The 13 Best Vegan Makeup Brands
You don’t have to sacrifice makeup quality to uphold a vegan lifestyle; fortunately, there’s an abundance of brands that are either completely vegan or offer vegan products. We’ve listed our favorites below, plus we’ve included some of our favorite items from each brand!
Why Vegan Makeup?
Something is vegan if no animals or animal byproducts were used in the making of the product. You might wonder what kinds of animal products are used in your cosmetics; surprisingly, quite a few! If you’re committed to living a vegan lifestyle, however, it’s important to identify the animal ingredients that are hiding in the products you apply to your skin and face.
How Can I Tell if My Makeup is Vegan?
Just because a company doesn’t identify as vegan or cruelty-free doesn’t mean that they’ll sometimes accidentally created vegan products; the best thing you can do is read the ingredient list.
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Here are some common animal ingredients that might be hiding in your cosmetics:
- Gelatin, made from animals parts like tendons, ligaments, and skin that’s been boiled into near oblivion, can also be known as isinglass, gel, hide glue, and gelatine. It’s responsible for creamy or clear cosmetics.
- Collagen is all the rage in some circles right now, but, like gelatin, it’s made from animal tissues.
- Squalene and ambergris both have odd names but that’s nothing compared to their sources. Squalene comes from shark livers (it’s found in eye makeup and lip products), and ambergris comes from whale stomachs (it’s combined with scent in perfume and perfumed products).
- Cochineal dye is found in most lipsticks and many blush products and its made from the crushed bodies of the cochineal beetle. You can also find it called carmine.
Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan
When you’re researching vegan makeup, a common term that will pop up is “cruelty-free.” In the late 90s, several animal rights organizations banded together to create the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which then created a standard and certification program called the Leaping Bunny Logo.
Companies can apply to be certified, filling out a questionnaire and submitting to random third-party audits. The Leaping Bunny Logo now indicates that no ingredients in the supply chain or the finished product have been tested on animals.
This designation, however, does not make any kind of statement about the product’s ingredients, and a product can be cruelty-free without being vegan. That said, many cruelty-free products are also vegan, so the leaping bunny is a good place to start!
Top 13 Best Vegan Makeup Brands
How We Chose Our Ratings
We know that vegan makeup is a moral and lifestyle choice, and we’re glad to say that honesty and accuracy are as important to us as they are to you. We’ve investigated and analyzed reviews, testimonials, company data, and other information to create a well-thought rating system you can rely on.
1. E.L.F. COSMETICS
- A BASE FOR YOUR BEAUTY REGIMEN - Our Hydrating Face Primer transforms your face into a flawless, smooth canvas ideal for...
- VITAMIN INFUSED SKIN PRIMER - This formula is infused with grape and Vitamins A, C, and E to help boost your complexion...
- HOW TO USE - Prior to makeup application, apply a small amount of primer to clean skin and blend evenly on your face....
Created in 2004 by two friends who wanted to, the international cosmetics brand sells makeup, lipstick, bronzer, mascara, and much more for inexpensive price points (mostly $1, $3, and $6). The brand is cruelty-free, and all of its items are vegan.
Here are our favorite e.l.f. products:
- e.l.f.’s Studio Makeup Mist & Set is a makeup spray that’s become a cult favorite, thanks to its ridiculously inexpensive price and its ability to help keep makeup in place for hours.
- The Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder duo form a near-perfect dupe for the much more expensive (and not-vegan) NARS duo in Orgasm and Laguna.
2. BEAUTY BAKERIE
- CONCEALER- Cover up old acne scars or hyperpigmentation, and drink in the smooth look of concealer for all skin types...
- LONG-LASTING- Concealer that withstands the test of time. Our unique concealer formula is guarenteed to stay on your...
- COLOR CORRECTING- Keep your skin looking bright whether or not you skipped your daily dose of caffeine, so feel free to...
Beauty Bakerie, a new brand featured in a variety of fashion publications (including Bustle, Refinery29, and HellogGiggles) and even worn by Beyonce (and featured on the singer’s website), is a vegan and cruelty-free line of cosmetics.
Created by Cashmere Nicole Carillo, a trained nurse, single parent, and breast cancer survivor, the company is known for its lip whip, a lip product with series staying power that comes in a huge variety of colors.
You should try:
- Beauty Bakerie’s Lip Whip is a tried-and-true favorite, but also check out the Coffee & Cocoa Bronzer palette, especially if your skin is dark.
3. TARTE COSMETICS
Tarte Cosmetics is another line started by a young female entrepreneur that went on to make it big. While it’s owned by Klose, which is neither vegan nor cruelty-free, Tarte itself does claim to be cruelty-free and markets a whole line of its products as vegan. The cosmetics are a cult favorite for many.
Here are our top vegan makeup picks from Tarte:
- lights, camera, lashes is a 4-in-1 mascara that creates serious volume, thickness, length, and curl, all in a vegan package.
- Shape Tape Matte Foundation is known for its oil-free airbrushed look. We love it because it’s vegan and free from mineral oil, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and other less-than-idea ingredients.
4. ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS
- For Medium Brown hair with warm/gold undertones
- An ultra-slim, retractable pencil used to outline and fill in brows
- Wax formula mimics brow hair and is ideal for all skin types
Another great brand to include in your arsenal of vegan makeup is Anastasia Beverly Hills. While, again, not all products are vegan, most are--and they’re all marked. Anastasia is, however, cruelty-free.
The company is known for its brow products, particularly its Brow Kit (which, fortunately, is vegan), complete with stencils, tutorials, and everything needed for perfect brows. Here’s what else you should try:
- The Dream Glow Kit is an eyeshadow palette with six stunning, metallic shades that can be applied wet or dry.
Pixi was created by makeup artist Petra Strand because she didn’t have the multitasking, problem-solving makeup she needed. While not all of its ingredients are vegan, it is cruelty-free, down to its suppliers.
Here are the vegan makeup products we think you should try from Pixi:
- Pixi’s Illuminating Tint & Conceal is a tinted moisturizer that creates a beautiful glow while also providing sunscreen (SPF 20) to protect your face from sun damage.
- The Endless Silky Eye Pen from Pixi is paraben-free and glides on like a dream. It’s also waterproof and smudge-proof; who says vegan makeup isn’t as good as regular makeup?
6. COVER FX
Cover FX was created by some of the leaders of internationally-recognized cosmetics line MAC, so it shouldn’t surprise us that this line is fantastic, as well! What is a pleasant surprise, however, is that all products are completely vegan! The company is also PETA certified, which means that their final formulations are not tested on animals (though their suppliers might test).
Cover FX has a lot of standout vegan makeup options; here are some of their bestsellers:
- Custom Enhancer Drops comes in seven different shades and can be used on their own or mixed into your existing makeup to create a gorgeous highlight or glow. This Cover FX product was named a 2017 Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards Winner!
- The Power Play Foundation is available in over forty shades with three different undertones.
Cruelty-free and vegan, Axiology is a line of deliciously luxurious lipsticks that are also organic and natural. The company supports female artisans in Indonesia as well as animal welfare and environmental concerns. Axiology’s lipsticks are known for their creamy, smooth application, and the fact that they’re made from ingredients like coconut oil and avocado butter.
Try these top Axiology picks:
- Joy is a new mauve and plum lipstick shade that will look great on everyone; try Bliss in the crayon stick for a lustrous salmon pink that’s perfect for spring and summer.
8. KAT VON D
In 2106, Kat Von D announced that her eponymous makeup line would be converting to fully vegan formulas for all makeup products. The tattoo artist and entrepreneur created her own makeup line in partnership with Sephora in 2008. While you can still find Kat Von D products that aren’t fully vegan, she has a special page on her website devoted to updates on what’s been converted.
Kat is known for her thick black eyeliner and bold red lip; here are our favorite vegan ways to recreate her look:
- Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is the original lip product from Kat Von D; try it in Underage Red!
- Try Ink Liner in black for 24-hour wear to recreate your own Kat Von D cat eye.
9. BUTTER LONDON
The luxe line of nail polishes, lacquers, and now eye products, Butter is known for being cruelty-free and 8-Free. As the brand explains, 8-Free means you won’t find any of the following in any of its formulations: TPHP, formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, ethyl tosylamide, toluene, camphor, DBP, or xylene.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all its products are vegan. However, Butter does make it easy to know what’s vegan or not. Its Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer is easy to spot thanks to its silver cap. Butter’s Hardwear Shine UV Topcoat is also vegan.
10. MILK MAKEUP
Born from a photo studio, Milk Makeup is committed to creating efficacious products that are cruelty-free, vegan, and paraben, sulfate, formaldehyde, mineral oil, and talc-free! Praised by everyone from Marie Claire to Refinery29, the nascent vegan makeup brand is quickly becoming extremely popular.
Ready to see if it lives up to the hype? Here’s what you should try:
- Kush High Volume Mascara is free from all the nasty ingredients that plague most other mascaras, but it doesn’t sacrifice on quality!
- Milk Makeup Cooling Water instantly helps to de-puff your face thanks to caffeine and seawater. Genius!
11. GARNIER FRUCTIS HAIRCARE
While not strictly vegan makeup, if you’re looking for makeup that’s free of animal products you’re also going to need to make sure your hair products are vegan, too! Garnier Fructis has committed to making sure all hair products are vegan.
Remember, however, that this doesn’t mean the company is cruelty-free. In fact, since Garnier is sold in China, it is legally required to be tested on animals (this used to be law in the United States, as well).
In the meantime, here are our vegan Garnier recommendations:
- Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo is made with aloe to soothe and help soften the hair. It’s also free of parabens and is completely vegan. Don’t forget to grab the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Conditioner to go with it!
12. MINERAL FUSION
- FACE CREAM: Nothing beats the reliability of Mineral Fusion's Skin Balancing Facial Moisturizer. This intensely...
- NATURAL FORMULA: Nutrient-replenishing Mineral Water & luxurious Rosehip Oil maximize hydration. Peptides help fight...
- SMARTER MAKEUP: Improve your complexion & nourish your skin with our line of lip tints, eyeshadows, brushes,...
One of the great things about many vegan makeup lines is that they’re also often very clean. Mineral Fusion is another example; its makeup is vegan as well as free of SLS, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, talc, and parabens.
Plus, Mineral Fusion is cruelty-free and certified with the Leaping Bunny logo. Its wide variety of makeup products includes liquid foundation, mineral powders, lipsticks, mascaras, and skincare.
Here’s what you should try:
- A clean, pressed powder can be difficult to find, but we love Mineral Fusion’s vegan Pressed Powder option!
- Beauty Balm is a sheer and moisturizing coverage that provides the perfect hint of a glow.
- MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANER: This makeup brush shampoo cleanses your makeup brushes, applicators, and makeup sponges without...
- PARABEN FREE MAKEUP: The makeup brush cleansing shampoo is paraben-, phthalate-, & petroleum-free with no perfume or...
- BAMBOO MAKEUP BRUSHES & PRODUCTS: Our cruelty free products are made from recycled aluminum & plastic with 20% cotton &...
Makeup tools are an often overlooked part of the makeup kit when it comes to converting to a vegan setup, but they’re just as important, as they’re often made from animals. Ecotools is an affordable, quality brush maker that uses vegan components and recycled materials. They’re also cruelty-free!
Try one of Ecotools’ brush kits for an even better value.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you’ve got thirteen amazing options, we can’t wait to hear which vegan makeup product you try first!