In case you hadn't noticed, a vegan lifestyle is about as trendy as pumpkin spice lattes right now. Oftentimes, the pain point of the lifestyle is not the diet—it's finding suitable products for every other facet of your routine, including cosmetics. If you've ever considered adopting a vegan makeup routine, chances are you've found yourself in an online rabbit hole trying to make sense of it all. Why is it so dang confusing?
Well, one hiccup is the distinction between buzzy terms like cruelty-free and vegan-friendly that people sometimes mistakenly take to be synonymous with true vegan. To put it plainly, if a brand identifies as vegan, it means they don't use animal ingredients at all. If you see a vegan-friendly label, it means that only some of its offerings are vegan but not all of them. Cruelty-free, on the other hand, means that the brand doesn’t test on animals.
We at Who What Wear are committed to bringing you the most accurate insights to help inform the life decisions you make every day. Makeup might not seem all that deep, but when you really think about it, every dollar spent is essentially a vote in favor of a brand's practices. So if you'd like to vote vegan, we've got your back. We’ve rounded up the 10 best vegan makeup brands and gone a step further to rank them according to their product offerings and overall quality. Read through for the scoop.
While we haven't had the pleasure of testing Axiology's products for ourselves, we were pleasantly surprised at how clear and straightforward the brand is about its vegan status. It's encouraging to see a brand take this stance because the beauty industry double-talk around true vegan versus vegan-friendly and cruelty-free brands is enough to make our heads spin.
Dermablend isn't one of those brands that offer 50-plus shades of foundation, but what it does offer is dermatologist-developed, noncomedogenic, high-performance makeup for the face and body. It does a nice job of recognizing the needs of a broad spectrum of skin tones. *Dermablend recently sent out a press release stating that it is "now manufacturing 100% vegan-friendly products which will hit shelves later this year."
Inika is an Australian beauty brand that's certifiedorganic, vegan, halal, and cruelty-free. Although its shade range is a bit limited (right now its Liquid Foundation with hyaluronic acid is only offered in eight shades), it still gets top marks for being everything listed above.
When Lime Crime launched its now-famous Velvetines Liquid Lipstick back in 2008, it was one of the first products of its kind. Since then, the brand has continued to develop products in a wide range of whimsical colors, allowing all customers to express themselves freely. At present, the brand does not offer face products like foundation or concealer, but it offers a number of blushes, highlighters, eye shadows, and the like in tremendously diverse hues.
Jeffree Star started his career as a beauty vlogger before launching his eponymous makeup brand in 2014. The Instagram-famous line offers a number of electric eye shadow palettes, concealer (31 shades!), setting powder, and more.
Product Offering: Makeup, makeup tools, and skincare
Shade Range: Inclusive
It's got everything you would expect from a full-service cosmetics line: a number of foundations, concealers, lipsticks, highlighters, and more, all offered in incredibly diverse hues. The kicker here is the price point for the quality of the products.
Not only is Cover FX in the 40-plus range with its foundation shades and in the 30-plus range with its concealer, but it also takes it a step further by addressing dry, oily, and normal skin types individually.
We've got another vegan member of the 40-plus-foundation-shade club. The rest of the line, from the cult-favorite eyeliners to the plush liquid lipsticks and the high-voltage eye shadows, is offered in the kinds of vibrant colors you'd expect from tattoo artist Kat Von D.
Milk snags the top spot because of its innovation in the cosmetics space as a whole but especially as a vegan brand. The products are cool, the packaging is gorgeous, the brand ethos resonates, and it offers unmatched peace of mind by keeping its list of blacklisted ingredients just as long as its list of approved ones. Honestly, there's not much more we could ask for.