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The Best Vegan Mascaras for Long, Beautiful Lashes

by Charlotte Pointing

Feb 24, 2023

In Ancient Egypt, humans started darkening and accentuating their lashes. And, over the last 5,000 years, not much has changed. Today, the mascara market is huge. In fact, according to some estimates, it's worth nearly $7 billion. But not all mascara is made ethically; the use of animal ingredients and animal testing is common in the industry. That's why we've gathered all the best vegan, cruelty-free mascaras on the market.

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What is vegan mascara?

Vegan mascara is the same as regular mascara, only it's made without any animal products.

Some of the most common animal ingredients used in mascara are guanine (which is known for its shimmer and derived from fish scales), beeswax (which is used to help lengthen lashes), and lanolin. The latter is often used in cosmetics for its moisturizing properties, but as it comes from sheep's wool grease, it isn't vegan.

That said, animal products are not vital for creating a good mascara. Instead, ingredients like carnauba wax, fruit wax, rose wax, shea butter, and castor oil can be used, all of which are vegan and cruelty-free.

Which mascaras are not tested on animals?

Unfortunately, while things are improving, animal testing is still common in the beauty industry. The Humane Society International estimates that around 500,000 animals, like rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats are tested for cosmetics every single year.

In 2021, one study by Cruelty-Free Kitty discovered that 88 percent of the top beauty brands in the world still fund these tests. But it's not all bad. The number of brands certified cruelty-free is growing, which means they don't engage in any animal tests at all.

Here, we've gathered some of the best vegan mascara options out there, all of which, as always, come from 100 percent cruelty-free brands.

Best forVolume, drama
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Unilever

When it comes to mascara, there's nothing more annoying than a product that clumps together. With Hourglass' Caution Extreme Lash, this isn't an issue, as the product's 4D Amplifier brush coats each lash individually.

The formula is buildable, lightweight, and lengthening, making it the ideal choice for people with naturally short lashes.

Plus, with each purchase, Hourglass donates one percent of the profits to the Nonhuman Rights Project, a US-based nonprofit dedicated to improving animal rights in the legal system.

This is a sponsored listing.

Best forLengthening, strengthening
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

Dome Beauty's Magnetic Mascara ticks all the boxes: it adds volume, length, and curl to your lashes, without clumping or flaking.

But it also goes one step further, as it actually repairs any damage to your lashes too. This is because it contains grapeseed oil as a key active ingredient, which, as a source of vitamin E, helps to nourish and strengthen your lashes.

Plus, the clean formula contains softening olive oil and vitamin-packed beetroot extract.

This mascara comes highly recommended not just by us, but also by leading clean beauty certification CertClean. It was awarded first place in its category at the platform's 2021 Clean Beauty Awards.

Best forLengthening
WaterproofNo
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - EstĂŠe Lauder

If you hate faffing about with false lashes, then Too Faced Better Than Sex could be the one for you. Again, the mascara brush is designed to coat each individual lash, and the formula helps to boost both length and volume, giving a dramatic, just-applied-falsies look.

According to the brand, the impressive volume comes from the addition of acacia Senegal tree extract, which helps to thicken and hydrate lashes.

If you're not one for deep black mascara, Better Than Sex also comes in a rich brown chocolate shade.

Best forFlake-free
WaterproofNo
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Another annoying thing about mascara? Flaking. To eliminate this possibility, Tarte's Liquid Lash Extensions uses tubing technology.

With tubing, the mascara doesn't just paint your lashes, but the polymers actually tube around them (hence the name). The result is a mascara that lasts a long time, and won't flake or smudge either.

As well as being flake-free, this mascara will also moisturize, strengthen, and nourish your lashes, thanks to the addition of shea butter and castor seed oil.

Best forCurling, conditioning
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Kose

When your lashes are naturally straight, it can be frustrating when your mascara just doesn't seem to lift and curl the way you wish it would.

But Tarte's Light Camera Lashes formula really does deliver on its promise, and you'll be satisfied with the level of curl you get after applying this product to your lashes. (In fact, the brand claims it can increase lash curl by 35 percent.)

The formula is also enriched with lash-loving ingredients, like conditioning olive esters (which comes from olive oil), softening and lengthening rice bran wax, and hydrating provitamin B5.

Best forVolume, length
Waterproof?Yes
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Another water-resistant formula, Pixi's Large Lash mascara is great for active days, but its high-performance formula means it's also a good choice for days in the office and evenings out too.

It doesn't clump or smudge (so no panda eyes!), and the wand will help to add volume and length to your lashes by pushing up from root to tip.

Just one note: If you have short lashes, you may need to add a few coats to get the results you're looking for.

Best tubing mascara:

Best forLong-lasting
Waterproof?Yes
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Again, this mascara from Blinc doesn't paint lashes, but instead, uses tubing technology to create a flake-free, smudge-free, long-lasting formula instead. In fact, Blinc actually was the first to create and adopt this pioneering technology.

The concept might seem a little strange at first (tubes forming around your lashes?!) but the results are undeniably worth it. It's easy to apply, easy to remove, and even can withstand sweat, tears, humidity, and rain.

Best forVolume, length
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Wet n Wild is still a newcomer to the cruelty-free space. It does sell its products in the Chinese market, but as it has bypassed pre-market testing requirements and isn't subject to post-market testing, it is still considered cruelty-free.

This is great news for cruelty-free beauty lovers, who now have access to many of the brand's best-sellers.

If you're heading out for the evening, this is a great mascara to have on hand in your makeup bag. It's all about delivering drama, volume, and length, without having to fiddle about with false lashes.

Plus, it's infused with castor oil, which may help to boost the growth of your natural lashes (although research into this is still limited).

Best forVolume, fullness
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

In a sleek, futuristic tube, Ariana Grande's beauty brand r.e.m. beauty offers this volumizing mascara, which will help to add length and lift to your lashes, while nourishing them at the same time.

In addition to fruit extracts, the formula features strengthening, antioxidant-packed bamboo powder, as well as tahitian micro algae, which will help to condition and moisturize your lashes, leaving them silky and smooth.

The mascara is one of two offered by r.e.m. beauty. The second mascara, called Flourishing Lengthening Mascara, is designed to add length (as the name suggests). This is all thanks to the slightly different brush, which features equally spaced bristles.

Best forVolume, curl
Waterproof?Yes
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - LVMH

Yes, it's another celebrity beauty brand (this time from Rihanna). But don't be dissuaded: Fenty Beauty's Full Frontal Volume, Lift, & Curl mascara really delivers.

You may have to use a few coats to get the volume and look you're after, but it's worth it, because the results are clump-free, lengthening, and long-lasting too. This is all largely thanks to the brush's unique design, which is fat on one side and flat on the other.

Best plastic-free mascara:

Best forFlake-free, long-lasting
Waterproof?Yes
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

If you're trying to keep plastic out of your makeup bag, it can be tough to find a mascara that gives you the look and length you want without all the packaging. But this is where BĂŠsame comes in.

The brand's Black Cake mascara doesn't come in a tube at all. Instead, it comes in a small compact, metal container with a separate brush (just like they used to use back in the 1920s!).

It's important to note, however, that as the design is a little different to regular mascara, it'll take a few tries to get used to, but don't be put off. The vintage-inspired product has the perfect pigment, it's long-lasting, and it's sustainable too. What's not to love?

Best forVolume, lift, long-lasting
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?No
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - L'OrĂŠal

For long days in the office (or days when you're busy having non-stop fun), you need a mascara that's going to look just as good several hours after you've applied it for the first time. And good news: Urban Decay's Wild Lash formula was designed for longwear. In fact, according to the brand, it can last up to 16 hours.

The mascara is also beneficial for your lash health. It contains avocado oil, which is associated with lash growth, as well as coconut oil, which not only helps to protect your lashes from breaking, but also helps to nourish and condition.

Best for sensitive eyes:

Best forLength, volume
Waterproof?No
100% vegan brand?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

If you've got super sensitive eyes, you can trust Tower 28 to look after you. The brand takes its gentle formulas seriously, and is the one of the only beauty brand's to follow the National Eczema Association's Ingredients Guidelines.

But it also takes performance seriously, of course.

With the help of a triple-wave wand, this super lightweight formula will give your natural lashes a boost of length, volume, and definition. But if you want more, you can keep adding coats, as it's also sufficiently buildable too.

The verdict

Many of the mainstream mascaras on the market are not vegan, and sadly, they're not free from cruel animal testing either. But that doesn't mean your lashes have to go without volume. A number of products on the market are ethical and high-performance, the perfect combination.

To summarize, some of our top picks are:

Best tubing mascara: Blinc Original Tubing Mascara
Plastic-free: Besame Black Cake Mascara – 1920
For sensitive eyes: Tower 28 MakeWaves Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Download our list of 600+ verified cruelty-free brands straight to your device. Bring it with you everywhere you go, and never worry about supporting animal testing again. Click here to download

+ Show Comments (14) - Hide Comments (14)
  • Carol Rogne says:

    Thank you for the info.

  • Lesley says:

    THANK YOU!
    This information was extremely helpful. I appreciate your research.

  • Cat says:

    I thought Wet & Wild wasn’t cruelty free anymore?

  • Sarah Lacy says:

    Thanks!
    Helpful info, but you referred to the Thrive mascara as “Tarte”, in its shorty follow up paragraph.
    Thank you!

  • I have been buying Vivienne SabĂł Paris – Classic Everyday Mascara Cabaret Premiere, Cruelty Free, Black, Made in Europe. I am wondering if there is a parent company that is not cruelty free. I am still researching. This mascara is inexpensive and seems to work pretty well, but because there are options, I don’t want to buy any mascara who is owned by a parent company that is not cruelty free.
    Thanks for you diligent work on cruelty free products.

  • Andrea says:

    Mascara is my go to I love it more than any other product but trying to find a smudge free clump free cruelty free and or vegan is a nightmare you often think your buying cruelty free only to find out later their parent company does test on animals grrrrr I tend to go back to body shop or elf but I miss the dramatic look of say younique 3d etc or maberline if anyone found something to match please let me know thanks for great up to date info

  • Dorothy McKnight says:

    Great information. I cannot, however, find any cruelty free liquid eye makeup remover. I would love to know brands.
    Thanks so much for all of this!

  • Casey says:

    How about an article and suggestions on some less expensive (drugstore?) mascara brands. Aside from the Wet ‘n Wild mascara being a little over $6, all other brands were upwards of $20-$25-$30. Cruelty-free shouldn’t only mean “expensive”.

  • Maggie Wolfe says:

    You’ve left out Essence which is sold at Ulta and Ilia which is the best mascara I’ve ever used. Essence us still under $5 I think but even if they’ve raised their prices, it’s still very affordable. Ilia is amazing.
    Has anyone ever asked any of the fashion magazines that put out “best of” why their choices are always items which are not cruelty free. Same with any of their recommendations such as Ceravee. My impression is they don’t care at all.

  • Natalie I Sampson says:

    What about GIVE by Gwen Stefani? Her products are cruelty free, are they not?

  • Georgette Bonot says:

    I’m confused by this article. The title being
    “The Best VEGAN Mascaras For Beautiful Lashes”, but your list is LOADED with brands that AREN’T vegan OR cruelty free. It’s even stated in the last paragraph
    “Here we’ve gathered some of the best VEGAN mascara options, all of which, of course, come from 100% cruelty free brands.”
    BUT these are NOT all vegan, nor are they all from cruelty free brands. Please clarify as I always look to CRUELTY FREE KITTY to be able to determine which products I will buy and which I won’t.

  • Maggie says:

    Your website for this presentation is very confusing. I was just interested in the completely cruelty-free mascaras, and then the complete cruelty-free list of products. Wasn’t able to download either. Can you email me the lists?

  • Claudia says:

    Thanks for your extensive list where there is something for everyone. Another brand I like is Ilia, which is also cruelty-free. Their mascara is wonderful.

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