Ready to make the switch to vegan and cruelty-free makeup? It’s getting easier by the day as an increasing number of brands ditch the animal products for safer and kinder ingredients. Here are 10 of the most popular vegan and cruelty-free makeup brands you should definitely know about.
1. Elf Cosmetics
This is perhaps the most well-known vegan and cruelty-free makeup brand and for a good reason. Elf cosmetics are 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. This affordable makeup line has a wide range of high-performing cosmetics at drugstore prices. Products range from $1 eyeliners to $48 eyeshadow palette trios. Elf cosmetics can be found at online, as well as at Target, Ulta, Forever 21, and other retailers.
2. Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics
This fun bakery-themed makeup line is not entirely vegan and cruelty-free, but it’s also woman-owned. A single matte lip creme will run you about $20, but that’s a bargain considering Queen Bey uses these. If it’s good enough for Beyonce, it’s good enough for us. You can shop Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics in stores at Ulta and online.
3. Kat Von D
Fellow vegan and advocate for the animals, Kat Von D, has a full line of vegan and cruelty-free makeup. Her line by the same name includes a wide spectrum of creamy matte lipsticks, high-pigment eyeliners, two fragrances and much more. In April 2019, the brand released its first mascara which already has more than 800 reviews and rates 4 out of 5 stars on Sephora. Looking for vegan perfumes? Head here to check out 20 vegan perfumes we love.
4. Milk Makeup
Despite the name, as of December 2018, Milk Makeup is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. This brand has all the natural vibes with CBD infused cosmetics, hydrating primers, tinted lip balms, and a best-selling makeup primer that is basically a Snapchat filter in a tube. Many of Milk Makeup products hold the bestseller title over on Sephora.com. Their KUSH High Volume Mascara is one of them, and it’s the top-selling mascara at Sephora, rating a solid 4 out of 5-stars with more than 4,000 reviews.
The team at CoverFx are complexion experts. Founded in 2000 by chemist Victor Casale, this line is well known for steering clear of inflammatory ingredients like parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil, and talc. They offer a full range of shade-matched foundations, concealers, and setting powders. The entire range of CoverFX is flexible, allowing you to build up coverage while still letting your skin breath, or delivering a natural. Additionally, you can further customize your complexion shade using their Custom Enhancer Drops, which give you a bronzed or sun-kissed look.
6. Lime Crime
Experiment with every color of the rainbow with Lime Crime, a makeup for those who consider themselves to be unicorns. This super fun, highly-pigmented line is for wearers who want to stand out. Lime Crime is most well known for their eyeshadow palettes and their wide selection of lipsticks which range from creamy, to a velvet matte, metallic, soft matte, and high-shine gloss. They don’t offer some basic makeup products like foundation or concealer, but that’s not what they’re about. What you will find are many glitter lip toppers, colored hair sprays, and highlighters ranging from yellow to lavender to green. Lime Crime is available at online, Ulta.com, Urban Outfitters.com, and in select Ulta and Urban Outfitters stores.
This line has it all — foundation, BB cream, concealers, eyeliner, eyeshadows, lipgloss, sheet masks, deodorant, hair cremes, crystal-infused oils, perfumes. Basically, you name it, they have it. But what sets Pacifica apart is their funky and avant-garde approach to cosmetics and beauty. Think earth-goddess-meets-modern-girl-boss. Pacifica is known as an innovative brand with a mission to prove natural ingredients yielding great results. Their beauty products are formulated without phthalates, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan, and other harmful ingredients. You can find Pacifica at Target stores nationwide as well as online.
8. Thrive Causemetics
Thrive Causemetics isn’t your average makeup line; it’s helping women, one lipstick at a time. Shortly after losing her best friend to cancer, founder Karissa Bodner launched Thrive Causemetics in 2013 as a way to help female cancer patients feel beautiful again. Their makeup range includes CC creams, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lipsticks, and more and are made without the use of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or latex. They’re very conscious of the effects some cosmetic ingredients can have on women, especially anyone going through cancer treatments. For this reason, there’s a huge focus on the formulation and also on giving back. Thrive Causemetics gives back through a variety of partners, including hospitals and charities from around the world. Check them out and learn more about all they are doing.
9. Bareface Minerals
Clean natural makeup and skincare are what Bareface Minerals is all about. They started the clean beauty revolution back in 1995 when they first launched their mineral foundation. Each product is free of mineral oil, coal tar, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, triclosan, triclocarban, and microbeads. Their bestselling Loose Powder Mineral Foundation with SPF 15 has a whopping 7,000 reviews on Sephora. But, that’s not all. The British brand is also the creator of multiple award-winning products which include their tinted moisturizer, brightening serum foundation, and supreme finisher brush, among others.
Axiology founder, Ericka Rodriguez, was trying to solve a personal problem when she created her first lipstick. She couldn’t find a lipstick that didn’t harm her or the animals and performed as well as mainstream brands, so she created her own. This resulted in a selection of 38 lipsticks and lip crayons formulated with only natural ingredients including elderberry extract, neem oil, vitamin E, and sweet orange essential oil. You can shop Axiology beauty at Axiology.com and Amazon.
How to tell if a product is vegan and cruelty-free?
You’ve most like noticed a small little Leaping Bunny logo on some of your favorite makeup and skincare products. That’s the official Leaping Bunny logo indicating that specific product is Leaping Bunny certified, meaning that product and its ingredients are not tested on animals. This is the gold standard for cruelty-free cosmetics and household products. Any time you see this logo on a label, you can be confident it was not tested on any animals. You can even download the Leaping Bunny app.
How to tell if a beauty product is vegan.
The best way to ensure a product is vegan is to do a quick Google search. Most companies that do carry vegan items will proudly indicate on their product label if it is vegan; however, not all companies do. Additionally, some beauty brands are not fully aware of what constitutes a vegan formula. They might claim their products are vegan while their product labels list lanolin, beeswax, carmine, etc. The best thing to do is to look the item up online and get familiar with animal ingredients commonly used in beauty.
It’s important to mote that brands carrying a PETA-certification are not always vegan. A bit confusing and misleading, PETA certification means the product is cruelty-free and part of Peta’s Beauty Without Bunnies program— a cruelty-free program working to end animal testing by requiring brands to sign a statement verifying they do not conduct or commission any animal testing on ingredients, formulations, of finished products. A product can be both vegan and PETA-certified; however, PETA-certification alone does not indicate the product is vegan. For example, Bite Beauty is not a vegan brand (although they do offer some vegan options), but they are PETA-Certified. Always be sure to read labels carefully.
Jeanette Padilla Vega is a vegan style blogger. She shares her personal style as well as
tips and ideas on how to bring more beauty, health, and joy into your life without using
any animal products. Her blog by the same name centers primarily on vegan style,
fashion, and beauty.