Cruelty-free makeup brands

If you love animals and want to keep animal testing out of your makeup bag, you’re in luck. It’s easier than ever to shop for cruelty-free products, as more and more brands have committed to banning animal testing from their production process and even to using vegan ingredients. 

Whether you’re looking for high-end products or affordable everyday finds, shopping cruelty-free will ensure every product you use is better for you, the planet and doesn’t harm animals. How you spend your money is one way to shape the world you want to live in, making banishing animal cruelty from your daily routine and shopping with social consciousness an easy way to make a huge difference. 

What is cruelty-free makeup?

The term-cruelty free isn’t regulated, but there are third-party organizations that provide certifications to companies. One common certifying agent is PETA, whose standards for cruelty-free designation are that a makeup brand has banned animale testing from all ingredients and final products. 

Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Natural Toothpaste

You can find cruelty-free alternatives to all the products in your medicine cabinet, from toothpaste to face serums to deodorant to sunscreen

Reasons to shop cruelty-free makeup

There are many reasons to take a few extra minutes to find a cruelty-free makeup option, instead of your typical fast-grab. 

Ethics and social consciousness 

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Origin Nourishing Mascara

If you’re considering shopping cruelty-free, you likely already put a lot of thought into shopping ethically. You love animals and don’t want to contribute to the suffering of any creature. Makeup products are an essential staple for many consumers — who wants to give up mascara? But if you believe these products should never come at the expense of the health, safety and comfort of animals, cruelty-free products will fit your values. 

Cruelty-free cosmetics are better for makeup users

Brands that value the health and safety of animals also don’t cut corners when it comes to your health and safety. Therefore, cruelty-free cosmetics tend to be free of sulfates, parabens and synthetic dyes, making them better for your body and less likely to contribute to skin irritation, breakouts, allergies and inflammation. 

There are plenty of cruelty-free brands to choose from 

e.l.f. Lip Primer & Plumper

Choosing a cruelty-free brand is easy now that there are so many companies that are easily accessible. Not only are many small brands cruelty-free, but plenty of large, mainstream brands are as well. 

More mindful spending habits 

STORi Clear Plastic Makeup & Vanity Drawer Organizers

Mindful consumption allows consumers to be more selective with their purchases, leading to a more organized bathroom and less cluttered drawers. Plus, you will have fewer unused products ending up in the trash and less unnecessary spending as you focus more on the products that you love. Too many options actually lead to buyer’s remorse, which is a paradox also known as overchoice.   

5 best cruelty-free makeup brands


Glossier Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid

Glossier is Instagram’s favorite makeup brand and has a huge cult following for its no-makeup makeup looks, high-quality products and impeccable branding. Theirs products are extremely easy to use, from their face serums requiring nothing but your finger to dab on to their brow gel, which gives anyone a trendy laminate brow look.

Glossier has been firmly cruelty-free ever since its launch. None of their makeup or skincare products are tested on animals at any stage of development, and they don’t deal with any vendor who doesn’t meet the same standards. 

Glossier Balm Dotcom Trio Mango

A classic Glossier makeup set feels luxe but is highly affordable at a price range around $5-$20.

Top Glossier pick 

Glossier Cloud Paint

Glossier Cloud Paint

This is an easy-to-use, highly pigmented and blendable blush to use sparingly for a no-makeup look. It provides a natural tint and lasts all day. You can also use Glossier blushes for lip stains or eyeshadows.

Sold by Amazon

Milk Makeup 

Milk Makeup is a clean beauty brand firmly against animal testing and the use of parabens and sulfates in their products. Their makeup is 100% vegan, making them an excellent choice for even the strictest of animal lovers. They also don’t sell their products in any country that requires animal testing. 

MILK MAKEUP Color Chalk Multi-Use Powder Pigment

Milk Makeup’s packaging is chic, fun and bright, so you won’t even want to put them in the drawer. Their products range from makeup chalk to foundation to tattoo stamps and cost anywhere from $7-$40.  

Top Milk Makeup pick

Kush High Volume Mascara

Kush High Volume Mascara

This mascara packs a serious punch of intense and long-lasting volume and pure black pigments. It’s infused with deep-conditioning hemp-derived cannabis seed oil to lead to healthier lashes. The Kush Mascara creates all-day fullness and volume with a soft, feathery look.

Sold by Sephora

Fenty Beauty

FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Fenty beauty is pop singer Rihanna’s makeup brand. Fenty became the standard for inclusivity in the beauty industry when it launched with 40 foundation shades. Not only does this mean there’s a Fenty shade for every person of every skin tone, but Fenty’s inclusive product range prompted a radical change in the industry. Many brands have followed Fenty’s lead and quickly become more inclusive with pigments. 

Fenty has also been entirely cruelty-free since its launch and has never tested any product on animals. Fenty makeup is completely vegan and do not work with any vendors that test on animals. 

Fenty products range in price from $10-$100.

Top Fenty pick

Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil

Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil

This Sephora exclusive diamond-dusted highlighter adds pure sparkle and glitter to your face and body. It’s free of sulfates, parabens and phthalates, as well as gluten-free and cruelty-free. It’s like dusting your cheeks in diamonds as it melts on your skin. It also comes in a gorgeous jewel-shaped compact.

Sold by Sephora 

Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette

There’s a lot to love about Urban Decay, like the fact that Lizzo is their brand ambassador, that their Naked Palettes are pure joy in a box and, of course, that they’re entirely cruelty-free. 

Urban Decay Let's Go Crazy Eyeshadow Palette - Prince Collection

Urban Decay is one of the most recognizable beauty brands for bold colors and glimmer. They never test on animals or use any animal-tested ingredients in their supply chain, making them a stellar addition to your makeup bag. 

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Urban decay products cost anywhere from $10 for a mascara tube to $55 for one of their best-selling, widely-loved Naked eyeshadow palettes. 

Top Urban Decay pick

Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

This is an eyeshadow palette of 12 rich, highly-pigmented colors ranging from gorgeous neutrals to silky mattes to sparkling metallics. Pigments include amber neutrals, burgundy mattes, gold pearl shimmers, ashes and embers. It’s great for all skin types and highly blendable.

Sold by Sephora 

e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. Smoky Eye Brush Kit

Think you can’t shop for makeup at the drugstore and commit to a cruelty-free lifestyle at the same time? Think again. e.l.f. is entirely cruelty-free and partners with PETA. Their products are also 100% vegan, down to their makeup brushes

e.l.f.’s mission is to make great makeup accessible to all people, with prices are as low as $2. They have a vast array of makeup products, all of which are low cost and high quality, so you can stick to a budget, be kind to animals and look fantastic. 

Top e.l.f. Cosmetics pick

e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer, Matte Finish

e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer, Matte Finish

The only primer you’ll ever need at a fraction of the cost of other brands. This is the perfect everyday primer for velvety skin, flawless makeup and 24-hour moisture. It’s designed to be easily applied before makeup and is free from parabens and phthalates.

Sold by Amazon


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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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