The Low Down on Cruelty Free Makeup Brands
Is your beauty cabinet ready for an update? Why not fill it with some fantastic cruelty free makeup brands that are good for both you and better for animals. We asked FIVE expert make-up artists to recommend their top picks for cruelty free makeup from their kits.
When is a Brand NOT Cruelty Free?
Is your favourite cosmetics brand actually cruelty free? If they sell their products in China, then they cannot be classified as cruelty free. In China, it is required by law that any brand manufactured outside of China must undergo animal testing before being sold in the country.
Unfortunately, this law rules out some of our iconic makeup brands including Maybelline, MAC, Revlon, Rimmel London and L’Oreal. Find a bigger list at Cruelty-Free Kitty.
A note on parent companies: While a brand may claim they are cruelty free, their parent brand may still sell in China. For example, NYX cosmetics are classified as cruelty free but are owned by L’Oreal who sell in China.
Vegan Vs Cruelty Free
Not all cosmetics are created equally. Makeup labelled as cruelty free may not actually be vegan. Feeling confused? Let’s break it down.
Vegan means the product contains no animal ingredients or by-products. This includes honey, beeswax, gelatin (made from hooves) lanolin or carmine (crushed up beetles).
Cruelty Free means the product and the ingredients used were not tested on animals. But a product marked cruelty free can still contain animal ingredients or by-products.
Luckily there is a huge list of brands that cruelty free makeup artists give a big tick of approval. Our five experts are Makeup by Inèz, Taylor Beck, Nicole Lee, Josie Hanuska and Laurie Boring.
Makeup By Inèz recommends…
I love this easy to use Cosmetics Concealer Trio and water resistant mascara. Both are made from ingredients that are good for you!
ECO Minerals uses pure minerals sourced from Australia, the United States and Europe. They also offer eco-friendly refills. The Coco Brow Powder suits almost everyone and is a breeze to apply. Alchemy Hi-Light Creme gives a beautiful subtle glow to your skin.
It’s a Melbourne made brand with lipsticks that are of superb quality at an affordable price point. Their lipsticks are available in satin and matte finishes, and all of them are vegan too.
DB Designer Brands
Available at your local chemist, this affordable brand gives any other brand a run for its money. Designer Brands Centre Stage Mascara is a great tubing mascara that is right up there with the best tubing mascara.
Taylor Beck recommends…
This is probably the most used brand in my kit. They do amazing foundations & eyeshadows.
A higher priced brand, but OHHH SOOO amazing, especially their powder products (bronzers, blushes & highlighters)
This brand is exclusive to Woolies & is super affordable! Their Xtend Lash Mascara is my all-time favourite!
The in house brand owned by Mecca is Australian owned, cruelty free & vegan! It’s also really reasonable priced and they have a HUGE range of amazing products. I love pretty much everything they do and I use heaps of it in my pro kit as well as my personal makeup bag.
Nichole Lee recommends…
Creating innovative skincare and makeup from plants, Ere Perez is focused on ethical beauty to celebrate the skin you are born with.
Erin Bigg Cosmetics
Cult favourite Luxe Creme Gel Eyeliner by Erin Briggs is a staple in any make-up artist kit.
From lashes to airbrush foundation, ModelRock Lashes is a wonderland of products for any pro-make-up artist.
Josie Hanuska recommends…
Eye of Horus Cosmetics
Eye of Horus is a beautiful brand of specialty makeup developed in Bryon Bay. Their eye products, particularly their liners are so amazing and easy to work with!
It’s All Fluff
Popular, refillable, Australian owned makeup and skincare business It’s All Fluff is building an inclusive range that focuses on fewer products and embracing our natural skin.
This inclusive beauty brand is entirely vegan and focuses on including everyone in the beauty world.
Laurie Boring recommends...
Too Faced Cosmetics
A holy grail among makeup fans, Too Faced is entirely cruelty-free. “Better Than Sex” mascara and “Born This Way” foundation are just two of their most popular products. Their foundation range features a wide range of shades for every skin tone.
Brows Only Au
I use a professional brow soap for fluffy brows. Brows Only are also Australian and Non-Binary owned.
Freck offers a diverse range of fully vegan makeup for all skin tones. Launching their business with a faux freckle cream, Freck now aims to celebrate natural skin.
Flavedo & Albedo Cosmetics
This is a totally plastic free range of quality products that are entirely vegan. Buildable shades for cheeks, lips and eyes.
Find More Cruelty Free Makeup Brands
Ready to do your own research into cruelty free beauty brands for your beauty cabinet? Look for certifications such as Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF) and PETA Beauty Without Bunnies. Websites like Cruelty-Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant are also great resources.
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