10 Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands With A Clean Conscience

Cruelty-free makeup means no animal testing. It sounds simple, but even the most casual googling reveals a changeable, controversial market. Brands reinventing their whole concept overnight, influencers that just don’t get it right, companies that get better over time, companies that said they would get better… it’s difficult to stay up to date. To help out, here’s a roundup of the top 10 cruelty-free makeup brands right now.

by Josepha WassermannFebruary 25, 2019, 5:13 PM


This small, independent, PETA-certified makeup brand from Berlin is doing everything right. Lethal Cosmetics produces all its vegan, professional-quality cosmetics in-house, and even sets color trends for ethical makeup addicts. There’s just one downside though: They’re sold out all the damn time.

#2 BITE Beauty 

Canadian makeup brand Bite has always been very transparent about their ingredients: Pure, unprocessed, safe, Leaping Bunny-certified and 100% organic. Specializing in lipsticks, Bite Beauty’s products are even good enough to eat – but what a waste when they look this good. 

#3 wet n wild Beauty 

Wet n Wild Beauty is truly spiring: trustworthy, cruelty-free, almost vegan, and constantly coming up with fresh ideas (they were the first who brought black nail polish to drugstores). Plus their range is immense, with 400 different lipsticks, AND super affordable! So that is possible, apparently.

#4 Hourglass Cosmetics

Billed as cruelty-free luxury beauty, Hourglass is the go-to cosmetics brand for ethical celebrities. High-quality, great results and almost everything is vegan - they’re aiming for 100% vegan by 2020, plus they donate 1% of their profits to the Nonhuman Rights Project. Check, check, check. Hourglass gets a deserved spot on the list.

#5 PÜR Cosmetics

No scandals, great reviews - PÜR has done everything right. Self-styled as ‘The Complexion Authority’, their makeup is mineral-based and made with eco-friendly ingredients that are actively good for the skin - better-looking in 60 seconds and healthier in 60 days is the promise they stand by.

#6 Anastasia Beverly Hills 

So. There was that one disappointing palette launch back in January 2017. But ABH was open about it, gave full refunds to everyone affected, and they’ve not put a foot wrong before or since. That’s why they’ve still got a massive fanbase and huge influence - and they make this list for their cruelty-free formulation, testing, and development, all certified by PETA.

#7 Jeffree Star

Thanks to his sincere efforts to rep inclusivity and anti-racism in the makeup scene since, the beauty community has largely forgiven Jeffree Star after footage of his past racist outbursts caused a scandal in 2017. He’s still one of Youtube’s beauty stars, and his products’ uncompromising high quality and cruelty-free status justify their price tag - and his spot on this list.

#8 Milk Makeup

Famous for their wide range of lipsticks, Milk Makeup came under fire in November, accused of appropriating ancient Chinese culture in their Wu Tang collab. The company never commented, but Milk still makes it onto the list for their vegan, healthy products, all-natural ingredients, and refusal to affiliate with any company that does test on animals. 

#9 Kat Von D

Kat Von D’s eponymous line of makeup is fully natural, diverse, and often as unpredictable as she is herself. The quality is consistently high, and one thing is for sure: as a tattoo artist, she knows what’s good for the skin.

#10 Lime Crime

Lime Crime has weathered so many shitstorms, they have an official controversy section on their website. But the brand has maneuvered through it all, and Lime Crime bags a spot here for staying ethical, recently finding a loophole to sell makeup in China without doing the animal testing legally required there - keeping the brand 100% cruelty-free.