Vegan Wonder

Discover the Ethical Beauty Revolution: Cruelty-Free and Vegan Makeup Brands Worth Trying

Get ready to pucker up to a new beauty world order where animals are off the menu and your conscience stays clear. We’re talking about cruelty-free and vegan makeup – the ethical, eco-friendly, and socially responsible way to look and feel fabulous. No rabbits or mice were harmed in the making of this content, we promise.

What is Cruelty-Free and Vegan Makeup?

Let’s break it down: cruelty-free refers to products that have not been tested on animals. Vegan means the product contains no animal-derived ingredients. Some brands are both, while others may only offer one or the other. Knowing the difference is key to making informed choices when shopping for cruelty-free and vegan makeup.

The Rise of Ethical Beauty

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer priorities when it comes to beauty and personal care products. With the growing awareness of animal rights and environmental issues, more and more people are choosing to support brands that share their values. This change in consumer preferences has given rise to a new generation of ethical beauty brands and products that cater to this demand.

The rise of ethical beauty can be attributed to several factors, including:

  • The increasing popularity of plant-based and vegan diets, which has led consumers to apply similar values to the products they use on their skin.
  • The growing influence of social media and the power of influencer advocacy, which has helped to shine a spotlight on animal testing and cruelty-free alternatives.

As a result, there is now a wide range of cruelty-free and vegan makeup brands to choose from, offering everything from affordable options to luxury, high-performance formulas. So whether you’re looking to save money or splurge, there’s an ethical makeup brand out there for you. Read on to discover some of our favorites.

Top Cruelty-Free and Vegan Makeup Brands to Try

Ready to make the switch to ethical makeup? Here are some of the best cruelty-free and vegan makeup brands to try. Whether you’re on a budget or willing to splurge, there’s an option here for you.

Affordable Cruelty-Free Options

These brands offer high-quality, cruelty-free makeup at affordable prices:

  • e.l.f. Cosmetics: Known for its wide range of vegan and cruelty-free products, e.l.f. offers everything from foundations and concealers to lipsticks and eyeshadows at wallet-friendly prices.
  • NYX Professional Makeup: This popular brand has a vast selection of cruelty-free and vegan makeup products, including foundations, powders, lipsticks, and more. They often collaborate with influencers to release exclusive collections.
  • Wet n Wild: This brand is not only cruelty-free but also offers a wide range of vegan products. Known for its trendy and affordable makeup, Wet n Wild is a great option for those on a budget.

Luxury Vegan Makeup Brands

For those who are willing to splurge on high-performance, vegan makeup, these brands are worth checking out:

  • Kat Von D Beauty: This vegan and cruelty-free brand, founded by tattoo artist and television personality Kat Von D, offers a range of luxury makeup products, including foundations, concealers, and lipsticks, known for their bold pigmentation and long-lasting formula.
  • Hourglass Cosmetics: This vegan and cruelty-free brand is known for its high-performance makeup products, which include foundations, concealers, powders, and more. Hourglass offers a range of finishes and formulas to suit different skin types and preferences.
  • Milk Makeup: This vegan and cruelty-free brand offers a range of innovative and easy-to-use makeup products, including sticks, balms, and oils. Milk Makeup is committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly packaging, making it a great choice for those who care about the planet as much as animals.

Indie Cruelty-Free Favorites

Indie beauty brands have taken the industry by storm in recent years, offering unique and niche products that cater to specific consumer preferences. These cruelty-free indie brands have become fan favorites among beauty enthusiasts:

  • Glossier: This cult-favorite brand is known for its “skin first, makeup second” ethos. While not all of its products are vegan, Glossier has a range of cruelty-free options, including foundations, concealers, and lip products.
  • Pacifica Beauty: This vegan and cruelty-free brand offers a range of natural and plant-based makeup products, including foundations, powders, and lipsticks. Pacifica is committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly ingredients and packaging.
  • Tarte Cosmetics: This cruelty-free brand offers a range of vegan and non-vegan products, but its Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation has gained a cult following among beauty enthusiasts. Tarte is committed to using natural and sustainable ingredients in its products.

Ingredients to Look For (and Avoid) in Cruelty-Free and Vegan Makeup

When it comes to shopping for cruelty-free and vegan makeup, it’s important to do your research and know what to look for. Here are some key terms and certifications to help you navigate the world of ethical beauty:

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Certifications

Many brands make claims about being cruelty-free and/or vegan, but it’s important to verify these claims. While there is no single, universally recognized certification for cruelty-free or vegan cosmetics, there are several organizations and certifications that can help you make informed decisions:

  • Leaping Bunny: This is the leading international program for certifying cruelty-free products. Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on product packaging to ensure it is certified cruelty-free.
  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): PETA maintains a list of companies that have pledged to be cruelty-free, although it does not certify them. Check out PETA’s list of companies that do not test on animals to see if your favorite brands have made the commitment.
  • Certified Vegan: This certification, offered by the Vegan Society, indicates that a product and its ingredients are 100% vegan. Look for the Vegan Society’s sunflower logo on product packaging to ensure it is certified vegan.

It’s important to note that some brands may not have formal certifications but still adhere to cruelty-free and/or vegan practices. Be sure to check the brands’ websites and contact them directly if you have any questions or concerns.

When it comes to ingredients, there are some things to look out for to ensure you’re getting the most ethical and sustainable products possible:

Ingredients to Prioritize

  • Natural and plant-based ingredients: Look for brands that use natural and plant-based ingredients whenever possible. This not only benefits animals but also helps to reduce the environmental impact of cosmetics production.
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly formulas: Some brands focus on using sustainable and eco-friendly ingredients and formulas in their products. This can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the products and make them more environmentally friendly.

In addition to the ingredients themselves, it’s important to consider where they come from and how they are harvested. Ethical beauty brands prioritize the use of ingredients that are sustainably sourced and harvested in a way that does not harm animals or the environment.

Some brands also prioritize the use of recycled or recyclable packaging, which can help to reduce waste and make their products more sustainable as a whole.

Ingredients to Avoid

When it comes to avoiding animal-derived ingredients, there are a few common ones to watch out for:

  • Beeswax (or any other wax derived from bees): Beeswax is often used in cosmetics as a thickener or emollient. Look for vegan alternatives such as carnauba wax or soy wax.
  • Lanolin: Derived from sheep’s wool, lanolin is often used in cosmetics as a moisturizer. Look for plant-based alternatives such as shea butter or cocoa butter.
  • Honey: While not as commonly used in cosmetics as beeswax, honey is sometimes used as a moisturizer or sweetener. Look for vegan alternatives such as agave nectar or maple syrup.
  • Collagen: Derived from animal connective tissue, collagen is often used in skincare products to help promote elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Look for plant-based or synthetic alternatives.
  • Gelatin: Derived from animal skin, bones, or connective tissue, gelatin is sometimes used in cosmetics as a thickener or emulsifier. Look for plant-based alternatives such as agar agar or pectin.

It’s important to note that some brands may use animal testing as a way to meet regulatory requirements in certain countries, even if they do not sell their products in those countries. This is known as “third-party testing” and is a common practice in the cosmetics industry in countries such as China.

Brands that participate in third-party testing are not true cruelty-free brands, as they are still contributing to animal testing in some way. When shopping for cruelty-free makeup, be sure to look for brands that do not participate in third-party testing and have a commitment to ending animal testing in all forms.

Transitioning to Ethical Makeup

If you’re currently using non-cruelty-free or non-vegan makeup products, transitioning to ethical options may take some time and effort. Here are some steps you can take to make the switch:

  1. Make a list of all the makeup products you currently use, and research each one to determine if it is cruelty-free and/or vegan. There are several online databases and resources, such as the ones provided by PETA and Leaping Bunny, that can help you with this.
  2. Gradually replace the non-cruelty-free and/or non-vegan products in your makeup collection with ethical alternatives. This can be done over the course of several weeks or months, depending on your budget and how quickly you go through your makeup products.
  3. Be open to trying new brands and products. While you may have a favorite foundation or lipstick, there may not be a cruelty-free and/or vegan alternative available from the brand you usually shop with. Being open to trying new brands and products can help you find ethical options that work just as well – if not better – than the products you were previously using.

While the transition to ethical makeup may take some time and effort, it’s worth it. Not only will you be supporting brands that share your values, but you will also be contributing to the larger movement to end animal testing and promote more ethical and sustainable practices in the beauty industry.

The Future of Cruelty-Free and Vegan Makeup

The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and the trend towards more ethical and sustainable practices is showing no signs of slowing down. Here are some of the key trends and innovations driving the future of cruelty-free and vegan makeup:

  • Advancements in synthetic and plant-based ingredients: As research into synthetic and plant-based ingredients continues to advance, we can expect to see more high-performance, vegan and cruelty-free makeup products hit the market. This will make it even easier for consumers to make ethical choices when it comes to their beauty routine.
  • The rise of clean and sustainable beauty: Clean and sustainable beauty is becoming an increasingly important trend in the beauty industry, with more consumers looking for products that are not only cruelty-free and vegan, but also free of harmful chemicals and packaged in an eco-friendly way. Brands that prioritize clean and sustainable ingredients and packaging are likely to be the ones that thrive in the years to come.

As consumers continue to demand more ethical and sustainable options, we can expect to see more beauty brands embrace cruelty-free and vegan practices. This will not only benefit animals, but also help to reduce the environmental impact of the beauty industry as a whole.

Ultimately, the future of cruelty-free and vegan makeup is bright, and it’s up to all of us to support the brands and initiatives that are helping to drive this movement forward. By choosing to shop for and support ethical beauty brands, we can help make a difference for animals – and for the planet – one makeup product at a time.


So there you have it: a guide to the world of ethical and sustainable makeup, complete with our picks for the best cruelty-free and vegan makeup brands to try. Whether you’re new to ethical beauty or have been shopping for cruelty-free and vegan options for years, we hope this guide has given you some new brands and products to add to your shopping list. And remember, every little bit helps, so even if you can only switch out one or two products at a time, you’re still making a difference.

So go forth, makeup mavens and beauty buffs, and conquer the world – one ethical and sustainable makeup product at a time. And if anyone gives you grief about giving up your favorite lipstick or mascara, just remind them that you’re not only looking out for animals, but also contributing to a larger movement to make the beauty industry more ethical and sustainable for all. That’s something to smile about.