Cruelty Free and Vegan Foundation

21 Cruelty Free and Vegan Foundation

When deciding to become vegan, you may not realize all the things you will give up when you no longer eat or use animal products. The fact of the matter is, many things are made by companies who look for easy ways around making a product. Usually, that entails using what is plentiful and cost-effective. And terms like “plentiful” and “cost-effective” generally mean using some part of an animal in the product.

Although “cruelty-free” is now a buzz-word and is a concept many companies and industries are turning to, there is quite a long way to go before they take out animal testing altogether. So where does that leave those who want to continue living a normal life but still find cruelty-free and vegan products? It leaves you to do a lot of research on all items from shoes to makeup.

More and more products, like makeup and foundation, are becoming easier to find, research, and buy. The problem is, where do you start looking? With so many ways to research by just using a few simple clicks of your keyboard or phone, you can pull up numerous solutions. Checking on well-known makeup and animal rights websites will be a great place to start. If you continue reading this article, you’ll find out some other helpful tips and brands that will help you find the best cruelty-free and vegan foundation.

There are many types of foundation, and if you’re looking for one that is good for oily skin or dry skin, you will be able to find them easily. But, when you are looking for a vegan, cruelty-free foundation, do you know how to find the ones that suit your needs?

The first thing you can do is to check the label. Ingredients that are made with or from animal products, such as Glycerine, Casein, Squalene, Oleic-Acid, Guanine, Collagen, Elastin, and BeesWax are just a few that could be in your foundation, even when the foundation is labeled as cruelty-free or vegan.

If you are looking at ingredients and find that your cruelty-free/vegan foundation contains some of the items in the list above, make sure to check out the alternatives below.

Ingredients that are Cruelty-Free and Vegan

1. Glycerin

Glycerin comes from animal fat. Vegan alternatives are soya, coconut oil, or palm oil. Although palm oil is something, many vegans are beginning to avoid due to the way palm oil is farmed.

2. Casein

Casein can be called caseinate oro sodium caseinate as well. This ingredient comes from cow’s milk and is used in many products to hydrate and condition skin. Vegan alternatives could be any plant-based milk products such as soy milk or almond milk.

3. Squalene

Squalene is oil from shark liver. You can find plant-based squalene, though if your foundation says “anti-aging” and has this ingredient, make sure to do some back-up research. Doing so will help ensure that your makeup is truly vegan.

4. Oleic-Acid

Other names for oleic-acid are oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate, and even tallow. Oleic-acid can come from animal fat or plants, as well as nuts, coconuts, or olives. The foundation with the vegan label will have the oleic-acid from plants.

5. Guanine

Guanine is fish scales scraped off of dead fish to produce a glittering effect in many forms of makeup. There is no vegan substitute for this.

6. Collagen

Collagen is a fibrous protein that is extracted from animal tissue. Oftentimes protein is extracted from cows. The uses are for supposed plumping or wrinkle-reduction, but there is not enough evidence to support the use. A plant-based alternative to collagen is soya protein or almond oil.

7. Elastin

Elastin is a protein extracted from the muscles, ligaments, and aorta of animals. If you are looking for a vegan alternative, try the ingredient MSM or hydraulic acid.

8. Beeswax

Beeswax can also be called Cera alba. This ingredient (no matter what it is called) is used in makeup to avoid the makeup from separating between the oil and liquid compounds. There are alternative to beeswax in plant-based or soya wax.

(Some) Products and Brands that are Cruelty-Free and Vegan

Researching ingredients can truly be a tiring process because let’s face it, there are a lot of foundations out there and to read all the ingredients can be rough. While the list of ingredients below is not extensive, and not nearly all that is out there, these were the foundations discovered on many Google searches with several keywords. None of the products listed below are named because of partnerships or affiliations with the manufacturers.

9. Cover FX (foundation)

Cover FX is water-based, sold at Sephora, and delivers a medium, natural coverage. It is good for normal to dry skin and has vitamins E, C, and F to help hydrate your skin.

10. Dermablend

Dermablend has an entire product line of cruelty-free. Through August of 2019, the company was selling older products that contained beeswax and other animal products. After the end of August, they were only producing vegan products. Make sure to check the ingredients and the date made, as some products may linger through the rest of 2019. This brand is also PETA approved.

11. E.L.F. (Now partners with PETA)

E.L.F. is 100% cruelty-free and vegan. They have been PETA-approved since 2005 and a part of the Beauty Without Bunnies campaign that goes along with PETA’s fight against using animals in testing for beauty products. PETA has a nice list of products to use for E.L.F. and backs them completely.

12. Kat Von D.

Kat Von D. has an entire vegan makeup line. Her foundation is all vegan and cruelty-free, and PETA approved.

13. Lilah B

Lilah B is a light-weight, powdered foundation that contains aloe and agar, to help smooth and moisturize.

14. Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup is a full-coverage liquid foundation that is great for oily skin. Milk Makeup was founded in 2016 with the intent of giving everyone a healthy lifestyle that can still be on-the-go. They believe in self-expression, and when it comes to makeup, there are no rules. This product is cruelty-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, vegan, and oil-free.

15. Stellar Limitless Foundation

This product is a natural-looking, medium-coverage liquid foundation that has a satin finish and comes in a range of 35 shades. This product is gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

16. Tarte (Amazon Clay Full Coverage Foundation)

Tarte is a liquid foundation that contains SPF 15. It is used for vegan, oil-free coverage for up to twelve hours. This matte foundation is not only cruelty-free and vegan, but it is also gluten-free as well. PETA Approved.

17. The Body Shop (Matte Clay Foundation)

The Body Shop is a liquid, matte foundation that is enriched with tea tree oil to help skin stay hydrated. It promises that there up to 24 breathable hours of coverage for any skin type.

18. Too Faced (Born this Way)

Too Faced is an oil-free formula that is good for full coverage with a smooth finish. This liquid foundation is perfect for all skin types and can be found at Sephora as well. The great thing about “Born this Way” is that it covers a wide variety of skin tones and will help support skin health and resilience. PETA approved

19. Urban Decay

Urban Decay commits vegan and cruelty-free products. While all products are cruelty-free, not all products are vegan. They do have a note on their commitments page about furthering initiatives to get all shades to be vegan soon. Shopping is easier with the website has a vegan tab for a user-friendly experience. PETA Approved.

20. Wet-N-Wild

Wet-N-Wild is easy to find in many drugstores and general stores like (Walmart or Target). The foundation is part of their new line of vegan and cruelty-free products and PETA Approved. You’ll be able to get your vegan, cruelty-free products at a great price for a great cause. A note to remember is that not all of Wet-n-Wild’s products are cruelty-free and vegan at this point. However, that can always change if the demand is high enough.

21. Zuzu Luxe (Oil-Free Liquid Foundations)

Zuzu Luxe is backed by Jessica Alba’s Honest Store and makes a claim of all-natural ingredients, herbs, and vitamins for fresh colors. The foundations are labeled as vegan and cruelty-free.


Searching for vegan products can be difficult, but don’t be disheartened if you come up with a blank search at first. More companies are moving toward selling products for all personalities and consultants. The right keywords and a few good articles can point you in the right direction.

As with most things vegan, you will have to research to start; once you get used to knowing what companies are safe for you to use, the search will get easier. A few things to remember is that not all cruelty-free makeup is vegan, and not all ingredients labeled cruelty-free will not be free of animal fats, hairs, or other animal products. Keeping a good eye out, even when you have a good knowledge of what is vegan or cruelty-free will be the best way for you to stay on your path.

Resources:  Byrdie, Logical Harmony, PETA, Plant-Based News.


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