Recently, I've seen more of an interest from people to switch over to cruelty-free beauty products. While this makes me undeniably happy, I understand that we all have our go-to, trusted products and that sometimes it's hard to venture outside of our beauty brand comfort zone. I'm here to tell you that finding amazing, cruelty-free beauty products doesn't have to be hard!
Practicing self-love is important. This includes taking care of your skin, hair, etc. and investing in beauty products that make you feel good not only externally, but also consciously. Walking around with a face full of guilt doesn't feel good for anybody. Neither does spending a fortune on your makeup. I will never sacrifice the well-being of any animal's life for the sake of beauty, but nobody wants to invest in a product just to find that it doesn't work as expected, right? That's why I'm here! I'm always on the hunt for more functional, affordable and environmentally nice beauty brands and I am more than happy to share my experiences with those of you ready to make a change for yourself, the animals and the world! Here, you'll find a list of some Cruelty-free brands, my favorite products, and also some brands who have not yet joined the cruelty-free movement. But let's start with the good stuff.
Note- The brands mentioned in this post will have either signed PETA's Pledge, or have been certified by the Leaping Bunny.
My Favorite Cruelty-Free beauty brands
It's easy for me to say I adore everything in the Lush cosmetics store. However, it's not so easy for me to buy everything in the store! I haven't tried all, or even half of the products that this completely cruelty-free company has to offer, yet, but the products I've invested in from this store have never left me disappointed. These include
Ocean Salt facewash- One of their best-sellers, with good reason. This scrub is exfoliating and hydrating. It leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh and smooth. The sea salt/grapefruity smell doesn't hurt, either!
Celestial moisturizer- A product that Mike gets me for almost every holiday, because I can never get enough. It's affective, but light and doesn't leave me feeling greasy. My face loves this moisturizer because it's designed for sensitive skin!
Numerous Bath Bombs- After a long day, or to ease sore muscles, I always opt for a bath infused with one of Lush's soothing and relaxing bath bombs. They come in all shapes/sizes, aromas, and some even fill the tub with magical glitter! My skin is always silky smooth after a bombed bath, and sometimes even a little sparkly.
Massage Bars- Another good one for relaxing, or even at the end of date night. Mike uses these to massage my back and shoulders, and it feels like Heaven. I also started using these just to massage into my legs and feet right before bed.
"Honey" Lip scrub- Since I started using this scrub once or twice a week, I haven't had to suffer through chapped lips at all this winter! I absolutely hate chapped lips, so this is easily another one of my favorites.
Colourpop is an online exclusive beauty store that has quickly climbed to the top of my favorites list! Their products are super inexpensive, great quality and completely cruelty-free! There's a little bit of everything on this site. I personally indulge on the lip glosses and eye palettes. I highly recommend checking this one out! Favorite purchases-
Give it to me Straight Palette- Sweet dusky rose and neutral color eyeshadows
Liquid lipsticks- I couldn't believe how pleased I was with these lippies, especially considering they're $6 each. I feel like I'm dreaming every time I log onto this website. Zuma is my favorite color!
Update- You can now purchase products by ColourPop in Sephora!
Do your skin a favor and try the Glow Tonic. Soak a cotton ball and apply to your face right before bed. This brightens and evens out your skin tone, acts as a moisturizer and (if you choose the gold one) helps to fight off blemishes! The best part is that you can find this product at Target for $15!
Kat Von D
This is the first area of Sephora I'll head towards when I'm looking for a lip color. The tattoo artist's products are high quality, super versatile and also fairly priced! Can't really go wrong here. Here are my favorites
Everlasting Liquid Lipstick- This lipstick glides on super easily with little effort (which is great, because I am no makeup guru). It comes in over 45 colors, ranging from neutral, every day looks to bold and unique colors. My favorite favorite is Lolita.
Everlasting Lip Liner- After falling in love with the liquid lipsticks, it's no surprise that I got just as addicted to Kat Von D's lip liners. They go on silky smooth, and she has the color to match almost every lipstick!
Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner
It took me a couple months to catch this website at a time when all of the shades I wanted weren't sold out! Kylie Jenner released the cruelty-free brand Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 and has taken the internet by storm! I can't get enough of her shadows and lip products.
Koko K Lipkit- This matte liquid lipstick is just the most perfect shade to wear with everyday looks, and one of her most popular selling lip kits.
The Bronze Palette- The shades in this eyeshadow palette are perfect for a subtle, daily makeup looks and the quality is amazing!
If there was an award for the cutest makeup packaging, my vote would go towards Too Faced. It makes my makeup collection look adorable, while keeping it cruelty-free! I have sensitive skin, so the fact that my face can trust the bronzers and blushes from this company make it even better. I rely on these two products anytime I'm doing my full makeup-
Sweethearts Bronzer- This bronzer is the perfect combination of subtle and shimmery. I don't like to over-do my bronzer, and this is capable of being applied lightly but noticeably, which I love.
Chocolate Bar Eye Palette- If you gravitate towards more neutral eye shadows like me, this palette's worth looking into! Fairly priced, vegan & the best bonus- it SMELLS like CHOCOLATE! This is definitely one of Too Faced most popular products.
I was recently heart-broken to find out that my go-to concealer brand has opted to sell their products in China, meaning they can kiss their "cruelty-free" campaign goodbye. A friend of mine recommended the Tarte Shape Tape concealer and I totally fell in LOVE! You can find Tarte's pretty packaged products in Sephora and Ulta stores, however Ulta is the only place you can purchase this concealer specifically (other than online).
Anastasia Beverly Hills
This brand will change your brow game entirely, without the use of animal testing! How does it get better than that? If I had to choose one piece of makeup never to leave the house without, it would be having my brows done. Once I found these few products, I never went back. You can find her products in any Sephora or Ulta.
Brow Wiz- I know I said this earlier, but I'm no makeup guru. I struggle with shaping my brows, it just doesn't come naturally for me. That's why I was so excited about this eyebrow pencil. It makes brow shaping/coloring EASY!
Tinted Brow Gel- Just a very light coat of this gel over my brows after filling them in adds a little bit of extra depth to the color (I have seriously light eyebrows) and ensures they don't smudge or lose their shape throughout the day. I swear by it and since you only need a little amount, it lasts forever!
Sun-dipped Glow Kit- In search of a cruelty-free highlight? Anastasia offers a couple different "glow kits" that are super versatile for any makeup style, and take your highlight to the next level. Sun dipped is my favorite, but they're all great!
I've only tried one product from this company, however it's a huge part of my nightly beauty routine, helping to battle the dark circles under my eyes. I'm so happy with this product, I'll definitely be trying more!
Bye Bye Under Eye cream- keeps the sensitive skin under my eyes moisturized and soft, while making a noticeable difference in the dark circles I start to get when I'm staying up too late at night. Eek.
Marc Jacobs Beauty
This is definitely the most luxurious (and expensive) brand on my list, however I couldn't leave out the few products I use from this line because I am obsessed with them. I use them in my daily makeup routine whether I'm doing a light, neutral look or a more fancy, "night out" look.
Dew Drops- This coconut gel highlighter is considered a foundation primer. I use this either underneath my foundation, or even combined with it to make my face glow! The coconut scent of this product is delicious, and you could trust this gel to be light and soft.
Lash Lifter- Truthfully, I can't stay faithful to just one mascara. If the brand is cruelty-free, chances are I'll give their mascara a try. I am a HUGE lash fan, so the more the merrier! However, Marc Jacob's Lash Lifter is one mascara that I'll continuously come back to. I know I can rely on it to make my lashes full, but not heavy.
NOTE- While Marc Jacobs Beauty is 100% cruelty-free, Marc Jacobs fragrances are NOT. The fragrances are owned by Coty and sold in China, where they are required to be tested on animals.
Milani is a solid brand, with good quality makeup. This is the brand I trust most when I'm shopping at the drug store. I've used numerous eye liners and mascaras from this company and I've never had a negative experience.
This brand could also be found at your local CVS or Walgreens! There are a few products I love from this company!
Organic Wear Mascara- This mascara was featured in Allure Magazine, and once you try it for yourself, there's really no question why. Hypoallergenic, organically made, and featuring a recyclable eco-brush, there's a lot to love about this mascara. But, the best part is that it's only $9.95! What!? I'll take ten.
Refreshmint Eye De-puffer- I'll apply this hydrating mix of peppermint and bamboo under my eyes if my circles (or puffiness) need a little extra love. This is normally after pulling an all-nighter (yuck), but this leaves me feeling refreshed and looking more awake!
Find this brand online or at Sephora. While a little pricey, the awesome thing about Cover FX is that it's not only cruelty-free, but 100% VEGAN! My top two products from this company-
Glitter Drops- I don't always have an excuse to use this bottle of pretty magic, but when I do, I'm the happiest girl in the world. If you like glitter, you'll love these drops. Apply a little bit for a subtle shimmer, or a little more for a noticeable spark!
Perfect Setting Powder- If I've got a long day ahead, I'll prime my face first with this translucent setting powder. It sets my makeup up for all-day wear with an airbrush finish. LOVE.
Other brands that are Cruelty-Free and worth a try
Here are some of the beauty brands that I've learned to be Cruelty-Free, but haven't had the opportunity to try or review yet. Some of these are on the more expensive side, while others could be found in the drugstore or Target!
NYX- Even though the parent company of NYX (L'Orêal) is not considered cruelty-free, NYX products are not sold in China and therefor do not require animal testing. Find this brand in your nearest CVS.
E.L.F Cosmetics (found in drugstores and Target)
Hard Candy- This brand is a Walmart exclusive
Wet N Wild- Your local drugstore
The Body Shop- This brand is owned by L'Orêal, which itself is not cruelty-free. However this brand does not test on animals and, in fact, have an entire line of brushes that are vegan
Urban Decay- This brand is also owned by L'Orêal, however the products are not sold in China, therefore able to remain cruelty-free! Find this brand in Sephora!
Looking for something even more natural?
If just avoiding animal testing isn't enough for you, check out these beauty brands that are not only cruelty-free, but also all green and natural!
W3ll People- This is one of the top natural beauty brands. Completely plant based, their ingredients exclude chemicals, preservatives, or petro ingredients. Instead, the products are made with therapeutic botanicals, such as aloe and green tea. Check out their mascara featured in Allure Magazine here.
RMS Beauty- these products are gluten free, GMO free, soy free, nano free and do not test on animals. Find them at Nordstrom, Free People and Anthropologie.
Ilia Beauty- This all natural beauty brand is specifically known for their lipsticks, however offer a little bit of everything.
Non Cruelty-Free brands to watch out for
Unfortunately, not all makeup/beauty companies have made the move to become cruelty-free. Many claim to be "committed to the elimination of animal testing," but are also sold in China, where it is required by law to test on animals any and all foreign cosmetics. Some of these companies will loophole this fact on their websites by stating things like "An exception could be made if authorities required it for human safety or regulatory purposes." AKA- They fund animal testing for their products sold in China.
Some of these may change in the future, but as of now, here are some companies to watch out for (and avoid using)!
NARS- NARS recently become non cruelty-free when they decided to start selling their products in China, where the law requires animal testing on any foreign cosmetics being sold.
Benefit- Despite claims, this is a brand that cannot be considered cruelty-free. They sell their products in China, and the company states that they test on animals where required by law.
Estée Lauder- Sold in China
MAC- This one hurt when they became no longer cruelty-free, as I had to ditch a good amount of my beloved makeup products. Mac is owned by Estée Lauder, and both brands are sold in China, which requires animal testing on foreign cosmetics before being sold.
Clinique- Also owned by Estée Lauder and sold on mainland, China.
L'Orêal- L'Orêal has a very misleading FAQ on animal testing, where they state that "L’Oréal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others." However, their products are sold in China, where animal testing of the products is mandatory. They address this fact in their policy stating that an exception could be made if testing is required by law.
Bath & Body Works- This one is iffy, as Bath & Body Works does not currently sell to any markets which require animal testing, so they could be considered cruelty-free. HOWEVER, they have stated that they would allow animal testing where necessary by law if/when they start selling to more markets in the future. For this reason I am keeping this company on the "Non Cruelty-free list."
L'Orêal owns a couple other brands, some of which share the same policy regarding the testing of their products on animals in order to be sold in China, and some of which remain cruelty-free (such as Urban Decay and NYX).
L'orêal is one of the most popular drug-store brands, but can be easily replaced with products from E.L.F cosmetics or a number of other low-key brands.
Lancôme- Owned by L'Orêal, both brands are sold in stores in China.
Maybelline- Also owned by L'Orêal, and also sold in China.
Revlon- Another company that claims to be against animal testing except where required by law, and also sold in China, where it's required by law.
Almay- Owned by Revlon, this brand shares the policy of their parent company to test on animals where required by law. Both brands are sold in China, where it's mandatory to test foreign cosmetics on animals, thus making the brand not cruelty-free.
Covergirl- Sold in China. Easily replaceable with Physicians Formula or other cruelty-free drug store brands
So there you have it! It's entirely possible to maintain a makeup and beauty routine that's totally cruelty-free. You will feel so much better each day applying your friendly makeup and products knowing that you're making a difference for animals by investing in the right places. More and more companies are joining the movement, but until we're all there, BE the change you wish to see! I'll keep adding to this list as I come across more brands or product favorites.
Sending all love,
What cruelty-free beauty products do you swear by? Leave a comment below to spread the love!
Kimber is a fellow soul searcher, yoga instructor, and proud dog mama. She invites you along her own journey to wellness and hopes to inspire people to be the healthiest & happiest version of themselves every day!