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.
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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!
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.
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!
- Adorn Cosmetics
- Au Naturale
- Barry M.
- Beauty Without Cruelty
- Elate Beauty
- Gabriel Cosmetics
- Herbivore Botanicals
- Lime Crime
- Pacifica Beauty
- Real Techniques
- Red Apple Lipstick
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!
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.