This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.
Cruelty-free beauty is becoming a norm and not just an optional standard.
As we become more conscious about our purchasing decisions, the demand for cruelty-free makeup has grown exponentially. So there’s no surprise that your favorite cosmetics are adopting green and mindful practices.
So if you’re cleaning your makeup cabinet to make room for cruelty-free cosmetics, your mascara is a good place to start.
We know that choosing the right mascara is already a battle, let alone finding a vegan, cruelty-free mascara. The good news is, we did the nitty-gritty for you.
We’ll discuss the importance of cruelty-free beauty and sustainable practices and provide you our top 10 picks for the best cruelty-free mascaras on the market.
From volumizing to lengthening, waterproof to smudge-proof, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the cruelty-free beauty regimen, read on to discover amazing mascaras that will make you feel great about your purchase and give you fabulous lashes.
- Buildable and flake-free
- Lifts, curls and lengthens
- Adds volume for fuller, healthy-looking lashes
- Can be effortlessly removed with water
- High-volume and lifted lashes
- Intense coverage
- Thicker and longer lashes but soft, never spiky or spidery
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Support Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Brands?
- 2 Key Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cruelty-Free Mascara
- 3 Top 10 Best Cruelty-Free Mascaras To Add to Your Makeup Kit
- 4 Best Cruelty-Free Mascara Overall
- 5 Budget Cruelty-Free Mascara Pick
- 6 Best Cruelty-Free Lifting Mascara
- 7 Best Cruelty-Free Drugstore Mascara
- 8 Best Cruelty-Free Mascara For Length and Volume
- 9 Best Multipurpose Cruelty-Free Mascara
- 10 Best Cruelty-Free Tubing Mascara
- 11 Best Vegan Cruelty-Free Mascara
- 12 Best Cruelty-Free Mascara for Sensitive Eyes
- 13 Best Vegan Cruelty-Free Waterproof Mascara
- 14 Join the Movement and Support Ethical Beauty Choices by Buying Cruelty-free Mascaras
Why Support Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Brands?
It’s important to consider the sustainability and eco-friendliness of the mascaras we use.
The beauty industry is notorious for its environmental impact, from excess packaging to harmful chemicals. However, there are brands out there that are taking steps to reduce this and promote sustainability.
These brands use innovative materials for their packaging, such as recycled materials or biodegradable options.
Others are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint through eco-friendly manufacturing processes. By supporting these brands, we can make a positive impact on the environment while also looking and feeling our best.
Together, we can all create a more sustainable beauty industry.
Key Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cruelty-Free Mascara
When it comes to choosing cruelty-free mascara, there are several key factors to consider. Here are the three essential things to keep in mind before adding a product to your cart.
1. Different Types of Mascaras
Your eyes tell a story. And with the right mascara, you can say everything without speaking a word. So before you buy a product, think of the look you want to achieve.
These are the six main types of mascaras you need to know:
- Thickening / volumizing mascara makes your lashes appear darker and fuller. This enhances your eyes and defines your face. When applying, limit to two coats and be sure to let the product dry in each coat to avoid the dreaded clumps.
- Lengthening mascara extends the length of your natural lashes. Best for people who have short or sparse lashes aiming for the princess false lash effect.
- Curling mascara makes your eyelashes curl upward so they appear longer and more volumized.
- Waterproof and smudge-proof mascara withstands pouring rain, crying, or sweat. Perfect for those who are always on the go, those who live in humid areas, and those who want to look their best in the rain or in emotional moments.
- Lash-defining mascara provides volume and thickness. Some products in this category offer an all-in-one solution including waterproof and curling effects.
- Non-clumping mascara offers you a smooth, natural look without skimping on volume and depth. Perfect for a busy day and achieving a “no makeup” look.
So before buying a vegan cruelty-free mascara, think about what type of product best complements your eye shape and the look you want to achieve.
2. Benefits and Applicators
Some mascara might “do it all.” But more often than not, you need to find a mascara that meets your specific needs.
If you’re looking for a lengthening mascara, pick formulas with fibers or lengthening agents. To achieve a volumizing look, choose mascaras with thicker formulas or brushes designed to coat each lash.
And if you need a waterproof mascara, make sure the vegan formula is truly waterproof and won’t smudge or flake throughout the day.
The type of brush can also make all the difference. A pointed-tip brush provides the lengthening boosts while a comb-like applicator is best for catching sparse, short lashes.
Meanwhile, jumbo brushes provide a thickening effect, curved brushes are for curling lashes and hourglass-shaped brushes deliver volume.
3. Read the Label
When it comes to choosing a cruelty-free mascara, it’s important to look beyond the brand’s marketing claims and examine the product label.
This is because some companies may use ambiguous language or greenwashing tactics to make their products appear more ethical than they actually are.
Here are some things to keep in mind when scanning product labels:
- Read the ingredients list and avoid buying products with harmful chemicals. Some mascaras contain ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, which can be damaging to your health and the environment.
- Pick mascaras with natural, plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your eyes and skin. There are many products that include natural oils and vitamins that treat your lashes for long-term skin and lash benefits.
- Look for ethical certification seals like Leaping Bunny, PETA, etc. to ensure a guilt-free purchase.
- Check for transparency in their production process, as well as third-party verification from reputable sources to ensure you are supporting companies that promoted mindful beauty.
- Keep an eye out for brands owned by a parent company that tests on animals. It’s best practice to conduct your due diligence so that you can make more informed decisions.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to the brand directly and ask for more information if you’re still unsure about the testing and manufacturing practices of a company.
- Be aware also of brands that have been accused of falsely claiming to be cruelty-free. Unfortunately, some companies may try to mislead consumers by using vague language or technicalities.
By considering these key factors, you can find a cruelty-free mascara that not only aligns with your values but also meets your specific needs and helps you achieve the look you desire.
Top 10 Best Cruelty-Free Mascaras To Add to Your Makeup Kit
Now that you know what to look for in cruelty-free mascaras, it’s time to take a loot at our top picks.
We’ve tried and tested dozens of mascaras to bring you our favorite 10, ranging from affordable drugstore options to high-end brands.
Here’s a breakdown of each product, including its key features, pros, and cons.
Best Cruelty-Free Mascara Overall
We love ILIA's lightweight and nourishing mascara made with organic Bee and Carnauba waxes, and shea butter for that perfectly lifted and curled eyelashes.
Primary Benefits: Buildable and flake-free; lifts, curls, lengthens, and adds volume for fuller, healthy-looking lashes; can be effortlessly removed with water; lightweight
- Arginine fortifies lashes
- Organic shea butter weightlessly conditions lashes
- Beeswax nourishes lashes
- Patented dual-sided wand
- Gentle for sensitive eyes
- Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free
This mascara contains organic waxes to weightlessly condition each lash while keeping them lifted throughout the day.
An award-winning mascara, ILIA hits the home run when it comes to ingredients and results.
It offers all the things we like in a mascara — length, lift, and curl — while keeping each lash hydrated. Plus, it won’t smudge or flake!
ILIA Limitless Lash might be cruelty-free, but it is not vegan because of the small amount of ethically sourced beeswax in the formula.
Still, if you are looking for a green mascara that stays but is easy to remove, ILIA Limitless Lash is for you.
Best of all, you will be happy to know that ILIA’s philosophy is centered on clean and skin-centric beauty. The company is not only certified cruelty-free but is also committed to the 1% For the Planet Initiative.
Budget Cruelty-Free Mascara Pick
This vegan mascara is budget-friendly, yet it delivers the same false lash look results as the fanciest brands you can find on the market.
Primary Benefits: Affordable; volumizing mascara; long-lasting and long-wearing; does not flake
- Mascaras not tested on animals (PETA-recognized)
- Conic fiber brush type (lengthens lashes)
- Suitable for all skin types
Just under $5, this budget-friendly mascara can rival that of the most expensive in its peers.
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara is a steal.
The formula is cruelty-free and vegan, making it safe for sensitive eyes and contact wearers.
Just under $5, this budget-friendly mascara can rival the most expensive in its peers. It’s a must-have for anyone looking for long and voluminous lashes without breaking the bank.
The unique cone-shaped brush is designed to separate and define every lash even the shortest, wispiest lashes, creating a dramatic false lash effect.
You can also build up the volume by applying a few more coats without having to worry about the clumps and globs. It also stays all day!
Additionally, Essence is PETA-certified cruelty-free.
All their ingredients comply with the strict standards of the European Union Cosmetics Directive and the United States FDA.
Also, the brand’s suppliers are held to these same standards and they only partner with the ones that do not test on animals.
Give it a try and see for yourself why it’s a fan favorite among mindful beauty lovers.
Best Cruelty-Free Lifting Mascara
We love this award-winning vegan mascara that gives you super thick, badass lashes from root to tip.
Premium Benefits: High-volume and lifted lashes; intense coverage; thicker and longer lashes but soft, never spiky or spidery; hydrating
- Cannabis seed oil keeps lashes soft
- Clean and vegan
- No coal tar and other toxic chemicals, minimizing the risk of eye irritation
- Leaping Bunny-certified
Kush Mascara lifts, lengthens, curls, and gives lashes weightless volume—perfect for natural-looking definition and coverage.
Level up your lash game with a cruelty-free volumizing mascara!
This premium mascara is from MILK Makeup, an innovative beauty brand that is all about creating organic beauty products that are not only good for your skin but good for the planet too.
They’re committed to using sustainable and ethical beauty practices, which means they source ingredients responsibly and use eco-friendly packaging.
This vegan and cruelty-free mascara is infused with hemp-derived cannabis oil (without THC and is non-psychoactive) to nourish and strengthen your lashes.
The unique heart-shaped fibers of Kush mascara brush coat every lash evenly and provide intense volume for a bold and eye-catching look.
Plus, the formula is free from parabens, sulfates, and artificial fragrances, so you can feel good about what you’re putting on your lashes.
Whether you’re looking for an everyday natural look or want to go all out with a bold, dramatic lash, the KUSH Volumizing Mascara has got you covered.
Try it out and see why it’s a must-have in any makeup bag.
Best Cruelty-Free Drugstore Mascara
Made to never clump, flake, or smudge, CoverGirl Flourish Bast Mascara adds thickness and plumpness to your lashes. What's not to love?
Primary Benefits: Ultimate big-lash look; coats every lash; deep conditioning and hydrating
- 10x more volume
- Added with coconut oil, avocado oil, and papaya seed oil to nourish your lashes
- Leaping Bunny-certified
- Cruelty-Free International-certified
COVERGIRL LashBlast Flourish Mascara is designed with lash-loving ingredients to maximize your daily mindful beauty ritual.
Probably the best drugstore mascara you can find, COVERGIRL LashBlast Flourish Mascara will have your lashes look fierce.
This volume and length mascara includes plant-based oils to keep your lashes nourished.
Its creamy, ultra-volumizing formulation coats lashes from root to tip for ultimate lash definition and length that won’t clump or flake.
Wear contacts? No problem. COVERGIRL has been ophthalmologically tested to be safe for contact lens wearers.
Plus, you can buy one of the best brands of mascara at an affordable price at your local drugstore!
On a serious note, COVERGIRL doesn’t test their finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third parties.
Best Cruelty-Free Mascara For Length and Volume
Better Than Sex Mascara is the most popular and well-loved cruelty-free vegan mascara of 2023! And it's our personal fave too!
Primary Benefits: Dramatic volume and longer lashes; rich multidimensional effect; thickens, lengthens, and curls after just one coat
- Acacia senegal tree extract sets volume
- Peptides to condition lashes
- Hourglass-shaped brush for voluptuous volume
- Has film-forming polymer that locks curl into place
- Vegan and cruelty-free mascara (member of PETA's Global Beauty Without Bunnies Program).
This cult-favorite mascara lives up to the hype, delivering volume, length, and curl with just a few swipes.
Looking for a cruelty-free mascara to achieve beautiful lashes that won’t glob or clump?
Get ready to experience lush lashes from the iconic Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara!
This game-changing formula will give you the lashes you’ve always dreamed of with just a few swipes.
Its hourglass-shaped brush is designed to coat evenly, while the collagen-infused formula adds volume to your lashes and length for a sultry, eye-catching look.
Whether you’re getting ready for a night out or just want to enhance your everyday look, this mascara has got you covered.
So go ahead and indulge in this little luxury. We promise you will like it.
P.S.: Better than Sex Mascara is from a famous brand that uses clean and organic ingredients while supporting initiatives to stop animal cruelty and promoting sustainable beauty practices.
So you can indulge without the guilt of compromising your values and belief.
Best Multipurpose Cruelty-Free Mascara
We love the two-in-one mascara and lash primer from Honest Beauty that delivers incredible length and volume in just one coat!
Primary Benefits: Built-in primer that enhances performance and wear; clean and high performing; sky-high lashes
- Infused with jojoba esters
- Has molded bristles and a flexible wand
- Clean ingredients
- Sustainable packaging brand
- Cruelty-freeby PETA Global Beauty Without Bunnies
If you're looking for a worth-the-hype mascara, Honest Beauty 2-in-1 Extreme Length Clean Mascara + Lash Primer is the perfect choice for you!
Say goodbye to clumpy, flaky lashes with Honest Beauty’s 2-in-1 Extreme Length Clean Mascara + Lash Primer!
This innovative formula is designed to prime and lengthen your lashes, leaving them looking fuller and more defined than ever before.
The primer preps your lashes for the mascara, ensuring that it goes on smoothly and evenly, while the mascara itself adds length and volume without weighing down your lashes.
And the best part? It’s made with clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and EWG-certified ingredients, so you are sure only the safest and healthiest formulate touches your delicate eye area.
Whether you’re heading to work or a night out on the town, this mascara and lash primer duo will give you the perfect lash look every time. So go ahead and give it a try – your lashes will thank you!
Best Cruelty-Free Tubing Mascara
A mascara that wraps around each lash, creating length and volume and lasts all day, is vegan and cruelty-free? Yes, please!
Primary Benefits: Soft and romantic false lashes effect; easy to remove; smudge-proof; clump-free
- Castor seed oil and shea butter conditions lashes during wear
- Carnauba wax moisturizes lids and lashes
- Youth B5 Complex for healthy-looking lashes
- Winner of the Glamour Best Clean Beauty Products of 2020 for “Best Mascara”
- Ophthalmologist- and dermatologist-tested
- Leaping Bunny-certified
Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara is an award-winning mascara that builds and extends each lash for a false lash effect without flaking.
Looking for a mascara that will give you the longest, most dramatic lashes ever?
Look no further than Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara, the best tubing mascara from one of the best cruelty-free brands on the market!
This mascara is designed to lengthen and thicken your lashes like never before, with a unique tubing formula that wraps around each individual lash to create a lash extension effect.
And the best part? It’s smudge-proof, flake-proof, and water-resistant, so you can wear it all day (and night!) without worrying about touch-ups.
Plus, it’s made with clean, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients.
Whether you’re going for a natural look or full-on glam, Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara is one of the perfect beauty additions to your makeup routine.
Thrive Causemetics promotes various social causes, hence the name “Causemetics.”
The brand believes changing the world starts with a single ingredient, and that’s why they create vegan, 100% cruelty-free formulas containing proven ingredients and certified paraben-free and sulfate-free.
Best Vegan Cruelty-Free Mascara
Another classic multipurpose and high-performance mascara from one of our well-loved vegan mascara brands — Tarte Cosmetics.
Primary Benefits: Curls, volumizes, lengthens, and conditions lashes; increase lash volume by 330%; create strikingly thick, sexy lashes that last all day
- Olive esters condition lashes
- Rice bran wax lengthen lashes
- Carnauba wax ensures a smooth application
- Provitamin B5 hydrates lashes
- Mineral pigments soothe and soften the skin
- Vitamin C fights free radicals
- PETA Certified cruelty-free
One of the best cruelty-free alternatives we know that can rival the most expensive high-performing mascara brands in Sephora and Amazon.
Get ready to enhance your lash game with Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara!
This powerhouse product promises to lengthen, curl, volumize, and condition your lashes, all in one swipe.
Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara is powered by skinvigorating ingredients.
Its formulation is infused with rice bran, olive esters, and provitamin B5 (panthenol) to nourish and strengthen your lashes, while the custom-molded brush ensures that every lash is coated and lifted for maximum impact.
With just one coat, your lashes will look longer, fuller, and more defined than ever before.
Plus, it’s vegan. You will have peace of mind knowing only organic and healthy ingredients touch your lashes.
Give Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara a try and bat those lashes like a pro!
Best Cruelty-Free Mascara for Sensitive Eyes
Hello, instant happiness and long-term benefits! Kosas mascara features an oversize, curved brush and lightweight formula that delivers fluffy lashes that don't clump!
Primary Benefits: Non-irritating and hypoallergenic; lush and longer lashes; lash-extension impact
- Castor oil promotes healthy lash growth
- Provitamin B5 revives lashes
- Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1 supports healthier hair
- Plant-based sugars for long wear
- Beauty Innovator Awards, Refinery29 (2020)
- Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free
A clean, cruelty-free mascara that offers fluffy lashes powered by a hair care serum for stronger, healthier lashes that last for 12 hours.
A clean mascara like you’ve never seen before. Kosas The Big Clean Mascara is a great option for people with ultra-sensitive eyes and skin!
The Big Clean instantly delivers big, bold lashes without commonly used acrylates, carbon black, mineral oil, fragrance, or silicones.
This mascara is also powered by hair care actives so lashes can reach their full growth potential.
It’s like lash extensions and lash serum in a bottle. The perfect clean makeup for skincare freaks who are looking to enhance their natural beauty while also making a positive impact on the planet.
Best Vegan Cruelty-Free Waterproof Mascara
A fearless mascara that needs no introduction. The Waterproof One Mascara is seriously life-proof — rain, shine, or cry!
Primary Benefits: Waterproof; 24-hour wear; ultra-black, voluminous, lengthy lashes; smudge-free; easy to remove
- Jojoba complex nourishes, conditions, and protects lashes
- ProVitamin B5 moisturizes lashes and helps prevent breakage
- 100% talc-free
- 100% vegan
- PETA-certified cruelty-free
Milani Waterproof One MascaraIts is the blackest black smudge-free formula so you’re ready to take on whatever the day has in store.
Yearning for a mascara that can withstand anything? Look no further than Milani The Waterproof One!
This is the perfect mascara for those who live an active lifestyle or simply want their makeup to stay put all day.
It’s waterproof, so you’re guaranteed no smudging, flaking, or running. Plus, the unique brush design ensures that every lash is coated evenly for maximum volume and length.
Most importantly, Milani The Waterproof One is PETA-certified and manufactures this mascara with organic and plant-derived ingredients to deliver sexy and thick lashes while keeping lashes nourished and moisturized.
You also don’t have to break the bank!
With all these exciting benefits, Milani is our personal fave cruelty-free mascara waterproof option!
Join the Movement and Support Ethical Beauty Choices by Buying Cruelty-free Mascaras
We hope you now feel more empowered to make ethical beauty choices and support brands that prioritize animal welfare and eco-friendliness.
Buying cruelty-free and sustainable mascaras not only benefits innocent animals and the planet but also allows us, consumers, to make a positive impact with our purchasing choices.
Join the movement and continue to educate others on the importance of ethical beauty choices. Let’s choose cruelty-free mascaras and support sustainable practices.
Remember, every purchase we make can have a positive impact on the world.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family to help spread the word about the importance of cruelty-free cosmetics!
Interested in cruelty-free and vegan beauty?
You will love reading these other articles: