5 of the Best Cruelty Free Makeup Brands

A few weeks ago I had one of those moments where I walked into Sephora and just stood there for 5 minutes before walking straight back out again. I’d wanted to try some new products but felt overwhelmed – overwhelmed by the realisation that I just did not know which brands were ethical, and which were not. 

I really think it is so important that we vote with our dollars and support brands which are doing the right thing. But at the same time, it is so time consuming to sit down with your laptop and do a deep dive on all your favourite cosmetics brands. Because of this, I thought I’d pull together some information and hopefully make it that little bit easier for you when it comes to those makeup store visits. 

As both an artist and a brand, part of what I do is to bring to the forefront of peoples’ minds issues that I find important, and to share different ways that we can lessen our impact on other beings. We often talk about the vegan movement in terms of our diets, but the makeup industry is also an important consideration. When you walk into a cosmetics store, all you see is the glitz and shimmer of beautiful products, however the reality is often far from this. 

How does the cosmetics industry harm animals?

  • Animal testing: In these tests, animals have chemicals poured into their eyes, down their throats, and onto their shaved skin in order to document their reaction to ensure the product is safe for human use. When the tests are complete, the animals are usually ‘disposed’ of. In the U.K. and across Europe, animal testing for cosmetics has been banned, proving that this can be effectively done. On the other end of the spectrum, China is one of the worst countries in terms of animal testing, testing over 300,000 rabbits, mice and other animals each year - a significant chunk of the estimated 500,000 animals used in cosmetics testing annually worldwide.

  • Animal products: Whilst animal testing is the most publicised aversion to the cosmetics industry, there are also many animal products used in the cosmetics themselves. Check out this article from Plant Based News to learn more about non-vegan ingredients in makeup products.

My Favourite Cruelty Free Makeup Brands

  • Kat Von D: In 2016, Kat Von D announced plans to reformulate her makeup line to be completely vegan. Since the announcement, the brand has been slowly releasing their reformulated vegan makeup products. Their popular Shade + Light Contour Palette was the first to be reformulated and carmine was removed as an ingredient, making the contour palette completely vegan. This palette is one of my favourites, as is the Kat Von D liquid eyeliner – it’s just a dream to apply!

  • Tarte Cosmetics: Tarte does not test on animals and is a certified cruelty-free brand by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program. However, it should be noted that Tarte is owned by a parent company, Kose, which is not cruelty free. I understand completely that there are two ways of looking at companies such as this - in my opinion I think we should support the cruelty free arms of companies. By doing this we show the parent companies what is important to us, the consumer. Tarte Cosmetics is a brand which has only recently come to my attention but has quickly established its place as a staple in my makeup bag. 

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills: Anastasia Beverly Hills is a cruelty free makeup brand most known for their incredible brow products, as well as their contour and glow kits. Whilst most of their products are vegan, their brushes aren’t yet so steer clear of those. I personally find it hard to go past their DipBrow Pomade. It’s one of the best brow products I have ever come across – and is vegan and cruelty free.

  • CoverFX: CoverFX is a vegan and cruelty free line made with products that are free of parabens, alkyl sulphates, phthalates and a bunch of other nasties. They are known for their large range of foundation shades – whilst I don’t often struggle to find foundation shades that match, I am a particular fan of their primer and illuminator. 

  • The Body Shop: It would be remiss of me to finish this list without mention of The Body Shop. This iconic brand is 100% cruelty free and have launched a number of successful campaigns to persuade decision makers to implement positive change. They offer a large range of everyday products, including a line of vegan makeup brushes and of course, is super accessible, with stores dotted all over the country. 

Whilst these are my favourite Cruelty Free Brands, it’s important to keep in mind that there are an ever-expanding range of cosmetic brands doing amazing work. For access to a complete list of cruelty free makeup brands, including product specific information, please click here

Do you have a go-to cruelty free makeup brand? Leave your favourite in the comments below!

Dara x