20 Amazing High-End Makeup Brands That Are Cruelty-Free

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I love animals and it hurts my soul that animals still get are tortured and killed each year for animal testing. In the US alone we’re talking about more than 100 million animals.  There’s one huge industry that’s responsible for a big chunk of the animal testing going on, and that’s the cosmetics industry sadly.  In today’s post, I’ll mention 20 High-End Makeup Brands that are cruelty-free so we can safely shop without harming any animals.  

For years and years, animal testing has been practice worldwide. The first time someone ever wrote about animal testing is from 1628. Back in the days, people thought that animals didn’t feel pain so that’s why they started testing several things on animals. We all know now very well that animals do feel pain. 

Animal testing for drugs and cosmetics exists because governments needed to establish whether or not a product or ingredient is safe for public health before allowing it on the market. For decades, this practice has been prevalent all over the world, and has been the accepted method of testing ingredients for “safety”. Not only for drugs but also for cosmetics. 

Animals that are used for testing purposes

CrueltyFreeKitty breaks down which animals are used in tests, which are the following: 

  • For cosmetics tests, most animals used are bunnies, guinea pigs, mice, and rats. They often die from the experiments.
  • Dogs are often used in medical research. They’re subjected to particularly invasive tests for cardiology, endocrinology, and bone studies. In 2013, 67,772 dogs were used in research in the United States.
  • Cats are often used in neurological studies. Half of the tests cats are subjected to can “cause pain or distress”. In 2013, 24,221 cats were used in research in the United States.
  • Non-human primates, especially macaques but also monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees, are used in a multitude of experiments. They take part in toxicology, AIDS, hepatitis, reproduction, and xenotransplantation tests among others. Over 70,000 non-human primates are subjected to tests every year in the United States and European Union.

In the meantime, we know over 7,000 safe ingredients that cosmetic brands can use to formulate their beauty products and there are several alternative methods available that don’t require animal testing. Nowadays technology makes it possible to spare millions of animal lives. 

We, as consumers, play a huge and important role in this. If we pay closer attention to what brands we buy from we can really make a difference. 

By choosing cruelty-free brands, you’re (very politely) giving the finger to the animal testing industry, and informing the beauty world that animal testing will no longer be tolerated.

how can we determine if a High-End Makeup Brand truly is cruelty-free?

CrueltyFreeKitty mentions three criteria to consider if you want to know if a company is 100% cruelty-free. These are the three criteria to keep in mind: 

  1. The finished product is not tested on animals:  Many companies nowadays do not test their finished products on animals. Be aware of statements like “finished product not tested on animals” or simply “not tested on animals” on cosmetics packaging. Most likely, those terms mean that the ingredients were tested on animals.
  2. The ingredients are not tested on animals: If a cosmetics company buys ingredients from a supplier that tests on animals, the company is not cruelty-free. Same if the ingredients are tested on animals by the company itself, or any third party.
  3. The company does not test on animals when required by law:  Animal testing is required in China by law for foreign cosmetics companies. This means: If a brand is sold in mainland China, it’s not cruelty-free. 

One more thing you should keep in mind is the parent company of the brand in question. Some brands are completely cruelty-free, while also being owned by a brand that tests on animals (for example Urban Decay). While this doesn’t mean that the company in question has lost its cruelty-free status, you should still bear it in mind. 

Let me say one thing, I’m not a saint. I try to avoid buying from animal testing brands but I do have makeup in my collection that comes from brands that are selling in mainland China (where its the law to test on animals) or testing on animals themselves or their parent company. Some of these brands are considered as cruelty-free in Europe and the US but still sell in mainland China. This makes these brands not 100% cruelty-free and yes, I too have some of these brands laying around. 

This post isn’t written to judge you, not at all, but it’s to inform you. It’s to make you aware of your contribution to the cosmetics industry. I firmly believe together we can make a change. 

20 High-End Makeup Brands That Are Cruelty-free

20 HIGH-END MAKEUP BRANDS THAT ARE CRUELTY-FREE

1. Too Faced

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Too Faced is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that is not cruelty-free. 

My favorite Too Faced Products: Neutral Nudes Eyeshadow Palette & Better Than Sex Mascara

2. BECCA Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, BECCA is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite BECCA Products: Highlighter in Champagne Pop & Ultimate Lipstick Love in Truffle

3. Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup has always been 100% vegan and cruelty-free. As of 2019, Milk Makeup even has gained Leaping Bunny certification, which is the golden standard of cruelty-free accreditation! Milk Makeup is now one of the few Leaping Bunny-approved brands.  Plus, as their brand grows, they’re taking steps to be more sustainable as well.

My favorite Milk Makeup Products: KUSH Mascara & KUSH Triple Brow Pen.

4. Marc Jacobs Beauty

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Marc Jacobs Beauty is owned by LVMH, a company that is not cruelty-free.

Another important fact is that Marc Jacob Fragrances are not cruelty-free. Only the Marc Jacobs beauty side is cruelty-free. 

My favorite Marc Jacobs Beauty Products: Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan 104 Tan-Tastic! & Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Glaze All-Over Foil Luminizer

5. Urban Decay Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Urban Decay is owned by L’Oréal, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite Urban Decay Products: All Nighter Setting Spray & Stay Naked Foundation

6. KVD Vegan Beauty

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, KVD Vegan Beauty is owned by LVMH, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite KVD Vegan Beauty Products: Tattoo Eyeliner in Trooper & Go Big or Go Home Mascara Trooper Black

7. Tarte Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Tarte is owned by Kose, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite Tarte Cosmetics Products: Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush & Tartelette™ Toasted Eyeshadow Palette.

8. CoverFX

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. CoverFX is certified vegan and PETA certified cruelty free. 

My favorite CoverFX Products:  Mattifying Primer + Acne Treatment & Monochromatic Blush Duo.

9. Bite Beauty

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Bite Beauty is owned by LVMH, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite Bite Beauty Products: Agave+ Daytime Vegan Lip Balm & Agave+ Intensive Vegan Lip Mask

10. bareMinerals

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, bareMinerals is owned by Shiseido, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite bareMinerals Products: Gen Nude™ Under Over™ Lip Liner in Borderline & Gen Nude Patent Liquid Lipstick

11. Buxom

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Buxom is owned by Shiseido, a company that is not cruelty-free.

I haven’t tried any Buxom products just yet. I can’t wait to try the brand though! 

12. Anastasia Beverly Hills

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law.

My favorite Anastasia Beverly Hills Products: Brow Wiz Eyebrow Pencil & Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

13. IT Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, IT Cosmetics is owned by L’Oréal, a company that is not cruelty-free. 

I haven’t tried any IT Cosmetics products just yet but my first product is on its way as we speak! 

14. Melt Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. 

My favorite Melt Cosmetics Products: Twenty-Seven Eyeshadow Palette & Highlighter in Stargazer

15. Dose of Colors

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law.

My favorite Dose of Colors Products: Baked Browns Eyeshadow Palette & Meet Your Hue Foundation.

16. Kylie Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. However, Kylie Cosmetics is owned by Coty, a company that is not cruelty-free.

My favorite Kylie Cosmetics Products: High Glosses & Matte Lip Kit

17. KKW Beauty

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law.

My favorite KKW Beauty Products: Lip Liners & Classic Eyeshadow Palette

18. Ofra Cosmetics

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law.

My favorite Ofra Cosmetics Products: Pillow Talk Highlighter & Rodeo Drive Highlighter

19. Glossier

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law.

My favorite Glossier Products: Cloud Paints & Clear Lip Gloss

20. ILIA

This brand has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. 

I haven’t tried any ILIA products just yet. I can’t wait to try the brand though! 


As you can tell, there are lots of different high-end makeup brands to choose from when it comes to buying cruelty-free high-end makeup. However, a couple of these brands are owned by animal testing parent companies so if you don’t want to support these brands either than focus on brands like Milk Makeup, Glossier, KKW Beauty, Melt Cosmetics, etc. 

CrueltyFreeKitty has been such a helpful source for creating this blog post so if you would like to know more about shopping cruelty-free please check out their website. They have a list of cruelty-free brands as well as brands that do test on animals

What can we do More To Help?

  1. Spread the word: let your friends and family know how bad it really is. The more people become educated, the closer we’ll get to an animal testing ban.
  2. Sign petitions: 2 petitions you can sign are Petition to Pass the Humane Cosmetics Act and L’Oreal to Stop Animal Testing
  3. Donate: you can donate money to organizations that work hard to end animal testing. You can donate money to Cruelty-Free International and/or Leaping Bunny for example. 

Do you buy cruelty-free high-end beauty products? If so, which brands are your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

About

Hi there! Im Simone, 24-years-old born and raised Dutch girl still living in The Netherlands. I graduated in Human Resources and I have a huge passion for all things beauty. Im a dog mom to Bailey, USA obsessed, and lipstick hoarder.

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12 Comments

  1. 7.28.20
    Sejal said:

    Wow! What an amazing list! Thanks for doing the research and sharing! I have sampled ilia and loved it!

    • 8.3.20

      Thank you so much! It’s lovely to hear that you liked Ilia, I really want to try them!

  2. 7.28.20

    I have to admit that when I buy makeup I don’t pay attention if it’s cruelty free or not. At the same time, I feel guilty when I buy from a company that I know for sure is not cruelty free. It’s probably obvious I’m a big Urban Decay and ABH fan, so I’m glad they are on the list. We all need to be more conscious if we want to change the industry.

    xoxo Amanda | theaestheticedge.com

    • 8.3.20

      I totally feel you, it wasn’t something I paid attention to first as well and that’s why I still have some products in my collection. I agree, the least we can do is be more conscious!

  3. 7.29.20
    Melissa said:

    It’s so important to be a conscious consumer when it comes to what brands we support. I’ve been trying to finish my last few products that aren’t cruelty free and exclusively support ethical brands. All of the brands you mentioned in this list are some of my favorites -I hope every other you didn’t mention will transition to being cruelty free in the future! Thanks for sharing all of this information!

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

    • 8.3.20

      That’s so amazing, you’re doing great! I’m glad to see that a lot of brands do take cruelty-free seriously, but it would be great if other brands would transition to cruelty-free in the near future as well.

  4. 7.30.20
    Mimi said:

    This is so helpful, I’m like you, I buy mostly brands that here are cruelty free but sell in China, still, I’m trying to learn. The statistics are horrible though, those numbers are so high

    • 8.3.20

      I know, I hate to see those high numbers! The best thing that could happen is China changing it laws which I hope will happen as soon as possible.

  5. 8.4.20

    Thank you for this massive useful post! I always try to use as much cruelty free makeup as possible – but sometimes I really can’t replace what I have and I do feel very guilty for it, for example my main foundation now is L’Oreal’s 24h Matte Cover foundation, it works soooo well for me and has SPF and is affordable, I really hope L’Oreal stop selling to China so they can be considered cruelty free one day!

    ? Marissa Belle × marsybun.com ?

    • 8.17.20

      I feel you, it’s sometimes so hard to stop using products because they’re working very well for you but it’s not cruelty-free. I do believe in trying the best you can but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

  6. 8.7.20
    Sarah said:

    This was a great post. I’m not always sure what it means when a brand is cruelty-free, but the parent company is not? Like, what does that mean overall? Great to see some of these brands completely cruelty-free, with no other stipulations. Go Milk Makeup for having Leaping Bunny certification! I’m yet to try anything from this brand, but this has definitely pushed me to want to try some Milk Makeup products more than ever.

    Also, thanks for sharing the really helpful resources at the end. Really appreciate it and it’s definitely something I’m going to look at! xx

  7. 9.7.20
    Donna Baumoehl said:

    I love animals more than humans and they deserve but don’t have equal rights. It breaks my heart to see how they are victimized by humans who feel entitled. People believe they are superior so they kill them for food, sport and being homeless. which actually makes them inferior. Wish that I could do something to fix the situation but I cannot financially afford it, also do eat meat since the killing hasn’t stopped. Torturing and killing critters should be illegal.