Top 20 Cruelty-Free Makeup Favorites

Happy Sunday friends!! Today I want to talk about something so.important. The make-up products that rock AND are cruelty-free (yay)! This is a long one, so get cozy, grab a snack, settle in – who else can talk about makeup all day long?? I know the “cruelty-free” phrase gets thrown around a bunch. You might even see it printed on some of your products, but not really know what it means. In cruelty-free makeup, the actual product itself and its ingredients were never tested on animals! This can be really confusing and tricky when you’re trying to figure things out while shopping (brands can put this phrase on whatever because it’s not regulated!)- which is why I wanted to make this list and encourage you to do a little research!

I hear a lot that it doesn’t really matter what you do, brands are going to do what they want. If there’s one thing true in the beauty industry, it’s that brands listen to their consumers. If you don’t believe me just think about how many zodiac, and mermaid, and unicorn collections have come out in the past year. So if you think you don’t have power in this industry, you are wrong! Where you choose to put your money makes a statement in our competitive beauty community.

The beauty world has come so far and I almost expect this standard to be true for any brand these days – but it’s not. Even worse, China pushes brands to continue or even begin these practices, as animal testing is required by law to compete in the market. The reason I feel so strongly about this is that it is just plain unnecessary in today’s world. The FDA doesn’t require animal testing and there is so much good stuff out there that falls into this category. Fortunately, just last month California became the first state to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals!! While it doesn’t go into effect until 2020 – and isn’t totally perfect – it’s a start. I certainly hope more brands stick to this and drive the market to demand change, but at the end end of the day, you gotta speak up!

I’m definitely not saying I have an exclusively cruelty-free makeup collection, but it’s something I’m trying to be more aware of when I’m looking for something new. There aren’t as many base items on here because I just haven’t found many to die for yet. I’m wanting to try Flower Beauty’s foundation and the Kylie Cosmetics concealers next. I’ve created this top 20 list to share some of my current favorites with you. I put everything in order of how I would apply it on myself (yes, I typically choose the controversial face first, eyes second method). I hope you enjoy this list and let me know your favorites below so I can give them a test!

1. Beauty Blender – Okay, I’ve got to start out with this tool everyone loves! The base for everything, goes with me everywhere, can’t get enough. The black one is my current favorite and I love to stock up around this time of year when they have great holiday deals!

2. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation – Okay, I know I said I didn’t have a lot of base products, but just because this one didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it can’t for someone else. Rihanna’s cruelty-free brand is always coming out with the next cool thing. This is a gorgeous foundation with a massive shade range. I ended up returning it because it broke my skin out, but I still think it’s worth a try!

3. Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette – Another classic! This whole line is cruelty-free and mostly vegan, so anything from her brand could fall into this category. I haven’t tried a TON from her that I’m a fan of, but this versatile palette is a staple.

4. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Once again, here is a top quality innovative brand that is completely cruelty free and vegan! This palette is a new holiday drop that sticks to what they do best – powders! The original lighting powders are what they’re famous for, but don’t sleep on their awesome blushes and bronzers either. I’m also planning to test out their new setting powder everyone is raving about when I run out of my current one.

5/6. Iconic London Illuminator & CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops – I seriously could have done an entire post just dedicated to cruelty-free highlighters (I love all my children – name that show!), but here are a few of my tops! The original Iconic London Illuminator put this UK brand on the map. This og is still all over Instagram and hyped up for a reason. I’m so happy that us US peeps can now find this at Ulta! They have a couple other shades if this isn’t your color, but check out the CoverFX (another completely cruelty-free and vegan brand!) custom enhancer drops for more variety.

7/8. ABH Amrezy Highlighter & Sugar Glow Kit – I had originally planned to talk about the sugar glow kit from Anastasia (so stunning), but since they just announced this baby from Amrezy is coming back I had to include it! I take this anywhere and everywhere. I travel with it and it sits front and center on my vanity. She can be subtle, she can be poppin, she can pay your bills, she can buy your groceries – she is necessary. You know I’ll be needing a couple backups this time around! This one will be released in stores for round two on December 7th. This brand is such a role model in the industry and their cruelty-free makeup is one of the many reasons why.

9. Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powders – Now these are a different animal entirely! Macdaddy created the most stunning (and blinding!) loose highlighters and years later they still rule the game. This LA based brand keeps it cruelty free and mostly vegan. I love Illuminati over the Amrezy highlighter for a little something extra. This combo is my go-to for a summery type of glow. I can’t wait to check out the new Diamond Lights Finisher they’ve got releasing this holiday season.

10. Natasha Denona Lila Palette – I wanted to put this on here to demonstrate that if the BEST of the best can make their killer eyeshadows cruelty-free, everyone else can too. While her mattes are wonderful, her shimmers are the best in the industry and deserve all the love and hype they get. I think the Lila Palette really stands out in her line, but if you’re looking to save some coin the Mini Sunset Palette that recently released is gorgeous!

11. Kylie Cosmetics Eyeshadows – If you’ve been following my road trip journey on Instagram, you already know Kylie’s most recent summer palette is one of only two palettes I brought on this crazy trip! I made my first Kylie Cosmetics order last summer (I know I’m late to the party) and have nothing but good things to say. She somehow wins cutest packaging ever with every new release, and I was relieved the products didn’t disappoint. I actually had her summer palette arrive in the mail with one shade busted, but after I reached out to customer service I had a perfect new palette in my hands in less than a week – so impressed!! If one of her palettes speaks to you I think it’s a solid buy! I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve this holiday season.

12. NYX Epic Ink Liner – If I could only use one beauty product for the rest of my life, it would probably be eyeliner. I’m always on the hunt for the next best thing, but this one from NYX has been in my go-to bag for over a year now! It has an easy to use brush tip that is super rich in pigment. Their website claims it has a satin-finish, which I would agree with. I like my liner a little more matte, so I just pop a little black eyeshadow on top. It’s worth noting that while the NYX line remains cruelty free, they were bought by L’Oréal who is not. There are pros and cons to that, which is why I only included one on the list, but this is truly a great liner.

13/14. Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara & Highliner Gel Eyecrayons– I actually bought the same mascara twice (insert super shocked emoji face here). I almost never like a mascara enough to say okay I’m going to get this again instead of trying something new. This boujee mascara wins in my book for a couple of reasons. First, I love the applicator and formula. I get length and curl, but most importantly the *right* amount of “clumpiness” I’m looking for. If you want super natural and long lashes, this is a skip for you. If you want a mascara that is BLACK and gives some drama, this is the ticket. The second reason I love this is that it lasts a really.long.time. Probably too long. I’ve bought a lot of mascaras that dry up after a month and, even if you’re only spending $10, that can add up in the long run. If anyone has a cheaper cruelty-free mascara obsession please let me know! The only mascaras that I’ve been impressed with at the drugstore are L’Oréal’s, which sadly don’t fall into this category. Marc Jacobs’ gel eyeliners are also amazing and include every color under the sun!

15. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liners – Here’s to another awesome brand finally being available at Sephora! These are some of my absolute favorite liners because they stay all day and aren’t too creamy. I never thought I would find a lip liner I love more than Mac’s, but Charlotte has perfected it. I always prefer a harder lip pencil because they’re easier to work with and don’t budge. This one gets my seal of approval. My current favorite is the shade Iconic Nude, but I’ve also got my eye on Foxy Brown and Hot Gossip this VIB sale!

16. Bite Beauty Lipsticks – Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche line perfects lipstick. I’ve talked about these before, but this cruelty-free brand stands out in our world of liquid lips and glosses. The shade Meringue will always be a favorite of mine, but their zodiac releases (especially Libra) currently have my heart. I don’t think there is a more comfortable and pigmented lipstick out there, plus they smell amazing!

17. Milani Lipstick in Bahama Beige – Super comfortable, super affordable, and super pretty! I love this brownish nude that can go with anything for everyday wear. This is a casual lipstick that’s not going to stay all day but will just give you a little something extra. If you’re looking for a good color to throw in your purse and go, this is it. Cruelty-free makeup at the drugstore is killing it!

18. Dose of Colors Over the Top Lip Gloss – Look out! Another awesome collab is back for round two! The Desi x Katy Dose of Colors collaboration was a winner the first time around and is still in a league of its own. If you want a stunning wet glittery gloss, look no further! Did anyone else pick up anything from this collection this time around? I got to play with the Friendcation last week and was actually pretty impressed!

19. CoverFX Setting Spray – Obviously, no serious glam is complete without setting spray. This ingredient-driven brand happens to have a few. My personal favorite is the High-Performance because it actually makes your make-up last longer and has a really nice mist.

20. KL Polish Shades Graham and Carmello – Surprise! This nail polish is kind of a bonus, but what look is complete without a good nail color?! I’ve gotten a few things from KL Polish and I think their formula can be hit or miss with certain colors. Some seem watery and never get to full pigment, but others are perfection! Two of the colors that I LOVE are Graham (a light neutral gray) and Carmello (seriously the best mustard). These two are in heavy rotation for me this fall!

Whew! I know that was a super long wordy one, so thanks for sticking with it. You can pick up several of these cruelty-free makeup beauties during the Sephora sale (yay for 20% off!) that is going on NOW for Rouge members and next weekend for VIBs. Let me know if you’d like to see a skincare version next and don’t forget to tell me all your faves below!

The Burgundy Extended Palette
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick
Highliner Gel Eyecrayon
Velvet Noir Mascara
NYX Epic Ink Liner
Milani Color Statement Lipstick
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner
CoverFX High Performance Setting Spray
CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops
Iconic London Illuminator
ABH x Amrezy Highlighter
ABH Sugar Glow Kit
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit
Shade + Light Face Contour Palette
Mini Sunset Eyeshadow Palette
Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation
Beauty Blender Pro
Desi X Katy Over the Top Gloss
Illuminati Diamond Glow Powder
The Summer Palette
Natasha Denona Lila Palette

A Little About Moe

Hey there! My name is Moe and I'm an avid beauty lover with a passion for traveling and Texas BBQ. Hang around for all my ramblings on the latest lipsticks, my favorite tacos, fun face masks, and more!

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