Vegan Mascara Guide: The Best Cruelty-Free Brands for Lovely Lashes

Explore the ultimate guide to vegan mascara, where lush lashes meet conscious choices. Explore top cruelty-free picks for length, strength, volume, and waterproof wonders—all without compromising on ethics.
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elate eco friendly mascara in bamboo tube
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Let’s Dive into the World of Vegan Mascara! We all yearn for lush lashes that captivate, but the quest for the perfect vegan mascara can feel like a beauty odyssey. Whether you crave length, strength, volume, or waterproof resilience, the collective agreement is clear: we’re steering away from formulas that clump, flake, smudge, or compromise our cruelty-free commitment.

Good news, beauty enthusiasts! Being vegan in this era means basking in the glory of incredible lash options. With new releases almost daily, our excitement is palpable. Even household beauty brands, once distant from the cruelty-free scene, are pivoting to embrace vegan formulations. It’s a remarkable shift that speaks volumes about the evolving beauty landscape.

So, what makes a mascara truly fabulous in the vegan realm? Stick around as we unveil the most fabu-lash choices to adorn your eyes. The world of vegan beauty is undergoing a remarkable transformation, and your lashes are in for a revolution!

Is Mascara Vegan?

You may be surprised to hear that mascara is typically not vegan. Mascaras may not be vegan because formulas often contain ingredients made from animals. Ugh! Here are is a list of commonly used mascara ingredients that are not vegan-friendly. Be careful when buying mascara and keep an eye out for these animal-derived additives.

Animal Ingredients Found in Some Mascaras:

  • Beeswax – Beeswax is created by bees, which makes it not vegan, just like honey. It’s often added to mascara add a smooth texture and thickness to the formula.
  • Collagen – Collagen is a protein made from the tissues of animals. This animal collagen ingredient is not vegan, but collagen can also be created from plant-based sources.
  • Guanine – Derived from fish scales.
  • Lanolin – Lanolin is made from sheep’s wool and is primarily used for its ability to moisturize.
  • Panthenol – This lubricating ingredient is derived from meat and honey, both of which are not vegan-friendly.
  • Shellac – Shellac is made from crushing the outer layer of insects.

Mascara is vegan only when there are no animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients involved in the product.

What Makes Mascara Cruelty-Free?

It may sound bizarre, but a product labeled cruelty-free is not necessarily vegan, and a vegan product is not necessarily cruelty-free. What’s the difference? Vegan refers to the ingredients in the product (if there are zero animal ingredients, it’s considered vegan). Cruelty-free, on the other hand, refers to the animal testing status. If the product wasn’t tested on animals, it’s considered cruelty-free!

Now it’s important to not that the cruelty-free status can get a little more complicated when we consider parent companies, and if products are sold in China where animal testing is required by law. This is a personal decision each person can make,

Are you okay with a product that was not tested on animals if the brand is owned by a parent company that does test on animals? Some vegan are, others are not. Are you okay with a brand that starts to sell in China and at that point their products are tested for the Chinese markets? That is yet another consideration for companies that grow and expand abroad. Some companies decide not to sell in China specifically because they want to remind fully cruelty-free, which is a pretty cool move that we love to support.

Cruelty Free Bunny In a Glass Bottle World of Vegan Art

What Are You Looking For in a Mascara?

Before you even start browsing the beauty counter, think long and hard about your lashes. In what way do you want to make them different or better than ever? Are you looking for:

  • Affordable and Accessible – Brands that you can find almost anywhere with any budget.
  • Natural – Closest to your everyday eye, but a bit more pronounced.
  • Tubular – Teaming up with new technology for easy eye enhancement removal.
  • Volume – A look with lots and lots of lashes and pizazz.
  • Waterproof – Wishing to laugh or cry without care.

Best 100% Vegan Mascara Brands

Get ready to flutter those lashes with joy! We’ve rounded up the coolest 100% vegan mascara brands for your playful peepers. From funky colors to mega volume, these mascaras prove that cruelty-free can be seriously fun. Let the lash party begin!

Elate

Elate Cosmetics’ mascara is a game-changer, offering a vegan formula that lengthens and defines lashes for a naturally striking look. With nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil and organic white tea, Elate mascara not only enhances your lashes but also cares for them, leaving you with bold, beautiful eyes.

elate eco friendly mascara in bamboo tube
Eco-Friendly Mascara by Elate Beauty in Bamboo Tube (photo source: @elatecosmetics on Instagram)

E.L.F.

E.L.F. Cosmetics mascara is a budget-friendly gem that delivers big on impact. With its volumizing and lengthening formula, this vegan mascara effortlessly amps up your lashes for a bold and budget-friendly beauty boost. We also love that this completely vegan brand is easy to find at your local drugstore, grocery shop, or shopping center!

Three black ELF mascaras with turquoise lids on a turquoise background next to a black mascara wand.
E.L.F. Lash Xtendr Vegan Mascara (Source: @elfcosmetics on Instagram)

FitGlow

Fit Glow Beauty’s mascara is a luxurious vegan option that adds drama and definition to your lashes with its rich, long-lasting formula. Packed with organic ingredients and designed to promote lash health, this lovely mascara elevates your eye game while nourishing your lashes for a stunning, natural finish.

A purple and silver Fit Glow Beauty mascara tube next to the silver and black mascara wand on a white background.
Fit Glow Beauty’s Cruelty-Free Mascara (Source: Fit Glow Beauty website)

GXVE

GXVE’s vegan mascara, “Can’t Stop Staring,” is a favorite among those seeking bold lashes that’s vegan and cruelty-free. It lifts and lengthens lashes for a fuller, more dramatic look. This standout option among vegan mascaras has a smooth application and lasting wear.

A tube of GXVE brand vegan mascara.

INIKA Organics

Inika Organics mascara is a standout choice, offering a 100% natural and vegan formula that defines lashes with precision and elegance. Infused with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and aloe vera, this mascara not only enhances your eyes but also cares for your lashes, giving you a cruelty-free beauty experience.

Two copper colored opened tubes of Inika Organics mascara next to black mascara wands against a shadowed pink backround.
Purity and Long Mascara by Inika Organics (Source: @inikaorganics on Instagram)

Milk

MILK Makeup’s mascara is a game-changer, providing an innovative and vegan formula that delivers bold volume and intense definition. With a unique blend of plant-derived ingredients, MILK mascara ensures a high-impact lash look while maintaining a commitment to clean beauty.

White Milk Makeup mascara tubes with blue writing against a blue background.
Vegan Rise Mascara by Milk Makeup (Source: @milkmakeup on Instagram)

KVD Beauty

KVD Beauty’s mascara is a go-to choice for those seeking a cruelty-free, high-performance option. With its vegan formula and bold, long-lasting results, KVD mascara adds a touch of edgy glamour to your lashes, making a statement without compromise.

Gold tubes of KVD Beauty Full Sleeve vegan mascara in mid air against a black and gray background.
Full Sleeve Vegan Mascara by KVD Beauty (Source: @kvdbeauty on Instagram)

Pacifica

A long-time love! Pacifica Beauty’s mascara stands out as a vegan must-have, featuring a nourishing formula that adds length and definition to your lashes. With ingredients like coconut oil and vitamin B, this mascara not only enhances your eye game but also promotes lash health for a naturally stunning look.

A tube of Pacifica brand vegan mascara.

PUR

PUR Cosmetics’ mascara is a lash-transforming essential, boasting a cruelty-free formula that delivers intense volume and length. With precision and drama in mind, PUR mascara ensures bold, beautiful lashes without compromising on ethical standards.

Pur Gift Set of Mascaras next to a white and black tube of Fully Charged Mascara against a light purple background with white snowflake.
Fully Charged Mascara Gift Set by Pur Cosmetics (Source: @purcosmetics on Instagram)

The Body Shop

The Body Shop’s vegan mascara is designed to enhance your lashes without compromising on ethical values. This mascara is formulated without any animal-derived ingredients, providing a cruelty-free option for your beauty routine. With a focus on simplicity and effectiveness, The Body Shop’s mascara offers a clean and vegan formula, aiming to provide add volume and length, to naturally enhance your lashes.

Mascara from The Body Shop.
Photo credit: The Body Shop

Thrive Causemetics

Thrive Causemetics’ mascara is a game-changer, offering a vegan and cruelty-free formula that elevates lashes with unbeatable volume and length. Infused with orchid stem cell complex, this mascara not only delivers a striking look but also nourishes and conditions lashes for a truly empowering beauty experience.

Green Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extender Mascara next to other Thrive Causemetic beauty products against a white background with silver hanging ornaments.
Liquid Lash Extender Mascara by Thrive Causmetics (Source: @thrivecausmetics on Instagram)

Tower 28

Tower 28 Beauty’s mascara is a vegan delight, providing a clump-free formula that adds natural-looking definition and volume to your lashes. Designed for sensitive eyes, Tower 28 mascara embraces clean beauty, ensuring a flawless application for a effortlessly chic finish.

Assorted purple and red tubes and boxes of Tower 28 mascara in shadow and light.
Make Waves Tower 28 Mascara (Source: @tower28 on Instagram)

Urban Decay

Urban Decay’s Wild Lash mascara is a showstopper, offering a vegan formula that provides bold volume and length for a truly dramatic effect. With its cruelty-free commitment and intense black pigment, this luxurious mascara ensures your lashes make a fierce statement without compromise. Although all of Urban Decay’s products are vegan, they have an impressive line of vegan and cruelty-free makeup.

Urban Decay vegan mascara open with the brush visible.

Vegan Cruelty Free Mascara Q&A

If you have any other questions on your mind about mascara, feel free to ask us questions in the comments at the end of the article. We’re happy to help!

Is There Vegan Mascara at Ulta?

You bet! Ulta has a great search engine when it comes to narrowing down your needs. If you choose mascara, vegan, and then cruelty-free, you’ll get an entire page of helpful suggestions. Here are just a few that stand out to us:

Is it Possible to Find a Tarte Vegan Mascara?

Definitely! Tarte’s Big Ego has a false lash effect in classic black. You can find it both on the Tarte website and in many beauty shops.

Which Maybelline Mascara is Vegan?

We hate to break it to you, but even though Maybelline’s “Green Edition” mascara contains no animal-based ingredients, it’s not cruelty-free. Both this company and their parent company, L’Oreal, still test on animals.

Find Your Favorite Mascara With Vegan Beauty Subscription Boxes

If you’re new to the land of vegan mascara, and aren’t sure which brand to try, check out our guide to vegan subscription boxes! These can be a fantastic way to explore and discover new vegan and cruelty-free brands without having to pay full price for any of the products. Once you’ve found the brands you love, then you can cancel your beauty box subscription and invest in the products you love long-term! A few of our favorites include:

love goodly vegan cruelty free lifestyle subscription box

Above all, it’s important to keep both our lashes luscious and also stay clear of animal cruelty. Similarly, we want to support brands that go out of their way to bring us vegan-friendly make up options. Don’t you agree? Meanwhile, we can always give our voices to beauty brands and beg for better products that are easy on the environment, as well as our eyes.

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9 comments
  1. Just a heads up: You have Maybelline on here as a cruelty free option, under the “More Cruelty-Free & Vegan Mascara Brands for Volume” section. Maybelline is not cruelty free, though!

    • Thank you so much for catching this error! We really appreciate it!

  2. The first Pacifica mascara mentioned is called Aquarian GAZE, not Aquarian GLAZE. The brand Well People is actually branded W3LL People. Just mentioning these corrections to make it easier for folks to find these products.

  3. I have the elate one I love it so much!

  4. I love using mascara, but I sometimes get overwhelmed when I go to the store by which brands are vegan and cruelty-free. It was tons of fun learning about new mascara brands and which types to buy for specific needs. Hope you find this guide helpful, too!

  5. Such a helpful guide for those of us who are totally lost in the makeup department.

  6. Love this so much! Elf has been my friend for a while but curious to some new vegan brands out!

  7. What a useful guide! Glad there’s so much vegan mascara to choose from.

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