The beauty industry isn’t always as pretty as it makes people look, especially when it comes to product testing and animal welfare. It’s a fairly well-known fact that many popular beauty brands test their products on animals (so well-known that it was the plot of the “Legally Blonde” sequel film), and this can have nasty effects on the animals used for testing. Thankfully, the industry as a whole is starting to come around to the idea that perhaps, defenseless creatures shouldn’t be used to test out beauty products and their safety.
While not all brands are cruelty-free, some are, so here are some cruelty-free beauty brands you can shop and keep a clear conscience about purchasing from (at least when it comes to animal welfare). It’s important to note that cruelty-free does not necessarily mean vegan, though, so if you want to only purchase vegan products, be careful in checking labels since not all cruelty-free products are vegan.
Too Faced is a company that boasts cruelty-free cosmetics with a focus on (traditionally) feminine, pastel colors. They’re well-known for their eyeshadow palettes, which all smell absolutely amazingly. Whether they smell like chocolate, peach, or cocoa, all of their eyeshadows and powders smell delicious. Plus, the colors in their palettes are so gorgeous, and the packaging is beautiful. If you want your makeup collection look like that of a beauty blogger and have the aesthetic of an Instagram feed, Too Faced is definitely a good brand to help you get there.
Bite is a cruelty-free brand that specializes in lipsticks and lip care. They’re not only cruelty-free, but they also avoid using harmful synthetics and materials to make sure that their cosmetics are safe for use. No parabens, sulfates, or phthalates for this cosmetic company, meaning that their lipsticks are good to go for those of you who are concerned about chemicals and harsh ingredients. The name Bite Beauty actually comes from the idea that their lipsticks look good enough to eat and they’re safe enough for you to actually do it, although I’d recommend not consuming your makeup, even if it is technically not dangerous.
This brand is cruelty-free and has a huge range of products that can be purchased at most drugstores, and you can also get it at Ulta. Catrice is also on the affordable end of the price spectrum when it comes to cosmetics and beauty; their liquid foundation is priced at under $11. It definitely looks more expensive than it is, though, so there’s no reason to think that less expensive makeup makes your stash look cheap. To be perfectly honest, their shade range for their foundation could (and should) be better; like most makeup brands that aren’t designed specifically with people of color in mind, the shades run on the paler (read: whiter) end of the spectrum. Just something to keep in mind if that’s something that’s usually a concern for you, although they do seem to have a slightly better range of skin tones with their concealers.
Another fairly inexpensive but much-loved and talked-about brand that can be purchased at drugstores, Milani is probably best-known for their baked blushes which can act as dupes for more expensive brands’ blushes (looking at you, Nars; Milani blushes, often said to be dupes for Nars, are under $10, whereas Nars blushes can set you back $30). It’s a brand that’s certified cruelty-free as well, so that makes it even better. And let’s be real, doesn’t just looking at these baked blushes give you a compelling urge to push your finger in the center of each one?
If you have sensitive skin or eyes or need specifically hypoallergenic makeup, this is the drugstore brand for you. They make their products without harsh ingredients so they’re safe to use on sensitive skin and around the eye area. With all of the other things people have to worry about in life, no one really wants to worry about their makeup causing breakouts or clogging their skin, on top of everything else. The packaging is also cute, and it’s often similar to packaging used by super expensive brands, so if you like the look of high-end makeup packaging but don’t like the price, Physicians Formula is a good brand to purchase.
Pacifica is not only cruelty-free but also 100% vegan and paraben-free. In addition to this, they have a recycling program where you can send back your empty and rinsed-out product containers with a prepaid label (i.e. you don’t pay for shipping), and the container will be recycled and you’ll get loyalty points on their website! It’s a win-win-win-win, if you ask me. You’re buying vegan makeup that’s made without parabens and when you’re done with the product, you can send back the container and they’ll recycle it, and you’ll get loyalty points that you can use to purchase from the brand! That’s a pretty sweet deal. Plus, the packaging is rad, so that’s a bonus. Just take a look at their holographic bottles; they’re totally adorable.
We all know Lush for their delicious-smelling bath products and the free in-store demos, but did you know that they’re 100% vegetarian and takes an anti-animal testing stance within the industry? The company also gives a prize annually to groups and individuals who are working to replace animals in product and safety testing, meaning that they’re supporting others who are anti-animal testing in addition to refusing to test on animals with their own products. When you’re done with their products, if you clean out the container, you can return five of them in exchange for a free face mask. Plus, their containers are always made of recycled materials, so even the original packaging for Lush products is designed to reduce waste and promote green consumerism. That’s a win on many different levels.