Is NYX Professional Makeup Cruelty Free, Vegan, and Sustainable?

various makeup products from drugstore brand NYX in photo illustration

Treehugger / Catherine Song

NYX Professional Makeup is a drugstore cosmetics brand perhaps best known for its highly saturated eye products. It is certified cruelty free by PETA—not Leaping Bunny—and is relatively vegan-friendly. One of the problems conscious beauty shoppers run into with NYX Professional Makeup is its lack of transparency around ethics and sustainability.

The brand has been owned by the L'Oréal Group since 2014. L'Oréal is not certified cruelty free because many of its products—not including NYX Professional Makeup—are sold in China. However, the group is praised for being transparent about its supply chain and has announced ambitious sustainability targets for 2030.

Read more about these initiatives to make an informed decision on whether NYX Professional Makeup meets your standards.

Treehugger's Green Beauty Standards: NYX Professional Makeup

  • Cruelty Free: Certified by PETA, not by Leaping Bunny.
  • Vegan: Offers more than 100 vegan products.
  • Ethical: L'Oréal is a signee of the United Nations Global Compact and a founding member of the Responsible Mica Initiative.
  • Sustainable: L'Oréal has committed to ambitious sustainability targets but still has a long way to go before its brands can be truly sustainable.

NYX Professional Makeup Is PETA-Certified Cruelty Free

NYX Professional Makeup calls its cosmetics 100% cruelty free and says it does not test on animals. PETA backs that claim by featuring its Beauty Without Bunnies logo on all NYX Professional Makeup products; however, the brand is not cruelty free-certified by the distinguished Leaping Bunny Program.

Leaping Bunny does not certify brands whose parent companies test on animals, only making exceptions for already-certified brands that have been purchased by non-certified parent companies and that "promise to operate as stand-alone subsidiaries with their own supply chains."

L'Oréal, NYX's parent company, is on PETA's "do test" list. The company says that although it doesn't test products or ingredients on animals, it sells in China. According to PETA, cosmetics sold in China "are required by law to be tested on animals by government agencies"—although this policy changed in 2021.

As a result of China's traditional practices regarding animal testing, NYX Professional Makeup is not sold in the country.

Some NYX Professional Makeup Products Are Vegan

NYX Professional Makeup Store Tyson's Corner Grand Opening Preview Party
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NYX Professional Makeup is not a fully vegan company, but it does offer about 120 vegan products.

Vegan products—everything from foundation to lip gloss to setting sprays and beyond—are easy to find and clearly marked on the brand's website. Products that are not labeled as vegan could contain beeswax, carmine (a red coloring derived from the cochineal insect), or other animal products.

"As part of our pledge to offer more conscientious choices, our selection of vegan-friendly faves is growing all the time," the brand says. Its best-selling Bare With Me Concealer Serum is vegan.

The L'Oréal Group's Stance on Ethical Ingredient Sourcing

The L'Oréal Group's Code of Ethics document is 40 pages long and addresses human rights, environmental stewardship, diversity, and fair treatment of suppliers, among other topics. The company has also been a signee of the United Nations Global Compact since 2003, meaning it must comply with the pact's 10 principles of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

In 2010, the company founded the Solidarity Sourcing program, aimed to support people from vulnerable communities with "social and inclusive purchasing." This program provides transparency around ingredients like shea butter and mica, the latter largely associated with child labor and unsafe working conditions in India.

While many beauty companies have started sourcing their mica from elsewhere, L'Oréal has intentionally remained in India because it believes "discontinuing the use of Indian mica would further weaken the situation in the region." That said, the group is a founding member of the Responsible Mica Initiative.

Is NYX Professional Makeup Sustainable?

NYX Cosmetics Official Makeup Sponsor Of Nicholas K Spring/Summer 2014
John Parra / Getty Images

In the "Environmental Stewardship" section of L'Oréal's Code of Ethics, the group vows to favor the use of renewable, raw materials, use eco-friendly packaging, reduce travel, conserve water and energy, and avoid waste as much as possible. "Where waste is unavoidable," the document states, "we must ensure materials are recycled or disposed of in a responsible fashion."

In 2013, the group announced its Sharing Beauty With All program aimed at sustainable growth. A 2020 report marking the end of the program and seven years of progress revealed that L'Oréal had reduced its internal emissions by 81% since 2005 and launched 96% of new products with an "improved social or environmental profile." It fell short of targets to reduce water use and waste by 60% percent each—ending up with 49% and 37% reductions, respectively.

The report also addressed palm oil—which, according to the brand, is 100% sourced from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil-certified suppliers—and plastic packaging. Much of NYX Professional Makeup's products currently come in single-use or difficult-to-recycle plastic, but L'Oréal aims to make all plastic packaging refillable, reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

Alternative Cruelty Free and Ethical Brands to Try

NYX Professional Makeup and the L'Oréal Group are bettering their ethics and sustainability every year, but if the brand still isn't meeting your standards—whether because many products contain Indian mica or are packaged in virgin, non-recyclable plastic—then here are some cruelty free and ethical alternatives.


It isn't easy finding a sustainable cosmetics brand that does color the way NYX Professional Makeup does. Rest assured Axiology's hues pack a punch. You can even shop by color on the brand's website. Axiology is 100% vegan, cruelty- and palm oil-free, and largely zero-waste.

Dab Herb

Another brand famous for offering vibrant color is Dab Herb, also known for its holistic approach to makeup and skin care. Its powder eyeshadows, for instance, are made of "real organic petals, roots, seeds, leaves, and detoxifying clays." No need to test on animals when the product is plucked straight from the earth.


Anna Sui - Backstage - Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

If you're looking for an alternative to NYX Professional Makeup that you can still pick up from the drugstore, try CoverGirl. While not as eco-forward as some of the more indie brands, CoverGirl is certified cruelty free and has an abundance of vegan options.

View Article Sources
  1. "Beauty Without Bunnies: NYX Professional Makeup." PETA.

  2. "Beauty Without Bunnies: L'Oréal." PETA.

  3. "About Us." NYX Professional Makeup.

  4. "Code of Ethics: The way we work 3rd edition." The L'Oréal Group.

  5. "Shea butter." L'Oréal Group.

  6. "Mica." L'Oréal Group.

  7. "Sharing Beauty With All Closing Report." L'Oréal Group. 2020.