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Cruelty-Free Makeup: 21 Ethical Brands You Need to Know About

Cruelty-Free Makeup: 21 Ethical Brands You Need to Know About
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Sick of not being able to find cruelty-free makeup brands, organic makeup, vegan cosmetics, or just products that are plain ole’ good for your skin? You’re in luck. Here’s a compilation of my all-time favorite ethical makeup brands. From mascara to acne treatment, these cruelty-free brands will leave you ethically satisfied.

1. Adorn Cosmetics

Adorn cosmetics is registered palm-oil free, cruelty-free, vegan, and toxin-free. This Australian-based company offers cosmetics that are meant to be better for your skin than going makeup-free. The minerals and organic materials will stay on your face through sweat and water — and leave you with a healthy glow. They’re the first cosmetic company to offer a refill program to better both the environment and your bank account. Adorn Cosmetics are free from all parabens, petrochemicals, nano-particles, animal products and byproducts, and gluten.

2. theBalm


Image via theBalm

theBalm was started in Marissa Shipman’s kitchen in 2004 out of her desire for healthy, simplistic makeup. All theBalm’s products are cruelty-free and paraben-free, making them healthier for your skin and the environment. Also, they offer talc-free eyeshadows and blushes. They represent conservation by making many products that have multiple purposes (example: an eyeshadow that doubles as a blush) — so instead of having three empty tubes of makeup, you only have one.

3. Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC)

A registered vegan and cruelty-free makeup brand, Beauty Without Cruelty is a company you can trust. The company was founded by two women who solely wanted to better the lives of animals being tested on by changing the cosmetic industry. Since 1963, BWC has been providing the public with high-quality products that aren’t tested on animals. From vegan mascara to vegan lipstick, BWC is producing beautifully and naturally colored cosmetics.

4. Ellovi

According to their website, “Ellovi was born to disrupt a beauty industry laden with artificial ingredients and cheap fillers.” It doesn’t get better than this (for your skin at least). They have a Butter and a Lip Butter Collection, and all of their products are meant to nourish your skin beyond its surface with ingredients only found in nature. They guarantee integrity and quality in their products as well as the absence of synthetic ingredients, preservatives, parabens, or other “secret ingredients” that cult companies sneak in.

Each of their products is limited to only six ingredients to keep things as natural as possible. They never use water so their products are never stifled down (impressive, because they also don’t use preservatives).

5. Ere Perez


With the creator coming from an entire family of doctors who practice natural medicine, you can trust her love for health and the fruits of the earth. Based in Australia, Ere Perez uses only the most quality resources and combines them with healthy antioxidants. Their products are cruelty-free, full of vitamins and organic oils, fragrance and chemical color-free, naturally pigmented, and full of active ingredients. Their formula is meant to suit all skin types and shades — while also being gentle and nourishing.

6. Josie Maran (JM)


According to PETA, Josie Maran is a 100% cruelty-free makeup brand. And according to Josie Maran, her products are 100% geared toward treating Planet Earth with love and respect. The main ingredients in her products are 100% Pure and 100% Organic Argan Oil (and bonus: the Argan Oil she uses is harvested by women’s co-ops in Morocco that offer “social empowerment” to the workers and protection to the forests).

JM’s packaging is eco-friendly, recyclable, and always evolving to be more green. Overall, Josie wants her customers to know the “effect they’re having on their own health, and the world’s, when they buy [her] products.”

7. Juice Beauty (JB)


All products from Juice Beauty have an organic juice base that takes place of the traditional petroleum derivatives or bulk water. Many of their ingredients are gained from local West Coast certified organic farmers, and they only manufacture here in the U.S.A. They use sustainable containers, print with soy ink, and operate mainly using solar power. In addition, they donate to five different charities. JB believes that “caring for your skin should not prevent caring for your health or for the planet” — can I get an amen? They’re cruelty-free certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny, vegan, include no artificial fragrances, and free of parabens, petroleum, pesticides, GMOs, and much more.

8. Lavera

Lavera is sold under True Natural, but has been its own company since 1987. Based in Germany, Lavera offers over 300 products. They are free from petroleum, synthetic preservatives, emulsifiers, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, parabens, and animal testing. Many of their products are vegan and gluten-free (though not all). Lavera offers makeup, skin care, self-tanner, hair and bath products, and even products for men and babies.

9. Modern Minerals


Modern Minerals follows the philosophy of “emotive beauty” — since beauty is interconnected, we can empower our appearance through mindful moods. Their mission is to help customers create a “balance of inner alchemy, promoting positive emotions and good feelings about herself and her choices.”

Modern Minerals accomplishes all this while remaining a cruelty-free makeup brand and entirely vegan. Their whole line of makeup was created around the science of aromatherapy (natural, of course) and how it can bring about certain moods.

10. Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR)


Neal’s Yard Remedies is a cruelty-free makeup brand certified by PETA, 100% vegetarian, and recognized by several Fair Trade foundations. Through supporting organic farming, fair trade programs, and wild-harvesting, NYR fulfills its purpose of improving the lives of their customers, their partners, and communities. They don’t believe in synthetic chemicals or harming the planet, and have the largest collection of Soil Association certified organic products in the world. NYR offers full and technical ingredients lists for curious customers, but they really are trustworthy in providing healthy, quality products.

11. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC)


According to their website, “OCC strives to be on the forefront of colour cosmetics, while honoring both our professional makeup artistry and cruelty-free heritage. OCC is proud to be 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free, as internationally certified by PETA.” Founded in 2004 by a professional makeup artist from New York City, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics began with only two lip balms. Now, the company offers lip tars, glitter, pencils, eyeshadows, brushes, nail polish, tinted moisturizer, concealer, and primer. They also offer “Creme Colour Concentrates,” which are multi-purpose. These high-end creams come in vivids and neutrals, and can be used on the eyes, lips, and cheeks — and as an added bonus, they’re loaded with vitamin E, aloe leaf extract, and cocoa.

12. Odylique

Founded in the UK by a doctor of natural medicine, this ethical makeup brand is based on the love for all things natural. Odylique is cruelty-free and recognized by the Soil Association, FairTrade Foundation, PETA, Good Shopping Guide of Ethical Beauty, along with many other awards.

They strive to use local, non-toxic and recyclable packaging and are always looking to acquire more fair trade ingredients. They give back to charities, including the Pink Ribbon Foundation and St. Nicholas’ Hospice. Their products are free from artificial color and fragrance, hydrogenated oils, lanolin, paraben, peanut oil, nano-particles, and phthalates (among many other things). They offer facial care, body and hair products, makeup, and even products for “Mum & Baby.”

13. PHB Ethical Beauty

This jack-of-all-trades company was started in the UK and is cruelty-free, 100% Vegan, 100% Halal, palm oil free, has been awarded for ethics by two foundations, donates 20% back to charity, and uses all safe and natural organic ingredients! What’s not to love? From skin care, to hair care, to men’s care, to cosmetics, PHB Ethical Beauty is an incredibly reliable source of ethical makeup. They claim to be the “original ethical beauty brand” making it their purpose to provide completely pure products. They believe the earth provides us with everything we need to have happy and healthy skin, so they only use products from nature. Makes sense, right? They’re free from parabens, urea, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, alcohol, synthetic fragrances, and synthetic colors.

14. Tarte


With a slogan like “be green, be smart, be tarte!” how could we not love them? Tarte started out of a one-bedroom apartment in 1999, and the ethical makeup brand strives to have pure, powerful cosmetics. They want to prove that “glamour can be good for you.” They do so by offering a line of 100% cruelty-free products with ingredients like superfruit, plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, essential oils, and more.

Tarte’s products are completely free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, gluten, and more. They pride themselves in making ethical makeup that lasts and is smudge-proof, waterproof, and sweatproof. Though not all of their makeup is vegan, they have a PETA certified vegan section on their site. From their amazing makeup to their wonderful face masks and moisturizers, Tarte is a great brand to trust.

15. Too Faced


Too Faced is a completely cruelty-free makeup brand and has more than 30 vegan products (though not all of their products are vegan). They’re “unabashedly pink, pretty, and feminine” and here to bring back the days of light and happy makeup. They “use the finest, cutting-edge ingredients to create innovative cruelty-free color cosmetics,” encourage women to try new things, and believe that makeup gives women a confidence that other things cannot. From eyes, to face, to lips, Too Faced is a thoroughly high-quality brand.

16. Urban Decay


Certified as a cruelty-free PETA mall partner and vegan product maker, Urban Decay is “created by makeup junkies for makeup junkies.” The founder, Wende Zomnir, personally tests every UD product through days of snowboarding, surfing, and hot yoga. From eyeshadow, to eye pencils, to “the ultimate lip arsenal,” Urban Decay has colors and neutrals to make your face reflect your personality.

17. W3LL People

Driven by the fact that the skin absorbs 80% of what goes on it, this cruelty-free makeup brand is all about natural ingredients — their only non-vegan ingredient is beeswax. The company, founded by a professional makeup artist, a dermatologist, and a green entrepreneur, builds each product on three things: simplicity, authenticity, and performance. All W3LL People’s products are handcrafted in small amounts in the USA and are free from fillers, propylene glycol, petrochemicals, parabens, nano-particles, phthalates, preservatives, artificial chemicals and petroleum byproducts (to name a few). Practically everything they create contains organic Aloe Vera, organic Chamomile, or organic Green Tea — feel refreshed yet?

18. Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc. (GCI)

Founded to bring out the natural beauty in a woman, Gabriel Cosmetics also advocates for all around healthy living. Offering sustainable, organic, gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan skincare, GCI is a great place to find ethical makeup. From the influence of a beloved grandmother who lived by the sea and utilized the seaweed and kelp, Gabriel Cosmetics comes from mainly sea-derived ingredients. They contain 100% natural ingredients like plant oils, botanicals, and offer non-allergenic and fragrance-free skincare products.

19. Zuzu Luxe

Branded under Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc., Zuzu Luxe is a cruelty-free, all-natural, gluten-free, and vegan makeup brand. Its packaging is a little more modern and offers refillable options. Whether it’s mascara, powder foundation, liquid foundation, blush, lipstick, or eyeshadow, Zuzu Luxe is your one-stop, ethical cosmetic shop.

20. 100% Pure


What if I told you there was a brand that had natural makeup, skincare, bath products, and hair products (and free shipping!)? Wouldn’t you be jumping for joy? (I know I would.) 100% Pure is just that: free of harmful toxins, artificial colors and fragrances, synthetic chemical preservatives, and animal cruelty. Certified by both PETA and the Leaping Bunny, you can guarantee that their products stay far away from all animals. Plus, they’re involved in philanthropy with more than 10 animal organizations. The products from 100% Pure are “truly, health food for your skin.”

21. Skyn Iceland

They may not offer makeup, but you’ll definitely want to try their cleansers, moisturizers, eye creams, anti-aging products, and specialty products — like their blemish dots, which are an Earn Spend Live favorite. Certified by PETA as a cruelty-free makeup brand and completely vegan, Skyn Iceland should be your go-to place for all things skincare. All of their products are dermatologist tested and free from formaldehyde, mercury, mineral oil, urea, phthalates, parabens, and many more harmful ingredients. The three staple ingredients (sourced from Iceland) are pollution-free glacier water (with six minerals), arctic super fruits, and per molecular oxygen. Using the science behind how stress affects the skin, the company has formulated remedies to heal and soothe (ethically).

Last modified on August 9th, 2018

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