e.l.f. Cosmetics is a cosmetics brand that was founded in 2004 in Oakland, California USA. Its founders are Scott Vincent Borba – who is the founder of many beauty brands, such as Hard Candy – and Joseph Shamah. The name is short for ‘eyes, lips, face’, which shows the focus of the brand. Borba and Shamah were both interested in creating a high-quality women’s cosmetics line that would provide high-quality at a cheap price. In 2014, Shamah left the company, and his replacement was Tarang P. Amin.
Today, the company’s products are sold in 17 countries all across the world. e.l.f.’s makeup can be found in several stores, such as Kmart, Target, Walmart, and Dolar General. However, the main source of income comes from online sales.
Is e.l.f. Cruelty-Free?
|Not sold in China?||Yes|
|Leaping Bunny Certified||No(*)|
|Has vegan products||Yes|
|Not owned by a Parent Company that does Animal Testing?||Yes|
Yes, e.l.f. is cruelty-free.
e.l.f. is a part of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program ever since 2005. The company doesn’t test its finished products on animals. At the same time, none of the ingredients and formulations aren’t tested on animals, and the company doesn’t conduct third-party testing.
There have been some rumors in 2018 and 2019 that the brand stopped being cruelty-free, especially when they introduced new brushes and false eyelashes. However, PETA confirmed that all the hair used is 100% synthetic and that the brand never stopped being cruelty-free.
Another cause of concern was when people found out that e.l.f. products are made in China. Let’s clear the confusion: products made in China can be cruelty-free, as long as they aren’t sold there.
However, e.l.f. isn’t certified by the Leaping Bunny. This isn’t a cause of concern, though, as becoming a part of the Leaping Bunny program is completely voluntary(*).
In 2016, e.l.f. even started a short action, joined with several influencers, and for a month all proceeds from sales of certain products were donated to various animal charities.
Best Selling e.l.f. Products
Are e.l.f. products sold in China?
No, e.l.f.’s products aren’t sold in mainland China.
However, this has been a controversial question, as e.l.f. cosmetics can be ordered online. There is no reason to concern – China’s animal testing regulations only apply to products that are sold in retail, and not online.
What is the Deal with China?
Even though animal testing is proven to be an unnecessary and unethical practice, some countries still require it by law. This is the case with the second-biggest market in the world, China.
China requires any beauty product to be tested on animals before allowing importation and being sold in Chinese stores. Any company or brand that makes the decision to sell in China has also decided to test on animals – either by themselves or, usually, by paying a third-party company to test on their behalf. This is the main reason why a lot of brands can’t achieve a true cruelty-free status. After growing public outrage, China did lift some regulations in 2014, which allowed certain beauty products, such as shampoos and other skincare items, to be imported without testing, but this is still a small percentage.
A lot of brands that claim to be cruelty-free are being misleading thanks to these laws. Even if a brand doesn’t conduct animal testing on its own, by deciding to take the opportunity and sell in countries such as China, it is allowing a third-party to test the final product on animals. This is why PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program have forbidden brands that they certify to expand their market in this direction – and rightfully so.
A lot of companies are working with the Chinese government on lifting these regulations, and legislation was proposed in 2019 that should stop mandatory animal testing. However until today, no substantial progress has been made in this regard, we continue to wait patiently.
Is e.l.f. Vegan?
Yes, e.l.f. is a fully vegan brand.
In other words, all e.l.f. products are vegan and they don’t contain any animal by-products. If you are a vegan, don’t worry. You can use any product from this brand.
What products does e.l.f. sell?
e.l.f. sells all sorts of cosmetics. No matter what makeup item you’d like to choose – e.l.f. will have it. It’s famous for its eyeliners, eyeshadow, lipsticks, foundations, bronzer, and highlighter.