Top 10 Cruelty Free Makeup Brands You'll Be Proud To Wear

Published by Tee Corley

Cruelty Free Makeup Means Less Harm To You, Too

You know that cruelty free makeup brands are safer for animals. But did you know cruelty free makeup brands are also proven to include fewer toxic ingredients and harsh chemicals than your run of the mill drugstore brands?

That’s right. It should come as no surprise that eco-focused brands tend to use higher quality products, but it can be tough to know for certain in the current corporate climate.

Finding the best cruelty-free makeup brands is both extremely important and daunting. But we think you’ll be surprised to learn how many cruelty free makeup brands are available - and at a reasonable cost.

Unfortunately, makeup brands are not currently required to state whether they test on animals or not. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of certified cruelty free makeup brands to make your beauty goals easier to achieve in the kindest and safest way possible.

Makeup brands are not currently required to state whether they test on animals or not.

What Are Cruelty Free Makeup Brands?

Cruelty free makeup brands are cosmetic companies that do not test their products on animals, nor do they harm or kill any animals by testing individual ingredients on them.

I know what you’re thinking. Does that mean some companies are putting lipstick on monkeys or deliberately applying toxic topicals to pigs knowing full well it could result in a life-threatening rash? Yes, some companies do.

Not only is this cruel to our fellow living beings, it also means these companies are dabbling in chemicals that are harmful to the environment - and you!

We know you want to be the change you wish to see in the world. Why else would you be here? So let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to find cruelty free makeup brands.

cruelty free makeup brands certifications

How Do I Find Cruelty Free Makeup Brands?

As we mentioned earlier, companies do not currently need to disclose whether or not they test on animals. That means companies who practice earth loving ethics need to go out of their way to prove they are cruelty free by applying (and paying for) special certifications.

Here are a few certifications to look for on labels of cruelty free makeup brands.

  • Leaping Bunny - As the only internationally recognized certification, Leaping Bunny requires independent audits to verify that brands making cruelty free claims are being truthful. You can be certain that makeup and household products with this logo are safe for you and our furry (and not so furry) friends.
  • Beauty Without Bunnies - This is PETA’s cruelty free certification. Brands sporting this logo are simply asked to make a written pledge that they do not test ingredients, formulations, or finished products on animals.
  • Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) - As an independent, non-profit organization, the bearers of this logo are required to sign a legally binding document stating that none of the brand’s products or ingredients are tested on animals.
  • Certified Vegan - Vegan products are an all around safe bet. Because they contain no products or by-products of animals - even excluding honey from their list of ingredients - you can be sure Certified Vegan products, by non-profit organization Vegan Action, are keeping animals safe from harm.

LastSwab’s 10 Favorite Cruelty Free Makeup Brands

Now that you have the tools to find your own cruelty free makeup brands, we’re going to offer you our very favorite brands.

1. Lush - Cruelty Free Cosmetics

Who doesn’t love receiving a package from Lush? Enjoy it just a little more knowing they’re certified by PETA. While they aren’t 100% vegan, you can contact Lush to get a list of their vegan products.

2. e.l.f. Cosmetics

E.l.f., short for eyes, lips, and face, is 100% committed to being cruelty free and vegan. All their brushes and false eyelashes are synthetic. None of their products have any ingredients derived from animals. They are recognized for their commitment as a cruelty free makeup brand by PETA, and have been since 2006.

3. Kiss My Face

Popular cosmetic and hygiene company Kiss My Face sports the Leaping Bunny logo, touting that they’ve been cruelty free from day 1. They dedicate themselves to greener products that are safer for your skin and the environment. You can easily pick up these cruelty free makeup brands in stores like Target, and on Amazon.

4. Pangea Organics

Pangea Organics has been a member of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program since 2006. In 2013, they were presented with PETA’s Courage in Commerce Award as they stopped selling their products in China where animal tests for cosmetics are required.

5. Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine has been cruelty free since they opened in 1970. They are proud bearers of the Leaping Bunny certification, which they obtained when they were purchased by Colgate-Palmolive, who is not cruelty free. So it’s up to you whether or not to support a cruelty free company owned by a large conglomerate, but we do want to note that since they beginning, Tom’s has always made an effort to give back to their community and do what’s best by the environment.

6. Aveda

While Aveda admits that they are not certified vegan, they contend that the overwhelming majority of their products contain no animal-derived ingredients - and they never test on animals. They are certified cruelty free, however, they are owned by Estee Lauder, who is not cruelty free. They do not and have never sold their products in China.

7. Dr. Bronner’s

An innovator in the field of all natural cosmetics and cleaning products, Dr. Bronner’s has been keeping it real - real cruelty free, that is - since 1948. All of Dr’s Bronner’s products are Certified Vegan with the exception of their organic lip and body balms, as they contain organic beeswax.

8. Giovanni Eco Chic Cosmetics

A leader in cruelty free makeup brands, Giovanni’s claim to fame is that they were the first full-range hair-care brand found in natural product stores. All but 5 of their Eco Chic hair care products are vegan. The 4 of the 5 to watch out for are their “Magnetic” line of shampoo and styling products, which contain lactoferrin, and the 5th is their Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub, which contains honey.

9. Nature’s Gate

Certified cruelty free by PETA, Nature’s Gate is product to state they do not test on animals. They also ended sales in China in 2013. Most of their products are certified vegan.

10. NYX

Although NYX is owned by L’Oreal, NYX cosmetics itself is a cruelty free subsidiary. Furthermore, you can find a list of their vegan products here.

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