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All Beauty, No Pain: 5 Best Vegan Beauty Brands

Written by David van Beveren | June 13, 2021

One of the main frustrations I hear from people when talking about going vegan is that they don’t want their life to change too much, and I totally get that. Luckily, in regards to food, there are so many alternatives out there now to choose from, but veganism isn’t just a diet. A vegan lifestyle includes being compassionate towards animals in all areas of our consumption, including things like clothes and beauty products.

Makeup Isn’t Vegan? 

When it comes to beauty products and makeup, you may be shocked to discover that many of them are not vegan. Although it is a practice that is declining, animal testing of makeup products still occurs across the world. This can refer to a series of heartbreaking practices such as skin and eye irritation tests as well as the forced consumption of chemicals to screen for health hazards and lethal dosages. Fortunately, times are changing- a poll administered by the organization Cruelty-Free International in 2019 showed that 88% of Canadians would support a federal law prohibiting the testing of cosmetic products on animals. As well, more and more makeup brands have enthusiastically adopted vegan and cruelty-free production methods, and we love to see it.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the best vegan brands out there, all featuring cruelty-free practices and completely plant-based formulas. There is something on here for every makeup user, whether you’re more of a lipstick lover or eyeshadow enthusiast, these brands have got you, and the animals, covered!

5 Fantastic Vegan Beauty Brands

Sabreen Cosmetics

Products: Lipstick

It is no secret that many beauty brands have missed the mark on inclusivity as well as cruelty-free practices, however, Sabreen Cosmetics is changing this one lipstick at a time. When asked why they feel it is important for brands to commit to vegan products, their response was bang on. Sabreen Cosmetics believes that vegan makeup is important for two key reasons- the prevention of harm to animals, and the superior quality of plant-based formulas. They stated: “vegan ingredients typically are not harmful to the body, and are beneficial to the environment”, also mentioning, “we believe testing on animals is not effective, and extremely harmful to animals”. With a variety of high-performing and accessible shades, all cruelty-free and sustainably packaged, Sabreen Cosmetics has truly changed the game. 

Shine By SD Cosmetics

Products: Eyeshadow, highlighter, eyeliner, lipstick

With Shine By SD Cosmetics, the days of “no-makeup-makeup” are in the past. This brand showcases electrifying shades of eyeshadow and beautifully iridescent highlighters, which are all 100% vegan products. Not only are these products beautifully handcrafted with love, but they’re affordable too! When asked why they feel it is important to manufacture vegan products, the answer was something that I think rings true for everyone: “The safety and wellbeing of animals are very important”. Although straightforward, this principle is unfortunately ignored by so many companies, but not this one! Their vegan formula helps ensure human safety as well by using gentle, natural ingredients instead of harmful chemicals. Next time you’re looking for a bold makeup look or just a bit of sparkle, Shine By SD Cosmetics is the perfect brand to support.

Axiology Beauty

Products: Multipurpose balm, lipstick, highlighters

Not only is Axiology a vegan-owned, cruelty-free makeup brand, but its products range from plastic-free to zero packagings as well! The award-winning balmies are arguably the coolest product sold by Axiology- a multipurpose pigment stick that functions as blush, lipstick or eyeshadow. What started as a small business is now sold at big-name retailers such as Sephora and Ulta, paving the way for other sustainable and vegan makeup brands. 


Products: brow gel, mascara, lipstick, eyeshadow, concealer, highlighter

EspressOh makeup products bring a new meaning to morning pick me up. True to the name, EspressOh products contain genuine caffeine as a part of their vegan and non-toxic formulas. On top of that, this brand is a carbon-neutral company and has ditched plastic from all secondary packaging. Although many brands tout “clean” products, EspressOh is fully committed to the concept throughout their manufacturing, and packaging processes. 

Gabriel Cosmetics

Products: skincare, full face range of makeup

In a time when most beauty products are only focused on aesthetics, it is easy to forget about the less-than-beautiful reality that is harmful chemicals and animal testing. Inspired by the homeopathic teachings of his grandmother, Gabriel decided to change the beauty landscape and introduce natural and vegan cosmetics into a market saturated with unnatural ingredients and cruel practices. Gabriel’s early experiences with coastal life and holistic practices cemented a passion for products that are good for the body, earth, and animals. Since the brand’s launch, its inventory has branched out from botanical skincare to a well-established array of makeup products in a variety of shades. Not only can you rely on safe and fantastic formulas from the products, but you can be sure that no animals were harmed in the making! 

Being a Conscious Consumer, Always

Seeing as there are so many fantastic vegan beauty products out on the market today to choose from, you do not have to worry about trading in your mascara and foundation when you go vegan. However, even with this variety of brands, it is always important to research the companies you shop from to ensure you’re not financially supporting cruel practices. If you’d like to learn more about veganism and cosmetics, check out our page Vegan Bootcamp for more information.

About the Author
David van Beveren

David van Beveren is founder and team leader of Vegan Hacktivists. In 2019, he founded the animal rights tech organization to promote vegan activism and to address gaps in data and technology in the vegan movement.