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Vegan Makeup Brands (100% Cruelty-Free)

Here are the best vegan makeup brands on the market today. From inexpensive and easy-to-find cruelty-free drugstore options to high-end beauty brands, you can find everything you need without harming animals!
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Browsing beauty products can be an exciting adventure. But, if you’re a brand new vegan, trying to figure out which vegan makeup brands to buy might feel a bit overwhelming at first. This guide takes out all of the guesswork so that you can choose your new cruelty-free favorites with confidence.

Remember, it’s not necessary to throw out everything you already own and buy new products all at once. Take your time and, when the product is used up, use the opportunity to purchase a better, vegan and cruelty-free replacement. It may feel like slow progress at first, but you’ll have a fully transformed ethically aligned makeup cabinet before you know it!

If you’re just dipping your toes into natural, sustainable, and kind beauty, consider subscribing to one of these Vegan Beauty Subscription Boxes! These monthly sampling boxes make it easy for you to try out many brands at a fraction of the retail price.

Beauty lovers, if you’re as enthusiastic as we are, let’s dive right in!

Cruelty-free vegan makeup art illustration of a unicorn with Pacifica brand eyeshadow, nail polish, and mascara.

Specific Vegan Makeup and Beauty Guides

Looking for a specific type of product? These resources can help you find your favorite consciously crafted mascara, all-natural skincare, and more.

How Can I Tell if Products Are Cruelty-Free? 

One topic that might be confusing at first is whether products are cruelty-free, vegan, or both. Although these terms are similar, they’re not the same. A beauty product that is cruelty-free is not necessarily vegan. Let’s go deeper and simplify things:

What does vegan mean?

Vegan means that the product is made without any ingredients that come from an animal, including animal derivatives (like honey and beeswax) and coloring agents or dyes (like those made from crushed beetles).

What does cruelty-free mean? 

Cruelty-free means that the products were produced without the use of animal testing or experimentation (also known as vivisection).

What About Parent Companies?

Parent companies are single companies that have a controlling interest in another company (or multiple) companies, including smaller spin-off companies or ones acquired from a take-over or merger.

Many vegan and cruelty-free beauty brands have parent companies that are not vegan or cruelty-free. It’s up to you to decide if that’s a company you want to support or not. There’s both a good side and bad side to that issue.

On one hand, buying beauty products from these types of companies can really help. Your decision to buy shows that the consumer wants products without any animal-based ingredients or horribly painful and inhumane testing. On the other hand, you have to come to terms with ultimately supporting a company that makes its profits from exploiting animals.

Luckily, every year, more and more parent companies are going cruelty-free (and sometimes vegan!) due to customer demand. Let’s hope that the future is full of only vegan beauty products!

Vegan Labels and Cruelty-Free Bunny Logos

A side by side chart showing fake cruelty-free logos on the left and official cruelty-free labels on the right.
Showing the difference between fake and authentic cruelty-free logos. (Source: @ethicalelephant on Instagram)

Leaping Bunny Certified 

When you see the Leaping Bunny symbol, it means you can be sure that the product is truly cruelty-free. The testing for certification is exacting and and guarantees that any goods with this label “are free of animal testing at all stages of product development“. Not only is Leaping Bunny internationally recognized, it is a simple and easy way to recognize if a beauty (or household) item is cruelty-free.

PETA Certified Cruelty Free

According to the PETA website, they consider companies to be “cruelty-free” (under their Global Beauty Without Bunnies program) only under these specific conditions: they “must not only ban animal tests but also refuse to use any animal-derived ingredients, such as honey, beeswax, or carmine, in its products.”

Unofficial Cruelty-Free Logos

If you don’t see these specific logos or symbols, be wary! There aren’t always laws to prevent companies from adding their own labels. They may look similar but, really, wouldn’t mean a thing. Keep an eye out for the real thing. You can also download apps to your phone such as Bunny Free (by PETA), Cruelty-Free (by Leaping Bunny), or Cruelty-Cutter (by The Beagle Freedom Project) to double check brands.

Chart explaining the differences between PETA and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Logos.
Differences between the PETA and Leaping Bunny Logos (Source: @ethicalelephant on Instagram)

100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands 

Woo! All of these brands are not only completely vegan, but they’re also cruelty-free. You can buy any beauty item from any of these companies and not worry about ingredients or testing. From makeup sponges and mascaras to brushes and blushes, they’re all up for grabs!

If you’re searching for an extra special self-care treat for yourself or a glorious gift for a friend, any of these brands will be a beautiful choice!

Vegan eyeshadow palette from Pacifica and a cruelty-free makeup brush and blush from other brands.

Cruelty-Free Brands With Vegan Options 

It’s inspiring to see so many beauty brands go completely cruelty-free in the last few years. In the future, it would be wonderful to see even more make the switch. While these companies are not fully vegan, they do offer a number of cruelty-free makeup or beauty options.

100% Cruelty-Free

Cruelty-free bunny art illustration featuring The Body Shop body butter lotion.

Cruelty-Free Brand but Parent Company Tests on Animals

Bonus Tip: If you shop at Ulta, they have a page entirely devoted to cruelty-free brands and specific beauty items. Just make sure to check that they’re vegan before buying.

Urban Decay vegan mascara open with the brush visible.

Best Drugstore Brands With Vegan Options

If you’re away from home and need a spur-of-the-moment drugstore beauty buy, these are the brands to look out for. Because some of them have both vegan and non-vegan options, make sure to check the labels or quickly visit their website for ingredient details. Sometimes, this is a great way to find new favorites!

Tip: Bookmark this page or add this link to the notes on your phone so you can easily pull up the page to specific products that are vegan-friendly. Makes your shopping less stressful and super speedy. That way, you have more time at home to spend enjoying your new pretty purchases!

Pacifica's cruelty-free dream moon perfume.

Which Mainstream Beauty Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Is Cover Girl Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Covergirl has been Leaping Bunny Approved! Though they do have a new vegan-friendly line of products, many (if not most) are not vegan.

Is L’Oreal cruelty free?

As the parent of company of many beauty brands, L’Oreal is NOT cruelty-free. They do not participate in animal testing in their own labs, but they do allow their products to be tested on animals in order to sell them in mainland China.

I know this brand has vegan-friendly options, but is NYX cruelty-free?

Yes, NYX is now PETA certified as cruelty-free! They have many vegan-friendly products, but they are not entirely vegan. Their parent company, L’Oreal, is not cruelty-free.

I’m confused. Is now Maybelline cruelty-free?

No. Maybelline is another makeup company that (like their parent company L’Oreal) does not test on animals in house, but sells their products to places that have mandatory animal testing requirements. Because of this, Maybelline is not cruelty-free.

Is CeraVe cruelty free?

No, they’re not. Although CeraVe themselves do not test on animals, they sell their products on mainland China and allow their finished products to be tested on animals.

Is Cetaphil cruelty-free?

No, it’s not. As with L’Oreal and other large beauty corporations, this company allows their products to be tested on animals so that they can be sold on mainland China.

My go-to brand has always been Neutrogena. Is Neutrogena cruelty-free?

Sadly, no. While Neutrogena themselves do not test on animals, the company exports their beauty products to mainland China, who require animal testing by law. So, they are not cruelty-free.

Is Nars cruelty-free?

No, they’re not cruelty-free. This beauty brand allows their products to be sold to countries that require animal testing by law (such as mainland China), so they cannot be considered cruelty-free.

My mother has always bought this one brand. Is Clinique cruelty-free?

Unfortunately, no. Clinique (along with parent company, Estee Lauder) agrees to have their products tested on animals when required by law, as in mainland China. This company is not cruelty-free.

Is Aveeno cruelty-free?

No. Aveeno permits its products and/or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law by other countries. Even though they do not test on animals themselves, they still cannot be considered free of cruelty.

Share Your Favorite Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands

Friends love to share! When it comes to the hundreds of vegan-friendly beauty products you can buy, it can certainly get overwhelming. If you have any tried and true beauty essentials in your makeup bag (or skincare drawer), make sure to comment below with your favorites.

Delightful DIY Natural Beauty Recipes

Solid perfume in a tin jar with candelilla wax sprinkled around it.
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1 comment
  1. Andrea White says:

    Love how detailed this list is! Wishing for more brands to switch over soon. Will be referring back to this list often!