Known for its French aesthetic and the concept of a ‘flawless face’, Laura Mercier Cosmetics is a luxury beauty brand created by the renowned celebrity makeup artist Laura Mercier.
But while there are no two views about the quality of Laura Mercier’s products, there is increasing concern about its manufacturing processes, particularly about the brand’s stand on animal testing.
Does Laura Mercier test on animals? Or is it a cruelty-free makeup brand?
Let’s find out!
If you’re new to the cruelty-free world, you can also check out the following video to learn all about cruelty-free makeup:
Is Laura Mercier Cruelty-Free?
Laura Mercier’s cruelty-free status is unclear. It has also been a widely debated topic in the cruelty-free community lately.
Even though the brand ticks all the boxes for a cruelty-free beauty brand, it’s not recognized by any of the organizations that certify cruelty-free brands. The company also claims that it doesn’t test its products or ingredients on animals. Instead, it uses alternative testing methods.
Why is Laura Mercier’s Cruelty-Free Status Unclear, Then?
The primary reason for the confusion over Laura Mercier’s cruelty-free status is the brand’s inconsistent policies.
Initially, the brand was adamant about not testing on animals. However, in 2013, it altered its animal testing policy and included the infamous phrase “unless required by law”.
This created a buzz in the cruelty-free community. A lot of consumers reached out to the brand, asking for clarification over the change. However, the responses from the company were vague and unclear. After a while, it even removed the question regarding animal testing from its official website’s FAQs section.
This led to the presumption that Laura Mercier was probably launching in mainland China, where the law requires animal testing. But whether they actually sell in China or not is also unclear.
While researching, I found one online source stating that Laura Mercier started selling in China in 2013 but stopped in 2014 in response to the massive consumer outcry. However, another website shared Laura Mercier’s response, stating that the brand never entered the Chinese market.
As per its official response, Laura Mercier considered selling in China and Brazil at one point in time. Since it didn’t want to deceive consumers, the company acted proactively and updated its animal testing policy to contain the phrase “unless required by law”.
However, the brand has now removed the claim because it is no longer interested in those countries, and Brazil has changed its animal testing policies. Laura Mercier also clearly stated that it does not sell in China.
What made the situation even more uncertain was Laura Mercier’s acquisition by the Japanese conglomerate, Shiseido Group, in 2016. Shiseido is not cruelty-free. It also sells in mainland China, which means it complies with the country’s animal testing laws.
As of now, Laura Mercier is back to claiming that it does not test on animals. However, it has lost most consumers’ trust. Furthermore, a part of the brand’s animal testing policy continues to puzzle users:
The fact that the brand isn’t selling in China but still has this double entendre phrase in its animal testing policy has left the cruelty-free community confused and frustrated. Do you wonder the same? I think I have found the answer…
Laura Mercier Sells in Brazil
Laura Mercier not only has a dedicated website for Brazil; it also sells its products through Sephora.
Although Brazilian states are actively working to end cosmetic animal testing and eight major states have already banned the practice, the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) still allows it.
The Cruelty-Free World Is Unregulated
What makes the situation also uncertain is that there is neither any legal definition of “cruelty-free” nor is there any regulatory authority that can testify the brands’ claims.
This has a created a scenario where companies often alter the term as per their needs. Given the increasing demand for cruelty-free products, brands also frequently misuse the phrase to attract a wide range of consumers. And there is no one to check.
Laura Mercier Isn’t Certified as Cruelty-Free
As previously mentioned, Laura Mercier isn’t certified by any of the three leading organizations that certify cruelty-free brands: Leaping Bunny, Beauty Without Bunnies, and Choose Cruelty Free (CCF).
Also, as reported by many online sources, Laura Mercier doesn’t plan to seek certification from any of these leading authorities anytime soon. According to the brand, none of these organizations’ lists are dependable, so it has no certification plans.
It isn’t the first time that a brand has questioned the reliability of these organizations. However, consumers widely trust them. Also, the only way for a company to publically prove its cruelty-free processes is to seek certification from these organizations and display their logo on company products. It may be an added trouble and expense, but that’s the way things have been in the beauty industry.
The Bottom Line – Is Laura Mercier Cruelty-Free?
Laura Mercier is in the grey area; the company’s cruelty-free status isn’t clear. Hence, it’s categorized as a brand with “unclear policies”.
The company claims that it doesn’t test its products on animals and doesn’t sell in China. However, it sells in Brazil and is owned by a company that performs animal testing and sells in mainland China. Laura Mercier doesn’t carry any cruelty-free certification either.
When coupled with Laura Mercier’s ambiguous animal testing policy, as well as the unregulated nature of the cruelty-free industry, all these factors have made the brand’s cruelty-free status unclear and doubtful.
Is Laura Mercier Vegan?
Laura Mercier doesn’t explicitly state its vegan status either. When asked about animal testing, the company states that its products are not vegan…
However, on the same page, the company states that it uses animal products in some of its products…
In such a scenario, you’re only left with one option – to check the ingredients of each product to figure out if it contains any animal ingredient or not.
Note: As I have highlighted in all my cruelty-free resources, any brand involved in animal cruelty, whether directly or indirectly, cannot be termed as a vegan brand even if it doesn’t use animal-derived ingredients. This is because animal cruelty is against the basic principles of veganism.
Laura Mercier’s Cruelty-Free Alternatives
- HUDA Beauty
- e.l.f Cosmetics
- Urban Decay
- Too Faced
- Physician’s Formula
- Tarte Cosmetics
- Milk Makeup
- COVER FX
Looking for cruelty-free alternatives for specific Laura Mercier products? Here are some recommendations shared by different users on Reddit…
Frequently Asked Questions
§ Is Laura Mercier cruelty-free in 2021?
As of 2021, Laura Mercier is on the list of companies with “unclear policies”. We have given a detailed discussion on why Laura Mercier lands in the grey area in terms of animal testing.
§ Is Laura Mercier sold in China?
No, Laura Mercier products are not available in China.
§ Does Laura Mercier’s parent company test on animals?
Laura Mercier, owned by Shiseido Company Limited, a Japanese multinational cosmetic and personal care company, tests on animals and sells in China.
§ Is Laura Mercier cruelty-free–certified by PETA?
No. Laura Mercier isn’t cruelty-free-certified by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) or any other similar organization. The brand doesn’t even plan to get certified by them either.
§ Is Laura Mercier vegan?
Laura Mercier may offer some products that do not contain animal-derived ingredients. However, it cannot be classified as a genuinely vegan brand as long as its cruelty-free status does not become apparent.
§ Is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer vegan?
The famous Tinted Moisturizer of Laura Mercier is not vegan. It contains multiple animal-derived ingredients and by-products.
§ Is Laura Mercier Translucent Powder vegan?
Unfortunately, Laura Mercier’s incredibly amazing Translucent Loose Setting Powder isn’t vegan either.
Did you find this cruelty-free analysis useful? Check out my article entitled “Is Cetaphil Cruelty-Free?” for a similar breakdown of the Cetaphil brand, which is also trusted by numerous consumers and dermatologists alike.