The 6 Best Cruelty-Free Foundations
Transitioning to a more ethically-conscious beauty routine isn't the easiest change to make, but it is an important one. And though your eco-friendly makeup options might have once been severely limited, the rise of clean beauty and, by extension, the educated consumer, have given way to safer formulas and less animal testing practices across the market. Though there's still a long way to go, the good news is, you can find a ton of great animal-friendly makeup out there. To help get you started, you'll find a handy guide to the best cruelty-free foundations ahead. Then, pick up one of these cruelty-free moisturizers to prep your skin with, and finish off your look with one of these cruelty-free mascaras.
But before you get to shopping, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, remember that not all cruelty-free products are vegan, so if you're a vegan shopper, note that all the vegan products on this list have been carefully designated as such. Also, with base makeup in particular, it's important to choose a formula that'll place nicely with your skin type. Though most of the foundations on this list are suitable for sensitive skin, you'll still want to keep an eye out for ingredients to which you have known sensitivities (like fragrance or propylene glycol, for example).
With that in mind, check out six great cruelty-free foundations, below.
1. Best Liquid Foundation
For a classic liquid foundation, this two-in-one formula from Kiko Milano is a great cruelty-free choice. The creamy foundation also doubles as concealer, so you can use it on bare skin to cover blemishes, and it leaves skin with a "satin matte" finish, according to the brand. The doe foot applicator makes it easy to reach under your eyes and around your nose, and the formula is both buildable and easy to blend.
- Available shades: Warm Rose 01, Warm Rose 10, Cool Rose 20, Warm Rose 30, Warm Rose 50, Warm Rose 150, Warm Beige 15, Warm Beige 25, Warm Beige 30, Warm Beige 40, Warm Beige 60, Neutral 25, Neutral 35, Neutral 40, Neutral 60, Neutral 65, Neutral 80, Neutral 95, Neutral Gold 95, Neutral 145, Neutral 170
2. Best Powder Foundation
The PÜR Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation is more than just foundation. It also substitutes as your concealer, powder, and sunscreen in one with an SPF of 15. The cruelty-free formula can be easily layered depending on your desired level of coverage, and it leaves your skin looking silky and soft instead of cakey. Over 600 Amazon reviewers gave this fan-favorite foundation a perfect five-star rating.
- Available shades: Porcelain, Light, Blush Medium, Light Tan, Tan, Medium Tan, Golden Dark, Deep, Deeper
3. Best Cream Foundation
Honest Beauty is know for their clean beauty products, and this cream foundation is not only cruelty-free and hypoallergenic, but free of talc, phthalates, paraffins, silicones, and mineral oil as well. The creamy formula is buildable and lightweight — expect full to medium coverage, depending on how much you layer on — and it leaves skin with a smooth, half-matte finish. This foundation also contains jojoba oil and vitamin E for added skin care benefits, and each compact comes with a handy, built-in mirror.
- Available shades: Cream, Snow, Shell, Linen, Vanilla, Bisque, Sand, Beige, Camel, Amber, Honey, Almond, Java, Cocoa, Walnut, Espresso
4. Best Stick Foundation
If you prefer to use stick foundation — or if you haven't ever tried it, know that it's great for contouring and more targeted application — you'll love these Color Perfect Foundation Sticks from Black Radiance. The creamy, richly-pigmented foundation is easy to blend, and for added convenience, each stick has a built-in brush on each side. Perfect for sculpting and defining your face, this foundation formula is cruelty-free, of course.
- Available shades: Bronze Glow, Cappuccino, Brownie, Beautiful Bronze, Cashmere, Cocoa Bean, Chocolate Dipped
5. Best Foundation Serum
Josie Maran formulated this unique, self-adjusting foundation to match your ever-changing skin. Once applied, the brand's Matchmaker technology adjusts to your current skin tone to color-correct and conceal for a smooth, velvet-like finish. The serum formula is much more lightweight than a traditional cream or liquid foundation, and, like all Josie Maran's products, it contains argan oil to keep skin moisturized and soft.
This foundation is both cruelty-free and vegan, and it's also free of parabens, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, mineral oil, and many other common irritants.
- Available shades: Fair/Light, Light/Medium, Medium/Dark
6. Best BB Cream
Part foundation, part moisturizer, and part sunscreen, this BB cream with SPF 30 does it all. BB creams are basically lighter-weight versions of foundation, and this one provides ample coverage, but still leaves your skin looking well, like, skin. The natural formula contains a blend of soothing botanical ingredients like chamomile, and it also helps reduce redness, making it a top-notch pick for highly sensitive and rosacea-prone skin. The vegan and cruelty-free BB cream is free of parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, and propylene glycol, a common allergen among those with delicate skin.
One reviewer, who described their skin as "oily, acne-prone, and unevenly toned, called it "the best makeup I have ever used. Hands down."
- Available shades: Fair, Light, Light Medium, Medium, Medium Tan, Tan, Tan Deep, Deep
Also Great: A Vegan & Cruelty-Free Foundation Primer For All Skin Types
Prep your skin for flawless foundation with this mineral primer from all-natural cosmetics brand Youngblood. The translucent primer creates a smooth, silky base, blurring pores and soaking up shine in the process. Expect a soft, even-looking finish that enhances luminance, but never looks greasy, and which feels breathable instead of heavy.
Infused with antioxidants that help protect your skin from environmental aggressors, plus jojoba oil for added moisture, this primer is non-comedogenic and safe for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone. In addition to being vegan and PETA-certified cruelty-free, the formula is free of common potential allergens like nut-based ingredients, gluten, talc, and parabens.
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