11 Top Cruelty-Free Primers for Guilt-Free Makeup Prep

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

In the pursuit of flawless makeup application, one essential step is often overlooked: priming. 

A good primer not only creates a smooth canvas for your makeup but also enhances its longevity, ensuring that it stays put all day long.

For those who prioritize ethical beauty practices, cruelty-free primers are a must-have in their makeup arsenal.

A woman is getting her makeup done in front of a mirror.

These remarkable products are created without harming or testing on animals, allowing you to indulge in guilt-free beauty routines.

However, with countless options flooding the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the top cruelty-free primer for your specific needs.

That’s where we come in!

As beauty enthusiasts dedicated to promoting ethical choices, we have scoured the shelves to bring you a curated list of the top cruelty-free primers available.

Explore our collection that will elevate your makeup game while staying true to what you believe in!

e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer
Editor's Choice
  • Vegan and PETA- and Leaping Bunny-certified
  • Blurs pores and fine lines
  • Infused with vitamins A, C, and E
wet n wild Photo Focus Dewy Face Primer
Budget Pick
  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Prolongs makeup wear
  • Infused with vitamin E and pearl pigments
REN Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Primer
Premium Pick
  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Helps reduce breakouts
  • Infused with probiotics, blue agave extracts, and alpha-glucans

What Does a Cruelty-Free Label Mean?

When a product is labeled as cruelty-free, it means that no animals were harmed or subjected to any form of testing during its development or production process.

This includes testing the product’s ingredients on animals or conducting experiments that may cause pain, distress, or harm to living and breathing creatures.

Choosing cruelty-free products is not only about being compassionate towards animals. It also means aligning with ethical values and supporting the movement toward a more sustainable and responsible beauty industry.

To ensure a product is genuinely cruelty-free, look for recognized certifications from reputable organizations like the Leaping Bunny or PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

These certifications indicate that the brand has met stringent criteria and undergone thorough audits to guarantee its commitment to cruelty-free practices.

This allows consumers to enjoy their favorite cosmetics with a clear conscience, knowing that no animals were compromised for the sake of making their beauty products.

Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan: Do They Mean the Same Thing?

Understanding the difference between a cruelty-free and vegan product is essential when making conscious beauty choices.

As mentioned earlier, a cruelty-free product signifies that no animals were subjected to harm or testing throughout its entire development and production process.

On the other hand, a vegan product goes a step further. Vegan beauty products are not only free from animal testing but also do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Vegan beauty aligns with an ethical and sustainable lifestyle, reducing the demand for animal exploitation in the beauty industry.

It’s also worth noting that a product can be cruelty-free without being vegan. Also, a vegan product may still not be cruelty-free, as some vegan brands still conduct animal testing.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to look for both labels (cruelty-free and vegan) if you want to ensure you’re making the most compassionate and animal friendly-choice.

Things To Look for When Buying Cruelty-Free Primers

When shopping for cruelty-free primers, there are several important factors to consider.

Here’s a rundown of what savvy consumers should keep in mind:

Cruelty-Free Certification

Look for recognized cruelty-free certifications, such as the Leaping Bunny or the PETA logo.

These certifications ensure that the brand and its products meet strict cruelty-free standards.


Pay close attention to the ingredients used in the primer. Choose primers that incorporate plant-based, non-toxic, and skin-compatible substitutes.

If you also aim for a vegan lifestyle, check that your products do not contain animal-derived components like lanolin, carmine, beeswax, or collagen.

Type of Skin

One of the biggest considerations to keep in mind when choosing even cruelty-free primers is your skin type. Different primers cater to different skin types, such as oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin.

Look for primers specifically formulated for your skin type to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.

Skin Concerns

If you have specific skin concerns, such as redness, uneven skin tone, fine lines, or large pores, look for primers designed to address those issues.

For instance, green-tinted primers can help counteract redness, color-correctinh primers can balance out skin tone, and pore-minimizing primers can create a smooth canvas for makeup application.

Formula and Finish

Consider the primer’s formula and finish based on your makeup goals. Some primers have a matte finish, which is ideal for controlling shine, while others provide a dewy or luminous finish for a healthy-looking glow.

Staying Power

Opt for primers that enhance the longevity of your makeup. Consider primers with claims of long-lasting effects, oil control, or sweat resistance if you need your makeup to stay intact for an extended period or in challenging conditions.

The 11 Top Cruelty-Free Primers

Excited to shop for the top cruelty-free primers on the market? 

Scroll down to find the top ones that will fit your needs!

E.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

Revel in the long-lasting hydration and pore-minimizing power of the E.l.f Hydrating Face Primer!

Key Benefits: Lasts long; blurs pores and fine lines; hydrates the skin


  • Vegan, PETA- and Leaping Bunny-certified
  • Infused with vitamins A, C, and E
  • Matte finish

Experience the transformative effects this cruelty-free makeup primer brings to your beauty regimen.


Achieving a flawless and long-lasting look starts with using a high-quality face primer, and the E.l.f Hydrating Face Primer is a product that you shouldn’t miss!

This vegan and cruelty-free primer is a hydration powerhouse that quenches your skin’s thirst for nourishment as it is infused with vitamins A, C, and E.

We also love that this product excels in smoothing or refining the skin’s surface, creating a flawless base for applying makeup. After application, you will notice how your skin looks smoother, with diminished pores and wrinkles.

It balances moisture levels, controlling excess oil while providing essential moisture when needed. Its lightweight and gel-like texture also glides effortlessly onto the skin.

This primer is also a true crowd-pleaser because it is suitable for all skin types. Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, this primer will seamlessly adapt to your needs.

NYX Professional Makeup Marshmellow Smoothing Primer

Elevate your makeup game to new heights with this dermatologically-tested and cruelty-free primer from NYX Professional!

Key Benefits: Color-correcting; hydrates the skin; minimizes texture


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dewy finish

Feel confident and beautiful throughout the day knowing your makeup will remain intact with the help of this well-loved cruelty-free primer!

One of the impressive qualities of this vegan and PETA-certified primer is that it can make your makeup last all day long.

A tube of nyx marsh mellow primer sitting on top of a white table.

The NYX Professional Makeup Marshmellow Smoothing Primer creates a strong bond with your foundation and ensures it stays in place, even in the most challenging conditions.

It has a lightweight formula that glides smoothly onto the skin, blurring imperfections and creating a smooth base for your makeup.

Thanks to this primer’s infusion of marshmallow root extract, your skin will be hydrated and nourished, resulting in a supple and revitalized complexion after use.

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer

Get that flawless canvas for your makeup by trying out this game-changing primer by Elizabeth Mott!

Key Benefits: Sweat- and water-proof; long-lasting oil control; pore-minimizing


Leaping Bunny-certified
Matte finish

This primer will surpass your expectations with its exceptional performance!


If you’re searching for a face primer that’s both effective and ethically produced, the Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer is a reliable product that delivers outstanding results.

It has a smooth texture that absorbs excess oil, ensuring your makeup stays fresh and matte throughout the day.

This primer stands out because of its dedication to skin health. It is non-comedogenic and paraben-free, so it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. 

Also, when you wear this primer under your makeup, you will notice how your skin appears  more refined with minimized pores and fine lines. So say goodbye to makeup meltdowns and say hello to a flawless look that lasts all day!

COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Skincare Priming Glow Facial Mist

Seeking a refreshing and multipurpose primer? Look no further than Covergirl’s Priming Glow Facial Mist!

Key Benefits: Hydrates for eight hours; improves skin texture; brightens skin


  • Vegan and Leaping Bunny-certified product
  • Formulated with rosewater and vitamin C
  • Oil-free formula

Unleash your natural glow with this fantastic cruelty-free priming mist!


This innovative product from Covergirl has quickly become a staple in most people’s beauty routines because it is infused with clean and skin-loving ingredients, such as rosewater and vitamin C.

Not only does this product prime your skin for makeup application, but it also soothes, calms, and improves the texture of your skin over time.

The best part? It’s super lightweight and non-greasy. It absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving it feeling refreshed.

Additionally, this primer is like a moisturizing drink for your skin. With just a few spritzes, it delivers a burst of hydration that lasts for up to eight hours and revitalizes your complexion instantly.

It is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, ensuring a gentle and non-irritating experience for all skin types.

Plus, its delicate fragrance adds a touch of luxury to your beauty mood, making each application a moment of self-care.

wet n wild Photo Focus Dewy Face Primer

Put your best face forward with this high-quality, certified cruelty-free primer that lives up to the hype!

Key Benefits: Prolongs makeup wear time; blurs pores and fine lines; evens out skin tone


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Dewy finish
  • Infused with vitamin E and pearl pigments

Having a seamless canvas for your makeup need not be expensive!

If you struggle with visible pores, the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Dewy Face Primer will be your new best friend. This PETA-certified primer blurs skin imperfections and minimizes the appearance of pores like magic.

When it comes to the longevity of your makeup, this primer is an absolute superstar. Its impressive staying power ensures that your foundation remains intact for hours.

So there’s no need to worry about touch-ups throughout the day!

This primer is infused with skin-loving ingredients, such as vitamin E and pearl pigments that instantly revitalize the tired and dull-looking complexion. It also effortlessly melts onto the skin and creates a natural, dewy glow.

Its innovative formula smooths out any uneven texture, giving you a seamless surface to apply your foundation.

Honest Beauty Everything Primer Matte

On a quest to find a cruelty-free product that offers many benefits in one swipe? The Honest Beauty Everything Primer has got you covered!

Key Benefits: Controls unwanted shine; blurs imperfections; ideal for all skin types


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Matte finish
  • Contains micronized bamboo powder

With its amazing benefits, this makeup primer definitely deserves a spot in your makeup bag!

Indulge your skin with the Honest Beauty Everything Primer, which is enriched with micronized bamboo powder that provides a velvety soft finish, minimizing the look of pores and fine lines.

This primer provides the perfect base for any makeup look. Be it a natural, understated look or a full-face glam, it enhances the longevity and vibrancy of your makeup.

Also, you can wear this primer alone for a subtle, radiant glow, or you can wear it under foundation to enhance its staying power.

Best of all, this multi-purpose product adapts effortlessly to different needs and skin types, making it an essential addition to your beauty arsenal.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Intensify the color payoff of your eyeshadows with one of the best cruelty-free eye primers on the market!

Key Benefits: Minimizes creasing; long wearing; works on all skin tones


  • Vegan and Leaping Bunny-certified
  • Lightweight
  • Cream form

Whether you prefer a bold or subtle look, this primer will bring out the best in your eyeshadow!


When it comes to creating a smooth and even base for your eyeshadow application, Milani’s Leaping Bunny-certified eye primer can deliver stellar results, especially in allowing the pigments to appear more vibrant and true to their shades.

This primer’s lightweight formula acts as a magnet, holding your eyeshadow in place all day. It doesn’t crease, smudge, or fade, so you can confidently rock your eye makeup from morning to night!

Additionally, this primer can also be used as a standalone product to even out the tone of your eyelids, giving you a polished look on days when you want to wear less makeup. 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Want to get your hands on a long-lasting, cruelty-free eyeshadow primer? Try Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer!

Key Benefits: Lasts for up to 24 hours; water- and crease-proof, makes eyeshadow more vibrant


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • With polymer technology
  • Has a wand applicator

Unlock the secret to flawless and long-lasting eye makeup with this travel-size eyeshadow primer!

This eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay does an outstanding job of intensifying the pigmentation and vibrancy of your eyeshadows.

A photo of three types of urban decay primer potion tried and true.

It’s a PETA-certified primer that features polymer technology that fills imperfections on the skin’s surface, creating a smooth, even base that accentuates the true colors of your eyeshadow.

With this product, midday touch-ups are no longer part of your worries! It creates a crease- and smudge-proof base that keeps your eyeshadow in place 24 hours.

Whether you’re attending a special event or a busy day at work, using this primer guarantees your eye makeup retains its freshness without smearing.

And with its convenient travel-size packaging, it’s perfect for beauty enthusiasts on the go. Whether you’re jetting off on a vacation or a business meeting, this product fits perfectly into your purse!

REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Primer

Prioritize your skin and the environment at the same time by choosing this cruelty-free primer from REN Clean Skincare!

Key Benefits: Long-lasting wear; improves skin smoothness; helps reduce breakouts


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Infused with probiotics, blue agave extracts, and alpha-glucans
  • Silicone-free

We can’t wait to see you have a flawless, radiant, and perfectly primed complexion, so don’t ever miss on trying this primer out!


This product smooths and refines the skin’s texture, blurring imperfections and creating a soft-focus effect on your skin without clogging the pores.

It’s enriched with natural extracts such as probiotics, blue agave extracts, and alpha-glucans that promote a healthy microbiome on the skin’s surface, minimize skin redness and improve skin texture.

This primer not only enhances the longevity of your makeup but also nourishes and revitalizes your skin!

One of the standout qualities of the REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Primer is its silicone-free formula.

Silicone is a common ingredient found in many primers, which can create a heavy and mask-like feel on the skin. However, this primer offers a lightweight and breathable alternative!

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

Be amazed by the revolutionizing makeup prep experience this cruelty-free primer from First Aid Beauty delivers!

Key Benefits: Enables long-lasting wear; hydrates and brightens; safe for sensitive skin


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Doubles as moisturizer
  • Non-comedogenic 

Bid goodbye to the layering of multiple products and say hi to the convenience of this all-in-one solution!

The First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothing Priming Moisturizer stands out for its dual action as both a moisturizer and a primer.

This cruelty-free primer enhances the longevity of your foundation, concealer, and other makeup products, ensuring they resist fading, creasing, and melting.

So it makes you feel confident knowing that your makeup will look flawless all day!

Infused with nourishing coconut water and other skin-loving ingredients, this multitasking product hydrates the skin while creating a smooth canvas for a flawless makeup application. 

Also, the ingredients of this primer not only boost moisture to the skin but also help calm and soothe any redness or irritation, leaving your skin looking healthy and refreshed!

UNICORN GLOW Hydrating Primer

Prepare to embark on a magical beauty journey with the remarkable skincare benefits the Unicorn Glow’s cruelty-free primer offers!

Key Benefits: Anti-aging; hydrating; instantly blurs skin imperfection


  • Vegan and PETA-certified
  • Formulated with hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and Herb Extract Complex
  • Gel texture

This extraordinary product has captured so many hearts with its exceptional performance!

The Unicorn Glow Hydrating Primer is a true gem when it comes to hydrating and illuminating the skin. 

Infused with skin-nourishing ingredients such as hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and Herb Extract Complex (a blend of plant extracts rich in vitamins A, C, and E), this primer helps hydrate, fight signs of aging, boost complexion, and control oil. 

Best of all, this primer is not just about illuminating your skin, it also extends the longevity of your makeup.

Its lightweight formula creates a smooth and flawless canvas, allowing your foundation, blush, and other makeup products to adhere smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cruelty-Free Primers as Effective as Non-Cruelty-Free Alternatives?

Yes, cruelty-free primers are just as effective as non-cruelty-free alternatives. Remember, the efficacy of a primer goes beyond its cruelty-free status.

The effectiveness of a primer greatly depends on its formulation, ingredients, and the specific needs of your skin.

Whether you need a primer for smoothing out texture, controlling oil, or providing hydration, you can find cruelty-free options that meet those requirements. 

Some cruelty-free primers even have additional skincare benefits, such as antioxidant protection or hydration, making them versatile and effective multitaskers.

How Do Cruelty-Free Brands Test Their Products?

Cruelty-free brands invest in extensive research and development to create high-quality primers that deliver excellent results.

They use innovative and cruelty-free testing methods, such as using human tissues donated from surgeries. This ensures the safety and efficacy of their products without harming animals. 

Can I Use a Cruelty-Free Primer as a Lip Primer?

While most primers are designed specifically for the face or eyes, some cruelty-free primers can be used as lip primers as well.

Lip primers help create a smooth and even base for your lipstick, improve its longevity, and prevent feathering or bleeding.

However, this actually depends on the ingredients of the cruelty-free primer. 

When using a cruelty-free primer as a lip primer, opt for products that contain hydrating formulas. Also, look for a primer that is safe to use on the lips without any potentially harmful or drying ingredients like parabens and alcohol.

To use a cruelty-free primer as a lip primer, apply a small amount to your lips and gently blend it in.

Allow it to set for a few moments before applying your lipstick or lip product. The primer will create a smooth canvas, helping your lipstick last longer throughout the day.

Time To Prioritize a Guilt-Free Makeup Prep

Our collection of the 11 top cruelty-free primers provides an incredible opportunity to prioritize guilt-free makeup prep. 

By choosing these ethically-produced alternatives, you’re not only enhancing the longevity and performance of your makeup, but you’re also contributing to a compassionate beauty industry.

Embrace the power of conscious consumerism and make a positive impact by supporting brands that prioritize environmental and animal welfare.

Remember, beauty should never come at the expense of innocent animals!

Want To Shop for More Cruelty-Free Products?


  • Janille Gultiano

    Jan, a distinguished freelance makeup artist, also boasts a BA in Mass Communication, laying the foundation for her diverse talents. For over four years, she's carved a niche as a captivating content writer, with her articles resonating in various spheres. Beyond writing, her expertise extends to crafting robust Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategies. Each endeavor reflects Jan's unique blend of creativity and precision

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *