What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?
Symbolised by a rabbit logo, cruelty-free products oppose any kind of animal testing to be considered safe for humans. These cosmetic companies refuse to sell to countries like China who still require animal testing by law. With cruelty-free makeup, we can look fab and protect our furry friends – clearly, a win-win!
Why Animal Testing Began
Animal testing started in the 40s when cosmetic businesses needed to check for harmful chemicals in new products to ensure the safety of their buyers. These inhumane procedures have taken the lives of millions of rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters – the primary victims of cosmetic animal testing.
With technology’s expansive knowledge of safe chemicals and ingredients, there’s really no need for these types of tests anymore. Scientists can perform conclusive experiments that don’t involve animals and buyers can opt for organic makeup and other alternatives instead.
Controversy Behind ‘Cruelty-Free’
Let’s clear some things up about the term ‘cruelty-free’. While these products are in fact free of animal testing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that its ingredients are ethically sourced or free of child labour. Yep, you read that right. What the hell, cosmetic companies!
The mineral mica is an ingredient that tons of products need for that shining, shimmering, splendid effect – usually found in foundation and eyeshadow. Sadly, some companies aren’t transparent about how they get mica, creating much speculation that child labour may be practised.
The 8 Best Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands & Their Products
Keeping cruelty-free and ethically sourced in mind, we’ve created a list of makeup brands that protect the welfare of both animals and children. These brands redefine what it means to be truly ‘cruelty-free’ and deserve to be recognised for it!
8. Omiana – Intense Coverage Matte Liquid Foundation
Review: “This product went beyond my expectations… It is very comfortable to use, provides high coverage with a matte finish, and yet looks like a good night’s rest.” - from newyorkforbeginners.com
Price: $USD48 ($AUD70.70)
Why It Made It On The List: This US-based company offers luxury products, perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. Apart from being vegan-approved and having amazing coverage, this foundation is mica-free and talc-free.
7. Dab Herb Make-up – Organic Petal Concealer
Review: “This concealer kept up through an afternoon of running errands and keeping up with my three young children. Love it!!” - Leah from etsy.com
Price: $AUD2.91 for a tester, $AUD28.31 for the full size
Why It Made It On The List: Dab Herb Make-up is an underrated vegan brand that’s a must-try for organic makeup enthusiasts! They offer five gorgeous shades of this long-lasting concealer, and it’s become one of the most popular products among their customers.
6. SCOUT Organic Active Beauty – Brow Defining Dust
Review: “This is the perfect everyday eyebrow definer. Goes on smoothly and is buildable. Absolutely natural-looking and non-smudging. [The light brown shade] is a really good colour for light brown/blonde hair and brown eyebrows. So pleased!” - Michelle from nourishedlife.com.au
Why It Made It On The List: With Scout’s Brow Defining Dust, nobody needs to sacrifice fierce eyebrows when they choose cruelty-free makeup.
5. AROMATICA - Lip Nectar Flower
Review: “This gloss is absolutely amazing, it gives your lips a wonderful shine and is super glossy. I definitely would recommend this product and I’ll definitely be ordering this again!!” - Emily Lee from yesstyle.com
Why It Made It On The List: This Korean vegan cosmetic brand promotes cruelty-free ‘green beauty’ and proves that going eco-friendly doesn’t mean looking any less cute.
4. INIKA Organic – Certified Organic Eye Pencil
Review: “This gorgeous Inika Eyeliner has everything I want in a product. It doesn't include any nasties, with only natural ingredients. It does tend to fade off through the day with wear which doesn't bother me but may not be as long-lasting as you like.” - Miriamv from beautyheaven.com.au
Why It Made It On The List: Australian makeup company INIKA Organic holds one of the highest standards for cruelty-free, organic, and vegan makeup! Their brand emphasises the importance of ethically sourcing their ingredients while providing quality beauty products. This eye pencil is a favourite among customers and comes in nine beautiful shades!
3. 100% Pure – Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara
Review: “This mascara is amazing. I've been using it for years – perfect for daily use, smells great, doesn't hurt my sensitive eyes. I often get asked what mascara I'm using. It does get a bit clumpy after months of use but doesn't worry me.” - Sarah from nourishedlife.com.au
Price: $USD26 ($AUD38.30)
Why It Made It On The List: 100% Pure is one of the best makeup brands in the US, known for using vitamin-rich ingredients. This particular mascara contains vitamin E, raspberry extract, oat protein, and loads of other enriching stuff. Fun fact: Celebrity makeup artist Vanessa Scali used 100% Pure’s products for Hollywood actress Anna Kendrick’s 2019 Grammy Awards look, which includes this mascara!
2. Nude By Nature – Natural Mineral Cover Foundation
Review: “The good thing about Nude by Nature's mineral foundation is that it doesn't clog your pores. Perfect for people with sensitive skin and/or acne problems… It gives such a natural look, sometimes it doesn't look like you have makeup on at all!” - buti4 from beautyheaven.com.au
Why It Made It On The List: This Aussie-original product is a multi-award winning mineral foundation. It keeps oil build-up minimum and hydrates the skin with ingredients like Kaolin and Jojoba Esters.
- ILIA Beauty – Tinted Lip Conditioner
Review: “I have a collection of Ilia lip products, and every single one is amazing. I have super sensitive lips (ordinary lipstick/gloss dries my lips out), but Ilia keeps my lips moisturised. The BEST natural lip products I have tried.” - Jane88 from mecca.com.au
Price: $USD28 ($AUD42)
Why It Made It On The List: This Canadian cruelty-free company is one of the best natural makeup brands out there! Professional makeup artist Katey Denno is a fan of Ilia products and strictly uses organic makeup on all her clients.
Choose To Be Cruelty-Free
Makeup brands that test on animals seem to dominate the cosmetic industry, but a little research can go a long way in making better choices. With our list of cruelty-free makeup brands, you can support companies that actively protect animals and stand against child labour.
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