This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through affiliate links help support this website.

Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Cruelty Free Makeup

Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Cruelty Free Makeup

Today I’m going to share my beginner’s guide to getting started with cruelty free makeup. I’ve had friends say that they have no idea where to start with going cruelty free and that it’s really overwhelming. I then point out to them brands they already love that they didn’t realize were cruelty free, such as Urban Decay, NARS and Too Faced.

Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Cruelty Free Makeup

When you’re at the drugstore, look for brands such as Jesse’s Girl, Physicians Formula, Milani, Wet n’ Wild, Nuance, essence and Nyx Cosmetics. Big name brands such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, NARS, bareMinerals, Tarte, butter LONDON, BECCA and Hourglass are cruelty free too. Most of these brands you can find at Ulta Beauty or Sephora. You may also be able to find them at Nordstrom and Macys, too. I’m throwing in a few indies as well.

I’ve stuck to brands that you can mostly walk into a brick and mortar store and purchase, but if you’re comfortable shopping online, you can always try one of my favorite indie brands – Sugarpill, Makeup Geek, Silk Naturals, Fyrinnae, Darling Girl, Saucebox, Meow, BFTE, Geek Chic, Colour Pop, Lunatick Cosmetic Labs, Melt Cosmetics, Dose of Colors etc.

Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Cruelty Free Makeup

Above is a list of Cruelty Free brands that you can save to your phone for later use.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. This is a list of the products that I feel are good in each category. For my complete list of cruelty free brands please see Cruelty Free Brand List.

You may also want to check out my Best Cruelty Free Makeup for $5 or less.

Eye Primers

  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance – this is my all time favorite eyeshadow primer
  • Cover FX Anti-Aging Eyeshadow primer (vegan)
  • Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow primer
  • NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Primer

Face Primers

  • Cover FX Illuminating Primer (vegan)
  • Cover FX Calming Primer (vegan)
  • Cover FX Anti-Aging Primer (vegan)
  • Cover FX SPF 30 Primer (vegan)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral primer
  • Too Faced Primed & Poreless
  • Nyx Angel Veil Primer

Setting Powders

  • Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder (vegan)
  • Cover FX Matte Setting Powder (vegan)
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder (vegan)
  • NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

Setting Sprays

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Spray (vegan)
  • Urban Decay Deslick Oil Control Spray (vegan)
  • Urban Decay Chill Cooling and Hydrating Spray (vegan)
  • Nyx Dewy Finish Setting Spray
  • e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set

Blotting Powder

  • Nyx Green Tea Blotting Paper

Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes

  • Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette (my go-to neutral palette)
  • Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
  • Urban Decay Naked on the Run Palette
  • Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
  • Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette
  • Too Faced Natural Matte Palette
  • Melt Dark Matter Eyeshadow Stack
  • Saucebox Etude Palette
  • Saucebox Creme de la Creme Palette
  • Kat Von D Innerstellar Palette (leans cool, yay)
  • tarte Tartelette Palette
  • Lunatick Labs Supernatural Palette (vegan)
  • Lunatick Labs Relic Palette (vegan)
  • Kevyn Aucoin the Contour Palette
  • bareMinerals the Posh Neutrals Palette
  • It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette
  • Laura Geller Creme Glaze Palette

Color Eyeshadow Palettes

  • Urban Decay Electric Palette
  • Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette (vegan options)
  • Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette (vegan options)
  • Sugarpill Heart Breaker Palette (vegan options)
  • Sugarpill Burning Heart Palette (vegan options)
  • Sugarpill Sweetheart Palette (vegan options)
  • NARS NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
  • Melt Love Sick Eyeshadow Stack
  • Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette
  • Saucebox Forbidden Fruits Palette
  • Saucebox Temptation Palette
  • Nyx Suede Palette
  • Lunatick Labs Hocus Pocus Palette (vegan)
  • Lunatick Labs Oracle Palette (vegan)
  • Lunatick Labs Beauty from the Crypt Palette (vegan)
  • Lunatick Labs Zombie Defense Palette (vegan)

Single Eyeshadows

  • Urban Decay Eyeshadows (vegan options)
  • Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadows (vegan options)
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadows (vegan options)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Colour Concentrates (vegan)
  • NARS Duo Eyeshadows
  • NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows
  • NARS Single Eyeshadows
  • Ardency Inn Modster Eyeshadows
  • bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadows
  • Nyx Prismatic Eyeshadows
  • essence Metal Glam Eyeshadows
  • Prestige Total Intensity Eyeshadows
  • Prestige True Metals Eyeshadows
  • Prestige Color Rush Eyeshadows

Cream Eyeshadows

  • NARS Eye Paints (I also use these as eyeliners and eyeshadow base)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Creme Colour Concentrates (vegan)
  • BECCA Eye Tints
  • Too Faced Bulletproof 24 Hour Eyeliner (chubby liners that can be smudged out into eyeshadow)


  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencils (vegan options)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners (vegan options)
  • NARS Eye Paints
  • NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliners
  • Tarte Tartiest Liner
  • Tarte Skinny SmolderEyes Eyeliners
  • Nyx Retractable Eyeliners
  • Ardency Inn Modster Eyeliners


  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
  • Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Cat Eyes Mascara
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
  • Urban Decay Subversion Mascara Primer
  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara
  • Ardency Inn Punker Mascara


  • Senna Cosmetics Sketch-A-Brow Pencils
  • NARS Brow Perfector Pencils
  • Nyx Eyebrow Gel
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencils
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencils


  • Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo (white golden pink)
  • Notoriously Morbid Osteomancy (silvery blue)(vegan)
  • Cover FX Moonlight (vegan)
  • Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powders (vegan)
  • NARS Albatross
  • NARS Illuminators
  • BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector
  • BECCA Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector
  • Nyx Born to Glow Liquid Illuminators
  • Nyx Illuminators


  • Urban Decay Naked Flush Palettes
  • NARS NARSissist Blush Palette
  • Makeup Geek Blushes
  • NARS Blushes
  • butter LONDON Cheeky Creme Blushes
  • Per-Fekt Cheek Perfection Gels
  • Too Faced Sweethearts Blushes
  • Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Blush Palette
  • Tarina Tarantino Blushes
  • Tarina Tarantino Cream Blushes
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes
  • Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oils
  • Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelees
  • bareMinerals Ready Blushes
  • BECCA Beach Tint Souffles
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Creme Colour Concentrates (vegan)
  • Nudestix Lip and Cheek Pencils
  • NARS Matte Multiples
  • NARS Multiples
  • Nyx HD Blushes
  • Physicians Formula Argan Wear Blushes
  • It Cosmetics CC Radiance Palettes
  • Cargo Blushes
  • Nyx Cream Blushes
  • Physicians Formula Happy Mood Booster Blushes

Lip Pencils

  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Colour Pencils (vegan)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencils (vegan options)
  • Nyx Slim Lip Pencils


  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks (vegan options)
  • Too Faced Melted Lipsticks (vegan)
  • NARS Audacious Lipsticks
  • Fyrinnae Liquid Matte Lipsticks (vegan)
  • Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks (vegan)
  • LASplash Lip Coutures
  • LASplash Smitten LipTint Mousses
  • Silk Naturals Velvet Matte Lipsticks (vegan)
  • Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks
  • Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils
  • Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Creams
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars (vegan)
  • NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils
  • Nyx High Voltage Lipsticks
  • Nyx Wicked Lippies
  • Nyx Butter Lipsticks

Foundations (make sure you check out my Best Vegan Foundations post)

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation (vegan)
  • Cover FX CC Cream (vegan)
  • Cover FX BB Gel (vegan)
  • Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation (vegan)
  • Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation (vegan)
  • Per-Fekt Skin Perfecting Gel
  • bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Gel
  • NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Liquid Foundation
  • Kevyn Aucion the Sensual Skin Enhancer
  • Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer
  • Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm
  • Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation
  • Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation
  • BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme
  • BECCA Ever Matte Shine Proof Foundation
  • tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (vegan)
  • It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation
  • Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Foundation
  • Pur Minerals Pressed Mineral Foundation
  • Cargo Liquid Foundation
  • It Cosmetics CC Cream
  • Nyx Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation


  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Skin Conceal (vegan)
  • Cover FX Cream Concealers (vegan)
  • Cover FX Blemish Treatment Concealers (vegan)
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Complete Coverage Concealers (vegan)
  • bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener
  • Nyx Color Correcting Concealer Palette
  • Nyx HD Concealers

Where to Shop for Cruelty Free BeautyAbove is a list of places that I shop for cruelty free makeup. It’s pinnable and you can always save it to your phone to use later.

More Cruelty Free Posts

Which cruelty free brand have you been drawn to use the most lately?

Tags from the story
, ,


Comments are closed.