5 Cruelty-Free Makeup Lines We Love


Don’t be jealous, but I have a pet rabbit. His name is Timothy Maxwell Thumperton, and he looks like this:

Timmy is an urban bunny—he’s litterbox trained, runs around my apartment freely all day, and sometimes comes to work with me in a pet carrier backpack. One morning before work, as I was putting on lipstick in the bathroom, he hopped around my toes and climbed up onto the tops of my feet (that's the signal that he wants his breakfast of romaine lettuce). He rested there, his warm, furry body gently tickling my toes, and I told him that he was a lucky rabbit. There were places in the world where people put lipstick and mascara on rabbits, causing chemical eye infections, blindness, burns, and premature death. Timothy Maxwell was shocked and extremely displeased to hear this.

I wish I could tell him animal testing didn’t exist. What I can do is tell everyone else about some awesome cruelty-free makeup lines out there, made by companies who are trying to keep the Timmies of the world out of the laboratory. And what’s more, all of these lines have vegan products, which means they don’t contain any animal products at all. Vegan meaning there isn’t a trace of biotin, ambergris, silk powder, or royal jelly (all common animal-sourced ingredients), and not a whisker, wing, or antenna was harmed in the process of making them.

1: Cult Nails

Cult Nails wins my heart by never testing on animals and with its dizzying choice of uncommon nail polish colors, from a shimmery orange-yellows to jolting neon greens. The brand won’t use any ingredients that are tested or derived from animals in any of their polishes, so they're totally vegan. As an added bonus, the entire line is 3-Free (devoid of toulene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate). Your claws are safe from cruelty (and toxins) here!

2: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

OCC goes the extra mile with its covetable line of Lip Tars, loose color eyeshadows, and mixable foundations. And not only are all OCC products 100% cruelty-free, but they’re also 100% vegan. No beeswax, no lanolin, no carmine, just highly pigmented colors and a lot of happy vegans.

3: Sugarpill Cosmetics

Can we talk about how much I love Sugarpill? The loose eyeshadow in Goldilux is the best, most highly pigmented eyeshadow I’ve ever tried. And, Sugarpill Cosmetics is committed to being 100% cruelty-free. Many of their cosmetics are vegan, too, and well, the mascot is a cat.

4: e.l.f. Cosmetics

We'd be remiss not to mention the extremely budget-friendly e.l.f. (aka Eyes Lips Face), which offers everything from mascara to bronzer to makeup wipes at almost unheard of price points (most products are $1 to $5). The brand doesn't test on animals, doesn't endorse or support suppliers who do, and most of the products are vegan, save for a few natural horse hair brushes. There were a handful of e.l.f. items made with beeswax and lanolin, but recently the company updated its FAQs to explain that both ingredients have been replaced by synthetic versions. Who doesn't love an animal-friendly bargain? 

5: Tarte

Along with supplying me with one of my favorite lip products on earth, the incredible Lipsurgence Matte Lip Tint (a cross between a stain and a lipstick with a minty smell, totally matte finish, and serious staying power—get it!), Tarte is also fiercely committed to its cruelty-free policy. None of the products are tested on animals and they have an entire line of vegan products. Go Tarte!

What cruelty-free and vegan products do you love most? Tell us in the comments! We'll follow with stories on animal- and vegan-friendly skin and hair care products!

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