Is Hourglass Vegan And Cruelty-Free?

Hourglass Cosmetics is a luxury cosmetics brand that was launched in 2004 with the goal of reinventing luxury cosmetics by relying on cutting-edge formulas, active ingredients, and covetable packaging that provide consumers a true feeling of luxury.

More importantly, ever since it was launched, Hourglass Cosmetics has always been a cruelty-free brand. A quick glance at their website and you’re able to see the emphasis they’ve given animals through the Eye to Eye campaign, where they attempt to capture the humanity in animals’ eyes.

hourglass cosmetics cruelty-free movement

In addition, Hourglass Cosmetics also donates 1% of its profits to the Nonhuman Rights Project, a civil rights organization working to secure fundamental rights for animals.

That being said, while Hourglass Cosmetics is clearly supporting the abolishment of animal cruelty, they still have a number of products that contain animal ingredients.

Is Hourglass Cosmetics Vegan?

At this point in time, we can’t still consider Hourglass Cosmetics a vegan brand. Unfortunately, they still use some animal ingredients such as Beeswax, Carmine, as well as other questionable ingredients such as Glycerine and Stearic Acid.



Beeswax is a by-product of honey production and is used in cosmetics to prevent emulsions from falling apart. It’s also what bees produce via their abdominal glands to create the building blocks that make honeycombs— an essential structure to store honey and nurture young bees.

For the same reasons vegans are against honey, they’re also against beeswax. There are unethical practices associated with traditional beekeeping that lead to the death of bees.

For example, queens bees get their wings clipped off to prevent the worker bees from swarming and migrating to create other colonies. This is basically a method that allows beekeepers to produce more honey and consequently more profit. However, it’s also cruel.


This is a red pigment extracted from the crushed cochineal bugs.

It’s usually referred to as Carmine, but it also has different names such as natural red 4, cochineal extract, CI 75470, or crimson lake. This an ingredient present in most lipsticks and blushes.

If you’re interested in how Carmine is made, feel free to watch this short video:


Glycerine can be derived from animal fats but it can also come from plant-based fats such as soya, coconut oil, and palm oil (which not all vegans are in favor of).

This ingredient can be often found in products like soaps, hair-care, make-up, and moisturizers.

If you wish to know whether or not this ingredient is vegan, you have to contact the company directly to find out its origin.

Stearic Acid

Akin to glycerine, stearic acid can also be derived from animal fats (particularly, pig’s stomach), and it can be found in a variety of products such as deodorants, soaps, hair products, and moisturizers.

At the same time, you can also find it in plant-based fats, so there are also vegan-friendly products that contain stearic acid.

Other Ingredients Often Used in Cosmetics

The ingredients I’ve mentioned above are just a few of the most common ingredients you can find in labels across the cosmetics industry. However, it’s also imperative that you know what other ingredients are out there so that you can avoid them.

Here is a list of non-vegan and potential non-vegan ingredients you should look out for:

  • Shellac
  • Casein
  • Squalene
  • Glycerine (depends on the origin)
  • Guanine
  • Oleic Acid (depends on the origin)
  • Animal hair
  • Stearic Acid (depends on the origin)
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • and Keratin.

Some of the ingredients can also be extracted from plant-based sources so always be sure to contact a company before actually purchasing.

Hourglass Cosmetics Pledged to Become Vegan

One thing we failed to mention early on is that Hourglass Cosmetics has pledged to become 100% vegan in 2020. So while they may not be vegan (at the time this article was written), according to what they state on their website, that is bound to change quite soon.

Naturally, we want to trust that it’s something that will happen no matter what— but even so, we have to occasionally check back to see what progress Hourglass Cosmetics has achieved.

Is Hourglass Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Hourglass Cosmetics is cruelty-free.

In fact, they are a PETA certified company, which means they must not conduct tests on animals during product development or production, and neither do any of their suppliers or third-parties.

Hourglass Cosmetics also doesn’t sell products where animal testing is required by law. (i.e: China)

However, they are owned by Unilever, a company known for testing on animals.

Vegan Alternatives to Hourglass Cosmetics

We actually managed to find some awesome vegan alternatives that may have some similar qualities to a brand like Hourglass Cosmetics.

These brands are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. At the same time, If you don’t feel like any of them have products that spike your interest, then one of the best ways to actually find new and surprising products is via vegan beauty boxes.


According to information we found on the Hourglass Cosmetics website, the brand is currently making a transition to veganism— so it still has some products with animal ingredients.

They’ve pledged to become 100% vegan in 2020, so by 2021 that transition should be made. In any case, we will always check back to see whether or not they stick to what they’ve pledged.

Hourglass Cosmetics is also a cruelty-free brand, but they’re owned by Unilever, a multinational company that runs tests on animals.

We cannot say they’re vegan at this time… but that may change in the near future.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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