Smashbox is No Longer Cruelty Free

Smashbox is No Longer Cruelty Free

Just like fellow Estee Lauder brand MAC Cosmetics, Smashbox has also had a change of heart when it comes to their stance on animal testing. Smashbox is a brand that I have promoted here on Logical Harmony before. They didn’t used to test on animals, use ingredients that were tested, and they offered a lot of vegan options. Smashbox had quite possibly the best customer service when it came to helping people find vegan options, too. This is why sharing this news is so sad.

For years, I’ve relied on Smashbox to give me great products that I knew were not tested on animals. After I decided to go vegan, I thought that I could rely on them for vegan options. Their former customer service department was extremely helpful and was even willing to check on specific shades of products to find out if they were vegan or not. Knowing that, for the first time in years, I will need to replace my PhotoFinish Foundation Primer is just heartbreaking. A lot of people were upset by the news about MAC, but I’m a Smashbox girl and have been for years. To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement.

Just as with MAC, Smashbox is owned by Estee Lauder. This company has been openly testing on animals for a long time, and with all the recent changes to their once cruelty free brands, I wanted to check in on Smashbox as well. By some standards, Smashbox being owned by Estee Lauder is enough to not consider them cruelty free. With a parent company that supports animal testing, any profit Smashbox makes does then support animal cruelty. However, I’ve always found it best to support the animal friendly brands and let people make their own decisions about the parent companies.

Normally I post the entire email response from companies, but this email from Smashbox has a disclosure that prohibits me from doing so without permission. I have emailed asking for permission to copy the entire email but have received no reply. So I am only going to re-post one sentence here, and, just like with MAC, it is the only sentence that matters.

Smashbox has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.

This means that Smashbox is no longer cruelty free and now tests on animals. It seems that Estee Lauder has decided opening up their brands to a bigger consumer market outweighs the benefits of Smashbox being a cruelty free company with lots of vegan options.

Because of this, Logical Harmony will no longer be supporting Smashbox cosmetics. All previous posts mentioning them will have a disclaimer added and Smashbox will be removed from any lists of cruelty free or vegan cosmetics. Also, just as with MAC, both PETA and PETA UK have quietly removed Smashbox from their lists of brands who don’t test on animals.

Just as when Logical Harmony broke the news that MAC Cosmetics is No Longer Cruelty Free, there are steps that you can take to let Smashbox hear your voice.

  • If you are concerned about buying animal friendly cosmetics, please no longer purchase Smashbox items.
  • If you are a cruelty free or animal friendly blogger, please don’t feature Smashbox on your blog anymore. Please do a post about their change in testing policies and spread the word to your readers!
  • Promote this post on social networking sites to let your friends know!
  • Let your friends who use Smashbox know about the change!
  • Let Smashbox know that they are losing customers. Unsubcribe from their email updates, un-like them on Facebook, and un-follow them on Twitter!
  • I urge you to contact Smashbox yourself and ask them to change their stance on animal testing!

I also urge you all to consider trying vegan cosmetics brands. There are so many out there who produce amazing products without any harm to animals!

What do you think about this recent change to the animal testing policy of Smashbox?

All content copyright 2007 - 2014 by Logical Harmony unless otherwise stated. This post may contain 3rd party affiliate links.
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59 comments for “Smashbox is No Longer Cruelty Free

  1. Mariana Lemos
    Thursday - March 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you for letting the world know of your company’s new substandard morals and ethics, you have just saved me quite a bit of money. I will never support or recommend your products.

    • Friday - March 30, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Hi Mariana,

      While I do not represent Smashbox, I am glad to hear that you are no longer going to support a brand who tests on animals when it’s so unnecessary.

      • Lynn
        Friday - January 3, 2014 at 8:01 am

        Hi Tashina, I went to sephora yesterday looking for cruelty-free lipstick. I was led to smashbox. When I returned home I checked the internet and found your blog. I followed the link you posted to PETA and while M.A.C. is still on the list, Smashbox is, in fact cruelty-free, according to them.

        Who to believe?

        • Friday - January 3, 2014 at 8:04 am

          Hi Lynn,

          You are welcome to believe any party that you like. :) If you ask Smashbox their stance on animal testing, they say that they test on animals as required by law. This is also the statement listed in their FAQ ( I am not sure what PETA’s standards are in order to be listed as a cruelty free brand. But, by my guidelines, Smashbox is not cruelty free.

          I hope this helps!

        • Monday - February 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

          I would trust Logical Harmony. Google Smashbox and China. Ask them on their FB page. Stila confirmed via Twitter that they started testing again and yet they remain on PETA’s list when you have proof right out of the mouth of Stila that they are no longer cruelty free. People have e-mailed them and the errors are not removed and are not explained. Who to believe seems quite easy in this instance.

  2. Thursday - March 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I can’t believe how many companies are going backwards. You’d think they’d be more aware of how people feel about the earth nowadays.

    • Friday - March 30, 2012 at 10:27 am

      I completely agree, MarciaF! It would be so easy to not test on animals or use any animal ingredients. It’s clear that these companies care far more about making money than anything else.

  3. Thursday - March 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Tashina, as you know, I posted this to my Facebook Page to let others know what you found out about Smashbox. Although I don’t use anything from them, I am sick thinking about yet another company who is no longer cruelty free—thank you again for finding out about MAC. There is no reason to be torturing poor animals for testing.

    Thank you for letting us all know about about Smashbox, Tashina. :-(


    • Friday - March 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Thanks for sharing this with your readers, Moxie! I really appreciate you helping to spread the word!

  4. TJ Jordan
    Thursday - March 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I, too, am a Smashbox fan and am saddened to read this. Thanks for the bad news; however, I now have a great excuse to try new primers, blushers and glosses.

    • Friday - March 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

      That’s how I’m thinking of it too, TJ Jordan – an excuse to try a ton of new products. Hopefully we both find some good replacements!

  5. Amalia
    Friday - March 30, 2012 at 4:57 am

    This is very disappointing. Try Tarte Cosmetics.

    • Friday - March 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

      That’s for the suggestion, Amalia. I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about Tarte. However, I haven’t purchased anything from them or featured them on Logical Harmony because they have been completely unresponsive to several requests about their stance on animal testing and ingredients. :-/

      • Melanie
        Thursday - June 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        Tarte does not test on animals. They have the cruelty free logo on their products! I know this because I just bought some of their products at Sephora today.

  6. Friday - March 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I’m also a Smashbox fan so I’m disappointed with this appalling move from them.

  7. Saturday - March 31, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Thank you for being so thorough in your knowledge and investigation of companies. I saw that they are still listed as cruelty free with PETA. Do you think this is because it still meets their standards in that it isn’t the actual company doing the testing?

    • Wednesday - July 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Jessica!

      Smashbox is no longer listed on PETA’s list of companies who do not test on animals. :(

  8. Mike
    Saturday - March 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    A friend of mine tweeted about this, and they responded “Hi ladies, just wanted to assure you that Smashbox actually doesn’t sell in China, hope that helps!”
    Helps? I wouldn’t say that… if they supposedly don’t sell in china then they shouldn’t add the whole “required by law”…

    • Wednesday - July 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      My guess is that this means they plan to start selling in China. Otherwise, why revise your animal testing policy?

      • Emily
        Wednesday - September 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

        I am guessing they had to revise their animal testing policy because they are now owned by EL, which apparently does sell in China.

  9. MAY
    Sunday - April 8, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Thank you for this great post, it pains me a lot to know that smashbox is no longer cruelty free. I just recently found out that yves rocher test on animals too now, wich pain me too because I kept buying makeup and products from them because they were supposed to be cruelty free…

    • Mike
      Monday - April 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      ARGH Yves Rocher too? Ive never had to cut out so many brands in a while! :’(

  10. Deanna
    Wednesday - April 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    So disappointed to hear about this. I personally LOVE(D) Smashbox (and MAC) but will not be purchasing from them any longer. I can’t believe how little coverage there is online about their policy changes, I only found out about this TODAY because I was giving cruelty-free makeup advice and wanted to check and make sure the brands I was recommending were still listed on PETA’s “Do not test” list. SO disappointing :(

    • Wednesday - July 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Deanna,

      I know how you feel. I loved Smashbox, too! I was so disappointed to hear that they had decided to make this change in their policy.

  11. Emily P
    Sunday - May 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I love your blog! It’s so insightful and really helpful for consumers who want to go Cruelty Free!

    • Wednesday - July 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Emily!

  12. Bri
    Wednesday - July 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I understand your anger towards this, but not all the information you have is true. Smashbox is still cruelty free unless it is require BY LAW. E.L. Isn’t going to pull everything out of China because of Chinas law. Smashbox is not testing on animals, the Chinese govnt is testing smashbox on animals.

    • Wednesday - July 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Deciding to sell your products in a market that requires that they be tested on animals is still animal testing. The reasons for testing on animals are a non issue. If you test on animals, required by law or not, you are still testing on animals. Choosing to sell your products in a market where it is required is choosing to support the testing of products on animals.

      • winna
        Thursday - August 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Well the issue is not the companies. it is the country. and if you want to NOT support the issue you need to look at everythign you get from china- right down to your smart phone. I do not let this stop me from buying any cosmetics. I know when i a company sells in china they would prefer as well NOT to animal test. they know it hampers sales. but i also know many of these companies participate in the efforts to STOP it because they are there. so you have to look at it from a bigger picture.
        MAny people that wildly object to animal testing – eat meat still. from cruel sources. I feel it is a bit hypocritical to pick and choose which animals to “fight for”.
        have a closer look at the items you use and consume in your house. you might be surprised what you find.

        • Thursday - August 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm

          Hi Winna!

          Thanks for your comment. I think it’s definitely an issue that everyone has to decide for themselves on and the varying opinions are always great to hear. :)

  13. jennifer
    Saturday - August 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I’m furious. I just bought a lipstick and eyeliner yesterday after seeing the cruelty free badge on the cosmetics. I haven’t heard of the brand before but after MAC turned their back on principles for profit I have been hunting for a new brand which I thought I’d found yesterday! I’m angry that they can continue to use the logo when they are not cruelty free, is this allowed??!!
    Thanks for clearing this up though!

    • Sunday - September 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Jennifer!

      Unfortunately, there is no regulation for the terms “Cruelty Free”, “Not Tested on Animals” etc. The PETA and Leaping Bunny certification logos that appear on a lot of products are an indicator that they are, in fact, cruelty free. However, many brands also have a similar logo that they use on their products to confuse consumers. It could also be possible that the packaging of your products was made before PETA removed their cruelty free endorsement of Smashbox as well.

  14. Hannah
    Tuesday - October 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    WHAT?! NO!!! I LOVE Smashbox! This is so sad, guess I’ll have to be on the look out for new brands:(

  15. keira
    Monday - April 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    What was the disclaimer they used preventing you from printing the whole letter? Are you sure it is actually legally binding or are they just trying to scare you? I would look into it.

  16. Yashoda
    Thursday - May 2, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Great post- i too am devastated by Estee Lauder, etc decision to animal test for profit and will not be supporting them by buying their products. I have also written to all these companies expressing my extreme disappointment and hope that they will stop testing on animals

  17. ThePhnee
    Friday - May 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Great post! I am so disappointed too :( since it’s so hard (at least in my country) to find cruelty -free and/or vegan products.
    Just curious, still lists smashbox as cruelty-free. Does smashbox sell in China? Is peta behind or did smashbox change their philosphy again?
    Because Urban Decay was removed from the cruelty-free list and added again now because of public pressure. Is it the same with smashbox maybe?

    I just wish we would stop all animal abuse and live a happy vegan life :D

  18. Christine
    Tuesday - June 4, 2013 at 12:02 am

    On the Peta website, they are listed as a company that do not test on animals?

    • Tuesday - June 4, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Hi Christine!

      Smashbox told me that they test on animals “where required by law”. I cannot speak for why it may still be listed by PETA.

  19. Thursday - July 4, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Thank you for sharing & I also am so very disappointed to learn this. Being a huge Smashbox fan for so many years for their high standards with animal testing, being disappointed is one of many disheartened feelings. I will be researching other choices for similar products.

  20. Laura
    Monday - August 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Hi – I’m really confused, Smashbox is still on the Peta list for being cruelty free! I don’t understand?

    • Monday - August 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Laura!

      I am unsure as to why PETA is listing Smashbox as cruelty free and cannot speak on their behalf. Because Smashbox has told me in writing and has on their site that they do test on animals when required by law, I do not consider them to be cruelty free. You may want to reach out to PETA about this as well.

  21. Laura
    Thursday - September 12, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I just searched PETA’s website, and Smashbox still lists Smashbox as a company that does NOT test on animals. I will contact them to ask why this has not been changed.

  22. Deanna
    Tuesday - October 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    When I emailed PETA a few months ago about Smashbox, this is the answer I received:

    “Estée Lauder’s subsidiary brands can be found at We are still clarifying whether each of these brands are still cruelty-free or whether they are also marketing in China, and they have been removed from our “don’t test” list until we receive clarification, with the exception of Sean John, Aveda, and recently, Smashbox — which have assured us in writing that they remain committed to no animal testing. These three subsidiaries do not sell in China, or in any other country where animal tests are required by law, and we are happy to encourage caring people like you to support them and their cruelty-free commitments. PETA’s cruelty-free company list includes cruelty-free subsidiaries of parent companies that have not eliminated animal tests because we want to support positive steps that companies make for animals. If a subsidiary operates independently from a parent company, we hope that continued support of its products will send a positive message to the parent company, which will ultimately influence its policy. We do include a notation on our list indicating which companies are owned by a noncompliant parent company so that consumers are fully informed and can make their own choices.”

    (I just copied the important part)…So, perhaps Smashbox has decided to pull out of China?

    • Tuesday - October 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Deanna,

      I’m not sure what PETA requires from brands to be listed. I have heard from several readers that Smashbox can be found in Sephora stores in China, despite not being listed on the website. Either way, the brands publicly state that they test on animals when required by law. If a brand cannot be open and honest about their policies, I don’t feel comfortable supporting them.

  23. Jenn
    Wednesday - January 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    This is so conflicting! Smashbox even has the Leaping Bunny logo on their products. :( Leaping Bunny has even stricter policies than PETA does. I’m in shock!

    • Wednesday - January 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Jenn,

      Smashbox doesn’t have the Leaping Bunny logo on their packaging but some packaging does have the PETA logo. I am unsure why PETA lists them as cruelty free still since their published stance is that they do test as required by law.

      • Roz
        Wednesday - January 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        fyi I just bought smashbox at Ulta and was surprised when the bunny logo was gone and went to google to see if they were now testing-packaging has been updated, I will be taking it back because after reading your comments it looks as if they have changed their stance.

      • Tuesday - February 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

        Have you ever looked into Arbonne? Arbonne’s products are vegan, gluten free, paraben free and mineral oil free. A great animal friendly amazing company! :D

        • Chloe
          Tuesday - February 18, 2014 at 8:53 pm

          I just looked at Arbonne’s website – it talks a lot about botanical traditions and green policies but there is nothing on the company’s position that I saw on animal testing or not. Perhaps you can link the page that states it Bonnie Davis

  24. Thursday - April 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

    PETA also needs to remove Victoria’s Secret from their list. I got a similar response from VS about animal testing when required by law. You should check this out!

    • Saturday - April 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Eliana,

      What did Victoria’s Secret say to you? I just checked with them 2 weeks ago and they confirmed that they did not partake in any animal testing – finished product, during production, directly, parent company, 3rd party, affiliate company or to comply with local laws and regulations. I’m curious what you were told and to why we got different responses.

      • Saturday - April 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm

        Hi Tashina,

        I’ve noticed that the products are not coming with the animal testing wording anymore. This is the response they gave me 3 months ago (4th paragraph, 2nd sentence):

        “Hello Eliana,

        Thank you, so much, for taking the time to contact us. You have asked about our products. It is my privilege to respond to you personally.

        Victoria’s Secret does not test its products on animals, nor does it request any of our third party manufacturers, or anyone else, to perform such tests on its behalf. We utilize ingredients in our formulations that are judged safe, and we do not ask the supplier of those ingredients to perform any such tests on animals.

        Victoria’s Secret does not use any animal byproducts in its formulations where the animal is either slaughtered or harmed for the sole purpose of obtaining that material. We do condone the use of animal derived products where the animal is not harmed; for example, lanolin, milk, eggs, etc.

        We are currently transitioning the wording on many of our products. Let me reassure you that our company policy prohibits the testing of our branded products, formulations and ingredients on animals except in rare cases where a regulatory agency may by law specifically require such testing. We are Science Advisory Panel members and corporate contributors of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, a non-profit, science-based organization dedicated to the advancement of alternative testing methods. We have been applauded by animal rights groups for not testing on animals and also for not selling products made from fur, exotic skins and Australian wool. This information can also be found under “Responsibility/Product Information”.

        Eliana, you’ve chosen Victoria’s Secret. We think of that as a privilege. So, if there’s anything more we can do for you, please email or call us any time.

        Sincerely yours,

        Tami M.
        Victoria’s Secret Beauty Customer Relations
        Phone 1.855.866.5810″

        • Saturday - April 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm

          Thank you for sharing this! I’m really curious as to why this was included in the statement you received but not the one that I received. I’ll definitely be looking into this further! I have a hard time when brands are inconsistent in their responses.

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