The Best Cruelty Free + Vegan Beauty Brands | Vegmas Day 3 (AD)

Hi guys, welcome back to Vegmas. Day 3, we’re talking about my personal favourite cruelty free and vegan beauty brands. I believe that this is the only Vegmas post that isn’t food and drink related, but as Vegmas overlapped with Black Friday, I thought it would be worth mentioning my favourites. As I’m sure many of you will know, I love Ren Skincare and this post contains a promotion for a new product they’re launching.

vegan beauty brands

A lot of big brands are not cruelty free. Many of the ones who are, aren’t vegan. It can all get a bit confusing. For those who aren’t aware, I’m going to explain the different levels of cruelty free/ vegan status then start with my list. I’ve split my list to show cruelty free brands then exclusively vegan brands. There are many more than this, but this list includes my favourites and the products I love from these brands.  

I know that people have different standards with this issue, some are happy with just cruelty free. Others are happy to use a brand that has non-vegan products as long as the specific product they’re using is vegan. Then some people want the brand and products to be vegan. I’ve done my best to explain the ethical status of each brand, I hope that helps!  

Ethical categories  


Most cosmetics companies don’t actually test on animals in the US or Europe. It’s actually illegal in the EU (what that means when we leave remains to be seen). The larger cosmetics companies are only not cruelty free because they opt to sell in China. Under Chinese law, all cosmetics have to be tested on animals. The companies rarely do this themselves but do pay for the tests to be taken out in order to sell to the Chinese market.  

Cruelty Free  

What this means, I think, is the most confusing. Cruelty free means that a product has not been tested on animals, nor have any of the ingredients in production. These companies do not sell in China. But these products may contain some animal ingredients like honey or beeswax, or sometimes carmine.  


Pretty self-explanatory. Not sold in China, not tested on animals, no animal ingredients. 


CF Brands 

Becca (Now owned by Estee Lauder but cruelty free for now) 

Everyone loves a Becca glow. This is definitely a brand that has iconic status from one product. And that product happens to be my favourite. 

Product recommendation:  Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter* (shade pearl for my fellow milk bottles) 

ABH (CF, a lot of products are vegan) 

Much like Becca, this brand are definitely known for one main thing. ABH brow products are expensive, but the shade range they offer is phenomenal.  

Product recommendation: Brow Wiz 

Colourpop (CF, many products vegan) 

Those of you who read my Colourpop haul will know that this brand is very new to my life. From the products I picked up, I have a definite favourite.  

Product recommendation: No Filter Foundation 


I don’t think I need to say anything here, there’s one Hourglass product that I mention time and time again and will repurchase until the day I die. I say that because it’s a cult product and can’t see them ever discontinuing it.  

Product recommendation: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder*  

Or if you want to give someone (or yourself) the best Christmas present ever: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4

NYX (many products vegan) 

A budget friendly option! I haven’t tried a tonne of products from NYX, but they’re a brand I see everywhere.  

Product recommendation: HD Blush *

Omorovicza (many products vegan) 

I reviewed a Christmas set from this brand last year and fell in love with one particular product. Then I spoke about it a million times here because what else do you do when you love something? 

Product recommendation: Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm* 

Ren (all but a handful of products are vegan) 

Ren is an amazing brand in terms of ethical values. They’re almost completely vegan, they have a clean ocean initiative and are aiming to be 100% recyclable by 2021. Their new launch even kindly asks you to recycle it on the bottle. Regular readers will know that choosing one product here is going to be a challenge as Ren is one of my favourite skincare brands.  

One of my new favourites doesn’t actually launch until January, so think of that one as something to spend your Christmas money on rather than a Black Friday buy. It’s the newest launch in their radiance collection, their Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream**. It’s very moisturising, but leaves no residue, works great on dry skin pre-makeup – big fan.  

vegan beauty brands

For every order placed directly from their website between 20th – 26th November, REN are spending a minute cleaning up plastic from London’s waterways. Please be mindful when you shop. (This sentence was not an ad) 

Product Recommendations  

Ready Steady Glow Radiance Tonic (review here

Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial  

Vita Mineral Day Cream 

Revolution (mainly Vegan) 

Another budget option, not my first thought when I was thinking about Christmas. But they’re a much loved brand and I’ve tried and reviewed a fair few of their products this year.  

revolution pro foundation drops

Product recommendation(s) 

Revolution Pro Foundation Drops (reviewed here)

Revolution Skincare (the line in general) 

Too Faced (mostly vegan) 

I’ve grown to love a lot of Too Faced products this year so picking my favourites is a challenge.  

Product recommendations:  

Born This Way Foundation, (reviewed here)  

Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer  (Debenhams are the only UK retailer who sell the lightest shade ‘fairest’ for some reasons)

born this way foundation



Cover FX  

I wasn’t actually aware that Cover FX are fully vegan until I started researching for this post, but it was a nice surprise. Cover FX do makeup and skincare products and are equally good at both. I find that a lot of brands that do both are only really good at one…  

Product Recommendation: Custom Infusion Drops Hydration 


Pai are one of my favourite skincare brands. The products are great for sensitive skin, but still work and they have great ethics too. All products are made in the UK, which makes them even more special. 

Product recommendation: Pai Rosehip Oil *

birthday beauty haul

Skyn Iceland 

I’ve spoken about Skyn Iceland products a few times this year. I got a discovery kit from them about a year ago and although I loved a few things, one was a complete gamechanger.  

Product recommendation: Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (everyone needs these) 

That’s it for today. This post turned out to be longer than I was expecting (what’s new) but I wanted to try and cover as many brands and price points as possible to cater for everyone. If you’re shopping for a vegan or CF person this season, I really hope this helped.  

Until tomorrow,  


To catch up with 12 Days of Vegmas, click here.

*Products marked with * are affiliate links 

**This product was gifted to me to advertise the launch of this product. All opinions are my own. No other information about REN the brand or other products mentioned were asked for.



  1. 21st November 2018 / 10:01 am

    I didn’t know Colorpop were CF and mostly Vegan. I really want to try their products and their packaging is just adorable. This makes a really good gift guide if there’s anyone Vegan in your life that you would want to buy beauty products for :)! xxx

  2. Asher Downer
    21st November 2018 / 2:15 pm

    The photos for this post are amazing!

  3. 21st November 2018 / 5:22 pm

    This was a very informative and helpful post, as I do often get confused between the vegan vs cruelty free brands and everything! There are so many brands that you listed that I’ve never heard of, and I didn’t realize some brands like Nyx or Revolution had some products that were vegan. Good to know!! Thank you for posting!

  4. 21st November 2018 / 8:15 pm

    i love colourpop , they are so fair priced and high quality. im not so surprised that they are vegan friendly seems like the type of company that would. i think more company should be vegan friendly but thanks for sharing this list
    love always,
    Karen /

  5. 21st November 2018 / 8:21 pm

    This is such a great idea “12 days of Vegmas”. I’m pleased to have chosen the post not food related today as I’m on as your posts always seem to make me hungry!

    I had no idea there were so many different brands which weren’t vegan as well as being cruelty free, its really opened my eyes to being more aware of what I’m buying.

    I’m not vegan myself, but my best friend is always looking for new brands to try and I will definitely direct this post to her (:

  6. 21st November 2018 / 8:22 pm

    This is an amazing post! I love that you did so much research on this. Plus I finally know the difference between CF and vegan! I don’t use much makeup but I’ll bookmark this post so that I can support these brands any time. Thanks a lot for the recommendations!

    Taiwo |

  7. 21st November 2018 / 8:41 pm

    I really think it’s so great that cruelty free make up is growing. I didn’t actually realise there was such a thing as vegan makeup! You learn something new every day.
    Anna x (One half of the Cinnamon Buns and Roses Blog)

  8. 21st November 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Just went on a bit of a revolution spending spree, love their products! Have also heard a lot about colourpop the past few days so think I may have to browse what they’ve got! Great post ☺️

  9. 21st November 2018 / 8:42 pm

    I’ve been slowly adopting more vegan/cruelty-free products in my makeup bag, and it has been a bit of a struggle for me because I just don’t know where to begin! Luckily I have a NYX place near me, but I haven’t heard of the other brands you mentioned here (although I really like the sound of Pai!)

  10. 21st November 2018 / 9:12 pm

    One thing I really hope in 2019 is that bigger brands go cruelty free, there’s no reason they shouldn’t! I have read before that the main reason companies aren’t cruelty free is because they sell in china, I really wonder why that law is STILL there that they must test on animals in order to sell in China. Also, if companies stop selling in China I think that could probably send a message to change the law.

    I actually have one of the Becca Highlighters! I haven’t used it all that much recently but it does give a nice shine!

    I’ve heard so many great things about ABH brow products, I’m waiting until I finish a decent amount of the Benefit one I currently have to purchase!

    That’s awesome that for every order placed on Ren’s website they are spending time cleaning up the plastic in London’s waterways – what a great incentive for people to purchase too, I’d gladly buy if I knew the company was doing that!

    I’ve actually never heard of the brand Pai, but I’m always looking to up my skincare routine.

    I’m so happy to have found more cruelty free brands from this post, I always end up stuck searching up a brand as I’m standing in the middle of Sephora checking if it is cruelty free!


  11. 22nd November 2018 / 8:06 pm

    I didn’t know that about China! How mad!
    I’ve been wanting to try REN and Becca!
    Great post, really informative!

  12. 22nd November 2018 / 8:19 pm

    OOoh I did not know that hourglass is CF now I know that I will definitely try this brand <3 Most of the list that you mentioned I use basically almost all of them xx


  13. 23rd November 2018 / 6:52 pm

    This is such a useful post for anyone attempting to solely use ethical brands, and it’s so good that you do product reccomemdations too since it’s always nice to know what others like to use!x

  14. 23rd November 2018 / 7:28 pm

    Lovely post as always, really informative and very helpful to know so thank you for sharing! I didn’t know Revolution was mainly vegan so that’s good to know, I haven’t used many of these brands to be fair, I do often opt for the budget friendly options.

    Chloe xx

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