Which Makeup Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Written by Sam Walker

In this day and age, we’re all far more conscious of what we’re buying – whether we’re looking to do our bit for the planet by buying less plastic, wanting to protect our skin by steering clear of harsh chemicals or choosing makeup brands that don’t test on animals.

We’ve come a long way in recent years and there are now hundreds of beauty and cosmetics companies that don’t test on animals and can deem themselves ‘cruelty-free’.

What does ‘cruelty-free’ mean?

It’s worth noting that ‘cruelty-free’ doesn’t just mean the brand themselves don’t test on animals, it often also factors in using ingredients not tested on animals, as well as working with suppliers and partners that don’t test on animals.

So, which makeup brands are cruelty-free?

As I said, there are so many these days – and it’s fantastic to see. Here are just a bunch of my favourite beauty brands are cruelty-free:

Anastasia Beverly Hills

As well as being cruelty-free, Anastasia Beverly Hills is working hard to expand its range of vegan products, across face, brows, eyes and lips, helping you to do your bit for the planet with minimal effort.

ABH is also said to be great for those with sensitive skin – I can only vouch for the eyeshadow palettes (which I LOVE), but maybe it’s time I invested in a foundation to try myself?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette


If you’re looking for beauty and skincare products that care for your skin while giving you natural-looking coverage, bareMinerals is the brand for you.

They truly believe in only using the absolutely necessary ingredients (hence their Loose Mineral Foundation only contains 5 ingredients) and have a whole list of items on their website that their products are free from. Being microbead-free, chemical sunscreen-free, paraben-free and mineral oil-free are just a few of those.

bareMinerals Loose Mineral Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury is a brand I have recently converted to and I love, love, love everything about the brand.

I gave the ‘Build Your Beauty Flawless Complexion Kit’ on the website a go a few months back and can’t get over how many shade options they have on just the Airbrush Flawless Foundation (44 to be exact!). What I love most is that you don’t just see the shades, but you also get images of real women to properly compare yourself to, helping you ensure you buy the correct shade first time.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation


Many of us have two sets of makeup; our day-to-day going to work and running errands makeup, and then our ‘out out’ makeup for when we want to look super glam. No7 is one of my go-to day-to-day brands – I get full coverage from the Stay Perfect Foundation and their lip pencils are incredibly long lasting.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation


We’ve all got into the debate on how exactly you pronounce NYX (to confirm, the brand has said that it’s pronounced ‘nix’) and we’ve all no doubt purchased a product or two since the brand went from being nowhere to everywhere overnight.

I use many products from NYX, but my favourite go-to has to be the Professional Makeup Wonder Stick – Highlight and Contour which perfectly helps to accentuate my cheekbones.

NYX Wonder Stick

Urban Decay

Every few years Urban Decay launches a new eyeshadow palette and beauty fans the world over go crazy for them (myself included). The pigment of the eyeshadows is second to none and there is a palette for everyone; whether you like your pinks and nudes or you want to go dark and mysterious.

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

The Body Shop

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Body Shop is one of the most ethical beauty and skincare brands on the planet; they’re now even offering a sustainable and refillable solution for bath and shower products. But we can’t take away from how beautiful their makeup range is and I highly recommend the Shimmer Waves bronzer and blusher palette.

The Body Shop Shimmer Waves

Why are some makeup brands not cruelty-free?

I must admit, I’m truly gutted to hear that some of the world’s biggest makeup brands can’t class themselves as cruelty free, especially in this day and age.

Unfortunately, there are countries, such as China, that have made it law for products to be tested on animals to ‘prove safety’ in order to be sold within their borders.

While some brands do sell within China, and therefore are tested on animals, some brands are doing what they can to change the legislation. MAC, for example, don’t test on animals and don’t own any testing facilities, however MAC products are sold in China. They are advocating for change though, aiming to prove there are alternative options to testing on animals.

Let’s hope they’re able to prove this soon! If all else fails, I’m sure brands, such as MAC, can effect change by coming together as a collective and simply not selling within China.

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