2016 was an eventful year for cruelty-free beauty! Lots of new emerging cruelty-free brands and product launches, but also quite a few acquisitions. Recently, Too Faced and Becca were bought by Estee Lauder and IT Cosmetics was bought by L’Oreal.

Since I believe in supporting fully cruelty-free brands over those owned by parent companies that test on animals whenever possible, I did my best to choose products from those brands. There’s one exception you’ll find in this list since I couldn’t find a better alternative, and the brand in question (Tarte) is one I personally support.

Like the previous year, I went for products that would work for most skin types and skin tones. Some are new releases and some are older favorites that stood the test of time. I hope you’ll give some of these a try, and if you already have, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Brands Of The Year

Picking brands of the year wasn’t an easy choice, but these 3 stood out in 2016 and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with in 2017.

Kat Von D Beauty is my cruelty-free brand of the year for high-end makeup.

In 2016, they came up with so many new and exciting launches like their Lock-It Cream Concealer which is a hit. They also expanded their shade ranges in several products which is fantastic, and they’re working on reformulating their entire line to be vegan.

We’ve seen a lot of innovation and quality from Kat Von D Beauty this year and I’m excited to see what they come up with in 2017.

Colourpop came out of freaking nowhere and they’ve taken over the beauty world in 2016.

Their products and formulations are innovative and they have a crazy wide range of shades, not to mention that they’re keeping everything affordable. Most of their products are $6 each and they’re of better quality than most drugstore products.

Paula’s Choice is my cruelty-free skincare brand of the year.

First of all, they’ve been Leaping Bunny certified since 2013 and they’re taking animal testing seriously. Paula’s Choice is “brand of the year” material because they have a huge range of very effective skincare for ALL skin types. Whether your skin is acne-prone, oily, dry, sensitive, or you need some anti-aging products, they’ve got you covered with researched formulations and products that actually do something.

I use their products and absolutely recommend them.

Products Of The Year

Hands down the most talked-about eyeshadow palette — nay, MAKEUP PRODUCT of this past year. I mean, look at it. Not only is it beautiful, but the quality is there. The eyeshadows are smooth, buttery, blendable, and pigmented. You can create any eye look with this palette, from natural to glam to colorful. The Modern Renaisssance Palette ($42) is one of ABH’s best products yet.

I haven’t been able to find a better eyeliner than Kat Von D’s Ink Liner ($20 – vegan). This year, they came out with several new shades (including a pure white!). This eyeliner makes applying winged liner easy because of the brush tip (which by the way is tiny and precise). Just a great product from Kat Von D.

For foundation, I went with a product that works the best for most skin types. The Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation ($45 – vegan) is the best foundation out there if you’re looking for medium coverage with a dewy finish. It looks like skin, feels lightweight, and looks lovely and natural while covering redness and imperfections.

Probably the most raved-about product of 2016 is Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer ($24 – vegan). This one was sold out everywhere! You can use it as an undereye or blemish concealer and it covers everything, or you can use it a lighter or darker shade to highlight and contour. The formula is perfect: opaque yet lightweight and super blendable!

Tarte itself is cruelty-free but they’re owned by Kose, a company that isn’t cruelty-free.

For mascara, I wanted to find a replacement for the infamous Too Faced Better Than Sex (recently acquired by Estee Lauder). Pacifica is a great 100% vegan and affordable brand, and they’re quite underrated. Their mascaras work surprisingly well, especially their Stellar Gaze Mascara ($14 – vegan). Give it a try! It’s affordable, natural, and the best cruelty-free drugstore mascara.

Liquid lipsticks aren’t going anywhere for 2017. They’re my favorite kind of lip product, and I love the matte look and longevity. The brand I went for for best liquid lipstick this year is Dose of Colors, which is cruelty-free, vegan, and Leaping Bunny-certified! These Matte Lipsticks ($18 – vegan) also made it to the very top of Stephanie Nicole’s list, and she’s tried them ALL.

If you prefer a more traditional lipstick, Bite Beauty makes the best ones out there: the Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26). This collection is available in 45 shades (!) so you’re bound to find a few perfect matches. These lipsticks are creamy and moisturizing, yet they last a long time on your lips. These do contain beeswax, so keep in mind they’re not vegan.

There were so many new highlighter launches this year, and one of them is my new favorite: the Haloscope ($22) highlighter stick by Glossier. If you don’t like glittery highlights, this one’s for you! It gives you that sheen and glow without any chunks of glitter. Very pretty and quick to use, and it comes in 3 shades to match all skin tones.

I couldn’t not mention the Moonchild Palette ($40 – vegan) by Anastasia Beverly Hills, which is selling out everywhere. If you’re a fan of duochrome highlighter, this palette has 6 different shades to choose from and it’s Anastasia’s best highlighter palette yet.

If you’re a fan of MAC eyeshadows and you want to switch to something that’s cruelty-free, you need to get your hands on some Makeup Geek Eyeshadows ($6 each – mostly vegan). They’re just as good as MAC eyeshadows if not better, and your wallet will thank you. If you’re looking for vegan options, select the shade you want and click “Dimensions/Specs” to check if it’s vegan.

Kat Von D recently came up with a refillable version of their best-selling Shade & Light Face Contour Palette ($49). This is a great palette that fits most skin tones, and it now comes in a sturdy plastic palette. You can purchase refills for all the shades separately for only $16 each. This is a good investment in a great product.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes ($38 – some vegan) are natural-looking but you can also build them up. What sets them apart from other higher-end blushes is that they provide a beautiful glow, similar to the Ambient Lighting Powders. These blushes are super pretty, very natural, and give you that perfect glow. They come in 7 shades from cool-toned to warm.

This is the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat ($22 – vegan) lip liner in the shade Pillow Talk. This shade works perfectly under any nude lipstick, and there are more shades to choose from for every skin tone. Charlotte Tilbury lip liners have the perfect consistency and they’re made to last all day.

This is the setting powder everyone is praising right now. The RCMA No Colour Powder ($12 – vegan) is used by makeup artists and it’s the softest powder out there. It blurs the skin, makes your makeup last longer, and it’s completely translucent so it works with every single skin tone. RCMA is cruelty-free and they’re in the process of getting their Leaping Bunny certification.

There’s no better primer than the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($54 – vegan). It does everything a primer should be doing: makes your foundation apply like a dream, gives you a flawless finish, and helps your makeup stay put for longer. If you can find a cruelty-free drugstore primer that’s comparable, let me know!

If you have oily eyelids or if you want your eyeshadow to stay put for hours, try the Milani Eyeshadow Primer. It’s a drugstore product and it’s very affordable, but it truly works. It’s also going to make sure your eyeshadow is poppin’.

I was skeptical when I first tried this lip balm, but the Rallye Balm ($15 – vegan) by Red Apple Lipstick is the best one I’ve tried. It’s vegan and contains Castor Oil and Shea Butter, and it helps a ton if you have dry or chapped lips. The consistency is perfect, and the packaging is fab and has that high-end feel.

For face moisturizer, I haven’t found anything better than the Mad Hippie Face Cream. It’s the perfect texture and gives you the perfect amount of moisture, and it’s full of powerful ingredients like Niacinamide. It works with all skin types, so give it a try if you’re looking for a great cruelty-free moisturizer!

I’ve gotten several questions about a cruelty-free micellar water in 2016. Finally, Pacifica launched their Kale Water Micellar Makeup Remover ($12 – vegan). It’s very similar to that certain micellar water out there that isn’t cruelty-free (you know the one) and but it’s also more affordable AND vegan. I believe it’s only available at Ulta at the moment.

I’m not a big user of makeup removing wipes myself, but I do get questions about them. The best cruelty-free option I’ve found this year is Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Radiance Cleansing Facial Wipes ($5.99). They’re gentle yet effective at removing all your makeup, and don’t contain harsh ingredients. They’re also biodegradable.

I looove Nubian Heritage Body Washes ($9.99 – vegan). Hands down my favorite cruelty-free shower gel. They’re thick and lather well, and they come in amazing scents. This year, Nubian Heritage redid their packaging and came up with a new collection: Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed. The scent is heanvenly and it’s my new favorite shower gel.

The best shampoo this year is Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Shampoo ($10.99 – vegan). It’s well-loved by many as it it works with all hair types from fine to coarse or straight to curly and makes your hair look stronger and healthier. Plus it contains Castor Oil which helps promote hair growth when you use it at the root!

Drybar got its Leaping Bunny certification this past year! They’re a big hair care brand available at Sephora and Ulta, so props to them. Their Detox Dry Shampoo ($23) works with ALL hair types. It absorbs any excess oil, but also adds a little bit of volume. It also doesn’t leave any white residue like some other dry shampoos.

This is a cult hair product that so many women swear by. It’s the Miracle Leave-In Product ($18) by It’s A 10, which has recently been certified by Leaping Bunny. It promises to repair dry damaged hair, adds shine, smoothes and controls frizz, detangles, prevents split ends, stops hair breakage, creates silkiness, and more. Basically, it does it all and it’s wonderful for damaged hair.

I picked up some Illamasqua Nail Varnishes ($18) after reading others’ recommendations, and I’m glad I did! They’re definitely the best nail polishes I own. They last longer without chipping and they apply more easily and smoothly. They also come in so many beautiful and unique shades.

Thanks for reading!

That’s it for this list! I hope you found some new cruelty-free to try out in 2017. Thank you so much for sticking around and reading, and don’t hesitate to share YOUR best products of 2016 in the comments!

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71 Comments on "The Absolute Best Cruelty-Free Beauty Products For 2017"

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Samantha
Guest

Thanks for the recommendations. 🙂 My only issue is none of the above is even close to being budget friendly.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thanks Samantha, I’ll be working on a big post about budget-friendly cruelty-free products. 🙂

Samantha
Guest

Yay! I look forward to it. 😉

Jane
Guest

The Pacifica Coconut Micellar Water is amazing.

Bengali Girl
Guest

Thank you for introducing these products. I will be trying out most of them!!

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Hope you like them!

mz
Guest

I would love to see recommendations for cruelty free anti aging skin care and makeup (crease resistant foundations, concealers, etc. thank you

Suzi Scheler
Guest

I’ll keep this in mind, thank you for the suggestion.

Intan Ananda Asri
Guest

Try Farmacy. They’re cruelty free I believe.

dcdawn
Guest

Love Vapour!!!

Samantha
Guest
I really want to try a lightweight foundation so have really been torn between the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation and the BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation! No doubt I will buy both at some point as they have both been hyped up so much, but I was wondering what you and everyone else thought about them both?? I usually go for full coverage foundations but my skin has never been that horrendous so I’m starting to think “Oh god! Does my skin never look like my skin?!” so I’m trying to opt for some lightweight products! Thanks, happy new… Read more »
Jen
Guest

Amazing list, Suzi! There’s so many products I still need to try and I’m one of those who’s obsessed with the leave in spray by It’s A 10, such an amazing product!!

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thank you Jen! 😀

Sandra Milena
Guest

great list!! do you have a recommendation for tinted moisturizer/BB cream? I had been using Too Faced Beauty Balm, but would love to know if you or others have other preferred options!

Suzi Scheler
Guest

I need medium-full coverage myself so I haven’t looked into BB creams much, but I need to make a post about them so I will!

Steph
Guest

If you’re in Canada, check out Marcelle’s BB & CC creams. Legendary shit! I wear the CC as my foundation and sunscreen and use a medium coverage powder to set it (I’m oily)

Susan Peebles
Guest

Thank you for the cruelty free shoppers guide. I went into David Jones yesterday and noticed that their own brand of make up is states on the back no animal testing and relatively cheap. Has anyone tried this product?

Angela Verna
Guest
I’ve recently become more conscious of the products I use and have found some of my favorite, been using forever products are not cruelty free. For example, I’m old school and love me some Ponds Cold Cream. Ithe is the best product I have found to remove make up, especially eye make up, prior to washing my face. Anyone have a recommendation on a comparable product that isn’t tested on animals? I will and do buy from companies that don’t test on animals but are owned by parent companies that do. This is an overwhelming undertaking and I find there… Read more »
elle
Guest

Not sure if it’s a true Pond’s alternative, but I’ve recently started using coconut oil. It always makes me think of Pond’s (and my mom) because it gives you that black raccoon eye while you’re using it. It’s successful at removing mascara and waterproof eyeliner, so I’m happy.

Related – if anyone knows a a budget-friendly alternative to the Neutrogena’s oil-free eye makeup remover, I want to know! 🙂

Panya
Guest

Right now I’m using up a bottle of Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover, which works really well. I wish they were more clear about their testing policies, because I’m almost out and don’t want to repurchase if they’re not truly CF.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Absolutely! I have something planned, but it might take a little bit longer.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

My boyfriend gets stuff like beard oil from smaller indie brands, so this might be something to look into. There’s also a Leaping Bunny certified brand called Bulldog for men’s skincare, as well as The Body Shop (note they’re owned by L’Oreal now).

Amber But Better
Guest

Well I’ve definitely added to my shopping list, thanks! Love your blog, it’s one of my top cruelty-free resources!

Amber
amberbutbetter.blogspot.com

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thank you Amber! 😀

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Hi Renata! I know what you mean about the deo. I think most people’s skin agrees with Schmidt’s Deodorant but there’s a minority that don’t. Right now I’m using one by Meow Meow Tweet that doesn’t have baking soda, but I wouldn’t say it’s just as efficient as the Schmidt’s. I’ll be reviewing it next week though!

Renata Saitan
Guest

Thank you, Suzi! I will be waiting for your review 🙂 Happy Friday!

Kate
Guest

There’s an awesome brand in Aus called WooHoo which is the best cruelty free and natural deo I have found…unfortunately I am one of the few who Schmidt’s doesn’t agree with…

Violettes
Guest

How about Jack Black for men’s skin care? It’s on PETA’s list though not Leaping Bunny.

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Yes, Jack Black is another cruelty-free one!

Kiss & Make-up
Guest

Huge Paula’s Choice fan! And still DYING to try Kat Von D make-up.

Samantha
Guest
Yes I’m aware of this but there are affordable products that are cruelty free. Maybe not all organic. Also, many can not tolerate certain oils commonly used in organic products. I have several friends that are allergic. My personal choice is to go without if I can’t find something that matches to my preferences. I have friends that will not and most will not buy pricey items. So, I was asking mostly so I’d have a link to show them there are other choices besides animal testimony companies. Most will not buy the products I use due to the price… Read more »
khrysta marye
Guest

You have a point. Also depending on where you live it might be difficult locating them

Sandra Milena
Guest

thank you for the recommendation! a little outside my price range though. 🙂

Lisa
Guest

100% in agreement with Paula’s Choice. Not only are they relatively affordable, but the fact that you can get samples is awesome (ALL companies should do this). Paula’s Choice also sells to many countries via their website, so I can easily get their products in Germany (unlike all the other brands listed here).

Jessica Woods
Guest

Thank you so much for this! I just discovered your website and I’m a massive fan. Thank you for all the resources x

Jessica — NinetyCo

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Thank you Jessica! Sweet blog!

arwa
Guest

Have you tried Bésame’s lipsticks? They are super lovely.

Caroline
Guest

I love this list and everything on it! I was surprised to not see any SPF products though – any recommendations/favourites there?

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Coola!

Katie Crowder
Guest

Thank you for this! There are several items I already have, and now several more on my wishlist 🙂 Question, have you ever tried LimeLight by Alcone products before? Their skin care is amazing…and leaping bunny certified!
It IS a mlm, and I AM a Beauty Guide, but their products really do speak for themselves. If you’d ever like to (honestly) review some, I’d be more than happy to send several items.
~Katie Crowder

Laura Edwards
Guest

Hello, I love your website and thank you for searching and recommending cruelty free products! I am doing research now when buying cosmetics but I have just brought a bag full of cosmetics from The Body Shop but notice they do not have a bunny certificate? Can you advice if they really are cruelty free please?
Thank you
Laura

Suzi Scheler
Guest

Yes, The Body Shop is cruelty-free! They’re owned by L’Oreal (not cruelty-free) though.

Karla Castillo
Guest

If a cruelty-free company is owned by a corporation that ISN’T cruelty-free, THAT COMPANY IS NO LONGER CRUELTY-FREE. Buying from the cruelty-free company would still put money in the pockets of the corporation that ISN’T CRUELTY-FREE. As such, if a company is owned by a corporation that isn’t cruelty-free, and/or if they sell their products in China, where animal testing is required by law, they are NOT CRUELTY-FREE.

Maddie
Guest

I absolutely agree with you. They will try to find loopholes to made tat money. Even if it means creating another company that’s cruelty free So they make out on both ends. So there you go. I WON’T but anything from them.

Karla Castillo
Guest

I don’t understand why Tarte is on the list if their cruelty-free status is in question. Tarte is now owned by Kose, a Japanese company with LESS STRICT RULES ON ANIMAL TESTING.

Karla Castillo
Guest

If a “cruelty-free” company is owned by a corporation that ISN’T cruelty-free, THAT COMPANY IS NO LONGER CRUELTY-FREE. Buying from the cruelty-free company would still put money in the pockets of the corporation that ISN’T CRUELTY-FREE. As such, if a company is owned by a corporation that isn’t cruelty-free, and/or if they sell their products in China, where animal testing is required by law, they are NOT CRUELTY-FREE.

Kat Murphy
Guest

I love ELF’s mist and set spray. It’s also doesn’t have alcohol as one of the main ingredients like most setting sprays do including all nighter.

Jenna Sativa
Guest

What are the best vegan BB creams of 2017?

Suzi Scheler
Guest

I literally just scheduled a post about BB Creams today! Tarte BB Tinted Treatment is the best-rated one (the post will be up on Friday).

Lori K
Guest

How do you feel about Tarte skincare products?

Suzi Scheler
Guest

I’ve never tried any of their skincare products unfortunately. Their Maracuja oil seems great though.

Tim Hordo
Guest

Hi Suzi, I know some women, who as they become aware of the animal and insect-derived and sourced ingredients in primer, foundation, etc., become confused about what to do with their current supply; they don’t know whether to throw it out, give it away, or wear it until it’s outlived its usefulness. Do you have any advice that I can pass along to them? Thanks!

Marie
Guest
See I’m glad Kat Von D are cruelty-free it’s a shame about the creator, she’s very close minded and stuck up. She’s against dupes when not everyone can afford her ridiculously expensive products. She had a tantrum on youtube over makeup revolution bare in mind makeup revolution have been going a very long time and have always been cruelty-free and she got upset cos they did dupes of her neutral palette. She acted like she was the first ever person to come up with a neutral palette. This puts me off buying her products cos it shows me she’s money… Read more »
Marie
Guest

Does anyone know if Morphe cosmetics are cruelty-free? I know their brushes are vegan

Chantel
Guest

Do you know where i can find makeup brushes withoutt animal hair and that dont fall out?

Rain
Guest

Unfortunately ABH eyeshadow palette is NOT cruelty free 🙁 it actually contains an animal, which is even worse than testing on them!!!

Hope
Guest

I love your blog!I have been working on replacing all my makeup and skincare products with just cruelty-free ones. I hope these brands will be available soon in the Philippines, especially Pacifica because I can’t find a cruelty-free micellar water here.

Aly Laughlin
Member

Hi Hope! Thanks so much for your kind words! I hope so too! 🙂

Panya
Guest

I recently saw that NYX has a micellar water now; perhaps that would be more readily available brand for you?

Ariah Grey
Guest

I recently began using Alba Botanica for my skincare regimen because they are very wallet friendly (inexpensive). I was wondering though, what is a good SPF for facial sunscreen lotions? I was going to buy Alba Botanica Very Emollient Facial Sunscreen SPF 30, but I wasn’t sure if SPF 30 is the best I can get when it comes to facial sunscreen. It’s the one thing I don’t have in my beauty regimen and I really need to get on top of that. Thanks!

Aly Laughlin
Member

Alba Botanica is great! I also love the sunscreen from Josie Maran (SPF 47) but it is a bit on the pricey side.

Mir Kramer
Guest

Have you tried COOLA’s “daydream mineral primer”? It’s a little less expensive than Hourglass, and I think I might actually prefer it. The higher SPF is a plus too haha

Lyanne
Guest

best deodorant? I bought Tarte and like it but would love other options!

Panya
Guest

My mom loves Schmidt’s.

Maria
Guest

Thank you!, I am beginner and I needed a introduction and options for products Cruelty-Free

Aly Laughlin
Member

Awesome, thanks so much and congrats on going cruelty-free! 🙂

Breanna
Guest

I’m confused about the modern renaissance palette making it on this list. The ingredients include carmine which as far as I know comes from insects. Is there other cruelty-free ways carmine is obtained?

Emma
Guest

I actually purchased the palette about a year ago after seeing on Sephora.com that it was cruelty-free…I usually read the ingredient list, but for some reason I assumed cruelty-free meant no dead animals would be in the makeup either. As far as I know they haven’t found a way to create synthetic carmine :/

Navi
Guest

I just recently found your site and am transitioning to become a more cruelty-free consumer. I cannot speak highly enough about what an amazing job you have done here. The site SO informative, easy to navigate, full of fun finds and is for such a beautiful cause. I really love what you are doing, thank you so much and don’t ever give up!!! <3

Aly Laughlin
Member

Thank you so much for your kind words! And congrats on transitioning to cruelty-free! 🙂

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