Investigation Time: Sigma, Laura Mercier & Cosnova

Happy Wednesday!

It’s investigation time again. Today, once again we’ll be looking at three companies and whether or not they are cruelty-free and what their vegan status is.

SigmaFirst up is Sigma. Commonly known as a cruelty-free company but it is always good to check! This is the email response I received:

“Thank you for your e-mail and interest in Sigma. We do not conduct, condone, or endorse testing on animals. While some of our natural fiber brushes are made from animal hair, no animals are harmed during the brush-making process. Sigma does not utilize a 3rd party manufacturer we manufacture all Sigma products. Some of our products are not made with animal ingredients however we are not vegan certified, at this time. Have a beautiful day!”

So it is safe to say that Sigma is indeed cruelty-free as most have believed but they are not vegan. The high-end make-up brush brand does in fact have synthetic options though!

Much lust for this Complete Brush Kit
Much lust for this Complete Brush Kit

Next up is Laura Mercier. The company has faced some controversy in the past as it expressed interested in expanding its market to countries where animal testing is required by law. As such I decided to contact them.

lauramercierThis was their response:

“Good morning and thank you for contacting us.

Laura Mercier is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.

We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.

Thank you for your continued interest in Laura Mercier Cosmetics!”

Naturally I contacted them again, asking what exactly they meant by “required by law”. This was their follow-up email:


Good morning and thank you for your reply. At one point we were considering selling in China and Brazil, countries that did require animal testing per government regulations, and our packaging department was trying to be proactive, so as to not defraud our consumers, and we did an update to our packaging listing that we did not test except where require by law. Our most recent packaging actually no longer contains this claim, as we have ceased interest in these countries, or, their particular policies have changed, as such that animal testing is no longer necessary. We have always conducted our dermatological testing on human volunteers, never on animals, throughout the life of the company, and we have never contracted this testing to third parties for the purposes of animal testing.”

Now, many companies consider selling in these countries at some point but they don’t always and I think they should be commended when they decide not to and stick to their cruelty-free policies. If some of you are concerned about the part where it says “as we have ceased interest in these countries, or, their particular policies have changed,” fear not; what this refers to is that Brazil changed their animal-testing requirements for cosmetics.

And according to the FAQ on their website they are not vegan and do use certain animal by-products such as beeswax and lanolin. But I am happy to call them cruelty-free!

I need this Candleglow Luminizing Palette in my life!
I need this Candleglow Luminizing Palette in my life!

Finally we have Cosnova. Cosnova is the parent company of Essence and CATRICE cosmetics. They are readily available and very popular here in Ireland so I decided they were worth investigating.

cosnova_artikelAs usual I sent my questions to them and this was their response:

“Dear Pam,

Thank you for your message and your interest in our products.

We can assure you that our company, cosnova, does not conduct animal testing for the essence and CATRICE brands, and never will.

In accordance with the new EU Cosmetics Regulation, it is generally forbidden to test cosmetic products on animals in Europe. Testing the ingredients for cosmetics on animals is also forbidden in the EU (since 2009). cosnova, the parent company to essence and CATRICE, is based in Germany, which is part of the EU and, and sells its products in European countries as well. As a result, cosnova is also subject to this EU legislation.

Therefore we can assure you that cosnova neither conducts testing on animals, nor commissions it to any third parties – not in Germany or anywhere else in the world. This is also one of the criteria for the selection of cosnova suppliers as we need to ensure that their products are produced strictly without testing on animals. We also strongly disapprove of testing on animals with end-products.

essence_logo_glowAs already mentioned, the sale of – or as it is defined legally – “the marketing of“ cosmetics products of which the ingredients or the finished product have been the subject of animal testing is strictly prohibited in the European Union. This applies to existing and newly developed cosmetics products and ingredients manufactured within the EU as well as outside the EU. 95 % of the products by our brands are manufactured in Europe. Asian products therefore only represent a very small part of our range.

When it comes to our products manufactured in Asia, we have an eye on the issue of Chinese legislation regarding the topic of animal testing. Of course, the fact that cosnova is strictly opposed to testing on animals and never tests its products on animals applies here, too.

Catrice-CosmeticsIt is correct that testing on animals for the sale of cosmetics in China is still part of the Chinese legislation to a certain extent. However, since July 2014, animal testing has also been deemed unnecessary for most of the products manufactured in China for the domestic market. Moreover, animal tests do not have to be conducted for products that are not marketed in China. This also applies to the products by our brands: as essence and CATRICE products are not sold in China, these products are not subject to animal testing in accordance with Chinese legislation.

Our individual suppliers in China must also comply with our extremely strict criteria and are subject to detailed inspection before they are allowed to manufacture products for our brands. The aspect “free of animal testing” is a key pre-requisite for any form of collaboration. Of course, this does not only apply to our Chinese suppliers. Within the context of our continuous quality controls, we carry out intensive quality inspections and analyses on all our suppliers around the world.

Isn't the colour just beautiful? Want!
Isn’t the colour just beautiful? Want! Ultimate Stay Lipstick by CATRICE in Plum & Base

Lastly, when producing our decorative products we do not use any ingredients directly derived from animals, such as placenta extracts or animal fat. We do, however, use materials such as beeswax, silk, or lanolin (wool fat from sheep) and the natural dye cochenille (CI 75470) which are indeed animal components (animal by-products), strictly speaking. Ingredients or raw materials from animals like pig, cattle, sheep or goat are not used in any of the products, except ingredients as mentioned before like lanolin or beeswax. The goods have passed the quality control and comply with our high standards and the directives of the World Health Organization. However, due to the nature and origin of single product components we do not consider our products as „vegan”.

Hopefully we were able to provide you with all the information you were looking for.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or comments.”

It was a very lengthy and informative email but to break it down they do not test on animals, do not ask anyone to do so for them, only collaborate with manufacturers who do not test on animals, manufacture a certain percentage of their products in China but do not sell them there so they are not tested either on animals. They are however not a vegan company, using things like lanolin and beeswax.

Personally I was very happy with the level of detail in the email and the time taken to respond. I was very happy with their answers and attention paid to every question I asked. I’m also super happy because I love their products! They are a very cheap way to go cruelty-free if you’re finding the switch expensive and I find their products very high quality, using a CATRICE primer and foundation every day.

That’s it folks! If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the companies mentioned above, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you!


2 thoughts on “Investigation Time: Sigma, Laura Mercier & Cosnova

  1. Thank you for this article. I have been searching a lot for find a cruelty free company but usually they are expensive or not popular. Not long ago I opened for myself “Essence” and I’m really happy because it’s cheap and easy to find! I mean I can buy it near in supermarket.
    I have 4 bunnies at home and my heart is breaking to understand that there are so many of them suffer hard all their life in prisons of testings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, if you’re still finding it difficult, my favourite affordable brands are Essence, Catrice, ELF, Barry M and Gosh. 🙂
      I know exactly how you feel and that’s why I made steps to make my make-up kit cruelty-free. Animal-testing brings such unnecessary suffering. But thankfully there are many cosmetic companies out there who are willing to open themselves up to safe and ethical testing methods!


Have something to say? :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s