Cruelty-Free Makeup: 10 Brands That Changed The Industry Forever

Gisela Possetto 2021-09-28

As well as with many other products, there is today a growing amount of people who -for diverse reasons- have turned to cruelty- free brands for cosmetics, specially make up and skin care products. This time we've narrowed down our reviews to 10 of the best cruelty-free products brands that changed the industry forever.

However, it isn't always very easy to tell which cosmetics are truly cruelty-free. Companies usually carefully word their ads to make shopping for cruelty-free beauty a tricky river to navigate.

This is key to mention, at this point: sometimes vegan beauty products are not necessarily cruelty-free and vice versa. One thing is to source ingredients in an sustainable manner and a very different thing is how these products are tested. Some vegan brands do test its products on animals and some other companies that are cruelty-free brands might not use very natural ingredients.

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The cruelty-free brands that you'll find listed are both vegan and cruelty-free brands. Some are probably brands you might not know yet, and others are probably in your makeup bag right now. Go forth and acquaint yourself with our top pick for cruelty- free brands for make up and cosmetics

Our Top Pick for Cruelty-free Makeup Brands

Milani Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer

A very good and affordable option for concealing black circles around your eyes. Light, easy to apply and 100% cruelty-free and vegan. Buy on Amazon

Hourglass Brush - Veil Powder

The high quality of its ultra-soft synthetic bristles make this Hourglass brush both classy and cruelty-free! This is perhaps a product for more experienced make up users but if this is going to be your first brush, do not hesitate a second. Buy on Amazon

e.l.f. The New Classics 18 Eyeshadow Palette Set, Neutral Tones

This palette brings 18 eyeshadows in neutral tones rebooted by e.l.f. as The New Classics. And amazing variety of shades for you to play with. 100% cruelty-free and vegan. Buy on Amazon

Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette

For more dramatic and night looks, this is the vegan pallette you've looking for. 12 shadows inspired by the power and colors of natural stones, a lovely option.The set includes a mirror and a double-ended brush as a gift! Buy on Amazon

essence | Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

A very good and affordable cruelty-free mascara that will gie you a polished look. Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara defines and separates lashes while achieving a bold look. Buy on Amazon

Herbivore - Bakuchiol Natural Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum

A truly high quality and powerful serum brought to you by Herbivore as a cruelty-free alternative to retinol formula. Absolutely amazing products, especially for very dry and sensitive skins. Buy on Amazon

Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume and Curling Marcara

A very nice mascara for dramatic eyes but with that natural subtleness we all love. Especially designed to hydrate your lashes while building them up. Ideal for sensitive skin. Buy on Amazon

Honest Beauty Gloss-C Lip Gloss

For those lip gloss lovers, this is an excellent choice. Available in 8 different refreshing colors, the coconut oil will moisture your lips as no other! This product is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Buy on Amazon

KVD Beauty Vegan Beauty Mascara + Liner + Liquid Lipstick Set

Kat Von D Vegan Beauty products are awesome and need no further introduction. This set includes one iconic Tattoo Liner + a Go Big or Go Home Mascara + an incredible Kitten Mini Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Mother”. Each product is high quality. You could save a couple of bucks with this amazing set. Buy on Amazon

Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Fix Corrector

Another high quality concealer with a practical applicator at a very reasonable price. It goes well for a light or day look and it's great moisturizer for drier types of skins or complexions that have started to show fine lines. Buy on Amazon

Please read on to find more details about this product along with reviews about every one of them.

Milani Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
3_5

Buy on Amazo

What I Like

  • Available in 7 shades.
  • The mess-proof cushion tip applicator works great!
  • Natural glow and full coverage formula.

What I Don't Like

  • Might not be too easy to blend, but it just practice!

Born in East LA, Milani has always been a cruelty-free brand connected to the rich diversity of its own environment, more specifically their people. Under the motto "beauty is for everyone", the company has consistently brought the most affordable cruelty- free products for every make up lover out there.

What I love the most about this particular cruelty-free liquid concealer is the cushion applicator tip which is perfect to cover easily dark circles, blemishes and normal skin imperfections. And what's more important, all Milani products are certified by PETA and are never tested on animals.

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This is a great full coverage concealer, especially for the price. It's long lasting - no need for retouch in a day- and does not cake up or dry up on my particularly sensitive skin.

It’s very thin and takes a few layers of the concealer to cover dark circles after a long night of little rest. However, If you don’t use a good primer under your eye the product will eventually separate into the creases under your eye. Still, one of the best products for a day to day cover up. If you are looking for more dramatic make up, wait for our next reviews.

No overpricing and not tested on animals, this Milani liquid concealer is actually a great choice for beginners or if you are looking for a practical way to carry a full coverage all day!

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Hourglass Brush - Veil Powder

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
4_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Not animal hair.
  • Perfect shape that picks teh right amount of powder!
  • PETA-approved, high-grade, ultra-soft Taklon bristles.

What I Don't Like

  • Pricey, but very durable.

Veil powder by cruelty-free brand Hourglass is just an amazing organic make up product. The smaller, tapered side is perfectly shaped to fit under the eye for setting the under-eye area, while the large, rounded side is designed to be used for all-over application on the face.

Hourglass is known for its commitment to reinventing luxury cosmetics and has been proven consistent doing so. Believing beauty and ethical manufacturing of beauty products should not be excluding, Hourglass is a cruelty-free brand and has pledged to become completely vegan in 2020.

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It' s not big news that Hourglass is the finest in brushes, and this one is no exception. The smudge brush is superb in controlling how much make-up you're picking and applying. It thoughtful design will prevent any mess-up. With proper care, they can last forever.

I've always loved Hourglass products because they mean one thing: QUALITY... and I'm so glad they have decided to take action and reinvented their products for a more ethical, cruelty-free manufacturing and becoming one of the most popular cruelty-free brands.

About this brush, I particularly love the ultra-soft synthetic bristles that are perfectly dispersed and shaped to pick up the ideal amount of loose powder to create the most airbrushed, excellent finish and great coverage you need.

It might be a little expensive but 100% worth it. It's a great brush for daily or night make up. If you happen to be skin sensitive, this is an excellent choice.

e.l.f. The New Classics 18 Eyeshadow Palette Set, Neutral Tones

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
5_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Intense color pay-off
  • Mix of matte, satin and shimmer shadows
  • Smooth, creamy and ultra pigmented formula.

What I Don't Like

  • Packaging could be definitely be improved, especially for shipping purposes.

The new classics eyeshadow palette is an awesome product by e.l.f. which you may know or have tried already. What I love the most about this particular relaunch of cruelty-free classical shadows is the Luxe formula. It makes the eyeshadow truly smooth, creamy, blendable, and ultra-pigmented for effortless application.

This is a fantastic option for the day but also perfect for a more dramatic look if used along with a black eyeliner, powerful mascara and a nice lipstick. e.l.f. is another cruelty- free brand that has paved the way and has lead the revolution of cruelty-free brands in the make up industry with its high quality 100% vegan and cruelty-free products.

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I'm a profuse user of eyeshadows both for day and night looks and I couldn't be more in love with this new classics color pallette. This is legitimately one of the best palette I have ever purchased. All the colors are nice. There is a blend of shimmery, matte, sparkly, and creamy textures. They are all pigmented and easily blended. For reference, I have light brown eyes and get use from each and every color. They range from base nudes to dark cherries, browns, greens... and more and they are so gentle to the skin!

I strongly recommend this pallette for younger users and beginners because it's incredibly easy and practical to apply. Love that the pigments are so present in every shade and the price is fair for the quality of the pallette. 5 stars for e.l.f, please.

Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette

1
Price: $52.89
Sustainable Warriors Score
5_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Super creamy formula
  • The set includes a mirror and a double-ended brush as a gift!
  • The colors are fascinating!

What I Don't Like

  • Pricey, but 100% worth it.

Urban Decay is another big name among cruelty-free brands that has decided to stop turning their back on the planet and has compromised with a more ethical, cruelty-free manufacturing of cosmetics. It's great when big companies -that are known for the quality -compromise with cruelty-free process of fabrication because we sustainable make up lovers here love their products, right?

Back in the 90s, Founder Wende Zomnir created a line of nail polishes and lipsticks for people who were officially over nudes and light pinks. Since then the brand has exploded into one of the most beloved on earth among beauty obsessives. That's why if you are a drama lover you'll love this stone inspired collection brought to you by Urban Decay.

The pack includes 12 Shimmer + Matte Shades that are made with a super-creamy vegan formula with Tourmaline Crystal. Every shade is inspired actually by a particular gem.

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As a lover of gems, their mystic symbolism and their beautiful colors, I'm absolutely mad about this pallette. It’s gorgeous! The colors are beautiful and they look even better on my eyelids! the packaging is absolutely adorable and the texture is a blessing. If you are a glitter lover like me, you should definitely try this pallette.

The color of the eye shadows are beautiful and the shimmer colors are very shimmery. I love Urban Decay, personally, and I'm so happy the hadn't let me down with their cruelty-free vegan products. You know... it's pricey, yeah, but definitely 100% durable and worth every cent. Highly recommended cruelty-free brand!

essence | Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
5_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • The price is a bargain
  • The false effect lashes is REAL.
  • Brand acknowledged by PETA as cruelty-free.

What I Don't Like

  • Packaging could be improved.

Among the cruelty-free brands that are loved by everyone is essence. The essence false lash effect is really great! I love this mascara from its presentation, its price to its performance. Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara gives you an instant false lash look for all-day wear. You just apply one coat for instant defined volume, or 2-3 coats for an extra voluminous, bold look.

For an even more dramatic volume, the conic shape fiber brush is designed to deliver volume and sculpted length WITHOUT clumps or globs.

The mascara is ideal for day or night looks. You'll go about your day free from flaking and fading! This mascara does not flake, fade, or wear, making it a perfect all-day, long lasting mascara.

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This mascara is everything and I highly recommend it! It's better than any extra volume mascara that I've used in the past years (and I've tried many). It’s not waterproof - I like them better, anyway, because lashes look more natural- but I can wear it all day at work and then to a super high intensity work out class and it still looks great.

This has definitely became my favorite mascara for light make up. It lasts and doesn't dry super fast so you can build it as much as you want, it comes off easily, too with my eye makeup remover and doesn't flake throughout the day.

I also love the wand -this part is huge for me- it glides the mascara on perfectly and separates my lashes. Honestly, if you love dramatic lashes and hate false unnatural versions, you should definitely try this one for the price and quality cannot be beat!

Herbivore - Bakuchiol Natural Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum

2
Sustainable Warriors Score
5_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Ideal to reduce dullness, fine lines, wrinkles and dryness
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • The serum formula is incredible!

What I Don't Like

  • Not all ingredients are organic. Please check the label, as with any product

If you are searching among cruelty-free brands, for a high quality make up product that can help you refine the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this is it! The secret to this serum is the natural power of bakuchiol (a botanical ingredient) that’s soft and gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.

The texture of this water-based serum is simply great! It spreads on smoothly, providing rapid hydration for silky-soft skin. Bakuchiol Serum is a naturally derived retinol-alternative serum for the shiniest complexion. The key ingredient for the serum is sourced sustainably from the ayurvedic Babchi plant.

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1

This stuff is simply awesome! I noticed a softening of lines after a couple weeks using it only a few times a week. It's true that I used it with a natural oil combined, but the effect of this cruelty-free retinol alternative shows! The quality is good and it also feels smooth on your skin.

My experience was that I do have very sensitive and dry skin, actually. So, I'm used to putting serums and oils rather than creams on my skin... they simply work better for me. So I had high expectations about this serum when I found it. And I was not disappointed at all! THIS PRODUCT IS AMAZING. I’ve been using it only for a few weeks and my skin has never looked better. It’s pricey, thou, a little goes a long way.

I normally use a few drops at night after I wash my face and my skin looks and feels better and better each morning. They say you get what you pay and this time, it's true. Totally worth every cent!

Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume and Curling Marcara

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
4_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • It's easy to remove, preventing irritations
  • Ideal for sensitive eyes
  • 100% from synthetic ingredients and fragrances

What I Don't Like

  • It may dry out too quickly. Practice makes master, thou

This Wander Beauty Mascara has the back up of Wander Beauty and it's IDEAL FOR SENSITIVE EYE. The mascara is washable and long wearing bit so easy to remove! It won't run into your eyes during the day, even when exercising. This is not only a product to embellish your lashes but to nourish them, too!

What makes this mascara so nourishing? #1 ingredient here is the peach leaf extract that will condition and moisturize your lashes. The castor seed oil nourishes, moisturizes and strengthens lashes while reducing lash fallout and promoting their growth. This is indeed a very good mascara to get you started with cruelty-free brands.

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This is one of my most favorite mascaras, actually. It lifts, fills, lengthen and doesn't smudge! I found this by chance and decided to give it a go as I already had a cruelty-free mascara that worked. My eyes and skin in general are quite sensitive so as I read that this one was perfect for that, I bought it and, so far so good. With only two layers on, this makes my eyes look amazing. It won't give you a dramatic lift and look but a more natural one, ideal for daytime.

Honest Beauty Gloss-C Lip Gloss

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
4_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Natural rose opal tone
  • Coconut oil to moisturize and nourish lips
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

What I Don't Like

  • The plastic applicator could be better.

Honest is honestly - pun intended- one of my favorite cruelty-free brands! This Honest creamy lip gloss is packed with powerful and clean ingredients that give you the shine you want, without the tacky, sticky feel you don’t want. Made with the finest ingredients like smoothing Coconut Oil to nourish lips, while hyaluronic acid delivers long-lasting hydration. The pomegranate flower extract smells and tastes delicious and the jojoba seed oil wil give you that plumper, fuller looking effect while looking natural and fresh.

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Sometimes when it comes to lip glosses-that arrived in the early 2000s to stay forever -we may dislike, or at least me in particular, the sticky texture that they usually have. But this cruelty- free make up product by Honest is nothing like that! The gloss will run smooth through your lips and you'll feel the hydration working immediately.

I highly recommend this lip gloss: the colors are beautiful, the texture feels amazing and it keeps your lips moistened. Besides, it's a fair price for a good - not great- product. And most important, no stickiness!

KVD Beauty Vegan Beauty Mascara + Liner + Liquid Lipstick Set

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
5_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • 100% organic ingredients.
  • Award- winning company.
  • Good price for such quality products.

What I Don't Like

  • Packaging could be improved, especially for shipping purposes.

Kat Von D Vegan Beauty Line need no further introduction. The former owner of the brand, Kat Von D - a renown make up and tattoo artist - has always been a public supporter of animal rights and with that spirit, she founded Kat Von D Beauty ten years ago. And its dedication to high-quality cruelty-free and vegan formulas remains firmly the same. The brand has been cruelty-free since 2010 and 100% vegan since 2016, and it's continued to innovate. If you think vegan means crunchy, subpar formulas, let any of these products in the set prove you wrong. A leading name among cruelty-free brands, KVD Beauty is an excellent choice, always!

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KVD Tattoo Liner
2
Go Big or Go Home Mascara

KVD Vegan Beauty's Vegan Beauty Bestsellers Set is a 3-piece set of award-winning icons, featuring a full-size KVD Vegan Beauty Go Big or Go Home Mascara in Trooper Black, a mini Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in dusty mauve pink Mother, and a full-size Tattoo Liner in Trooper Black.

I really love each product on this set. The quality and the presentation of KVD Vegan Beauty make up products cannot be beat! And it's not pricey!

Each makeup tool delivers easy application and ultimate precision. They make a perfect tool for everyone, from beginners to pros. The iconic KVD Tattoo Liner is my favorite here: an inky, tattoo-potent pigment that will give you the perfect definition thanks to its ultra-fine brush tip for needle-sharp precision.

And let's remember, KVD Beauty products are 100% VEGAN, with long-wear, high-pigment performance, and 100% vegan and cruelty-free formulas,. Trust me, you will never have to choose between performance and compassion again. Kudos to KVD Vegan Beauty for continuing revolutionizing the cruelty-free brands market!

Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Fix Corrector

1
Sustainable Warriors Score
3_5

Buy on Amazon

What I Like

  • Full coverage concealer
  • Comes in six different colors to match your complexion
  • Hydrating formula

What I Don't Like

  • What I Don't Like What I Don't Like

Covergirl has been always one of these cruelty-free brands making quality products affordable for every one, and this concealer is no exception.Do you want to look your freshest face? You should definitely try Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Fix Advanced Concealer.

This full coverage concealer instantly improves the look of skin by hiding dark circles and smoothing fine lines. The formula with hyaluronic complex and vitamin C will make your skin look healthier and more hydrated.

The soft tip applicator IS SO PRACTICAL, TOO! It helps blend for flawless coverage for day or night make up.

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I would say that this Covergirl concealer is perfect as a complement for your anti-age skin care routine. It's especially designed to keep your skin hydrated, which becomes more common as we age. At the same the soft applicator will allow a perfect coverage. But it's true that the full coverage is not 100% full coverage if you don't apply it along with some moisturizer or alike products.

However, if you are just starting with your cruelty-free skin care routines, this is an excellent choice amoing cruelty-free brands. Remember that it will take some practice to master the full coverage, but you will eventually. As they say, you get what you pay and for less than 10 bucks, this concealer just does the work!

Hopefully, we've provided you with enough information and a variety of products that will help you get started with cruelty-free brands! All the products reviewed in here are great and as you can see there are infinite possibilities for you to buy online!

Remember to always check labels for possible allergic ingredients - some products might be cruelty-free but still use a lot of synthetic ingredients. Try to chose vegan and cruelty-free if possible. The myth of beauty hurts should be totally banned from our heads once and for all. Beauty products should be available for very make up lover out there and should be ethically manufactured.

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See you next time! Thanks for reading!

Gisela Possetto

Copywirter, Cats + Tattoos + Music Lover

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