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The 21 Best Cruelty-Free Mascaras For All Budgets And Lashes

by Suzana Rose

May 12, 2021

Gone are the days when we only had a handful of options for cruelty-free mascara. Whether you're looking for luxury or something more budget-friendly, there's a cruelty-free mascara for everyone. In this list, you'll find 21 of the best cruelty-free mascaras which you can narrow down based on your needs: are you looking for something lengthening, volumizing, or curling? Scroll down to find your best match!

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Where to Shop Cruelty-Free

If you're looking for cruelty-free beauty, you can shop at the major retailers such as Sephora or Ulta. This is the simplest option, and you're able to find a myriad of cruelty-free brands. If you're able to, a good option is to purchase directly from the brand.

For budget-friendly options, you'll find most products below at Ulta, Target, Amazon or at your local drugstore. A word of caution about Target and Amazon: they have a cruelty-free filter, however I don't suggest you use it as it's often inaccurate.

Best Overall: Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir* ($27)

Where to buy: Sephora

Another one of the best mascaras out there. If you're looking for a volumized yet separated look, and you don't mind a slightly higher price point, this mascara is perfect. The hourglass-shaped want coats all your lashes nicely and creates almost a cat-eye effect effortlessly. This one also doesn't smudge, unlike Better Than Sex or Kush (which sometimes smudge a little bit on me).

Best Drugstore: Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara ($9.99)

Where to buy: Ulta

Covergirl makes a few different mascaras. Lash Blast is one of their most popular and marketed ones, however it's not their best. Clump Crusher is where it's at if you want long, defined, thick and black lashes. While it focuses on length and separation, it also provides decent volume after a few coats, which makes this mascara the best cruelty-free drugstore mascara.

Best of Clean Beauty: ILIA Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara ($28)

Where to buy: Sephora

Another green beauty classic, this mascara focuses on separating your lashes without any clumping. It provides a more natural look with a single coat, but you can drive up the intensity by using 2 to 3 coats. Unlike most other mascaras, it has plastic bristles which is why it's great for lengthening. The formula is lightweight.

Milk Makeup Kush Mascara, Vegan ($24)

Where to buy: Sephora

Currently one of the best mascaras out there, Kush is intense and volumizing, even after a single coat. It's also ultra-black. I find it to be similar to Better Than Sex by Too Faced in some ways, although this one is a fiber mascara and is more conditioning. It also makes your lashes look more feathery. The wand is quite big, which means it coats all of your lashes easily and thoroughly. Since it's so conditioning, it may smudge on you if you're prone to smudging.

Too Faced Better Than Sex* ($26)

Where to buy: Sephora

Maybe it's because of the marketing, or maybe it's because it's a genuinely solid mascara, but Better Than Sex is the most popular and well-loved mascara out there. It's a personal favorite of mine because of the volume and intensity it delivers. The hourglass-shaped brush coats the outer part of your lashes perfectly. A downside is that it may smudge at the end of the day, so keep this is mind and choose a different mascara if you're prone to smudging.

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara*, Vegan ($29)

Where to buy: Sephora

If you want drama and volume, this mascara will bring it. While it has the highest price tag on this list, it comes in a luxurious rose gold tube and it delivers everything it promises. It lenghtens, lifts, and mostly, it volumizes lashes. The dual-sided brush also helps coat every single lash by reaching the corners of the eye. It's also vegan.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes*, Vegan ($23)

Where to buy: Sephora

Another well-loved classic is the Lights Camera Lashes mascara from Tarte. It's touted as a 4-in-1 mascara, meaning it does it all: it curls, volumizes, lengthens, and conditions your lashes. You can use one coat for a defined, more natural look, or layer it for drama. It's vegan and paraben-free.

Urban Decay Perversion* ($25)

Where to buy: Sephora

Another great mascara is Perversion from Urban Decay. It's an all-rounder that volumizes while lenghtening and will give you drama and darkness. It also protects lashes with Honey Extract and Marine Collagen -- which means this isn't a vegan option.

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara, Vegan ($14)

Where to buy: Ulta

Pacifica is a fantastic vegan brand, and their Stellar Gaze mascara is a great drugstore buy. One coat till give you a natural look, but you can build it for more intensity. It separates lashes nicely as well and isn't clumpy. Of course, the formula is vegan, and it contains ingredients that are nourishing for your lashes.

ELF Mineral Infused Mascara ($4)

Where to buy: ELF.com

You can find fantastic cruelty-free mascaras without breaking the bank, and ELF is proving exactly that. At only $4, this one is the perfect option if you're on a budget. It's a beautiful everyday mascara that doesn't clump.

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect ($4.99)

Where to buy: Ulta - Amazon

If you're looking for an affordable drugstore mascara that is truly intense, look no further. Lash Princess delivers drama and intensity even after the first coat. One thing it doesn't do extremely well is separate and define, so this mascara is definitely for those who want lots of volume and don't mind a little bit of clumping.

Kosas The Big Clean Volumizing + Lash Care Mascara ($26)

Where to buy: Sephora

A great option if you're specifically looking for a clean mascara. The wand is curved for an easier application, and the formula is on the thicker side, which is great for providing volume. It's also conditioning, with ingredients like castor oil and provitamin B5. Although it provides volume, it doesn't clump. An all-around great clean beauty staple.

Lily Lolo Natural Vegan Mascara ($20)

Where to buy: The Detox Market

Lily Lolo is Leaping Bunny certified, and this mascara is also vegan -- two big thumbs up from the get-go. It adds both volume and length and is long-lasting, plus you can use one single coat for a natural look, or build it up for more intensity. It's suitable for sensitive eyes.

NYX Worth The Hype Mascara* ($8)

Where to buy: Ulta

Worth The Hype is a great all-around mascara at a decent price point. It volumizes and lengthens and you can build easily build it. The tapered brush makes it easy to apply, and it's even available in a few different colors if you want to add some fun to any look.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara* ($25)

Where to buy: Ulta

This one promises to volumize and lengthen in just one coat, and they claim that it was "developed with plastic surgeons". Why? I'm not sure. However it's a great all-around mascara that adds some oomph to your lashes.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara, Vegan ($24)

Where to buy: Thrive

Thrive Causemetics is a brand that fights various social causes, hence "causemetics". Because of their ethics, this is a great brand to support, and of course, they're cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified. This is an award-winning mascara that goes above and beyond by providing a false lash effect. The secret? It's a fiber mascara.

Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara* ($9.99)

Where to buy: Ulta

Even though Clump Crusher by Covergirl is superior, we can't forget about Lash Blast -- plus it might work better with your actual lashes. This one is more volumizing (although not too volumizing) and less separating than its Clump Crusher counterpart. It's easy to find in drugstores, so why not give it a try?

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara ($26)

Where to buy: 100% Pure

100% Pure uses some fruit pigments to color their makeup, be it blush, lipstick, or even in this case mascara. This mascara might be a great option if you have more sensitive eyes, and you can't feel it while wearing it. It also comes in several dark colors to add a little bit of interest.

W3ll People Expressionist Mascara ($19)

Where to buy: The Detox Market

Another great clean beauty mascara is by W3ll People. This one uses a rubber wand as opposed to a brush, and the goal is to coat every single lash, no matter how small. The look is clump-free and feathery. Although they claim this product is "plant powered", note that this mascara contains beeswax and is not vegan.

Blinc Mascara ($26)

Where to buy: Sephora

Blinc is a brand that specializes in mascara, so you can trust that they provides solid products that deliver. This mascara is claimed to be the "original tube technology" mascara, which makes tubes (or fibers) around your lashes. This list contains a few other fiber mascaras such as Thrive and Kush.

Pixi Large Lash Mascara ($16)

Where to buy: Pixi

This mascara is a great drugstore option for those who want beautiful feathery lashes with a bit of volume. Lashes are separated and clump-free, and the brush is quite fat which coats them nicely. It's also fragrance-free and paraben-free.

More Cruelty-Free Brands

If you're looking for more cruelty-free brands, visit our list of officially cruelty-free brands -- these brands have been transparent about their policy and do not test on animals at any point, and neither do their suppliers or any third parties.

I hope this post helped you find your perfect cruelty-free mascara. If so, please take a moment to share it with your friends so they can choose cruelty-free options as well. Thank you for your support!

Shop Cruelty-Free—It's Easy!

Find the best cruelty-free makeup, skincare, hair care products and more with our curated database. Shop here to find ethical products.

Suzana Rose

Suzana Rose

I created Cruelty-Free Kitty because animal testing has no place in the 21st century. My mission is to tackle ethical issues in the beauty industry one by one and find solutions for a better future.

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+ Show Comments (43) - Hide Comments (43)
  • Avatar Wendy Lee Shadburn says:

    Thank you SO much for this info. I’m in no way trying to criticize, but I noticed some typos in the descriptions. If you ever need a proofreader, I’d be happy to help. Y’all did the hard work – let me help with the details. Either way, again, thank you SO much for this info and for providing so many options on the financial scale. “Why is a raven like a writing desk?Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both.” Cheers!

  • Avatar Linda Miller says:

    Can you tell me where to find cruelty free eye make up remover.

    Thanks.

  • Avatar KFiggy12 says:

    Thanks so much for your list! I’m looking for a new cruelty-free mascara and glad I came across this list! I don’t know why they all aren’t cruelty-free.

  • Avatar Roxie says:

    Can you make an article about false eyelashes? 🙂

  • Avatar Unicorn Moon says:

    How can you not have Ere Perez Natural Avocado Waterproof Mascara on your list!?

    This is my holy grail vegan waterproof mascara. They say it’s 24-hour wear, and for once, I can confirm that the claims are 100% true. I can sweat in it all day, exercise, surf, and even sleep in it and it doesn’t flake or run. This stuff is bulletproof. Mascara is my favorite makeup item but I stopped wearing it when I went vegan because I was so unimpressed with all the vegan waterproof formulas (I’m sporty, so non-waterproof simply isn’t an option), and I’ve tried most on your list. None of them even came remotely close in terms of performance to Ere Perez. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for sports quality vegan waterproof mascara.

  • Avatar Donna says:

    Hello. Do any cruelty-free vegan mascaras make other colors besides black? Occasionally I like to wear maroon or purple or green as top coat on black mascara. Fingers crossed. Thank you

  • Avatar Vilhe says:

    Thank you so much for this! Wanted to buy a cruelty-free mascara as a Xmas present for someone. Ended up going with ELF Mineral Infused.

  • Avatar sophie says:

    I would like to find a brown waterproof mascara. I’m not having much look. Any suggestions ?

    • Avatar Fabienne says:

      Tarte has a water proof sport mascara called lifted. It’s currently on their site or at sephora. The site says black brown but it was definitely on the lighter side for me!

    • Avatar Unicorn Moon says:

      Try Ere Perez Natural Avocado Waterproof Mascara. I’m really active and incredibly picky about mascaras. This is literally the only vegan waterproof mascara I’ve tried that I consider to truly be sports quality. Amazingly, it also happens to be 100% natural.

  • Avatar Jane Louise Riordan says:

    Just wanted to ask did Kat Von D sell her company to Kenzo???
    Kenzo is on the list of Non Cruelty free

  • Avatar Ania says:

    NYX is owned by L’Oreal and Too Faced by Estée Lauder, both of which are not cruelty free

  • Avatar Signe says:

    Too faced and Blinc are owned by Estee Lauder and will be sold in China shortly which means they shouldn’t appear on this list.

    • Suzi Scheler Suzi Scheler says:

      Blinc is not owned by Estee Lauder (maybe you’re thinking of Becca?) and Too Faced confirmed that they’re remaining cruelty-free. I would only take them off the list if they do start selling in China.

      • Avatar Ania says:

        It should be noted if the parent company is not cruelty free because the profits go to them – ie profits made by Too Faced go to Estée Lauder and effectively fund a company that allows animal testing

  • Avatar Ashley says:

    This is a great post! I’ve tried a couple on here that have and have not worked for me but everyone is different and this gives so many options!! My questions is this, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but in my research I have found that Too Faced is owned by Estée Lauder and I believe that they are not on any cruelty free list so shouldn’t Too Faced have an asterisk by it as well?

  • Avatar La Doshis says:

    Unfortunately, I have not found a cf mascara that holds a curl in my stubborn stick straight lashes and doesn’t smudge 🙁 I’ve tried almost all of the mascaras above (I’ve been using mascara for 20 yrs) and none have fit my criteria of holding a curl (yes I have an eyelash curler) and not smudging.

  • Avatar Lexi Alexandra says:

    I finally tried Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara and wow! Y’all were right! This mascara is bomb!! It’s definitely my new favourite ?

  • Avatar Marissa d says:

    A product to add to this list should be The Balm’s “body builder” mascara. It’s been a favorite of mine for a few years now even over many other high end brands! As far as I can tell this company is CF.

  • Avatar Becky Teague says:

    Lash Princess is down at number 10, but i encourage EVERYONE to try it, It is glorious (and cheap!)

  • Avatar Heidi Schoonover says:

    Thanks for putting this list together! One I really like that I didn’t see on the list is the Black Magic Mascara by Eyeko.

  • Great post, this is so helpful! I have a list now of mascaras I really want to try! I also love that you included reviews that told you about the product’s performance, very helpful!

    Amber
    amberbutbetter.blogspot.com

  • Avatar LizzieBee says:

    Ooh this post is perfectly timed – my Bourjois mascara has just ran out and I’ve been looking for a cruelty-free alternative. Thanks so much!

    Lizzie Bee // mysticthorn.com

  • Avatar julia ❀ says:

    i’ve been meaning to try elf or pacifica’s mascaras for the longest time, but they’re always sold out at target!
    also, no mention of jordana best lash extreme? it’s like $3 and it is VOLUMIZING. good shit.

  • Avatar Heather Foster says:

    Hi…as far as I know Urban Decay DO sell their products in China so they shouldn’t be listed as cruelty free.
    Heather

  • Woah, talk about winning HARD, haha, that poll says it all 🙂

  • Avatar Lisabella Fawzeya SayfUllah Da says:

    Hi Suzi, Why didn’t you place Kat Von D’s company as one that’s owned by a parent company that is Not “Cruelty Free” and placed an asterisk * on “IT Cosmetics” – as “IT” does not have a parent company that is selling to China. Please advise – I’ve done my research and if I am out of date, please inform me!

  • Avatar Samantha R says:

    This is great, id say the first choice as well lol but I do like Tarte’s – Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara, it makes your lashes look naturally fuller.

    Can we do a poll on this for foundations? or is there already one lol?

    • That’s a great idea! Might be tricky because of all the skip types and different coverage issues though. Maybe I’ll do concealer next if there’s interest. 🙂

      • Avatar Samantha R says:

        Trueeee lol maybe 3 polls on different coverages? lol if thats not too much!
        Id be interested in that as well =]] these polls are so much better than spending a million dollars on different products looking for the right one =]

      • Avatar elle says:

        Ooh yes! A concealer recommendation list would be amazing if you’re still considering it. I try so many drugstore CF for dark circles with no luck. 🙁

        Very excited for my next mascara buy!

  • Avatar Strawberry Curl says:

    This is an awesome list. Another great vegan mascara that I don’t see listed here is Josie Maran’s. It curls, lengthens, and volumizes lashes with Argan Black Oil. 🙂

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