Is Too Faced Cosmetics Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

December 29, 2021

Too Faced Cosmetics is known for making cosmetics with added flair, drama, and glamor. It's all about freedom of self-expression through the power of makeup. But has this proudly cruelty-free brand managed to keep its animal-loving policies after being sold to Estée Lauder?  

Too Faced is cruelty-free. It doesn't conduct animal testing on its products, nor does it distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. While Too Faced does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

Too Faced cosmetics empire was founded in 1998 by Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson in the USA. Their exuberant approach to making cosmetics encourages consumers to find what works for them and empowers them to "find their own pretty."  

According to Forbes, it was sold to Estée Lauder for a jaw-dropping $1.45 billion in 2016. 

Before deciding on what to buy, here's what you need to know about Too Faced's current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is Too Faced Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Too Faced is 100% Cruelty-Free

It does not:

  • Test any of its products or ingredients on animals;
  • Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain; or
  • Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.

Not only is Too Faced cruelty-free, but it is also certified by PETA. While this is a great start, it may not be the most reliable accreditation, and we explain why under certification.

To top it off, it only offers a range of vegan makeup tools and brushes made from synthetic fibers. 

Vegan makeup brushes are preferred because they are not made using animal hair.

While cutting some fur off a goat can be done in a cruelty-free way, it's hard to find sources that will comply with this. 

This issue stems from the fact that animal hair is usually sourced from countries with few animal welfare policies that are also harder to track from a supply chain standpoint.

You can learn more about this industry here: Can Wool Be Cruelty-Free?

The unfortunate news is that the brand is owned by Estée Lauder, which is not a cruelty-free organization as it does test on animals when required by law. 

But the good news is that the brand itself proactively strives to be cruelty-free and vegan. This brings us to the next point:

Too Faced is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Too Faced has a few vegan-friendly products. 

If a product is vegan, you'll find the information underneath its picture.

Too Faced Cruelty-Free and Vegan Claim

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that Too Faced uses include:

  • Carmine – this ingredient is the red pigment made from the crushed female cochineal insect. A little gross, no? But it is completely harmless and is used in makeup to get those rouge tones.
  • Beeswax – this ingredient poses many health benefits to your skin and wellbeing. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with essential vitamins.

    And remember that just because beeswax isn't vegan doesn't mean it can't be cruelty-free. Find out more here: Can Beeswax Be Cruelty-Free
  • Lanolin – this ingredient, like honey and beeswax, is used in skincare and cosmetics because it is incredibly hydrating. It is basically the waxy oil that comes from sheep wool. Lanolin can be cruelty-free – follow this link for more details.
  • Yogurt Powder – various research shows yogurt to help with locking in moisture, brightening, toning, protecting, increasing elasticity, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

    But the dairy industry can be highly unethical – learn more here: Can Dairy Ever Be Cruelty-Free?

If you're interested in vegan products or find vegan brand alternatives, keep reading or click on this link: Too Face vegan products

Animal Testing Policy and History

Too Faced has been committed to creating modern, exciting and cruelty-free cosmetics since it launched in 1998. 

Cruelty-Free Status in 2021

Here is a screenshot of Jarrod Blandino's statement regarding the brand's cruelty-free policies, taken from his Instagram account after Estée Lauder acquired Too Faced in 2016. 

Too Faced Cosmetics Cruelty Free Website Claim


It would be nice to see more certification from Too Faced since it’s such a proudly cruelty-free brand. It is currently PETA-approved, which is not a bad start. 

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations out there. It seems to only require a brand's written consent that abides by the PETA code of conduct. 

Certification from Leaping Bunny is ideal because it holds rigorous standards and does regular audits to ensure they are upheld.

Leaping Bunny certification proves that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products it sells.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.
  • Any other form of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, are considered and evaluated.

If you see a bunny stamp at the back of your product bottle – that's a really good sign. But don't be fooled by the image itself. A lot of brands are using fake logos to fool consumers. 

Do your homework and see which products are genuinely cruelty-free first. This article will help you: Which Cruelty-Free Logos Can You Trust?

Is Too Faced Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Too Faced does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on any cosmetics by law.

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most amount of animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes to be aware of. Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

What Too Faced Products Are Vegan?

Too Faced has a few vegan makeup items and a limited amount of vegan skincare.

Although it still uses various animal-derived ingredients, some of its best-selling products are completely vegan. This doesn't include its range of synthetic brushes.

Here are some of its best-selling vegan options to choose from to save you some time.

  • Born This Way Natural Finish Foundation
  • Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer
  • Born This Way Turn Up The Light Highlighting Palette
  • Killer Liner Gel Eyeliner Pencil (except for Killer Sapphire and Killer Queen shades)
  • Better Than Sex Mascara
  • Hangover Wash the Day Away (skincare) 

For a full list of Too Faced's vegan products, you can find them listed on their website: Too Faced Vegan Product List 

Please note that while there is a "vegan filter" on the site, we found it inaccurate as it lists items that are clearly not vegan. Please use it with caution. 

Vegan Alternatives to Too Faced 

Too Faced has a good track record and noteworthy transparency with its consumers. For a big company – it's commendable.

While we love that it is cruelty-free and offers vegan options – it would be great to see some more certification behind the claims. 

Additionally, its vegan options leave much to be desired as there are limited products to choose from – especially in its skincare range. 

If you will not support a brand that isn't entirely vegan or simply cannot find enough variety – Too Faced might not be your first choice.

If you're looking for 100% vegan brands within the same price range, some great options include:

  • Kat Von D,
  • Milk Makeup, 
  • Ecco Bella,
  • Rare Beauty, and 
  • Pop Beauty

Is Too Faced Natural and Organic? 

Too Faced is not a natural or organic brand, but they claim to use safe ingredients.

As a conscientious shopper, you must read up on any brand's ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States.

This is because the FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe, on the other hand, has banned 1,328!

With makeup, here some ingredients you really want to avoid:

  • Butylated compounds,
  • Benzophenone compounds, 
  • Carbon black,
  • Formaldehyde, and 
  • Lead or other heavy metals. 

Does Too Faced Use Safe Ingredients?

For a makeup and skincare brand, Too Faced has a relatively decent spread of ingredients that can benefit your skin, and they also avoid using anything that could be harmful where possible.

According to Skin Safe, Too Faced usually has an 82% - 91% allergen-free ranking for each product, but some score as high as 100%.

Many of Too Faced's products are free of allergens such as common preservatives, irritants, gluten, nickel, fragrance, parabens, soy, propylene glycol, and lanolin.

However, reading each product's ingredient list is crucial because Too Faced is not hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and it does not claim to be.

Certain products still contain ingredients like gluten, propylene glycol, lanolin, and parabens.

Luckily, most Too Faced products are free of these harmful ingredients, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check. All ingredients are subject to change so keep your eyes open.

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

If you're worried about how safe it is to use cosmetics that are not tested on animals – please relax and take a sigh of relief.

There is no reason why cruelty-free products shouldn't be just as safe, if not safer, than anything tested on an animal.

Not only is it easy to test ingredients without using animals altogether, but there are so many pre-approved ingredients you can use to make cosmetics that there is no need.

If you're interested, you can find out more on the subject here: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is Too Faced Sustainable and Ethical? 

Although it strives to be ethical, Too Faced does not claim to be sustainable.

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands are only making it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

So it's a pity that Too Faced has not created any public initiatives around preserving the planet or being respectful to the people on it. 

Too Faced doesn't mention anything about:

  • Supporting sustainable Mica mining.
  • Incorporating various recyclable and recycled plastic, glass and cardboard materials in its packaging.
  • Eliminating plastic packaging where it can (or using recycled options).

Without more information, we don't know where Too Faced stands and if it's keeping up with the times and demands of modern consumers. 

However, it must follow certain sustainable protocols as a brand under the Estée Lauder umbrella.

This includes:

  • Using palm oil certified by the RSPO sustainable palm oil system. Considering how much harvesting palm oil is contributing to deforestation. 
  • Following the Estée Lauder Supplier Code of Conduct, consisting of the following principles:
    - Engaging in lawful and ethical business practices.
    - Promoting a respectful, fair, and diverse workplace.

    - Providing a safe and healthy workplace.
    - Protecting the environment and community.
  • Actively working towards closing the gender pay gap. Their detailed report shows the percentage of female employees at the company and part of their financial plan. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, Too Faced is a well-developed cosmetics brand that considers certain ethical factors. The fact that it is cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in cosmetics. 

Unfortunately, Too Faced doesn't have a transparent supply chain and isn't open to the public about its testing, purchasing, and distribution policies. So it's hard to gauge how sustainable and ethical the brand is besides being cruelty-free. 

Since Too Faced is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for any activists – especially since the brand still uses unsustainable packaging. 

Not to mention there is a limited selection of vegan products to choose from. 

Finally, it would also be nice to see further cruelty-free accreditation from other reputable organizations. So let's push to make that happen! 

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