Is Japonesque Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

Japonesque is a mid-range brand that specializes in the creation of makeup products.

It was founded by a professional model whose ambition was to translate Japanese culture (more specifically, the tools and makeup used by Japanese makeup artists in the Kabuki theater) and showing it to the world, which she did when featured on Glamour magazine.

Japonesque’s mission is to deliver the absolute best makeup products and utensils, using exceptional materials, superior craftsmanship, without ever compromising their standards.

However, is this synonymous with using animal-based ingredients? Let’s find out.

Is Japonesque Vegan?

Japonesque is not 100% vegan.

Unfortunately, they use animal ingredients in their formulas, including lanolin, animal-based hair in some of their brushes, and other questionable ingredients like glycerine.



Lanolin is an emulsifying agent extracted from wool that is about to be converted into yarn or felt.

Since it’s extracted (mostly) from sheep, this ingredient is automatically non-vegan. In certain countries like Australia, methods like mulesing are used fight off flystrike. This is essentially cutting crescent-shaped flaps of skin from around a lamb’s buttocks and tail using sharp shears.

Keep in mind that Australia is the largest exporter of wool.

Natural Brushes Made from Animal Hair

Even in brushes labeled cruelty-free, you can find animal hair. Some companies stand behind the statement: “no animals were harmed in the process.”, but that doesn’t make a product vegan.

Natural brushes are often made using hair from animals such as foxes, sables, horses, goats, minks, and squirrels. If you want vegan brushes, you have to stick with synthetic options.


Glycerine is a tricky ingredient.

The reason it’s considered a controversial ingredient is due to the fact it can be derived from either animal or plant-based sources. Vegan companies often use glycerine derived from soybeans.

However, a company that isn’t vegan might use animal fats.

As such, whenever you’re in doubt, it’s a good idea to inquire the company about their ingredients.

Other animal ingredients used in the beauty industry

Aside from the ingredients we’ve mentioned, there are also other ingredients you have to keep in mind, especially if you’re purchasing from brands that are not 100% vegan.

Here is a quick list of animal-based ingredient that might pop up in beauty products:

  • Guanine
  • Oleic Acid
  • Silk or Pearl Powder
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Keratin
  • Shellac
  • Stearic Acid
  • Casein
  • Squalene
  • Carmine
  • and more.

Most of the ingredients above are not vegan, but akin to glycerine, some of them might come from either an animal or plant-based source. For instance, squalene and stearic acid may also be derived from plants, more specifically, oils.

Is Japonesque Cruelty-Free?

Japonesque is considered a cruelty-free brand.

In other words, they do not test their products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any other third-party members. In addition, Japonesque does not sell products in countries where animal testing is required by law.

At the same time, Japonesque is not certified cruelty-free by any official organization.

So while they claim to be cruelty-free, there isn’t a regulating authority that forces Japonesque to comply with certain cruelty-free standards. For instance, the Leaping Bunny Organization (as well as Cruelty-Free International) make companies create supplier monitoring systems. Plus, companies have to allow audits that might come up randomly every other month.

By not being cruelty-free certified, you’ll never know whether or not a company is truly cruelty-free.

Where is Japonesque Available?

Japonesque products are available via their official website and you can also find them on Amazon.

If you shop through the links above, we may earn a small commission. There’s no extra cost for you, and you’re helping support Vegan Foundry.

Vegan Alternatives to Japonesque

vegan makeup

Since Japonesque is not 100% vegan, there’s a chance you might not be interested in investing in their products, which is perfectly normal.

That’s why we would love to share with you a small list of awesome vegan brands:

At the same time, if none of these brands resonate with you, feel free to check out this blog post where we talk about vegan subscription boxes, including boxes that contain awesome beauty products that you can fall in love with.

Summary: Japonesque is not Vegan but is Cruelty-Free

Indeed, Japonesque, unfortunately, uses some animal ingredients and derivatives in some of their products, including lanolin, as well as animal-derived hair to craft natural brushes.

However, they claim to be cruelty-free, which means all of their products are NOT tested on animals, and that gives you some leeway to invest in some of their vegan-friendly products.

Though, if you prefer, you can also check some of the vegan makeup brands we’ve listed above.

Thank you for reading this blog post and we hope it has helped answer your questions! 🙂