The Best Cruelty Free Vegan Foundations

I happen to love all animals, whether small and fluffy or big and scaly. I have also been a vegetarian for most of my life and, in recent years, have taken steps to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I’ve been aware of the distressing realities of animal testing from quite a young age and have always sought out products and brands that fully distanced themselves from the process and even campaigned against it.

As I got farther along my vegan journey, my attention turned from the food I was eating to the products I was using, from my clothing and accessories, to cleaning products and, of course, those lotions and potions that made up my beauty routine.

More and more beauty brands are rolling out cruelty free and vegan offerings as the weeks pass by, which is great news for anyone wanting to make more conscious decisions when it comes to the contents of their make-up bag.

Finding a cruelty free foundation

The first item in my face-painting arsenal that I wanted to get right was a cruelty free foundation that was also vegan. The two don’t come hand-in-hand, unfortunately, because products not tested on animals don’t always have vegan ingredients.

First up, a product will usually give you an indication of whether or not it is cruelty-free, either by stating the fact in text on the label or via one of three trusted bunny logos: the Leaping Bunny, PETA and Choose Cruelty-Free are the ones to look out for that certify brands as cruelty free.

Cruelty free and vegan logos


You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve done the hard work for you and are here to highlight the very best cruelty free vegan foundation products that you should consider trying out for a flawless, feel-good look.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, the best cruelty free vegan foundations that we tested were:

1. Fresh Nude, The Body Shop

If the fresh-faced vibe is what you go for, this wonder product is what you’re seeking. It goes on so smoothly and is super moisturising, leaving a really lovely, natural glow to your skin. What we love most about this offering from The Body Shop (aside from the fact it’s vegan and cruelty free) is that it is available in 40 different shades! Not enough brands and foundations are quite as inclusive, so this is fabulous to see. The packaging is 100% recyclable (it uses a spatula instead of a pump, which are typically impossible to recycle) and it’s enriched with both aloe vera and vitamin E, so your skin is going to LOVE you for this (even the sensitive sort). If you want to look beautifully radiant all day long and love medium, non-cakey coverage (don’t we all!), this one is definitely a must-try. 

Fresh Nude Body Shop Foundation

2. No7 Stay Perfect Foundation, Boots  

The Boots No7 range has a hardcore fanbase for a reason; you can’t go far wrong with their products and their foundation is no exception. The No7 Stay Perfect Foundation claims “non-stop complexion perfection” on the bottle and although that may seem a bold claim, I have to say it’s pretty accurate.

This foundation has excellent staying power and I found it to last incredibly well throughout the day, which was impressive considering it feels so lightweight and fresh. It’s the bestselling foundation in Boots and I can see why. There are 25 shades available and it is also SPF 15. All in all, an excellent all-rounder.

no7 Stay Perfect Foundation

3. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation, NYX

NYX makeup is certified as cruelty-free by PETA and although you won’t find a completely vegan ingredient list across the entire product range, a great deal of the brand’s products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, so are a safe bet for those seeking vegan and cruelty free makeup. One example is the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation, which I really love.

It comes in 45 beautiful shades and offers a really smooth application with matte coverage (great if, like me, you need to control that forehead shine when your skin has decided to have an oily day). The lasting power of this stuff is amazing and I find that it controls shine and stays put all day long. I sometimes pair it with the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Powder Foundation, which I apply over the top of its liquid sister. It’s suitable for all skin types and really stacks up against its claims.

4. Original Matte Loose Mineral Foundation SPF 15, bareMinerals

This one is a popular choice for a reason. If you favour powder foundations over liquid coverage, bareMinerals’ Original Matte Loose Powder is a strong choice. It is available in 30 shades and goes on like a dream (especially if you grab yourself a bareMinerals Original Powder Foundation Brush too, which helps me to apply it perfectly). It only has five ingredients (all vegan-friendly) and can provide coverage that ranges from sheer to full depending on how much you want to layer it up. It’s fantastic for that effortless, barely-there look and feel and lasts well throughout the day.

The natural mineral ingredients promote healthier skin and a clearer complexion. In fact, it boasts such a clean list of ingredients that even if you commit the cardinal skin sin of sleeping in your make-up, you won’t suddenly be faced with annoying breakouts. Speaking of spots, I find that this baby covers imperfections really well without caking to the areas you’re trying to disguise and I love that it also has SPF 15 built in for protection against those rays (however, as we all know, foundation SPFs shouldn’t be relied upon on their own and should instead provide an extra layer of protection atop a dedicated SPF product).

bareMinerals Loose Mineral Foundation

5. Beautiful Skin Foundation, Charlotte Tilbury

 A friend of mine introduced me to the Charlotte Tilbury make-up range and I haven’t really looked back. Leaping Bunny approved, her product range also includes lots of vegan options. The Beautiful Skin Foundation is one such product and, my oh my, it’s a great one! Containing rose complex to brighten the skin and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and improve the complexion with each wear, this relatively new product is super dreamy.

It somehow manages to smooth out the skin, making it seem plumper and more even, as well as minimizing pores like magic. Seriously, I’m convinced there’s real witchcraft in this bottle. It’s a little on the pricey side but totally worth it. So, if you want a foundation that’s going to make you glow like never before, give this little beauty from Charlotte Tilbury a go.

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin

6. Woke Up Like This, Il Makiage

You’ve probably stumbled upon Il Makiage’s foundation before, or at least heard people talking about the magical online quiz that manages to find your perfect shade without even so much as a selfie upload. I’m still not sure how the brand gets it so right, but it really does work. Through a series of images shown to you and questions asked, I was told that my shade was #75 and it was indeed a perfect match.

It turns out there are 50 shades in total for all skin tones and I love that this foundation is enriched with skin-loving Vitamin E for anti-aging and antioxidant benefits. It also contains hyaluronic acid like Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Foundation, so this one will hydrate, protect and also help battle those pesky wrinkles. I’d say this offers medium to full coverage depending on how you layer it up, as always, and a nice semi-matte finish. I felt pretty flawless thanks to Il Makiage and apparently that could have something to do with its “optically corrective powers” and “light diffusing spheres” which it says blur fine lines, redness and blemishes and deflects attention away from imperfections. I for one am grateful for all of the above! Good job Il Makiage!

Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Foundations

Well, there you have it, our top six cruelty free vegan foundations! Hopefully we’ve made your decision a little easier when it comes to choosing which one to try; but, if in doubt, try more than one! You can never have too many foundations in your make-up bag.

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