vegan makeup brands

16 Vegan Makeup Brands That Are So Good You’ll Forget They’re Plant-Based

Your furry four-legged friends will also thank you. 

Remember when searching for vegan makeup meant going to Whole Foods and settling for lackluster products with crunchy packaging and disappointing shade ranges? Good news: Those days are long gone. Blame it on the meteoric rise of the clean beauty movement or the growing number of celebrities choosing to go plant-based, but vegan beauty is officially no longer a niche trend. As a result, today’s vegan makeup products don’t just deliver animal-friendly formulas but also serious pigment, luxurious textures, and long wear, making them every bit as deserving of a place in your makeup as their non-vegan counterparts. 

As anyone who’s adopted a vegan makeup routine will tell you, deciding which products are genuinely vegan can be a challenge. So before we dive into some of our favorite vegan makeup brands, here’s a quick primer on what you should know before adding these animal-friendly products into your routine.

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What Makes a Product Vegan?

Unlike other buzzy marketing phrases found on product packaging (read: “clean,” “green,” and “non-toxic”), vegan beauty is actually clear and straightforward. It simply means the product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal byproducts. What does that entail, specifically? Traditional animal-derived ingredients include things like beeswax, lanolin, carmine, honey, and gelatin, which can be found in everything from mascaras to face moisturizers and lipsticks. Other popular animal-derived ingredients include collagen, keratin, elastin, and squalene. However, many brands are now offering vegan alternatives for these, so be sure to check the product’s label before ruling them out completely. 

Are Vegan and Cruelty-Free the Same Thing?

If a product is vegan, it must also be cruelty-free, right? Not necessarily. While vegan beauty means the absence of animal ingredients and byproducts, cruelty-free refers specifically to products that have not been tested on animals at any stage in their development (including at the ingredients level). A product, therefore, can be cruelty-free without being vegan and vice versa, so keep that in mind the next time you’re perusing the beauty aisles. 

While plenty of brands offer cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options, it’s unfortunately still often left up to the consumer to sort through and decipher their many different labels and ingredient lists. To help take the guesswork out of the process, we’ve curated a list of the 16 best makeup brands that are not only 100 percent vegan but also super luxurious—no settling required.


Róen Beauty

Co-founded in 2019 by celebrity makeup artist Nikki DeRoest (who has since left the company), Tiffany Thurston Scott, and renowned fashion photographer David Roemer, RÓEN is the luxury makeup brand for those who demand both clean, high-quality ingredients and superior color payoff. Built around a tightly edited collection of high-performance makeup essentials, including eyeshadows, lip products, and makeup brushes, the brand is perhaps best known for its extremely Instagrammable eyeshadow palettes, which are somehow both ultra-shimmery and surprisingly wearable. Use them alongside the brand’s recently launched volumizing CAKE mascara, and you’ll have yourself an effortlessly chic (and vegan) eye makeup look. 


Westman Atelier

Vegan certification aside, it doesn’t get much more luxurious than Gucci Westman’s eponymous makeup line. Known for her second-skin approach to makeup, the celebrity makeup artist developed Westman Atelier so you can achieve her A-list clientele’s signature glowing complexions with ease. The label’s line of creamy foundations, blushes, and bronzers are all consciously made using clean, plant-based ingredients that help calm, nourish, and balance skin to create the perfect canvas. To achieve Gwyneth Paltrow-levels of natural-looking radiance (Westman famously created the actress’s 2018 wedding beauty look), don’t miss the skin-soothing Vital Skin Foundation Stick and illuminating Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer



One of our favorite launches of 2021 thus far, Merit is a new luxury makeup brand specializing in creating clean, “impossible-to-mess-up” makeup essentials for the minimalist beauty lover. Created by Versed Skincare founder Katherine Power, the seven-piece collection includes everything you need to create a polished, everyday makeup look in minutes without the need for any animal byproducts or testing. Among our favorites from the brand is the Flush Balm Cream Blush, which makes it easy to achieve that ideal just-been-pinched wash of color, and the Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara, which delivers mile-long lashes in a single swipe. For more on the brand, check out our full review of the Merit collection here.


Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty line is a relative newcomer in the beauty space (the brand launched in 2020), but that hasn’t stopped it from quickly becoming a favorite for its low-maintenance vegan formulas. Described by Gomez as makeup that’s “made to feel good in,” the collection is centered around a diverse range of breathable, layerable, skin-loving formulas that allow the user to mix-and-match each product to their heart’s content. Although only a few months old, the brand’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush and Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick have already achieved cult status online, due to their long-lasting pigments and ease of use.


Milk Makeup

Don’t let Milk Makeup’s Gen Z appeal fool you. The brand may be all about bright pops of color and minimal packaging, but its products don’t disappoint. Although best-known for its CBD-infused line of Kush brow, lip and, and eye products—our favorite of which is the KUSH Fiber Eyebrow Gel—we’re also huge fans of the award-winning Hydro Grip Primer. It features a medley of beneficial skincare ingredients, such as aloe water, hyaluronic acid, sweet cherry, and hemp-derived cannabis seed extract, which not only smooth and hydrate the skin but also help to create a flawless base for the makeup products that follow. 


Mented Cosmetics

When Mented Cosmetics first exploded onto the beauty scene in 2017, the Black-owned brand created a shockwave throughout the industry. Helmed by founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, it offered luxuriously crafted nude lipsticks formulated for women of color, who, like them, struggled for years to find shades that worked with their skin tones. Since then, Mented Cosmetics has expanded its product offerings to include a wide range of face and eye makeup products, all of which are vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for all skin tones. If you’re new to the brand, fans will undoubtedly point you in the direction of its best-selling Semi-Matte Lipsticks, which envelope lips in a wash of smooth, pigmented color that is both super hydrating and comfortable to wear. However, we also happen to be huge fans of the Everyday Eyeshadow Palette, which features nine universally flattering nude shades in a range of matte and shimmery finishes. 


Hourglass Cosmetics

Although Hourglass Cosmetics didn’t initially start off vegan, the California-based brand pledged in 2017 to transition to being completely vegan by the end of 2020. Since then, the brand has not only revamped many of its previous formulas but has also unveiled several innovative new products that continue to be among some of the best on the market, vegan or not. Between its sleek, display-worthy packaging and sophisticated shades, there’s a lot to love about this cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand. Although, if you ask us, nothing beats the skin-perfecting Vanish Airbrush Concealer and Ambient Lighting Palette, which is one of the few products capable of delivering that elusive lit-from-within-glow even in the dead of winter. 


One/Size by Patrick Starrr

Considering YouTube beauty influencer Patrick Starrr founded the brand, it’s no surprise that One/Size has become a massive hit since its 2020 launch. Created with the ethos of “redefining beauty by elevating the voices of the unheard,” One/Size by Patrick Starrr takes inclusivity to a whole new level by designing products that give the user the freedom to express themselves in whatever way feels most authentic. Go for a show-stopping look with the I’ve Arrived Full-On Faux Eyelashes, a retro cat-eye vibe with the Point Made 24-Hour Liquid Eyeliner Pen, or a flawless neutral base with the Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder. The options are endless, and the boundaries non-existent, so whatever you choose, have fun with it. 


Tower 28

Founded by longtime beauty executive Amy Liu, Tower 28 is a beauty brand designed for sensitive skin but made for all, with formulas that are 100 percent clean, vegan, and free of every known skin irritant. If that simplified approach sounds a bit boring, trust us, there’s a lot to love about this brand beyond just its skin-friendly formulas. Named after tower 28, the lifeguard tower on the Venice Beach and Santa Monica border, the L.A.-based brand is all about that low-maintenance, effortless California style and products that naturally enhance the skin without complicating your routine. Think fool-proof cream blushes in warm, sun-kissed hues, hydrating lip glosses with no sticky residue, and, our personal favorite, a long-wearing bronzer balm that’s so easy to apply you don’t even need a mirror. 



When Camila Coelho first set out to create Elaluz in 2020, she knew exactly where to look for inspiration: her native Brazil. What resulted was a collection of vegan makeup products infused with natural Brazilian superfoods, such as Guarana extract, buriti fruit, and cupuacu oil, intended to help users “find their light and shine.” Consciously crafted to include what Coelho considers only “the essentials,” Elaluz’s collection has since expanded to include a selection of hair and skincare products—although if you ask us, it’s the makeup offering that shines the most (no pun intended). Our favorites? The universally flattering Lip & Cheek Stain and the Brazilian Goddess Eyeshadow Palette, which are worth the investment for the gorgeous ombre packaging alone.


Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty’s cult-favorite lipsticks are, without a doubt, some of the best formulas around—but did you know they’re also vegan and cruelty-free? It’s hard to imagine that lip products so creamy and long-wearing could also be free of things like beeswax and honey, but it’s true. And the same goes for its growing collection of complexion and eye makeup products. Still, if we had to play favorites, we’d go with the brand’s Outburst Longwear Lip Stain. Unlike most other waterproof stains, this low-maintenance formula is infused with a blend of plant-derived oils to give it a hydrating, balm-like feel. Once applied, though, it seamlessly melts into your lips, enveloping them in a wash of bright, featherlight color that dries down to the perfect satin-matte finish every time. 



If you haven’t yet heard, Halsey—the global pop star behind some of today’s biggest chart-toppers—has launched her own makeup brand, and surprise, it’s actually really good. In true Gen Z fashion, About-Face’s products are all vegan, cruelty-free, and primed for free-wheeling creativity and experimentation. But where Halsey’s brightly colored offering differs from some of the other celebrity-founded makeup collections is that while they’re undeniably cool and fun to apply, they’re also effective. If you’re looking for a good place to start (there are 40 products and counting), we suggest the Light Lock Highlighter Fluid, which just may be one of the best highlighters to come across our desks in a long time. 


Cle Cosmetics

Another makeup-skincare brand hybrid, Cle Cosmetics is an up-and-coming label founded by Lauren Jin that curates, sources, and centers its minimalist products on the latest Korean Beauty technology. The result is a tightly edited collection of simple, everyday essentials that are designed to promote a sense of ritual and “to support the contemporary womxn as they pursue the fullest expression of their personal power and sensuality.” In addition to being both vegan and cruelty-free, Cle Cosmetics also formulates its products using only clean, responsibly sourced ingredients that provide a healthy dose of skincare benefits with each use. Among some of our favorites are the CCC Cream Foundation, a lightweight primer, foundation, and SPF all-in-one, and the Melting Lip Powder, which is one of the few lip colors we trust to stay put under our face masks. 


Cover FX

Created and developed by the former chief chemist at MAC Cosmetics, Cover FX has been committed to producing clean, animal-friendly products since its launch in 2000. Initially developed for those suffering from skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema, the brand’s products are developed with diverse skin tones and concerns in mind, solidifying its ethos that makeup isn’t one-size-fits-all. This commitment to inclusion is most apparent in the brand’s Pressed Mineral Foundation, which includes 40 shades in various undertones. We’re also huge fans of the Monochromatic Blush Duo, which includes both a shimmery and matte version of each high-impact shade to help give your cheeks a breathable, healthy flush of color.


Live Tinted

In 2015, Deepica Mutyala went viral for a YouTube video in which she covered her dark under-eye circles with red lipstick. The innovative beauty hack sparked an immediate wave of fandom and community online, eventually inspiring Mutyala to launch her own brand—and with that, Live Tinted was born. For the brand’s first product, Mutyala decided to tap into her community’s biggest concern—hyperpigmentation—by creating HueStick: a four-in-one multi-stick that can be used as a color corrector to balance discoloration and dark spots, an eyeshadow, a blush, or a lipstick. Since then, the vegan brand has expanded with the launch of yet another multitasking product called HueGlow, which features an innovative serum-meets-moisturizer formula that can be used anywhere on the body to provide an instant lit-from-within glow and soft, dewy sheen. 


La Bouche Rouge

Lipstick lovers, this one’s for you. La Bouche Rouge is the sustainably-minded French brand behind some of the internet’s favorite luxury lip products (fans include Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and French makeup artist Violette among others). Housed in recyclable stainless steel bullets, the signature lipsticks are notably free from harmful microplastics, parabens, and silicones and are all certified vegan and cruelty-free. Even better, the formulas are among some of the creamiest, most luscious around, with shades ranging from soft mauves and pinks to true French girl reds. In recent years, the brand has even expanded to include a range of face and eye makeup products, our favorite of which is the refillable Les Ombres Eyeshadow Palette

About the Author
Alyssa Montemurro is a Senior Beauty Editor at Editorialist covering all things skincare, haircare, and makeup related. A graduate of Fordham University with a degree in Journalism, Alyssa was previously a fashion and beauty copywriter and has a strong interest in luxury skincare, emerging beauty trends, and the latest and greatest in skincare treatments. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, you’ll often find her testing out new products or enjoying a good facial.
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