Cruelty-Free Companies & Products

Cruelty-free/ethical beauty products is something that I have been interested in for years, but for a long time your options were castile soap and homemade makeup. Now there are TONS of companies that are vegan or cruelty-free or both! The first truly comprehensive list that I found was on Cruelty-Free Kitty, be sure to check this website out. The blogs are very informative and well-researched, plus there’s now a search bar where you can type in a brand name and find out whether it is cruelty-free or not. Ethical Elephant is another awesome place to get information about cruelty-free + vegan products! They have lists of cruelty-free products that are available at specific stores as well as a main list of cruelty-free and vegan products.

Cosmetics manufactured or sold in China are often subjected to animal testing, here is a link that explains when animal testing is done and on what types of cosmetics it is performed.

These are some of my favorite cruelty-free companies, I’ve listed the products that I actually like– ones that I have tried and/or currently use. A few of them I will be trying soon, but I make that clear and will update when I do!

e.l.f. cosmetics

This is a drugstore brand that I absolutely love. It is ridiculously cheap, high quality and you can find it everywhere from the grocery store, Target, Wal-Mart, even some gas stations! They just started carrying a work-out ready line and I have only tried one thing but I really liked it and plan on trying a few more items from that line. I don’t know exactly which brushes I have, but I have one that I use for bronzer and one for setting powder and they’ve lasted very well. I have tried a ton of their products, but these are my current favorites.


  • Tinted Moisturizer ($3)- I don’t wear foundation but this is a great base in the summer especially.
  • Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter ($3)- gives a nice lift to sleepy eyes! Not heavy, I’m noticing that that’s apparently very important to me.
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics doesn’t carry my blush anymore, it was a cream that came in a tube. They do carry two kinds of cream blush: Monochromatic Multi-Stick ($4) and Beautifully Bare Cheeky Glow ($4) and I plan to try one or both of them after I run out of my current blush.
  • Baked Highlighter ($4)- I like the shade Moonlight Pearls, I use this on my cheekbones.
  • Bronzer ($4)- I use this around the edges of my face and beneath my cheekbones and on either sides of my nose… it’s my version of contouring.
  • *Cream Eyeliner ($3)- I use coffee brown and it is really easy to use, takes a little while to get it right but it’s not too dark so you can keep adding more till you get it right, way less stressful than the black liquid eyeliner I use sometimes.


Tarte Cosmetics

This is what I would call high end make-up and skincare. They have sample/travel size products and kits and that makes it much more reasonable to try their stuff to see if you like it. I have done just that and I can tell you that for me, it’s worth the money. I never EVER thought I would spend


  • Lifted Sweatproof Mascara ($23)- this is my every day mascara. This is the first brown mascara I have ever used but I absolutely adore it. Literally wear it almost every single day. It gives definition but you don’t end up with smears if you forget it’s there by the end of the day.
  • Busy Gal Brows Tinted Brow Gel ($18)- this is fast and easy, helps fill out your brows without having to stress about making yourself look surprised or scared or uneven.
  • Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara ($12)- this is the travel size/trial of the mascara and I LOVE this mascara. Doesn’t get clumpy, the brush is a good size and not huge like so many of the mascaras I have tried. Here is the full size mascara for $23 (waterproof also available)
  • Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint ($20)- I use the shade Bestie. I literally never wear lipstick anymore, I did when I was younger, but now I always feel like I’m trying to be fancier than I am! This stuff gives me color but isn’t too dramatic, plus is is long-lasting without being that insane 24-hour lip stain. I either put Quench Lip Rescue ($19) in Nude on top or just plain chapstick.
  • Tarte- Gleam Team Highlighter ($28)- this has both liquid and cream highlighter, it’s more of a gold color compared to the pressed powder highlighter. Kinda switch between this one and the baked highlighter, no real reason… just what I like that day. This is pricey, but it came in the Busy Girl Essentials Intro Set ($32) which also came in the most amazing mermaid-esque sequined cosmetic bag.




  • NYX- HD Photogenic Concealer Wand ($3)- I pretty much like everything that NYX creates.
  • NYX- HD Photogenic Studio Finishing Powder ($5)- This is one of my favorite things! It kind of seals the makeup on my face, keeps it from fading/wiping off or even sweating off (thanks hormones).
  • NYX- Eyebrow Push-Up Bra ($18)- this is a great eyebrow pencil and takes very little skill to use. I don’t use it everyday, just when I dress up a little more. It lasts forever, you sharpen it so it works as long as there is still a stick!


  • NYX- Stripped Off Micellar Water ($7)- I use this as a makeup remover, especially eye makeup. It doesn’t burn my eyes or leave a weird oily film on my skin that I’ve found some other makeup removers leave.

Other cruelty-free products:

  • Thayers Alcohol-Free Unscented Witch Hazel Toner ($12)- I use this after I shave or when the eczema I have on my face and scalp flares up. It doesn’t sting and doesn’t smell.
  • Burt’s Bees- Blemish Stick (2 for $20)- This lasts FOREVER, I think I have purchased three or four since I discovered it like five or six years ago. It’s easy to use and I don’t find it too drying for my skin.
    • Burt’s Bees may NOT be completely cruelty-free since they sell in China. The company states that they only sell online to China so they are exempt from the animal testing requirement that China has on makeup and skin care products. It isn’t totally clear where Burt’s Bees stands at this point.
Ethical Elephant’s list of some of the drugstore makeup brands that are cruelty-free AND vegan!
Shop Great Certified USDA Organic Oils at Plant Therapy!
e.l.f. cosmetics

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