15 Vegan Makeup Brands To Shop For Cruelty-Free Glam

Clean, animal-friendly beauty starts here.

Here are the best vegan, cruelty-free makeup brands from Tower 28, Saie, Hourglass, and more.
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Many people want their makeup products to not only perform well but to also be as clean and cruelty-free as possible. That’s where vegan makeup comes in — but what does it actually mean when a lipstick or eyeshadow is considered vegan?

Though more and more makeup brands are rehauling formulations and labeling themselves as such, it is important to note that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate or define what it means for makeup to be vegan. That means that a true definition is still up in the air. “Generally, people think of vegan cosmetics or cruelty-free products as avoiding animal-derived ingredients or testing on animals respectively,” Emily Spilman, a science analyst at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), tells Bustle. “But because these terms are not legally defined, they can be used freely without having to meet any regulations or criteria; each company decides what these terms mean.”

Spilman says that it’s ultimately up to consumers to gauge the merit of product labels. “It is a lifestyle choice as how people choose to be vegan; some ingredients like lanolin, from sheep grease, may cause an allergic reaction in some people but not all,” adds cosmetic chemist and founder of FanLoveBeauty Ginger King. “It really comes down to how ‘clean’ a brand wants to be and the consumer's lifestyle.”

There are a couple of ways to help you navigate through all the marketing B.S. to ensure the products you invest in are made of ingredients you want to use. Spilman recommends using the Skin Deep database or the Healthy Living app to help you read through ingredient lists and labels and avoid products with ingredients linked to health hazards. She also recommends looking for trusted third-party marks on the packaging, such as Certified Vegan, Leaping Bunny, PETA cruelty-free, or EWG VERIFIED to help you verify the claims made by brands. It’s important to always do your research.

“If vegan, organic, cruelty-free, or natural products are important to you, don’t rely on marketing claims alone,” says Spilman. “You must always look for the brand’s definition of specific terms to be sure they align with your interpretation.”

If this seems overwhelming, many vegan makeup brands have made their ingredient lists available so you can choose what works best for you. See 15 brands to shop below.


Tower 28

Tower 28’s offerings are made with no animal-derived ingredients or byproducts including fats, oils, and musks. Its products are formulated with sensitive skin in mind, and it also has an extensive list of known irritating and harmful ingredients it will never use. Its hero products like the MakeWaves Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara ($20; and the SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen ($32; are top-tier.



Axiology has been releasing earth-friendly vegan options since 2013. The brand never tests on animals, uses plastic-free packaging made from recycled paper waste, and doesn’t formulate with palm oil (as its sourcing has led to mass deforestation).


Milk Makeup

Another industry (and TikTok) favorite, Milk Makeup constantly delivers top-notch products. A prime — pun very much intended — example is its Hydro Grip Hydrating Makeup Primer ($36;, which is the stuff of beauty legends. As an added bonus, not only are products vegan, but they are also cruelty- and paraben-free.



With game-changing vegan products like the Mascara 101 ($26; and the Slip Tint ($36;, Saie prides itself as one of the cleanest beauty brands with an extensive no-list of ingredients. You won’t find over 2,000 ingredients (such as mineral oil, sulfates, and many more) in its formulations.



The home to many makeup MVPs — like the Veil Translucent Setting Powder ($49; and the Ambient Lighting Powder ($54; — Hourglass has been a mainstay for beauty lovers for years. If you needed more reason to love the brand, it nixed animal-derived ingredients in 2020.


Lime Crime

Whether you’re using its bold Velvetines Liquid Lipstick ($15; or playing with the many fun eyeshadow and face palettes, you can trust Lime Crime. Besides being vegan, it is also cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny and PETA certified.


e.l.f. Cosmetics

With surprisingly low price points, fun shades, and a wide range of products that go viral for good reason (i.e. the Halo Glow Liquid Filter ($14;, e.l.f. Cosmetics makes it easy to transition your makeup routine to a fully vegan one.


Rare Beauty

Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty exceeded everyone’s expectations when it comes to celebrity beauty brands. The vegan brand drops one best-seller after another (like the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush and Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter).


Thrive Causmetics

Not only are the award-winning Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara ($25; and all of Thrive Causemetics’ products vegan, but for every product bought, the brand will donate the same product or donate to one of the many organizations working to support different communities.



With a shade-inclusive line-up, Mented delivers products for a wide range of skin tones, highly-pigmented lipsticks, and pretty lip glosses.


KVD Vegan Beauty

With bold eyeshadows and one of the best liquid eyeliners in the game (the KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner Vegan Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($23;, KVD Vegan Beauty is a staple for serious makeup lovers.



Don’t sleep on Merit. Perfect for the minimalist at heart, the vegan beauty brand covers the essentials. Turn to something like Hailey Bieber’s favorite blush The Flush Balm ($28; or Bustle Beauty Award winner Brow 1980 ($24;


Róen Beauty

With hero products like the Cake Mascara ($28; and Mood 4 Ever Eyeshadow Palette ($49;, Róen’s vegan products are more than worth the splurge IMO.


Rose Inc.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s vegan makeup products — which include classics like the Softlight Clean Dewy Hydrating Concealer ($30; and the Skin Enhance Luminous Skin Tint Serum Foundation ($49; — give you a soft natural glow.


Cover FX

Cover FX makes glow-getters that are vegan, cruelty-free, and never tested on animals. The brand also formulates without ever using fragrance, talc, or mineral oil.