Shopping for cruelty-free beauty products can be challenging. Brands have a way with words that can make it difficult to know whether or not a product, let alone an entire portfolio, is in the clear. For example, a brand being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cruelty-free, and not all cruelty-free brands are vegan.
But fear not: There are certifications and lists—such as Leaping Bunny and Cruelty-Free Kitty—that make identifying cruelty-free brands more straightforward. And, to simplify the cruelty-free shopping process even further, we've rounded up 11 of our favorite beauty brands that never test on animals. Keep reading so that you can start restocking your skincare, haircare, makeup, and nail care routines ASAP.
Garnier is one of the most well-known drugstore haircare and skincare brands—and it recently earned certification by Cruelty-Free International's Leaping Bunny Program, officially making its affordable products even more accessible. In addition to being animal-friendly, Garnier prioritizes eco-friendly formulas, ethically-sourced ingredients, and renewable energy manufacturing practices. Of all the products Garnier offers, few are as widely revered as the SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover, Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo (my high school staple), and Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum.
Founded by singer/songwriter Halsey, About-Face is a vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand specializing in highly pigmented eye, face, lip, and body products. Among its many offerings, few are as popular as the Light Lock Highlight Fluid and Matte Fluid Eye Paint—both beloved by Byrdie senior editorial director Hallie Gould—and I personally adore the Cherry Pick Lip Color Butter.
According to the brand’s FAQ page, About-Face has never and will never test on animals: “We love all of Earth's creatures in every form,” the site reads.
If you're in the market for stellar, animal-friendly haircare products, Amika has your back. The colorfully-packaged haircare brand, which is Leaping Bunny-certified, prides itself on testing on people, not animals. With dozens of products to choose from, you may be unsure where to start when buying from the brand. That’s where the Hair Quiz comes into play: By answering a few questions, you’ll be directed to the best formulas for your hair’s unique needs. Of course, you can never go wrong with one of the brand’s best sellers, such as the Perk Up Dry Shampoo or Soulfood Nourishing Mask.
bareMinerals was one of the first cruelty-free makeup brands on the market and has remained cruelty-free across all its categories. In addition to never using ingredients or practices that test on animals, the brand steers clear of more than 2,500 common (yet potentially harmful) beauty ingredients and prides itself on sourcing ingredients as ethically as possible. What's more, 71 percent of the brand's products are vegan. If you're new to bareMinerals, we recommend the powder that started it all: the Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15. That said, if you're on the hunt for a pop of color, the Gen Nude Blonzer is spectacular.
While many nail polish brands use products that are tested on animals, butter London isn’t one of them. The 10-free nailcare brand instead creates high-quality formulas that are often vegan and gluten-free as well. While it is best known for its top-notch nail polish, it’s worth noting that butter offers lips, eye, face, and body products. Still, the best sellers from the brand are none other than the Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat, which promotes nail growth and prevents staining, and the Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator, which makes achieving professional-looking manicures at home easier than ever.
Charlotte Tilbury is beloved by celebrities, models, and everyday folks for its downright stunning makeup formulations. On top of being beautifully pigmented, all of the brand's products are animal-friendly, and the brand is Leaping Bunny-approved by Cruelty Free International. While many offerings are stellar, the Pillow Talk Lip Kit (which includes the brand's iconic your-lips-but-better lipstick and lip liner) and Beauty Light Wand are cult favorites. As for me, I've recently fallen head over heels for the Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter (which I like to apply to the high points of my face) and the Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish Translucent Powder, which works wonderfully to smooth, mattify, and set my T-zone and under my eyes.
CLE Cosmetics is a minimalist makeup brand known for its unique formulations, all of which are cruelty-free and made with vegan ingredients. Personally, I’ve been using CLE for the past five years and can attest to what an absolute game-changer the CCC Cream is—it’s my be-all, end-all face makeup, to the point that I never wear foundation. What sets this CCC cream apart is its white hue that transforms to match your complexion perfectly. It’s truly one of a kind. Other popular products from the brand include the Fluid Touch Liquid Liner and Melting Lip Powder, a perfect tool for achieving the blotted lip trend.
Drunk Elephant is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA. (Though not all of the products are vegan.) In addition to not using ingredients or practices that test on animals, Drunk Elephant never uses what it calls the Suspicious 6—essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS—in its formulations. The brand is beloved for its Skincare Smoothie concept (AKA mixing and matching products to meet your needs) and even has a Smoothie Glossary to lead shoppers in the right direction. While there are plenty of skin, hair, and body products to choose from, the Lala Retro Whipped Cream and C-Firma Fresh Day Serum are among the top picks.
Rihanna's Fenty Beauty may be best known for its stunning finishes, bright colors, and expansive shade ranges, but it's also a cruelty-free brand. (Note that it is not vegan, however.) Shoppers adore Fenty Beauty for its variety of makeup and skincare products. Among them, the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Powder Foundation, Match Stix Contour Skinstick, and Gloss Bomb Heat Universal Lip Luminizer and Plumper remain viral best sellers.
Futurewise specializes in cruelty-free skincare devoted to the concept of slugging. The Leaping Bunny-certified brand launched in November 2022 and has just three products: The Slug Boost Hydrating Mist (my AM and PM go-to), Slug Cream (a fab moisturizer), and Slug Balm (a clean occlusive to lock everything in).
Selena Gomez launched Rare Beauty in 2020, and the brand has since soared in popularity thanks to its comfortable, carefully-crafted formulas designed to highlight the wearer’s natural beauty. The brand is cruelty-free, vegan, and certified by PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies. To illustrate just how beloved the brand is, consider that mentions of Rare Beauty have amassed over 4.8 billion views on TikTok. While many of the products have had their time in the limelight, few have earned as high praise as the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream, and Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer.