My Favorite Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands
There are roughly a million makeup brands (no idea if that’s a fact, but it feels like it, right?), but not all are cruelty-free. About a year and a half ago, I started making sure that anytime I purchased a new product, it was from an animal cruelty-free brand*.
Why cruelty-free? Because it’s extremely horrifying how animals are treated when beauty products are tested on them. Cruelty-Free Kitty recently published an amazing blog post about reasons to go cruelty-free, but here’s my main reason: it’s completely unnecessary for companies to be harming animals this way.
So many brands are creating high-quality products that perform well at all price points without testing anything on animals. If a brand still tests on animals in 2019, that’s a conscious choice it is making, not one of necessity.
Below, I’ve rounded up just a few of my favorite cruelty-free brands. Want to know if your faves are animal cruelty-free? My favorite source is Logical Harmony and her brand list.
I’ve been on a serious Colourpop kick lately. It’s super affordable but still high quality, and the brand personality is just so fun. It also checks some of my favorite my boxes: vegan, cruelty-free, innovative and USA-made. The products I use the most from Colourpop are the Ultra Blotted Lip (fave shades: ‘Doozy’ and ‘Soda Pop’) and Super Shock Eyeshadows (fave shade: ‘Wattles’). I also have a few highlighters from the brand that I’m still forming opinions on because they’re a bit too glam for everyday use.
PYT Beauty is a new brand that was kind enough to send me a few of their products. PYT is female-founded and brands itself as being without the B.S. (bad stuff). The products are cruelty-free and do not contain parabens, phthalates, and petrolatum. I received the No BS eyeshadow palette, the Full Filled plumping lip gloss in ‘Influence’ and the Upgrade highlighter in ‘Front Row.’ So far, I’m loving all the products. I’m not usually a lip gloss girl, but I’m not feeling any overwhelming stickiness with the PYT gloss that made me stop wearing other glosses in the past. I can’t wait to see what other products PYT releases!
You can find NYX at Target, drugstores, Nordstrom Rack and a lot of other places. It’s affordable and accessible, and I’ve honestly had better quality products from NYX than brands three times the price. My ride or die favorite product from NYX is the Lip Lingerie, which is one of my top three favorite liquid lipsticks of all time. I like the Soft Matte Lip Cream (which has a lot more shade options) as well, but for some reason Lip Lingerie works much better for me. I’ve also tried great eyeshadows, eyeliners and more from NYX over the years.
We all love Glossier, it’s not a secret. The two products I most recently tried from Glossier are the Lash Slick mascara and the Balm Dotcom (Cherry) and I love both. I wanted a mascara that was simple and added a slight oomphf to my already thick lashes, and Lash Slick is perfect for that. The only downside is that it’s a little flaky when you remove it, but I don’t notice it flake during the day. I wrote a post about my Glossier faves last fall with more detail about the other products I’ve tried from the brand, which you can read here.
Tarte is a ubiquitous brand with more products than I could ever try (unless I want to go broke, which I do not). Its Shape Tape concealer is one of the few concealers I’ve found that can help combat my super dark undereye circles, and I love the formula. I’ll never let that baby go. I’ve also tried various items from Tarte over the years, like mascaras and lip products, and never been disappointed. It’s a bit higher of a price point than something like NYX, but well worth it in my opinion. And of course, it’s cruelty-free and vegan.
My go-to eyeliner is from Urban Decay (24/7 Glide-On in ‘Demolition’) and I’m hanging onto my original Naked palette for dear life. This is one of the first brands I bought actual nice makeup from, and I still use classic like the Eyeshadow Primer Potion and All Nighter Setting Spray to this day. I love when I can depend on products from a brand for years on end.
There’s an eyeshadow palette I’ve had from Pixi for years that I’m frankly obsessed with (but it’s sadly sold out), but I want to branch out and try more of the brand’s makeup. I love skincare from Pixi and I’ll be honest, the aesthetic is what originally drew me in. But the quality is great and the prices are affordable. Next on my list to try: the Endless Silky Eye Pens and Sheer Cheek Gel.
Milk is my new favorite brand to experiment with. After trying the Kush mascara and loving it, a friend suggested I try the Lip + Cheek tint in “Werk,” which I bought a mini of and fell in love with. And it’s hard to find a blush I like as much as the Glossier Cloud Paints. I also tried the highlighter, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it. One of the things I love about Milk is that it uses very clean ingredients - most of the products are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and talc-free. Two products I see a lot of hype about that I want to try next are the Sunshine Skin Tint and Kush Lip Balm.
What are your favorite cruelty-free beauty brands?
*“Cruelty-free” is a term that in the beauty industry almost always means not tested on animals. I say “animal cruelty free” because Mica, a primary ingredient in most makeup, is mined via child slave labor in many places. I only recently started to learn about it and don’t feel comfortable educating others about it yet, but this Refinery29 piece is a good place to start.
**Products from PYT were gifted, but my opinions are all my own and formed without any influence from the brand. I’m honored to be sent free items, but never modify or censor my opinions because of that.