Products of almost any kind are tested on animals: makeup and products for the personal care, household products, medicines, food for pets and so on!
Among these many tortures and experimentation done on animals, vivisection is probably the cruelest and one of the most common.
Furthermore, everything that is tested on animals is subsequently also tested on people, without any insurance on the result of the experiment, which means that the real guinea pig of all products are humans.
If you would like to refrain from these useless experiments and do your part in trying to stop them, you can surely start by buying cruelty-free products.
To do so, just check the symbols on the back of the product packaging, which should be either by PETA or Leaping Bunny.
Drugstore Cruelty-Free Makeup
Finding cruelty-free drugstore brands isn’t easy.
Target, Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart are filled with non-cruelty-free makeup and most of the products they sell are produced by L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, and Rimmel London, which all test on animals.
However, there are many cruelty-free alternatives. Once you are aware of the animal testing policies of these companies, you will realize how easy it is to find good budget and friendly products at your local drugstore.
Among the most common cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands you’ll find elf Cosmetics, Covergirl,
Wet’n’Wild, Physicians Formula, Milani, Hard Candy, Jordana, and Sonia Kashuk.
Cruelty-Free Drugstore vs. High-end Makeup
High-end makeup aficionados often claim their products have better quality ingredients than their drugstore counterparts.
However, many makeup artists, Instagram stars and vlogger everywhere have proved that achieving incredible looks with drugstore brands is more than simply a dream.
Among the most expensive brands we find the most famous ones like MAC, Chanel, Lancôme and YSL. Despite the fact that the quality that these offer is undoubtedly very high, it is possible to find many other minor brands such as Milani or
Wet’n’Wild that offer enviable results despite being in a lower range.
Aside from the lower price, these brands are also very practical to buy, and in many occasions they present more variety in the types of product they sell.
Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan Makeup
What are vegan cosmetics?
When a product is labeled as a vegan, it means that it contains nothing of animal origin. This includes substances such as gelatin, cholesterol or collagen, made of animals’ parts, but also honey, beeswax or milk, all of which are derived from animals.
Many people unfortunately confuse the term vegan with cruelty free, thinking that if a product does not contain animal substances it is automatically not even tested on them. This would be a substantial mistake, as a product can be vegan but not necessarily cruelty free.
What are cruelty free cosmetic products?
Products which have been created without animal tests at any stage of product development. A product can be cruelty free, but it may not be vegan. Clearly, a product that has not been tested on animals can contain ingredients derived from animals such as honey or milk.
Cruelty-free products are not always easy to spot, especially with all the untruthful marketing that surrounds the makeup sector. If you also want to buy drugstore makeup instead of expensive luxurious products, it can sometimes feel a frustrating and hopeless search.
However, you’ll be surprised to know that many of the brands that we already use on a daily basis are cruelty-free and certified as such.
Let’s take a look at some of everyone’s favorites.
Top Drugstore Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands
Ardell is a cruelty-free brand: they do not test on animals and don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, their products are not all 100% vegan, therefore the INCI of each cosmetic should be taken into consideration.
Cruelty-free false lashes are here and they look great. You can continue to enjoy a killer look and be compassionate. Affordable and accessible, they’ll also add the perfect touch to your dramatic or everyday look. Ardell is probably the most loved cruelty-free brand that produces false lashes. Furthermore, the brand has also ventured into the makeup world, and it is worth giving these cosmetics a try!
Ardell is not owned by a parent company that tests on animals, and prides itself on the absolute cruelty-free approach it applies to its products.
They also sell and ship to USA, Canada, UK and Europe.
B. is cruelty-free and 100% vegan brand, which means that no animal derived ingredients are used in the making of their products. Their cosmetics are also not tested on animals: this brand is 360° free of any animal cruelties.
It’s a brand by Superdrug, and can be found in physical locations only in the UK, with shipping in a few neighboring countries.
B. is a collection launched by Superdrug, it includes vegan and cruelty free makeup, skin care products, grooming and beauty accessories. Among their most loved products, we definitely recommend B. Effective Stubborn Makeup Remover, Flawless Matte Foundation, and their Pro Makeup Setting Powder.
As mentioned, B. is owned by Superdrug, a 100% cruelty-free company, certified by Leaping Bunny. However, not all their products are 100% vegan, outside of the B. collection.
You can buy B. products at any Superdrug store all over the United Kingdom.
You can also order online from Superdrug’s website, with shipping available to Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
3. Barry M.
Barry M. is a 100% cruelty free brand, however some of the products they sell are not 100% vegan. The brand, particularly loved for its nail polishes, lit kits and setting spray, is cruelty free since 1982.
Furthermore, this brand is fairly cheap and one of the most appreciated cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands in the UK. It isn’t owned by a parent company that tests on animals.
Barry M’s amazing makeup is available in shops or online throughout USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.
4. BH Cosmetics
BH Cosmetics is 100% cruelty-free, however not all of the products in their collection are vegan. This is a constantly evolving and innovative makeup brand, with unforgettable and affordable cosmetics.
BH Cosmetics isn’t owned by a non-cruelty-free parent company nor does it sell products in Countries where animal cruelty is mandated by law.
The products of this brand are available in shops and online throughout the United States. However, they offer international shipping to over 180 Countries: check if yours is included in their “Countries We Ship To” section.
Catrice is an EU-based cruelty-free cosmetics company, which means that they do not test their products on animals, seen as this is illegal within the European Union. So, this company is 100% cruelty-free. Not all of their products are vegan, however.
Catrice is owned by the parent-company Cosnova, also owner of Essence – another makeup cruelty-free brand. The German company Cosnova is 100% cruelty-free, and feels very strongly about the need of ending animal cruelty all over the world.
If you are looking for a really good brand, that is both affordable and cruelty-free, ColourPop should absolutely be in your top choices of makeup. Their face products are very pigmented, their mascaras are absolutely loved by an endless number of customers, and their lipsticks come in infinite shades and versions! Plus, they release an incredible amount of products all the time.
Despite it is a 100% cruelty-free brand, not all of their products are vegan.
Their parent company is owned by Seed Beauty, owner of Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty as well.
However, they are only available at select Ulta stores throughout the United States and Canada.
They are also shipped internationally, luckily enough!
CoverGirl is another one of those must-have from our list of cruelty-free drugstore. It is 100% cruelty-free and some of its products are vegan. CoverGirl was founded in 1961, in Maryland, U.S., and produces some of the most loved accessible and affordable makeup. Perfect for all skin types and tones, some of CoverGirl’s collections are TruBlend, Outlast and Blast.
Their parent company is Coty, which is still testing on animals when required by law. However, CoverGirl does not test any of their own products on animals.
CoverGirl’s cosmetics can be found at most drugstores, such as Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Target, Wallgreens and Ultra.
EcoTools is one of our favorite companies producing makeup brushes, especially because of its 100% cruelty-free status and vegan ingredients. Their brushes are composed of soft bristles, sleek bamboo handles and recycled aluminum ferrules.
The company was founded in 2007, and sells brushes that are not only completely environmental-friendly, but also feel great within your hands and on your skin. Plus, they come with great packaging and product value.
They also sell some makeup, hair brushes and bath/spa products.
Their products are PETA cetified, their ingredients are not only vegan, but also recycled; plus, their packaging is completely free of tree paper, since it is made of 20% cotton and 80% bamboo. The company is also very active in the women’s empowerment movement.
You’ll find EcoTools’ great products at Target, Ulta, London Drugs, Walmart, Superdrug and Walgreens.
9. Elf Cosmetics
Elf Cosmetics is one of the most popular drugstore makeup brands. It is incredibly inexpensive and very high quality: the prices range from 1$ to 6$. Who said that cruelty-free always is expensive?!
The brand is very well known for many of their makeup products, such as their concealers, foundations, and powders. If all of this still hasn’t convinced you, then you might want to know about their COMPLETELY vegan status.
This means that not only they do not allow animal tests for any of their ingredients and products, but these are also free of any animal derived ingredients.
Online, you’ll also find e.l.f. Cosmetics at Amazon.
Emani is a great brand for people in need of makeup that can be suitable for sensitive and problematic skin, since all their products are free of talc, paraben, harsh chemicals and petrochemicals. Obviously, they also are 100% cruelty-free. Furthermore, Emani is a vegan brand, committed to minimizing its carbon footprint, using certified recycled biodegradable paper, nontoxic ink, recyclable packing and materials.
Their products – especially the foundations – are very delicate and of great quality, so much that they are known for being perfect for costumers with a very delicate skin and skin issues.
An interesting fact about the Indian company is that they also work with real estate and cement.
If we convinced you to try out some of their products, you’ll be able to find them at London Drugs.
You’ll also find them online on Amazon.
Essence is a very popular and inexpensive EU-based makeup brand. Their products are completely cruelty-free, however not all of their products are vegan.
Their products are extremely fun: glittery, colorful and always great quality!
They are very easy to find all over Europe in drugstores and cosmetics shops. Online, you’ll be able to find them at Ulta and Amazon. Cosnova, also parent company of Catrice, is Essence’s parent company.
Essence is a brand targeted for teen-agers and young women: their makeup is fresh and original, always following trends and for this loved by so many all over Europe.
12. Eylure Lashes
Eylure Lashes are a UK-based brand, specialized in false eyelashes. They really have one for each style and occasions! All of them are completely vegan, since none of their ingredients are animal derived.
The lashes they sell are intelligently designed, beautifully made, and great for everyone! One of the most loved products sold by the brand is Promagnetic: a kit with eyeliner and lashes that has their costumers going crazy!
13. Flower Beauty
Flower Beauty, Drew Barrymore’s brand, offers high-quality makeup at a very affordable price. They also sell makeup brushes, beauty products, accessories – such as bags- and perfumes. All their products are very luxurious.
This brand’s products are absolutely cruelty-free, however not all of them are vegan.
Gosh is a wonderful Danish brand that sells a very differentiated series of products. They work well on every type of skin and showcase cosmetics for any taste.
The company was founded on 1945 as a pharmaceutical company, but soon moved into the cosmetic industry. Today, they sell makeup, hair, face and body care products, as well as fragrances and pharmaceutical products.
Most of their products are vegan, however not all of them are. At the same time, all of their products are cruelty-free, which means that none of their ingredients are tested on animals nor they sell products in Countries where animal testing is mandated by law.
Jordana Cosmetics is a family brand based in Los Angeles, United States, which offers amazing products for very affordable prices: some of the lipsticks start at $ 1.99. Their products feature incredible colors and quality of materials, plus many of them are vegan.
This great company won over costumers from all around the world, thanks to their great and affordable products which allow the costumer to always come up with a new mesmerizing look.
16. L.A. Girl
L.A. Girl is a great luxury cosmetics brand, with affordable prices and a great selection of vegan products. The goal of the company is to inspire beauty and individual expression, by creating a brand with top quality makeup at an accessible price for everyone.
LA Girl makeup is trendy, innovative and of exceptional quality. Among the products most loved by its customers are foundations, which are some of the best on the market within the same price range.
Not all their products are vegan, however they follow a strict cruelty-free policy for their ingredients.
17. Lottie London
Lottie London is UK-based brand of affordable makeup and nail products. The brand sells bold, bright and beautiful makeup, inspired by stars and celebrities all over the world.
They sell products which will allow their costumers to recreate their favorite celebrity looks without having to spend an excessive amount of money.
They really believe in affordable makeup for everyone, and so do we!
All of their products are cruelty-free, but not all of them are vegan.
If you are ready to buy some Lottie London products, try at Target, Ulta or Superdrug.
18. Makeup Academy (MUA)
Makeup Academy is a UK-based affordable cruelty-free makeup brand, which sells products for all skin types and for any occasions. The company has at heart environmental issues, which is why their goal is to produce awesome and innovative makeup at zero cost for the planet earth.
Their products are completely cruelty-free, however not all of them are vegan.
19. Makeup Revolution
Makeup Revolution was launched in London in March 2014, and it sells excellent quality products at revolutionary prices. Made with the best ingredients, some of their products are as cheap as one dollar and they have fixed and limited-edition products, so you will finally able to afford the makeup collection you always wanted!
Makeup revolution offers a wide range of products for all complexions, all tones and tastes.
With more than 300 products in their fixed range, you’ll surely find something to love.
Not all of their products are 100% vegan, but rest assured that all of them are absolutely cruelty-free,
What definitely characterizes Milani are products with a very chic and beautiful packaging, sold at a very affordable price. Their products showcase highly technological formulations, are cruelty free and mostly vegan.
The range of Milani products is really wide, and many have been impressed by the powder blushes and the “gel to powder” eye shadows characterized by a very high pigmentation. Even the lipsticks, among which nude shades are scarce, seem to be shouting “color at all costs”!
In recent years, the range of products offered by Milani Cosmetics has further expanded, adding to the makeup products, beauty tools such as makeup brushes and skin care products.
21. Mineral Fusion
Mineral Fusion’s products are professional products with very healthy formulations, perfect for sensitive skin, or for those of you who are in need of moisturizers or makeup with age defying properties.
Their main goal is to leave your skin better than before, which is why all their products are free of parabens, gluten, articial colors, phthalates and other unhealthy ingredients.
Among their amazing products, they also sell skin care, body care, nail care and hair care cosmetics. Some of their most beloved products are their eyeshadows and lipsticks.
22. NYX Cosmetics
NYX Cosmetics is 100% cruelty-free, however their parent company is L’Oréal, which does test on animals. Furthermore, not all of their products are vegan..
Founded in 1999 by Toni Ko, NYX was born as a brand for professional use, sold only during the big fairs and makeup shows. Expanding, a bit like MAC, thanks to the word-of-mouth of Makeup Artists, NYX started to open up to the world of Cinema and YouTube make up gurus. The idea they had was to provide professional-level products, but also within reach of those who were starting out and did not have a very high budget.
Their headquarters are in Los Angeles and despite being part of the L’Oréal group since 2014, they have maintained a very close relationship with beauty-YouTubers: from them they get authentic feedback on the products even before the launch: they consult them, right in the LA office, to understand the colors they love the most and have the most fun using.
Pacifica is a brand that sells 100% cruelty-free and vegan products, and their main goal is to create cosmetics that are healthy, inexpensive and trendy. All of their makeup is formulated without parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, benzene, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan, phthalates, and FD&C color.
They also produce amazing perfumes, with ingredients of the highest quality. The base of these fragrances is alcohol derived from pure wheat or organic soy wax! All the fragrances are derived from mixtures of essential oils.
Aside from perfumes, some of the most loved products are Pacifica’s primers and skin serums.
24. Pixi Beauty
Founded by Petra Strand, makeup artist, over 10 years ago in London’s Soho district, the brand Pixi celebrates naturalness. Their philosophy is to create products to show off a radiant complexion making you look like you are not wearing any makeup, as if you just had a good night’s sleep. The creator is a modern woman, passionate about skincare. Petra elaborates easy-to-use formulas based on natural ingredients, which work by highlighting your skin.
Pixi offers natural cosmetics and beauty products with healthy and natural formulations, infused with botanicals and beneficial ingredients. Not all of their products are vegan, but all of them are cruelty-free.
25. Real Techniques
Real Techniques is a cosmetics brand that specializes in synthetic brushes and makeup accessories. Among their best products, there are definitely brushes, sponges and applicators.
The best part of all of this is that not only the brand is 100% cruelty-free, but it is also absolutely vegan.
Sisters Sam and Nic Chapman are the owners of Real Techniques and stars of the UK’s No. 1 YouTube beauty channel, Pixiwoo. The sisters have 30 years of experience combined, both started their careers as makeup artists soon after their sixteenth birthdays, working in countless fashion shows, red carpets, editorials and collaborating with some of the top fashion photographers and magazines in the world. In 2008, Sam and Nic launched the Pixiwoo YouTube channel where they offer tips, tutorials and advice to women around the world on how to achieve the best and hottest looks.
The Balm sells talc-free and paraben-free formulation with a retro classy packaging. Do keep in mind, however, that not all of their products are vegan.
TheBalm is really a great brand, with healthy and natural ingredients, great choice of colors and products, and a very great looking packaging.
The most loved TheBalm products are eyeliners and mascaras.
In recent years the attention paid to what we eat, we wear and we apply to our skin has grown exponentially. The reasons for this “green way of life” are to be found in many reasons which can be summarized in only one: LIVING BETTER!
There is no doubt that living in respect of the environment that surrounds us contributes to making us better people. And often our body also undoubted benefits from it.
We talked about cosmetics and how important it is to choose the right products for healthy skin and, above all, for a protected and respected environment.
Numerous brands test their products on animals: images of animals abused and killed by the continuous applications of aggressive products, as well as their poor living conditions, have opened the mind and shaken the consciences of all those who first bought and applied cosmetics and makeup products without questioning their origin and the processes that had brought them into their homes.
The growing interest in all that is natural, in close relation to the ever-increasing number of vegetarians and vegans, has also made the one of cosmetics a market of completely natural products not tested on animals.
Why Choose Vegan Makeup
Choosing cruelty free products is, first of all, not only a personal choice, since it influences our planet, the environment and animals, becoming an integral part of a wide-ranging project of solidarity, respect and love for life that surrounds us.
Consider that, moreover, testing on animals is not even necessary as there are numerous other ways to test products that do not cause suffering and death of other beings.
Other Benefits of Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup
Many of the products which are not tested on animals come from cosmetic companies that embrace a company philosophy founded on products of 100% vegetable and eco-sustainable products, created with substances that are not harmful to humans.
A look at the INCI of the products before buying a cosmetic is certainly necessary today, knowing how much even just one can hurt us, not only in terms of skin but in terms of health all together. The next time you’ll find yourself having to buy a cosmetic product, you should learn to read the label carefully, investigating the ingredients used, their origin and the manufacturing processes. Do it for your health, yourself and your planet!