Top Picks for High-Street Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup Products

Responsible beauty + ethical makeup

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The popularity of vegan and cruelty-free makeup products is understandably on the rise and to date there are around 100 brands that produce these. I always try to include as many in my professional makeup kit as possible, for the obvious reasons and because more and more of my clients these day insist on cruelty-free and/or vegan only makeup.

We can all share the responsibility of animal welfare by taking positive steps in this direction – beauty products that are kind to the skin and also kind to animals.

One of my favourite brands is Hourglass – divine textures, the most beautiful modern colours, sleek and luxurious packaging. The science of beauty and luxury at its best all woven into one.

Hourglass complexion products are infused with active ingredients that create unbelievably beautiful skin and multi-dimensional luminescence for every skin tone. They make the skin appear softer, younger and perfectly lit.

When I use Hourglass on my clients they almost always rush to make notes as they fall in love with the effect. Their most wonderful blusher shade is ‘Luminous Flush’ and their bronzer in ‘Radiant Bronze‘ is amongst my favourites.

I’m so happy that Chantecaille are also cruelty-free and vegan because I love their foundation, tinted moisturiser and lipsticks!

Their Future Skin Foundation is composed of 60% charged water which transfers moisture into the skin without the use of oil as an emulsifier. It is also loaded with natural botanicals including aloe, chamomile and arnica that calm irritation and soothe sensitivity.

Chantecaille’s Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer is a lightweight tinted moisturiser with SPF15. It uses non-toxic minerals and botanical compounds to protect the skin from free radicals, whilst providing a gentle radiant tint. It’s perfect for those who don’t need a lot of coverage but enjoy the appearance of a naturally radiant complexion.

Their Lip Chic lipsticks look and feel so luxurious and moisturising – such a joy to wear! Two of my fave shades are ‘Daphne’ (a sheer peachy pink) and ‘Sunrise‘ (a sheer coral pink).

Milani is another ethical brand that has the most wonderful colours and textures. Their Baked Blush blusher in ‘Luminoso’ is the softest peachy colour and a firm favourite with lots of professional makeup artists and beauty bloggers. And as an added bonus their products are reasonably priced too. Now owned by L’Oréal Paris, Milani remains a cruelty-free brand.

IT Cosmetics are geared towards flawless skin coverage products – especially suitable for people with problematic skin such as rosacea sufferers. They are known for their concealer – the founder of the company used to be a TV presenter who suffered with rosacea and came up with the most incredible concealer herself. Not only producing impeccable coverage but also lasting in front of hot TV lights.

Anastasia Beverly Hillsthe queen of eyebrow products! If you are looking to tame and define your brows, she has the right colour and texture for you. My fave brow product is her Brow Wiz pencil – wow! This really is a game-changer when it comes to creating naturally fuller brows. It’s so thin that you can literally fake it and draw your brow hair for a naturally fuller look. The most suitable shade for various skin tones is ‘Medium Brown‘. And to top it off she does some awesome eyeshadow palettes and makeup brushes – really worth a nosey when you have some time.

And finally, Charlotte Tilbury is one of the makeup brands that if I had to choose just one to work with for the rest of my life, this would be it. Created by a globally famous celebrity makeup artist, she knows how to make products that just work perfectly. I have way too many favourites to list but here are a few anyway:

Filmstar Bronze & Glow – the most perfect contour palette that will make your skin radiate with health and beauty. It’s one of the products I buy over and over.

Lip Cheat lip pencil and Matte Revolution lipstick, both in the ‘Pillow Talk’ shade – this combination provides the most perfect natural colour for rosy lips.

Cheek to Chic blusher in ‘Love Glow’ – a lovely luminous pink for a limitless glow.

Light Wonder foundation – always in my pro makeup kit. The texture and coverage is perfect to achieve naturally youthful and radiant skin.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Youtube channel is definitely worth subscribing too. We love how she has committed to producing tutorials for diversity of skin colour.

With just the brands I’ve listed above you should be able to create an ethically sound makeup kit with everything you need, so there really are no excuses. We can make the world a better, happier place even through our makeup product choices.

As always, we’d love to hear from you – do you have any particular Vegan/cruelty free and ethically produced makeup products you have tried, tested and swear by?


Photography and makeovers below produced by Kristina Gasperas Makeup Artist using the Cruelty free makeup products recommended above.

Kristina Gasperas Professional Makeup Artist

Kristina Gasperas is an award winning professional makeup artist based in London. Her passion is flawless makeup. Click here to find more about her services and makeup artist training school.
Share this
More from Kristina Gasperas

Beauty is Skin Deep

It almost goes without saying how important protecting your skin and treating...
Read More


  • Thank you so much for this article, Kristina; I’ve gradually replaced all my make-up and skincare products with cruelty-free brands (I’d previously been caught out by companies that claim to be cruelty-free but sell in China, and therefore have to test on animals by law). There are tons here that I haven’t heard of, so my credit card is about to take a battering. I love Charlotte Tilbury too, and have recently discovered some game-changing lipsticks via Free People beauty: Vapour Organic Beauty lipstick in Siren Bold, and Rituel de Fille’s Written in Blood lipstick. The latter is the perfect red lip colour! I also love Too Faced (especially their Better than Sex mascara)…

  • Great article! I’m always on the lookout for more cruelty free brands and there are a few here I haven’t heard of before, so I’ll certainly be checking them out. A make-up brand I love is Besame. Everything is cruelty free and some of their powders are also vegan. They’re a US based company who specialise in recreating original vintage shades, and their lipsticks are excellent (the 1946 Red Velvet is Agent Peggy Carter’s shade, so I feel badass when I wear it). I stock up at Sephora when I’m in Canada or the US, but you can buy online too.

  • What a great article, it’s so good to hear from an expert as I’ve been educating myself on more ethical brands and trying to work out what works best for my skin over the last couple of years so recommendations like these are amazing! Thanks 🙂

  • Thank you all of you lovely ladies for your comments & recommendations. I’ll be looking up your recommended products to check them out & potentially add them to my makeup kit xxx

Comments are closed.