11 Best Affordable Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands


With a growing market for vegan makeup and cruelty-free cosmetics, more and more beauty brands are abandoning animal ingredients and animal testing. While many animal-friendly luxury companies have high prices, there are a number of cruelty-free makeup brands that also produce affordable personal care products.

In this article, we’ll recommend 11 essential beauty products that have drugstore price tags and cruelty-free certifications. An easy change to make in your daily makeup and skincare routine is to invest in cruelty-free cosmetics that protect the most vulnerable among us – animals.


Our picks for the best cruelty-free makeup products

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the author. Learn more about our review the methodology here. If you make a purchase using the included links, we may earn a commission.

What to know about cruelty-free makeup

While vegan products are great for the environment, they’re not always cruelty-free – and cruelty-free isn’t always vegan. “Vegan” means the product’s formula contains no ingredients of animal origin, while “cruelty-free” means it was developed without animal testing.

None of the products we recommend in this article are tested on animals at any point in the production process. They come from ethical and cruelty-free makeup brands, which can be hard to find in the massive beauty industry.

Full reviews of our top picks

Best Foundation: Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Liquid Foundation

www.milanicosmetics.com

Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation comes in over 40 shades, so there’s one color for just about any skin tone. The appeal of this foundation is that it combines a liquid foundation with the power of a concealer to create smooth, even, and flawless skin in one step. The waterproof foundation has a natural-looking satin matte finish for all-day wear.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with approximately 15,000 Amazon ratings

Why buy: Milani Cosmetics is both Leaping Bunny certified and a PETA Beauty Without Bunnies brand. The company’s focus on inclusivity and affordability makes it one of the best cruelty-free makeup brands for any shopper.

Best concealer: NYX HD Studio photogenic concealer

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer

www.nyxcosmetics.com

This medium coverage concealer applies gently to help cover blemishes, skin discoloration and dark circles. NYX Concealer Wand is available in 23 shades, including color correcting green, yellow and lavender.

Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 30,500 Amazon reviews

Why buy: NYX Professional Makeup products are certified cruelty-free by PETA. This product is also vegan and contains no gluten, soy or parabens.

Best Pressed Powder: Bye Bye Pores IT Cosmetics Pressed Finishing Powder

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Finishing Powder

www.itcosmetics.com

This translucent compact setting powder is suitable for all skin tones and its formula helps reduce the appearance of pores and blemishes. Bye Bye Pores compact powder can be useful for touch-ups throughout the day. It can also be used as a blotting powder.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 2,100 Amazon ratings

Why buy: This formulation was developed with the knowledge of plastic surgeons and dermatologists and uses an anti-aging blend of peptides, silk, hydrolyzed collagen, and antioxidants that can help skin look younger. IT Cosmetics is PETA Beauty Without Bunnies certified. This product is also free from parabens and propylene glycol.

Best blush: Milani Baked Blush

Baked Milanese Blush

www.milanicosmetics.com

Milani’s Baked Blush comes in 16 different shades, adding a pop of color to any skin tone. The color range includes pink and peach tones with satin or shimmer finishes. Each high quality Milani blush is sun-baked on Italian terracotta tiles to ensure it gives your skin a warm glow.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 21,500 Amazon ratings

Why buy: This Milani product is certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny and PETA Beauty Without Bunnies standards. It is vegan and is made without paraben preservatives.

Best Highlighter: Pacifica Beauty Ice Baby Moisturizing Highlighter

Baby Pacifica Beauty Ice Moisturizing Highlighter

www.pacificabeauty.com

Made with coconut water and giving off a cool pink tint, Pacifica Ice Baby Moisturizing Highlighter can be a good choice for those looking for a lush and glowing look. The formula creates a velvety powder that’s easy to apply to the cheekbones, nose, upper lip, or anywhere else you want to shine.

Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars with 200+ Amazon Ratings

Why buy: The formula for this highlighter is 100% vegan and cruelty-free as per the standards of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program. The formula does not contain parabens or phthalates.

Best Eyeshadow Palette: elf Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette

elf Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette

www.elfcosmetics.com

This elf Cosmetics palette includes 10 matte shadows ideal for shading, highlighting and defining eyes. The diversity of the palette allows you to mix and match colors to achieve looks that are both natural and bolder.

Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 350 Amazon ratings

Why buy: All elf Cosmetics products are vegan and approved by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program. This eyeshadow palette is also paraben free and does not use phthalates, nonylphenol, ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban or hydroquinone.

Best eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil

Urban Decay 24_7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil

www.urbandecay.com

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is designed for ease of application. It has a long lasting creamy formula that makes drawing beautiful, precise lines simple and smooth. Or, it can be blended for a smokey eye look.

Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 3,500 Amazon ratings

Why buy: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil uses hydrating and hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil. Like all Urban Decay products, this eyeliner is certified cruelty-free by PETA. It also does not contain flavors, parabens, gluten or soy.

Best Cruelty-Free Mascara: Essence Cosmetics Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

Essence Cosmetics Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

essencemakeup.com

This mascara uses a cone-shaped fiber brush that helps separate and coat each lash, creating a voluminous look without making lumps. Essence’s Lash Princess mascara formula helps prevent chipping and fading, so it’s great to wear all day.

Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 202,000 Amazon ratings

Why buy: Essence is a cruelty-free makeup brand from PETA Beauty Without Bunnies, so you can be sure it never tests on animals. The formula does not include gluten, parabens, soy, propylene glycol or other harsh irritants.

Best Vegan Lip Balm: Eco Lips Mongo Kiss Lip Balm

Eco Lips Mongo Kiss Lip Balm

ecolips.com

This USDA certified organic product uses ingredients like mongongo oil and cocoa butter to help soothe and hydrate dry, chapped and chapped lips. It can be used as a base for lipstick or lip liner.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 3,500 Amazon Ratings

Why buy: Eco Lips vegan beauty products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free. The lip balm container is made from over 40% post-consumer recycled material. The formula does not include parabens, lanolin, gluten, soy, propylene glycol, corn, chemicals, petroleum, dyes or irritants. It is certified non-GMO, Fairtrade, Leaping Bunny and PETA Beauty Without Bunnies.

Best lipstick: IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips Lipstick

IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips Lipstick

www.itcosmetics.com

This IT Cosmetics lipstick comes in a variety of shades with cream and matte finishes, so there is something for everyone. Lipstick contains collagen to help create a plumping effect, making lips fuller. Its high impact color and pigment can be applied in one pass.

Customer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars with around 150 Amazon ratings

Why buy: In addition to collagen, this lipstick’s PETA-certified cruelty-free formula includes hyaluronic filling spheres, shea butter, and beeswax. The ingredients are helpful in minimizing the appearance of lip wrinkles.

Best Fixing Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Fixing Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Fixing Spray

www.urbandecay.com

Urban Decay’s award-winning setting spray uses temperature control technology to help makeup stay put for up to 16 hours. It is oil free and suitable for all skin types including oily, normal and dry skin.

Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with 5,000+ Amazon Ratings

Why buy: All Nighter Setting Spray is one of Urban Decay’s vegan beauty products. It is also certified cruelty-free according to PETA Beauty Without Bunnies standards. The formula does not contain parabens, gluten, coloring, soy or oil.

Faq: cruelty-free makeup brands

Is L’Oréal cruelty-free?

L’Oréal is not cruelty-free. Its products are sold in China, where the government requires animal testing for foreign cosmetics.

Is Maybelline cruelty-free?

Like its parent company L’Oréal, Maybelline is not without cruelty. Its products are sold in China, where the government requires animal testing for foreign cosmetics.

Is Kylie Cosmetics cruelty-free?

Kylie Cosmetics products are not tested on animals, but the brand’s parent company, Coty, Inc, is not cruelty-free.

What makeup does not test on animals?

There are many brands of makeup that do not test on animals. When shopping for products, keep an eye out for cruelty-free signals such as the Leaping Bunny Certified or PETA Beauty Without Bunnies logos.

Is “cruelty-free” makeup really cruelty-free?

The term “cruelty-free” is currently not regulated by the US government, so you can’t trust every product or company that advertises it. Some brands use other companies to do their animal testing, but claim to “not test on animals” because they don’t do the testing themselves. The best way to ensure that a business or product is truly cruelty-free is to seek certifications such as Leaping Bunny or PETA Beauty Without Bunnies.

About Nunnally Maurice

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