13 Vegan and Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands You Can Actually Trust


We carefully vetted these brands so you don’t have to.

If you care about animal welfare, maybe you’ve gone vegan, stopped wearing leather, or even just tried to be flexitarian (any little bit counts!). But there’s one sneaky place that animal-derived ingredients may be hiding: Your makeup products. Not only that, but some brands may test on animals — even if the ingredients are technically vegan.

Animal ingredients in your lipstick or eyeshadow are actually much more common than you might think. Some products are made with animal fats like tallow (for hydration), beeswax (which acts as a structurant to help make formulas occlusive), or even more cringe-worthy ingredients like carmine, a deep red pigment made with insects found in many red lipsticks.

As for testing on animals, many companies have begun phasing out the practice, but unfortunately, it still happens. Here’s what you need to know about vegan and cruelty-free products:

Vegan makeup describes makeup that hasn’t been formulated with any animal products or byproducts.
Cruelty-free means that the product itself hasn’t been tested on animals, and that any raw materials used in making it weren’t tested on animals, either.
While many big-name brands aren’t vegan or cruelty-free, that doesn’t mean that vegan and cruelty-free makeup is any less efficacious or exciting.