12 Top Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands for Ethical Beauty

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So you’ve decided to switch to makeup brands that do not test their products on animals.

We know how hard it is to look for cruelty-free products from makeup brands that actually work well, especially when it seems like every brand is claiming to be “cruelty-free” these days.

A photo of cosmetics in a bag on a yellow background.

Luckily, we’ve got your back. We’ve done the research and scoured the market to bring you the top cruelty-free makeup brands you need to know about.

Top Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands: Beauty That Doesn’t Harm Animals

Now let’s explore some popular makeup brands that do not test on animals.

Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics is a high-end cosmetics line known for its groundbreaking formulas.

The company is known for using cutting-edge ingredients, and many of its product lines contain active ingredients designed to improve the look and feel of your skin.

A gold tiger necklace and a bottle of hourglass bb cream.

Hourglass also offers a wide range of products like foundation, concealer, blush, and eyeshadow products.

You can try out their Ambient Lighting Powder. It’s a popular finishing powder that gives your skin a soft, glowing finish.

Ilia

Ilia is one of the top clean and cruelty-free makeup brands with products that not only make you look great but also provide benefits for your skin.

Aside from having products that are never tested on animals, Ilia is known for using natural and organic ingredients.

They use aloe vera, coconut oil, chamomile, vitamin C, and niacinamide, all of which are widely known for their skincare benefits.

A person holding up a red lipstick with palm trees in the background.

They also use ingredients like rosehip oil and vitamin E, which protect and hydrate the skin.

Ilia offers a wide range of products, including foundation, lipstick, mascara, and more.

If you’re curious, why not try out their Super Serum Skin Tint? It’s a lightweight foundation packed with skincare benefits. You may also want to check their vegan makeup brushes to help blend your foundation!

Lush

When you think of scented bath bombs and luxurious scents, Lush is probably the first brand that comes to mind.

Lush is known for using natural ingredients like fresh fruits, vegetables, and essential oils to craft their handmade products.

The brand uses ingredients like avocado, coconut oil, and shea butter, which are all moisturizing to the skin and hair.

A bottle of lush creme molasse hand and body lotion.

Lush offers a wide range of products, including makeup, bath bombs, shampoo bars, face masks, and more.

Most of their products are package-free, which means using them allows you to do your part in helping the environment by reducing waste and your carbon footprint.

They also promote sustainable beauty. Plus, after using their products, it will leave your bathroom smelling delicious!

Wet n Wild

Wet n Wild is one of the most common drugstore cruelty-free makeup brands. Most of their products feature synthetic ingredients, which helps to keep their prices low.

Wet n Wild offers a wide range of products, including foundation, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, and more. Their products are amazing, affordable, and capable of competing with other high-end brands.

You can try their MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, a shimmery powder designed to give your skin a radiant glow. You may get it in various shades to choose the one that works best with your complexion.

Flower Beauty

Created by actress Drew Barrymore, Flower Beauty has become known for its innovative products and commitment to inclusivity.

This brand features clean beauty and offers affordable brow, lip, and eye pencils and fragrances to add finishing details to complete your beauty routine. 

A group of Flower Beauty lipsticks on a white surface.

If you want to try one of their products, we recommend the Flower Pot Powder Blush, a highly pigmented blush designed to give your cheeks a natural-looking flush.

Milani Cosmetics

This brand has been a favorite of many makeup lovers since 2022. They’re 100% cruelty-free and PETA-certified, and they also offer a makeup collection that’s completely vegan.

Milani offers inexpensive, high-quality cosmetics for every skin tone, style, and attitude. And most of their products are made with synthetic ingredients, which is great because it means they’re long-lasting and easy to apply.

A trio of milani blushes and highlighters on a white surface.

One of Milani’s most popular product lines is the Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer, which is definitely worth a try! This multitasking formula provides medium to full coverage with a natural matte finish. 

Glossier

Glossier focuses on minimalist beauty and offers a curated collection of certified cruelty-free makeup products that emphasize a fresh-faced and natural look.

Glossier uses ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and niacinamide, all of which are widely known for their skincare benefits.

The brand offers a vast range of products, including skin care, makeup, and fragrance. You should try their famous Boy Brow. We love how it gives your brows a natural-looking shape and hold.

Alba Botanica

Alba Botanica is a natural beauty brand that offers a range of cruelty-free skincare and makeup products. It features products made with natural and organic ingredients.

Most of Alba Botanica’s products contain ingredients like green tea, witch hazel, and salicylic acid, which help to target specific skincare concerns. 

Their Acnedote skincare line is highly regarded, along with their Hawaiian facial cleansers and Hawaiian sunscreen.

But for a start, you can try their Hawaiian Detox Scrub. With ingredients like volcanic clay, charcoal, and green tea, it will help detoxify and brighten your skin.

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Makeup Brands

If you want to go beyond cruelty-free products, we also have here a list of brands that are also vegan.

A collection of cosmetics on a pink background.

Herbivore Botanicals

Imagine having gorgeous, glowing skin that you can feel good about. Herbivore Botanicals is dedicated to offering you just that!

The brand takes pride in its ethically sourced, cruelty-free, and vegan beauty products that aim to enhance your natural beauty.

Their range includes skincare, bath & body, and hair care products that leave you feeling rejuvenated. They use ingredients like aloe vera, rose water, and jojoba oil, which are all known for their soothing and hydrating properties.

A photo of Herbivore's coco rose skin care kit laying on a white background

They also use blue tansy oil, their signature ingredient, in many of their products, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Herbivore Botanicals offers a wide range of products, including skin care, body care, and hair care.

You should try out their Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask to help exfoliate and clarify your skin.

E.l.f. Cosmetics

E.L.F. Cosmetics is one of the most popular cruelty-free and completely vegan makeup brands.

Its name stands for “eyes, lips, face,” and its mission is to provide affordable and high-quality makeup products that are accessible to everyone.

A collection of E.L.F. primer products on a gold background.

Their diverse product range boasts various makeup tools, skincare solutions, and cosmetics to suit all your beauty needs.

Try one of their best-sellers, like the Poreless Putty Primer, a primer that’s designed to fill in pores and create a smooth base for makeup application.

Pacifica Beauty

Pacifica Beauty is a makeup company that features natural, vegan, and cruelty-free products. They also offer a remarkable variety of makeup, skincare, and fragrance products that elevate your look and make you feel great daily.

Pacifica Beauty also focuses on sustainability. Their products are infused with nature’s delightful scents and proven ingredients to ensure the best results possible.

Two jars of Pacifica Beauty cheek blush sitting on top of a marble table.

One of their most famous products is the Island Vanilla Perfumed Hair & Body Mist, which is a fragrance you can use to cover your hair and body in a sweet and sultry vanilla scent.

About-face

About-face is a relatively new beauty brand that was founded in 2021 by the singer and actress Halsey.

The brand is all about self-expression and creativity, and its mission is to provide makeup products that are all about encouraging people to express themselves in unique and bold ways.

About-face offers a range of products, including foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, and more.

How Can I Tell if a Product Is From a Cruelty-Free Brand?

Cruelty-free makeup refers to cosmetics produced without animal testing during any stage of their development, manufacture, or distribution.

What does that mean? It means no bunnies, mice, or any other animals were harmed in making the product.

So how can you tell whether the makeup product is truly cruelty-free? Here are a few indicators you need to watch out for:

Look for Cruelty-Free Labels and Certifications

Ever seen a product with a bunny on its packaging? That’s a logo you should look for, specifically the Leaping Bunny logo and the PETA bunny logo with pink heart ears.

Other labels to look out for are Choose Cruelty-Free, The Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark, and Certified Vegan by Vegan Action.

These logos indicate that the brand has met strict standards to ensure its products are truly cruelty-free. The latter two ensure that the product is not only cruelty-free but also made without any animal-derived ingredients.

Quick Tip

Watch out for unofficial bunny logos on some products. If they do not look like the ones above, they aren’t certified cruelty-free.

Another misleading label is when a product claims to be “not tested on animals.” Always fact-check these claims.

Consult Cruelty-Free Databases

Searching for cruelty-free products has now been made even easier, thanks to online resources and cruelty-free databases.

Websites like Cruelty-Free Kitty, Logical Harmony, Beauty Without Bunnies, and Leaping Bunny provide lists of cruelty-free brands and regularly update their information.

Visit the Brand’s Official Website

Look for the brand’s animal testing policy. Many cruelty-free brands proudly display their commitment to not testing on animals.

Be wary of vague statements, and look for specific language indicating a commitment against animal testing at all stages of product development.

Other Labels To Look for in Products From Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands

Aside from cruelty-free labels, there are other important labels to consider when shopping for makeup products. Let’s take a closer look at some of these terms and labels and what they mean.

Clean Beauty

This means using safe, sustainable, and ethical products that prioritize your health and the environment. It’s a popular choice for people who care about what they put on their skin.

Vegan Beauty

When a product is labeled as vegan, it means that it doesn’t have any animal-derived ingredients. 

Examples of ingredients commonly used in cosmetics that are derived from animals include beeswax, lanolin, or glycerin.

Ethically Sourced

This means that the ingredients are obtained through sustainable and responsible methods that prioritize fair compensation, good working conditions, and environmental protection.

FAQs About Cruelty-Free Products

What Happens to Animals After Testing?

Sadly, most animals who endure cosmetic testing don’t have positive outcomes.

They often suffer painful and long-lasting side effects from forced exposure to chemicals used in makeup products. 

Additionally, after animal testing, many animals are euthanized, regardless of whether they are still healthy or not.

Do Most Makeup Brands Test on Animals?

While progress has been made in recent years, there are still many beauty brands that continue to test on animals or use animal-derived ingredients.

However, there is a growing number of acclaimed cruelty-free makeup brands you can choose to contribute to phasing out animal testing and driving change within the industry.

What’s the Difference Between Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

A product is considered cruelty-free if it has not been tested on animals at any stage of its development, including its ingredients. This applies to both the final product and individual ingredients.

A product is considered vegan if it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Note that it’s possible for a product to be cruelty-free but not vegan (if it contains animal-derived ingredients), and vice versa (a vegan product may have been tested on animals during development).

Many consumers who are committed to ethical and cruelty-free choices often seek products that are both cruelty-free and vegan to align with their values of not supporting animal testing or the use of animal-derived ingredients.

Start Your Cruelty-Free Beauty Journey Today!

We hope our list of cruelty-free makeup brands has helped you in starting your journey of making conscious beauty choices.

As consumer demand for cruelty-free products grows, so does the number of companies. Both luxury and drugstore brands pledge to eliminate animal testing from their business practices, which is a good thing!

A variety of cosmetics are laid out on a white background.

But only some claims of being cruelty-free are certified true by PETA, so when you shop for products to add to your makeup kit, do your research to ensure you’re getting genuinely cruelty-free items.

It’s always a good thing to make your beauty routine a little kinder to animals!

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Author

  • Shai Urbano

    Shai is a licensed pharmacist with a Bachelor of Arts in Pharmacy. She uniquely intertwines her medical expertise with a fervent passion for beauty. With an intrinsic understanding of ingredients and formulation, she's the proud creator of her own line of products designed exclusively for naturally curly hair. Over her four-year writing career, Shai consistently delivers content enriched by her distinct blend of knowledge and enthusiasm.

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