP:₹650₹585  (10% off)


If you already decided to go cruelty-free, this makeup brand will flood your vanity like no other. This Swedish brand was started by Ingvar Vigstrand and Ingrid Berndtsson whose extensive knowledge in the beauty industry led them to start IsaDora. The colors, quality,  packaging, of their un-perfumed products is like a high-end brand, but there is no big price tag. Their products are suitable for sensitive eyes and skin and they do not test on animals.

They sell eyeshadows, lipsticks, foundations, concealers, all of which have received a top rating on Nykaa. When I run out of my foundation I will definitely give this one a shot. I have listed 6 tops products but there are so many more!

Top rated products on Nykaa:

IsaDora Light Touch Concealer (highlighter/concealer) 2.2 gm MRP: ₹1090

IsaDora Chrome Nail Powder (2gm) MRP: ₹850 [tutorial on how to use this product]

IsaDora 16hr Active Moist Makeup Foundation SPF 30 (30ml) MRP: ₹1360

IsaDora Nude Cushion Foundation (15gm) MRP: ₹1640


The Body Shop

Pioneering the cruelty-free cause The Body Shop is known for their natural ingredients and fragrant products. They are cruelty-free, 100% vegetarian and Leaping Bunny certified.

They sell makeup, skin and hair care products but my favourite product so far has to be their Tea Tree shampoo, I had developed a bit of dandruff last month and just in a matter of 2 uses of this shampoo, it’s disappeared. It makes my scalp feel very clean. The only drawback is that it is a bit expensive to keep re-buying.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (30ml) MRP: ₹1695 (available in 6 shades)

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter (200ml) MRP: ₹1045


Just Herbs*

Luxury products, not focused on the luxury aspect, Just Herbs believes in full disclosure of ingredients to their customers and that pure natural remedies are just as effective as chemical ones. They are organic, ayurvedic and do not test their ingredients and formulas on animals.

Top rated products on Nykaa:


Real Techniques

Makeup brushes you can trust. I’ve been using Real Technique brushes for 5 years and the quality is excellent (first brush set in the top rated section below). They are pricey but they will last you a long time. People say you should replace your brushes every couple of years, but I’ve experienced no wear and tear with these brushes (I also only wear heavy makeup every few months so they’re not used very frequently).

Top rated products on Nykaa:


skin and hair

Vaadi Herbals

An Ayurvedic pharma company turned cosmetic brand, Vaadi Herbals has 150 years of experience in herbs and their multiple benefits. With products for the skin, body, face and feet, it has received local as well as international success.

They sell face wash, shampoo, conditioner, scrubs (face and body), gel and facial bars (face soap), manicure-pedicure kit and several other products.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Vaadi Herbals Foot Scrub With Fenugreek & Lemongrass Oil (30gm) MRP: ₹48

Vaadi Herbals Pink Lotus Shampoo With Honeysuckle Extract – Color Preserving (110ml) MRP:₹64

Vaadi Herbals Super Value Pack Of 6 Elbow-Foot-Knee Scrub Soaps With Almond & Walnut Scrub (75gm pack of 6) MRP:₹175

Vaadi Herbals Strawberry Scrub Lotion With Walnut Grains(350ml) MRP: ₹175

Vaadi Herbals Aloe Vera Massage Cream(50gm) MRP: ₹210



Combining 5000-year-old Ayurveda with modern Swiss biotechnology, this brand is one of the oldest cosmetic brands in India. Biotique uses only 100% organic and pure, preservative-free ingredients packaged in eco-friendly materials and no animal testing.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Orange Peel Body Revitalizing Body Soap(150gm) ₹90

Cucumber Pore Tightening Toner(120ml) ₹175



A hair and beauty company with a social spirit, this Mahatma Gandhi inspired venture uplifts and helps people in villages to become self-employed. They sell an exclusive range of handmade soaps, shampoos, oils, face packs and more. I have tried a number of their products – shampoos conditioners, face-pack and rose water of which I loved the rose water and face-packs the most. Their packaging is also very aesthetic.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Khadi Natural Sandal & Rose Herbal Face Pack (50gm)MRP:₹90

Khadi Pure Herbal Rose Water (210ml) MRP: ₹105

Khadi Natural Apricot & Walnut Cream Scrub With Rose (50gm) MRP:₹200


Ancient Living 

This brand is very reasonably priced and has a luxurious feel. I have tried a couple of their products, my favorite being the Luxury Bath Mix. It lasts very long and it keeps keep my skin soft. I use it once a week, as an exfoliate on my entire body. If you are in-growth prone, this bath mix can help smoothen them out without hurting your skin.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Ancient Living Avocado & Basil Luxury Handmade Soap (100g) MRP: ₹110

Ancient Living Insect Repellent Blended Oil (10ml) MRP: ₹150

Ancient Living Multani Mitti (100g) MRP: ₹175

Ancient Living Ashta Dasha Hair Oil (100ml) MRP: ₹495


Bon Organics

An Auroville based brand started by Ganesh Chandrasekaran in 1997. BON stands for Bio Organic & Natural as all their products are environmentally friendly and organic. They have several products that are infused with Aloe Vera, which is key in reducing inflammation in the body (combat pimples and rashes) and it contains multiple vitamins (a rare one being B12) and minerals and helps with elasticity, softness, and prevents itchiness. Every time I’ve applied Aloe Vera gel on my face I’ve had people tell me that my skin is glowing (I use it for a week when my skin is feeling dull and it works like magic).

They sell the largest range of products out of all the brands listed, that cover 5 main categories – women, men (skin and hair) baby, pet and home products (chocolate, laundry & dish soap, oils). They also do specialty products like feminine intimate wash and a super matte finish loose powder (makeup).

I haven’t tried any of their products because I just found out about them but I’m very tempted to use their Aloe Vera shampoo which (200ml) retails for ₹315 when I finish the shampoo I’m using.

They do not sell on Nykaa.com as of now, but you can purchase their products from their website.



Originally a Healthcare company, Nirwana has now branched out into personal care products as well. These products are developed on their own farms on Kalesar and a production unit in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana. They are 100% chemical free ingredients and are backed by professionals committed to the cause of naturopathy and Ayurveda

I have tried their Orange & Lemongrass Hair Conditioner (200ml) ₹260.00 for a chemical-free product I was impressed by it’s lovely and potent citrus smell. It was a very natural scent, and it made my knotty curly hair a lot easier to deal with in the shower.

They sell shower gels, lotions, scrubs, shampoo and conditioner, massage oils, face packs and soaps.

Their products are not listed on Nykaa, however you can purchase them online from their website.

Plum Cosmetics

This brand has been advertised as vegan and cruelty-free. After Shanaya told me about this brand I’ve seen more people talk about/use their products. They are mostly a skincare brand but also make kohl eye pencils, I’m hoping that the start making more makeup soon!

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Plum NaturStudio All-Day-Wear Kohl Kajal + Free Flip-Tip Sharpener MRP: ₹495 ₹371 (25% off)

Plum Green Tea Renewed Clarity Night Gel (50ml) MRP: ₹575 ₹431 (25% off)

Plum Grape Seed & Sea Buckthorn Glow-Restore Face Oils Blend (30ml) MRP: ₹775 ₹581 (25% off)

Plum Intense Moisture Combo For Dry & Sensitive Skin (moisturizer and face-wash 60ml each) MRP: ₹1205 ₹964 (20% off)


Aloe Veda

True believers in the benefits of Aloe Vera and blessed with the knowledge of Ayurveda. This brand uses healing natural herbs and essential oils blended with cosmetic grade natural and man-made carriers to create their premium products.

Apart from – hair and body washes, they sell a variety of organic oils, hair serums, bath salts, deep pore face washes, hair fragrances, talcum powder and beard oil.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Aloe Veda Turmeric Clarifying Face Wash (100ml) MRP: ₹160

Aloe Veda Hair Therapy pH Balanced Conditioner (200ml) MRP: ₹260

Aloe Veda Rose & Sandalwood Facial Ubtan Pack (cooling, soothing and hydrate) (50gm) MRP: ₹550

Aloe Veda Turmeric Facial Ubtan Pack (clarifying & deep pore cleansing) (50gm) MRP: ₹425

Soul Flower

Mumbai based brand that sources their packaging and ingredients locally, their products are “100% pure, natural and vegan”. They have a number of natural aroma products and oils, 100% vegetarian soaps, aroma flowers and bath salts. They also sell beard and mustache oil for men.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

Blossom Kochhar*

Another aesthetic brand Shanaya told me about. They are one of the largest aromatherapy companies in India, and all their blends have a “positive healing effect on mind, body and soul“.They do not “subscribe to parables, alcohol, mineral oil, harsh chemicals, artificial colours, fragrances, petrochemicals and phthalates and don’t believe in animal testing”. They are not as expensive as the other Indian luxury cosmetic brands but are just as effective.

Shanaya’s favorites:

Aroma Magic Nourishing Hand Cream (50 ml) MRP: 175.00

Aroma Magic Aloe Vera Sunscreen Gel (100ml) MRP: 285.00

Aroma Magic Detox Bamboo Charcoal Facial Kit (for oily skin) MRP: 1,700.00



This Luxury brand goes beyond just using environmentally friendly ingredients, they also use environmentally friendly sourcing methods for their raw materials so that they do not increase their carbon footprinting and the hazards caused by importing. They utilize recyclable packaging for all their products so that they are 100% biodegradable. I’ve used “Go a Long way” Hair booster oil (100ml for ₹745) twice and it’s the best hair growth oil I’ve used so far. After a month of using it, I could tell that my hair had suddenly grown a lot. I used it before every hair-wash so 2- 3 times a week.

They sell hair care products – shampoos, conditioners, oils, face and body products – lip care, creams, lotions scrubs and cleansers they also have a pillow mist Kronokare Sweet Dreams Pillow Mist (30ml) ₹185 which I thought was quite unique.

Top rated products on Nykaa: 

Kama Ayurveda*

Ayurvedic luxury brands, with beautiful packaging and their products have been recognized by large beauty and lifestyle publications. They use high quality natural and organic ingredients, no fragrance, or other harmful additives and no animal testing.

They sell women and men (hair and body) mother care and baby products. Specialty products include organic hair dyes and pre-post natal treatment oil.

Top rated products on Nykaa:



Started by co-founder sisters, Radhika, Jagriti and Deepika Choudhary who’s love for nature has been translated into cosmetic products that are pure and luxurious. Their ingredients are made on farms that do not use pesticides or plant growth hormones which are then blended together using Ayurveda formulae.

Visit their website to purchase an item, as a lot of them are out of stock on Nykaa.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

SkinYoga Coffee Body Scrub (220gm) MRP:₹1795

SkinYoga Green Tea Face Mask (50gm) MRP:₹1750


Forest Essentials*

“If you cannot eat it, do not use it on your skin” A brand that knows beauty and packaging, Forest Essentials is without a doubt the most luxurious of all natural beauty experiences. Their products are handmade with seasonal formulations, organic cold pressed oils, herbs and pure essential oils.

Top rated products on Nykaa:

*Brands that have not replied to my email confirming their cruelty-free status

— not a paid promotion —




vanitynoapologies – 10 best vegan cosmetic brands in India

Top vegan brands by Nykaa

Feature Image by http://www.adventuresinfashion.ca/

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Great Article! I’ve been thinking a lot about using cruelty free products but I always find it tough to find a product like mac etc…I’m glad this article has given me so many choices to try out.
I also think a lot of people who are jumping on the trend of going vegan/vegetarian don’t really think about the harm the products they use are causing animals (not just the food they eat), this article really pushes them to take a complete approach.
Great job!


Thank you TB! Looking out for some good Mac replacements too ❤️ Hoping that animal cruelty is gets banned


Thanks for posting such an great post and sharing an excellent information.
really you deserve an appreciation and glad that you have shared the useful information with us.


Hi Bhagya, thank you so much! (:

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