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The best cruelty free makeup you need to know about in 2023

The best cruelty free makeup you need to know about in 2023

best cruelty free makeup brands products

How to go cruelty-free. Why to go cruelty free & 15 best cruelty-free makeup must haves

Cruelty free makeup and cruelty-free brands are trending and it can’t happen soon enough! What you buy is your choice but I want to give you some cruelty-free alternatives so you can make more educated decisions and decide for yourself what you buy. As well as to help you find the best cruelty-free products if and when you’re ready to make the switch. Including the best cruelty free foundations, best cruelty free eyeliner at Sephora and everything you need for a complete face.

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everyday makeup essential supergoop glowscreen cruelty free

Why are there still non cruelty free brands that test on animals

Lots of brands still aren’t cruelty-free and test on animals. Sadly, the more people I talk to and the more beauty influencers and makeup artists I see, the more non cruelty-free brands and products I’ve been seeing. Maybe because I’m more aware of it now and gave up most the luxury makeup brands I thought (incorrectly) were the best. When you’re paying that much for a foundation or lipstick, you’re expecting the best ingredients and quality but that’s just not the truth for most well-known brands.

best cruelty free makeup brands products

China still requires all cosmetics to be tested on animals. Which is part of the reason many brands still test on animals as they want to sell in mainland China. I won’t source ingredients or manufacture Dawes Custom Cosmetics there and everything is sourced and made in America.

I choose cruelty-free to save unnecessary cruelty to animals when there are so many other alternatives.

cruelty free makeup eyeshadow charlotte tilbury

Is cruelty free makeup safe?

Yes, if you’re buying from a reputable cruelty-free brand it is. If you’re worried cruelty free brands won’t be as safe or are wondering about the testing processes:

“Scientists can now use laboratory models of human skin and eyes, created from human cells, to test the safety of ingredients and products such as mascara and shampoo—rather than testing them on rabbits, guinea pigs, mice or rats.” Humane Society

Why do some makeup companies still test on animals?

Some companies still test on animals, mainly because either they’re manufacture in China as it’s normally cheaper and/or they want to sell in mainland China.

“The first domino fell in 2013, when the European Union fully implemented the game-changing decision to ban the sale of all cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients that had been newly tested on animals.” Humane Society

Is cruelty-free makeup better? What are the benefits of shopping cruelty-free makeup and cruelty free brands

Ok, so you know cruelty-free is better for animals and gives you that feel good factor but there are also a ton of other benefits for choosing to shop cruelty-free.

From Instagram influencers like Huda Kattan and Isabella Fiori to beauty guru celebs like Jenna Dewan and Bellamy Young, more and more people are turning their backs on conventional corporate conglomerate beauty products. Nobody likes the idea of testing new shades of lipstick on adorable little mice and even dogs, but are there really other benefits to a Cruelty-Free skincare regime?

You don’t have to be a PETA member or a Vegan to reap the benefits of Cruelty-Free cosmetics.

cruelty free makeup beauty blogger head shot

6 reasons why cruelty free makeup and skincare is better

  1. Cruelty-Free makeup products are often cleaner

    When cosmetic brands create new products they have over 7,000 safe ingredients to formulate from. Why test more? How many ingredients do we really need in our makeup? When you choose cruelty-free makeup you’re also often avoiding  harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates and synthetic dyes. Cleaner cosmetics are better for your skin and the environment.

    Often big non cruelty-free brands are full of harmful ingredients which is why clean beauty is really catching on. Our skin absorbs everything we put on it. Since switching to cruelty-free brands, I also switched to natural deodorants to avoid putting aluminum on my body.

  2. Choosing cruelty-free brands can create a more conscientious beauty habit 

    Narrowing down your options to products that are cruelty-free can often lead to a better shopping experience. By narrowing down your choices to the best cruelty free makeup brands you can really compare each product to find which ones best for you. Say goodbye to a bathroom full of half used products.

  3. Special animals? Non cruelty-free makeup is tested on more than just rats and mice!

    Unfortunately, it’s not only mice that are used in cosmetic testing. Animals most of us class as pets such as rabbits, cats, and dogs are often the victims of testing too. Lab animals are kept in inhumane conditions with confined cages and often tested to the point of being blinded or killed.

    What’s mind blowing is that by law laboratory animals aren’t protected from animal cruelty as they’re in their own ‘special category’. These animals feel exactly the same way as our own pets who fall under protection by law. By choosing cruelty free brands we help to save these animals from further abuse.

  4.  You have the power to create change with your cosmetic purchases 

By swapping out your regular products and switching to cruelty free makeup brands instead, you send the message to cosmetic brands that animal testing is unnecessary. It takes a village but when enough people take a stand, companies are forced to change their practices if they’re no longer getting your business.  There are so many amazing cruelty-free brands out there now, there’s really no excuse not to shop cruelty free. 

5.  Many cruelty free companies are wallet friendly 

Many cruelty-free brands not only don’t test on animals but are more affordable too.  E.L.F. cosmetics is one of the most affordable easy to find cruelty free brands out there. This makes it a winner on more than 1 front: saving money and protecting animals! 

6.  Animal testing is unnecessary

With over 7,000 cosmetic ingredients already proven to be safe, there really is no reason to keep testing on animals. Thankfully, more humane options for product testing are being developed each day. 

More reasons to choose cruelty free brands

Not convinced to switch to cruelty free makeup yet? The USA is one of the last countries not to ban animal testing. The European Union, Switzerland, India, Israel, South Korea, and New Zealand are just a few countries and continents that have put the safety of animals and humans at the forefront by banning animal testing on both finished products and ingredients. 

Is animal testing really still a problem?

Absolutely, animal testing is still a problem. According to Cruelty Free International, over 115 million animals are still being used for animal testing each year.

There’s no excuse for companies to test on animals. There are better alternatives to animal testing available, and brands can choose whether or not to sell in mainland China. Companies can make the choice to stay out of China in order to remain cruelty-free.

Companies that test on animals in 2019 choose to test on animals.

They make the choice to be cruel, and that’s not something I want to support. Switching to cruelty-free makeup and skincare products is one of the best ways to put an end to animal testing.

More reasons to switch to cruelty-free makeup and skincare

Here’s some more reasons to switch to cruelty-free makeup and brands:

  1. Animal testing is cruel.
  2. There are better alternatives to test ingredients.
  3. There are lots of cruelty-free brands.
  4. Cruelty-free cleaning products.

Let’s take a deeper look.

1. Animal Testing Is Inhumanely Cruel

The animals used in experiments are confined to small cages and subjected to torturous tests that can blind and kill them. This suffering is all in the name of our vanity.

2. There Are Better Alternatives To Animal Testing

Companies will still try to tell you that animal testing has a purpose. That they’re ensuring the ingredients are safe for use on humans. This is antiquated and there are alternatives to animal testing e.g. vitro testing, cultured cell tissues and computer models. All of which provide better and more accurate results but are more expensive.

3. There’s so many cruelty free brands to choose from

With so many cruelty-free brands and more coming to the market each day, you now have so much choice. A lot of these new cruelty free brands are small businesses which are great to support. You’re not really limiting your makeup buying decisions by switching to cruelty-free makeup at all.

4. Cruelty free products goes beyond beauty

Cleaning products are also tested on animals so to be truly cruelty free, consider switching out your cleaning products too. Another benefit being that many cruelty-free household cleaning products are also eco-friendly but equally as effective.

They often use more natural ingredients such essential oils which means they’re less toxic for you and your pets too.

What are some animal testing statistics

Tens of millions of animals are used in laboratory experiments every year in the United States — and by most estimates, between 85-95% of these animals are not protected by the law. Those without protection are complex beings who think and feel pain, just the same as those who have legal protections.

Cruelty Free Kitty

This is just an approximate number as current law doesn’t require labs to disclose data about the animals most often used in experimentation.

Download Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animals Used in Research brochure and share with others!

Cruelty Free makeup and brand progress

Thanks to better technology and increasing public demand, we have seen some progress in the cruelty-free world. But despite the 3R’s (reduction, refinement and replacement) which are a legal requirement there are still places and companies not seeking alternatives to animal testing.

The best Cruelty-Free Makeup brands and products

If you’re ready to make the switch or even just see what’s out there, these are my current favorite cruelty-free brands and products. Including the best cruelty-free foundation but I’ll update this list each time I discover something better (cleaner, better results, feel, wear, color, etc).

See Also

I’ve been testing out different cruelty-free brands and products for years and phased out everything tested on animals. It’s hard when you love a product (I had a few favorites I found hard to give up) and wasn’t sure if there would be anything as good. Lauren Mercier setting powder was one of those to go.

everyday cruelty-free makeup essentials save v splurge

It took a while and some trial and error but these are what I’ve ended up using and my makeup essentials and best cruelty free foundation. There’s still a lot more I want to try, so I’ll update this list if I also find cruelty free clean beauty options. Many of these are vegan which is always a nice bonus!

It may sound obvious but I find the easiest way to tell if a brands cruelty-free is to ask google e.g. “Is Dawes Custom Cosmetics cruelty-free?” Or you can go to a reliable website that lists cruelty-free brands like:

Don’t just look for the Leaping Bunny logo as smaller companies may not have been able to afford the licensing fees to use their logo but you’ll still find them listed on their website if they are cruelty-free.

How to go cruelty-free. Why switch to cruelty free makeup & 15 cruelty-free makeup must haves

#crueltyfree is trending and it couldn’t happen soon enough!

Here’s how to go cruelty-free and my best cruelty free makeup recommendations from some of my favorite cruelty free brands. Including Charlotte Tilbury, Urban Decay and Kat Von D for when I want really full coverage.

Shop the 15 must-have beauty products.


cruelty free makeup essentials beauty blogger top picks

Best Cruelty-Free Primers

Urban Decay Quick Fix Hydra-Charged Complexion Prep Priming Spray

Iconic London Prep Set Glow Primer and setting spray

Urban Decay is a hydrating, soothing priming spray that visibly reduces the appearance of pores, brightens and smooths skin, and hydrates. Whereas the Iconic London is hydrating and leaves the most stunning golden glow.

The Urban Decay hydrating spray reduces the look of tiredness and is loaded with skin-nourishing ingredients like vitamin B3, Sepitonic™ M3, and coconut water.

You can also use either of these throughout the day for extra hydration without messing up your makeup. With the added bonus that it also softens skin. They can be used in the morning to prep and hydrate your skin before applying makeup, at night, or anytime you need a quick hydration boost.

best cruelty free makeup Iconic London prep set glow

Best cruelty free foundations

I’ve tried so many cruelty free foundations and these are my favorites. I started with Kat Von D as I liked the heavy coverage. However, as I’ve got older I’ve found this too heavy for my skin as it settles in the fine lines and the other ones from her collection are too sheer.

I’ve tried a few Charlotte Tilbury foundations but the one I keep coming back to for buildable coverage, colors and longevity the Magic Foundation has just been discontinued!!!! I was using 5 in the Winter and 6.5 in the Summer or whenever I’ve fake tanned. So I’m going to have to try her Beautiful Skin Foundation which is supposed to be a slightly more glowy, lighter coverage replacement as I’m not a fan of the Airbrush Flawless foundation but have friends who love it. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Best cruelty free eyeliner Sephora

My favorite cruelty-free eyeliners and brow pencils are all from Sephora:

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On waterproof eyeliner for tight lining.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon eye shadow pencil for smudging under eyes.
  • Charlotte Tilbury eyebrow pencil. The soft brown is great for blondes without being orange.


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