Cruelty-free makeup is an exciting field, and I love to test new products. However, when you’re a makeup artist like me, you have to stake your reputation on every makeup product in your kit. I started my career with a cruelty-free kit and gradually transitioned to gentler, eco-friendly products, but it took a lot of trial and error. Whether a makeup line is bargain-priced or high-end, each company has its share of standout products and cosmetic catastrophes. Read on to find out which cruelty-free brands I trust for great results.
Everyday, Bridal, and Studio Settings
Makeup artists create looks for everyone from stay-at-home moms to pampered brides. We frequently work on commercial photo shoots, fashion shows, and other situations with intense lighting. My top cruelty-free brands offer natural finishes, come in highly-pigmented formulas, and look great in photos.
- 100% Pure – Lipstick, blush, and bronzer
- Au Naturale Cosmetics – Cream foundations and lipsticks
- Beauty Without Cruelty – Waterproof Mascara and makeup remover
- Gabriel Cosmetics/Zuzu Luxe – Liquid foundations, pressed powders, pressed eye shadows, pressed powder blush, lipstick, and lip liner
- Jane Iredale – Eyeliner (gel and pencil), lip liner, eye shadows, and pressed powder foundations
- Glo Minerals – Concealers
- Tarte Cosmetics – Mascara, water-resistant cosmetics, cream eyeliner, and pencil eyeliner
- Urban Decay – Eye shadow primer, false lashes, and setting spray
Sometimes makeup artists are hired for specific tasks that you won’t need in an everyday makeup application. Think waterproof makeup, tattoo coverage, and bruise creation. These niche products may be harder to find in gentle, eco-friendly versions, but you can go cruelty-free.
- Cinema Secrets – Foundation for tattoo coverage
- Haut Minerals – Waterproof foundation
- Kryolan – Special effects and bruise palettes
- Manic Panic – Unusual lipstick colors (including black)
- Mehron – Special effects, spirit gum, face paints, and Halloween makeup
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Eyeliner, lip tars, glitters, and color creams
Budget Brands in My Kit
If you’re just beginning a career or shopping on a budget, there are still some great cruelty-free options. Just choose your products carefully. It’s typically better to spend more on creamy products like liquid foundations, but go bargain-hunting for fun eye shadow colors, makeup brushes, and disposables like false lashes.
- Crazy Rumors – Tinted lip balms
- Eyes Lips Face (E.L.F.) – Mattifying papers, eye shadow primer, and cheap false eyelashes
- NYX – Eyeliner, lip liner, and colorful eye shadows
- Pacifica – Lip gloss
- Physician’s Formula (Organic Wear line) – Mascara, liquid foundations, pressed powders, pressed powder blush, pressed powder bronzer
Based in Austin, Texas, Kaylin is an eco-friendly makeup artist, author, and blogger. She has contributed to sites such as Shape.com, Self.com, Girlie Girl Army, and VegNews. Her blog, Kaylin’s Kit, focuses on eco-friendly beauty and lifestyle. Her first book, The Mercenary Makeup Artist, was released in August 2014.
Download the full list of cruelty-free brands in my 10-page guide, Cruelty-Free Made Simple. Enter your name and email below to get it in your inbox.