As conscious consumers, we care about the impact our purchases have on the world around us. This includes the way in which the products we use every day are made and the values of the companies that produce them. When it comes to beauty products, choosing cruelty-free makeup is a simple yet powerful way to align our personal values with our purchasing habits. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best cruelty-free makeup brands for ethical beauty lovers who are looking for high-quality, humane products.
From foundations to lipsticks and everything in between, these brands offer a wide range of options for all your beauty needs.
What is a Cruelty-Free Makeup Brand?
The simplest way to define a cruelty-free brand is a cruelty-free brand doesn’t test its products on animals.
However, there’s more to the term ‘cruelty-free’ than that.
For example, you should make sure that neither the ingredients nor the final products are tested on animals.
Also, some companies might outsource the testing stage to a third party company, which carries out the process.
Moreover, in China, it was required by law that the products are tested on animals before they’re released to the market.
For that reason, any company that had its products available in China can’t be cruelty-free. However, as of 2014, the government changed these laws, which doesn’t require the brands to test on animals anymore.
You should also keep in mind that some cruelty-free brands are also owned by a parent company that might be testing on animals. However, this is a matter of debate among and it comes down to your personal preferences.
15 Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands Making Clean Beauty Products
With tons of beauty and skincare products on the market, it’s not always easy to find products that are cruelty-free and made ethically so we’ve scoured the market and our makeup bags and did our homework on the brands that claim to be cruelty-free.
Keep reading for our list of 15 makeup brands that are clean, cruelty-free, and amazing!
Kicking off our list is a long-time favorite of ours, The Body Shop . The Body Shop is one of the first companies that actually campaigned for ending animal testing back in 1989.
The Body Shop is a British-owned, cruelty-free beauty company and was one of the main influencers in the fight against banning animal testing in the UK in 1998.
The Body Shop still campaigns to this day against animal testing all over the world. In 2018, they took a petition signed by 8 million people to the United Nations for the cause.
As for their products, The Body Shop produces some of the best cruelty-free and vegan makeup and skincare products.
The Body Shop makes a variety of great products including 100% vegetarian lip care and, one of my all time favorites, cruelty-free Coconut Body Butter .
Keep in mind that The Body Shop is currently owned (although fully independent) by L’Oreal, which has yet (at the time of this article) to become a cruelty-free company.
bareMinerals is one of the companies that started as a clean beauty brand and remained true to their ethical approach for a quarter of a decade and running.
The company also has its ‘Power of Good’ fund, which pledges 1% of your purchases to empowering women all over the world.
In 1995, bareMinerals launched one of the best selling, cruelty-free and clean mineral foundations, bareMinerals Original Foundation , and it remains a top product if you’re considering a natural foundation that’s cruelty-free.
By natural, we mean absolutely no artificial components are used in its composition, including preservative chemicals like parabens or sensitivity inducing fragrances.
While bareMinerals remains one of the best mineral foundations makers, they also make these best sellers:
Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of the biggest names in makeup and they specialize in the eyebrow makeup products game, making some of the best cruelty-free makeup products on the market.
In addition to styles, you can find Anastasia Beverly Hills makeup products in a number of shades to suit your style or skin tone, so you can be sure to fill out your rare shade brows.
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz is easily one of their most popular products… it’s an astonishing pencil that does the job like no other!
Their products are available in a wide variety of styles and formats, so you can find them in any form from basic pomades and powders all the way to pencils.
For instance, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade is also a super successful makeup product that gives you structured and sleek eyebrows while being available in tons of shade choices.
They even have a natural Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel that gives a full brow appearance without adding suspicious ingredients.
Anastasia Beverly Hills recently expanded their makeup line to include more items, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush and Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit .
Anastasia Beverly Hills is certified by PETA as a cruelty-free brand.
Essence Cosmetics is a clean beauty brand from Germany that’s dedicated to making cruelty-free makeup- Starting from 2002 in Germany and reaching North America in 2008 in New York City.
Since they’re a European company, they have to make products in compliance with the EU laws, which strictly prohibits all acts of testing products on animals.
The company is also involved in multiple pledges and giving back campaigns, such as Operation PROM, Feeding America, Dress for Success, and Family to Family.
As for their clean makeup products, while they make a wide variety of makeup products, their eye makeup game is on another level in terms of quality for money.
With over 84,000 4 1/2-star reviews on Amazon, Essence Cosmetics False Lash Effect Mascara is one of the most affordable and reliable mascaras that you can find out there.
Not to mention it’s also cruelty-free, gluten-free and, vegan-friendly!
In addition to mascara, essence cosmetics offers best selling, clean makeup like Essence Cosmetics Cruelty-free Pure NUDE Highlighter and Essence Cosmetics Volume Booster Lash Primer Mascara .
NYX Cosmetics needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular drugstore makeup brands that’s loved by almost everyone from amateurs to professional makeup artists!
They make high-quality clean makeup products for decently affordable prices. In fact, a lot of people love NYX cosmetics for their quality even before they know that the company is actually cruelty-free!
Like The Body Shop listed above, the company is also owned by L’Oreal, which might be the reason behind the confusion about NYX’s products and ethics. However, the makeup brand remains cruelty-free ever since.
NYX Cosmetics makes various types of cosmetics. One of the most popular products by NYX is the NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Makeup Setting Spray
This product is certified by PETA as a cruelty-free one in addition to being super affordable
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Epic Ink Eyeliner is also a huge sensation, thanks to its wonderful price and excellent stability even underwater!
If you’re looking for an excellent eyeshadow palette that’s both decent in terms of price and quality, consider NYX PROFESSIONAL Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette .
You can also opt for NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Butter Gloss and NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Slim Lip Pencil , which are also among the most versatile and loved items from NYX Cosmetics.
CoverGirl is one of the oldest and largest brands that makes a variety of makeup products for various types of consumers.
Despite being acquired by Procter & Gamble in 1989, the company remained true to their ethics.
The company also had another acquisition by Coty, Inc in 2016.
Two years after, the company made huge changes to its testing regimens and was officially certified by the Leaping Bunny Organization as a cruelty-free brand in November 2018.
Some of the products by CoverGirl are ultra-popular for their quality and tested by a lot of users for their efficacy.
These products include Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation & Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle-Defying Foundation .
If you don’t like wet texture, or you have oily skin, try the CoverGirl Clean Matte Pressed Powder instead.
In addition to foundations, Covergirl also boasts an excellent set of eye makeup products, such as CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner Pencil and CoverGirl Clump Crusher Extensions LashBlast Mascara .
Milani is an all-around good quality brand that sells drugstore-priced clean beauty products and makeup while being certified as a cruelty-free brand by the Leaping Bunny Program.
Milani also went for PETA certifications for an added layer of insurance.
And if that wasn’t enough, they also have a landing page on their website that includes their formula.
Upon checking the ingredients included in the page, you’ll notice that there are no animal-derived ingredients. This also makes Milani’s products vegan-friendly, and they’re used with absolutely no guilt.
Among their most popular products is the Milani Luminoso Baked Powder Blush . In addition to their best selling product, they also have some amazing items that a lot of people tried and loved.
These items include Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer which is available in tons of shades and as a powder foundation Milani Conceal + Perfect Shine-Proof Powder .
Also, the Milani Amore Matte Lip Crème and Milani Color Statement Lipstick , which are an exquisite line of lip gloss and lipsticks with various colors and shades.
Additionally, they have popular eye and brow makeup items, such as Milani Highly Rated Mascara and Milani Stay Put Brow Color as well as Milani Most Loved Mattes Eyeshadow Palette .
Illamasqua is one of the makeup brands that are known for not testing their products on animals, which earned them a huge following and supporting fan base from beauty influencers and professional makeup artists as well as bloggers and celebrities.
The best thing about Illamasqua Cosmetics is that they care about all the aspects of the products.
This includes everything from quality, performance, and pricing all the way to how their ingredients are sourced, manufactured, and tested.
In addition to being a cruelty-free brand, the company offers rich pigments with bold colors. They also have a lot of products that work well with natural looks.
Try Illamasqua Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel Primer .
Beauty and makeup gurus and influencers use Fenty Beauty products , which is a cosmetics brand that was recently launched by Rihanna.
The company’s ethics wasn’t only inclusive of all skin tones and gender, but it was also inclusive of having an ethical approach towards using and testing their ingredients.
The original foundation line from Fenty beauty included up to a staggering 40 shades.
The entire list of products by the company is cruelty- free. They don’t test products on animals or allow their affiliates and suppliers to do so either.
One of the most underrated clean beauty brands in terms of quality and ethical approach to their products is PÜR Cosmetics .
In fact, most of the employees of the company are ideologically-woke personalities that are totally against animal cruelty of any form, testing included.
The company produces some great looking products that are also good for your skin.
They have a 4-in-1 range product that doubles as both makeup and skin care- like PÜR 4-in-1 Love Your Selfie Longwear Foundation & Concealer and cruelty free anti-aging skincare products like PÜR Get A Lift Age-Defying Moisturizer .
P/Y/T BEAUTY is another new beauty brand that makes our list by creating some of the best clean makeup kits on the market in terms of using safe and natural ingredients while staying free of cruelty.
Since they’re relatively new to the market, they aren’t known to many, but they’re credited for complying with the European Union’s strict regulations, which prevents the addition of parabens, petroleum derivatives, and phthalates in their formula.
It goes without saying that by complying with the EU standards for beauty products manufacturing, they’re also cruelty-free in terms of sourcing, and testing their ingredients.
Some popular P/Y/T BEAUTY products include P/Y/T Beauty Rosy Nude Plumping Lip Gloss and P/Y/T Beauty Day-To-Night Eyeshadow Palette/Warm .
Urban Decay is another cruelty-free, ethically-run clean beauty brand that’s also owned by L’Oreal.
The company labels itself as an ambassador for edgy and bold colors, and they also have an excellent set of neutral colors and staple products.
The Urban Decay clean makeup line features an award-winning makeup setting spray, the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray that lasts up to 16 hours.
This cruelty-free makeup setting spray is oil-free, which makes it one of the best setting sprays that you can find out there for oily skin complexion.
Urban Decay is a fully cruelty-free brand that’s certified for all its products by the Leaping Bunny Program.
e.l.f Cosmetics is a beloved ‘drugstore’ brand widely known for skin and body care like their popular e.l.f SuperHydrate Moisturiser .
However, they’re also a big brand in makeup with a wide variety of successful products under their belt.
The list includes the very popular e.l.f Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer . Available in 6 shades & 27 colors, these clean concealers are 100% vegan-friendly and free of animal testing.
Similar to NYX cosmetics, it’s one of the few makeup brands that were able to pull off a successful makeup setting spray, , people tried and loved.
In addition to that, they have an amazing e.l.f Cosmetics Cruelty-Free Powder Blush Palette as well as pretty great e.l.f Makeup Brushes .
Too Faced Cosmetics is easily one of the biggest names in the makeup industry that has been widely respected and appreciated for its status as a leader in the cruelty-free movement among makeup brands.
The early success of Too Faced Cosmetics made them so popular that the company was sold to Estee Lauder in 2016 for a galactic price tag of about 1.45 billion USD.
Similar to all successful cruelty-free brands that were sold to a parent company that still tests their products on animals, a lot of people were skeptical about the company staying true to its ethics.
However, the company is going for the 4th year in a row with an excellent arsenal of makeup items that aren’t only cruelty-free, but with some of them being fully natural and vegan as well!
The company is a perfect choice for those who prefer the natural look makeup with minimal boldness and edge.
Starting from one of their all-time popular items, the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer and the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer .
In addition to the primers, Too Faced makes one of the best mascaras Too Faced Cosmetics Better Than Sex Mascara .
Too Faced is also known for making some of the best lip injections; check out the Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper .
Last but not least, Wet n Wild Cosmetics is easily one of the most widely available drug stores of makeup brands that sell some reasonably priced products.
The company is known for its cruelty-free approach, as all its products are certified by PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program.
There was an ongoing debate on whether Wet n Wild is still a fully cruelty-free brand, as they entered the Chinese market. However, a lot of people don’t know that Chinese laws have changed regarding that matter.
Wet n Wild Cosmetics released a statement that ensures that they’re still on the right track, which is supported by the certifications and approvals they have from both PETA and the Leaping Bunny Program.
The company does have some hidden gems within its inventory, such as Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick which is one of the most stable and highly pigmented lipsticks out there.
The popular Wet n Wild Makeup Sponge is also made in compliance with their vegan and cruelty-free standard.
The impressive mix between natural and edgy colors in Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow 10 Pan Palette is a one to consider, if you haven’t already.
Lastly, the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Dewy Foundation is one of the most reasonably priced and highly performing foundations that we’ve come across.
Last update on 2023-05-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API