Urban Decay is an American cosmetics brand headquartered in Newport Beach, California, and is a subsidiary of French cosmetics company L’Óreal.
And L’Óreal has invested €900 million in researching alternatives to animal testing in the last 30-40 years, by using methods such as the reconstructed skin models.
But in spite of that, it’s still on PETA’s list of companies that conduct animal testing because they refuse to adopt a company-wide policy against tests on animals for both ingredients and finished products. This is because some of their brands sell products in China, a country where testing is required by law to be tested on animals by government agencies.
At one point, Urban Decay sold products in China, but as of 2014, Urban Decay stopped employing animal testing on their products, and are now certified by the Leaping Bunny program.
However, is Urban Decay actually a vegan brand?
Urban Decay is not 100% vegan
What’s slightly confusing about Urban Decay is the fact they use a small “vegan” logo on their footer, which sort of indicates they’re a vegan brand.
However, if you click that vegan logo, you’re redirected to their commitments page, where you find two relevant pieces of information:
- They do not test their products on animals, nor do they allow others to test on their behalf. In addition, they require their suppliers to certify that the raw materials used to manufacture their products are not tested on animals.
- The products from Urban Decay marked as vegan do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, but they’re not a 100% vegan brand. Some of their products contain animal ingredients, but they’re making an effort in converting some of their non-vegan products into plant-based products, so only as long as they can maintain the quality of the product.
Therefore, yes, Urban Decay is not 100% vegan, but they do have some vegan products, which we have also included in this blog post.
When it comes to food, it’s pretty easy to pinpoint which ingredients are animal-based, but for cosmetics, not many people know which ingredients aren’t vegan.
Here are some of the non-vegan ingredients you’ll find on Urban Decay products:
Beeswax is secreted from eight-wax producing glands on the worker’s bees abdomen. It’s secreted in thin sheets called scales that look very similar to flakes.
This is the key ingredient bees use to structure honeycombs and develop their hexagon-shaped honey cells which they use to store honey, brood and construct the walls of their beehive.
When you have a fully structured honeycomb, that’s when the beekeepers come in and extract the wax by melting the honeycomb with boiling water and then strain it and let it cool down.
This wax is used as a thickening agent because it thickens the oil portion of solid products (lipsticks), by giving them structure and allowing them to remain solid. When used in mascaras, it provides them with smudge-proof and waterproof properties, and it’s also an emollient that smooths and softens the skin.
Urban Decay has several products that contain beeswax.
Carmine, also called cochineal or natural red, is a red coloring additive.
Carmine is produced by bugs called the cochineal scale. They live on cactuses and because they cannot fly, they produce carmine to protect themselves from predators. The male cochineal has a rather short lifespan, so female cochineals are the ones mostly used to make carmine.
They are first dried, baked in an oven, or thrown into hot water to be killed. Then, they are squeezed and boiled in ammonia or a sodium carbonate solution that extracts the carmine from their body, where roughly 15%-20% of the body produces the color.
The body parts are then filtered out, and the carmine is mixed with aluminum. Sometimes, acids and even animal products are mixed with carmine.
To create one pound of carmine, 70,000 cochineals have to die.
List of vegan products
Even though Urban Decay is not a 100% vegan brand, they still have a lot of vegan products. In fact, here’s a list of vegan products categorized by product type:
- All Nighter Liquid Foundation
- Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation
- Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector
- Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
- Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation
- Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder
- Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer
- Stay Naked Correcting Concealer
- 24/7 Concealer Pencil
- All Nighter Waterproof Full-Coverage Concealer
Vegan Lip Products
- Dracarys Lip & Cheek Stain
- Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss – not all shades
- Lo-Fi Lip Mousse
- Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Gloss
- Sheer Revolution Lipstick
- UD X Kristen Leanne Vice Liquid Lipstick – not all shades
- UD X Kristen Leanne Vice Liquid Lipstick Duo
- Vice Lip Chemistry Lasting Glossy Lip Tint
- Vice Lipstick – not all shades
- Vice Lipstick Naked Heat Capsule Collection
Vegan Eye Makeup
- 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil – not all shades
- 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil – not all shades
- Eyeshadow – not all shades
- Eyeshadow Primer Potion
- False Lashes – all styles
- UD X Kristen Leanne Eyeshadow – not all shades
- Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner – not all shades
- Heavy Metal Glitter Gel
- Liquid Moondust Eyeshadow
- Mascara Ressurection
- Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen
- Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner
- Troublemaker Mascara
Vegan Brow Products
- Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil and Brush
- Brow Tamer Flexible Hold Brow Gel
- Double Down Brow Putty
- Brow Blade Ink Stain + Waterproof Pencil
- Brow Finish Waterproof Brow Gel
Vegan Primers & Setting Sprays:
- Urban Defense Complexion Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- De-Slick Complexion Primer
- Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray
- Quick Fix Hydra-Charged Complexion Prep Priming Spray
- Self-Adjusting Complexion Primer
- De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray (travel size)
- Optical Illusion Complexion Primer
- All Nighter Cherry-Scented Makeup Setting Spray
- All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
- All Nighter Summer Solstice Makeup Setting Spray
- B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Priming Spray
- All Day All Night Travel Duo
- All Nighter Born To Run Makeup Setting Spray
Vegan Blush, Bronzer, Highlighter & Powders:
- Naked Skin Highlighting Fluid
- Meltdown Makeup Remover Dissolving Spray
- Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush – not all shades
- All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder
- Beached Bronzer – all shades
- De-Slick Mattifying Powder
- Disco Queen Holographic Disco Stick
- Dracarys Lip & Cheek Stain
- Elements Space Powder
- Liquid Aura Illuminating Mix-In Medium
- Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder for Face and Body (travel size)
- Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid
- Naked Skin The Illuminizer Translucent Pressed Beauty Powder
- Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder
- Stay Naked Pro Customizer
- Velvetizer Translucent Mix-In Medium
Vegan Brushes & Makeup Accessories:
- UD Pro Angled Eyeliner Brush
- UD Pro Angled Lip Brush
- UD Pro Contour Definition Brush
- UD Pro Detailed Concealer Brush
- UD Pro Detailed Smudger Brush
- UD Pro Diffusing Blush Brush
- UD Pro Diffusing Highlighter Brush
- UD Pro Domed Concealer Brush
- UD Pro Essential Eye Tool
- Arya Stark’s Needle Flat Eyeshadow Brush
- Build + Blend Sponge
- Daytripper Bag
- Grindhouse Double Barrel Sharpener
- Jon Snow’s Longclaw Large Eyeshadow Brush
- Stackable Pro Artistry Palette
- UD Pro Angled Brow Brush
- UD Pro Eyeshadow Contour Brush
- UD Pro Iconic Eyeshadow Brush
- UD Pro Finishing Powder Brush
- UD Pro Flat Eyeshadow Brush
- UD Pro Flat Optical Blurring Brush
- UD Pro Smoky Crease Brush
- UD Pro Smoky Smudger Brush
- UD Pro Tapered Blending Brush
- UD Pro The Finger Brush
- UD Pro Tightline Brush
- Urban Addictions Bag
- Urban Junkie Bag
- Urban Tool Carryall
- Walk of Shame Bag
- Weekender Bag
- UD Pro Large Blending Brush
- UD Pro Large Eyeshadow Brush
- UD Pro Large Powder Brush
- UD Pro Large Tapered Foundation Brush
- UD Pro Large Tapered Powder Brush
- UD Pro Medium Eyeshadow Brush
- UD Pro Moondust Brush
- UD Pro Optical Blurring Brush
- UD Pro Precise Eyeliner Brush
100% vegan cosmetics brands
If you don’t want to buy from Urban Decay, despite the solid collection of vegan products they have, then here are some of the best 100% vegan brands I recommend:
- Inika Organic
- Kat Von D
- Elf Cosmetics
- Emani Cosmetics
- Cover FX
- Aether Beauty
- Au Naturale
- and more!
Feel free to check one of those brands out if you want fully, authentic vegan products.
Conclusion: Urban Decay is not 100% vegan
Urban Decay is not vegan, but it has a rich list of vegan products.
In fact, their mission is to convert their non-vegan products to vegan products, as long as they can maintain the same quality. So, even though they have non-vegan products, this is still a company that is making an effort to cater to the vegan audience, and I respect that.
However, if you only want to purchase your cosmetic products from a 100% vegan brand, feel free to check out the list of vegan brands above!