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Cruelty Free OR Vegan Beauty...why should there be a difference?

Cruelty Free OR Vegan Beauty...why should there be a difference?

The trend for Cruelty Free beauty isn't going anywhere, which, if you ask us, is a great thing – our Spectrum brushes and makeup have and always will be 100% cruelty-free.

To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new Liquid Magic soap, we wanted to write a bit about our stance on the whole 'CF' or 'Vegan' labels in the beauty industry.

We feel, if you're buying into a brand that states they are 'cruelty free' you would think that there wouldn't be any animals hurt in the process, which logically would mean that there aren't any animal products (such as goat milk in soap) or bi-products in the processes used.

We're just a little confused by the way 'cruelty free' is being thrown around these days, we prefer to be more clear and direct in our approach to communicating with our customers, we actually feel like you guys are our friends, and 'Friends don't lie.'

We're SUPER PROUD our liquid vegan soap is also made in the UK!!! It hasn't travelled from the other side of the world before reaching you, it's fresh, Cruelty Free, and unambiguously vegan, with no nasties. Here's a pic of the gorgeous packaging....no unicorns were harmed in the making.

Oh...did we mention....the bottle is made of a type of plastic called PET or PETE. We wish we could have made the bottles from plastic which is recycled (we tried, we really did) we just couldn't get the shape. So, the next best thing is this particular type of plastic. It's the most easily recycled plastic, can go in co-mingled or mixed recycling, and can be recycled into the widest array of products, we're hoping you'll want to keep it anyway just because it's so pretty!

We don't like plastic, but this one happens to be the number 1 type to recycle, so if you don't keep the beautiful bottle please do pop it in the recycling, it is 100% recyclable.

While we've been researching, and working with our UK based lab on creating shades and products unique to us and our brand ethics, we've come up against lots of tricky problems which we need to resolve. The main one being that pink and red eyeshadows, are notoriously hard to make 'vegan' due to the essential ingredients used to create these shades are derived from crushed beetles.

But here's the catch....brands can make products 'cruelty free' even if they use this ingredient, as if they don't test the product on animals, it can be certified CF. Doesn't make much sense does it, being as there are animals in the product.

What we'd like to avoid....

Here's a list of no go ingredients (or their lesser known code names) for you to avoid:


1. Cochineal Dye

Also listed as Carmine, this odd sounding substance is far from synthetic. It’s actually a dye collected from crushed Dactylopius Coccus … or cochineal beetles to be precise. The insects feed on cactus plants in Central and South America and the females eat the red cactus berries; when they’re crushed an intense red dye is produced. It’s found in most lipsticks and a lot of blush products.

2. Guanine

This one is often confused with bat guano, or bat poop. In fact, it’s a crystalline material that’s shimmering or light-diffusing and found in crushed fish scales. It’s in most mascaras, nail polishes and lipsticks. Bat poop or fish scales, does it really matter which it is now?

3. Tallow

Tallow is a common ingredient in many cosmetics including eye makeup, lipstick, makeup bases and foundations. To the everyday consumer, it’s more common name would be rendered animal fat. The process involves boiling the carcasses of slaughtered animals until a fatty substance is produced, ready to add to cosmetics and apply to one’s face.


If you want the full list, you can follow this link.


So, what we're hoping to do is firstly educate our followers on these ingredients, and how they may be hiding in your cosmetics.

We're also hoping to offer an easy alternative for customers who really do want cosmetic products that aren't ambiguous with their CF standing, and aren't owned by a parent company who do fund animal testing.

It's a pretty big grey area really, when the whole industry is moving towards a 'CF' status then surely there needs to be an update on the regulations, such as a product can be classified as 'CF' if the final products itself is not tested on animals, but ingredients have been along the way, or to use ingredients tested on animals by a third party. This is just not clear enough, where's the integrity?

Here's a really great article by Tashina Coombes from Logical Harmony if you want to read a bit more.


So in conclusion.


  • Let's be clear, we don't want any ambiguity in our cosmetics line.
  • It will be made in the UK so we can really monitor the ingredients and ensure the quality is 'Spectrum Standard'.
  • There will not be animal derived ingredients, and there will be no animal testing.
  • There won't be secret ingredients with a code name that actually are animal bi-products.
  • We will bring you the best vegan reds and pinks we possibly can!

Here's a sneaky peek at 3 of our favourite samples so far, and yes they are VEGAN! No animals are harmed in the making, or in the ingredients :) There's also no photoshop.



Watch this space for more!!!