Finding the right foundation for your skin can feel like a life-long mission. Once you commit to using cruelty-free foundation, it should get easier – right?
While sticking to ethical makeup will narrow down your options, it doesn’t always make it easier to find ‘the one’.
And – given that it’s the base for everything else – foundation is something you want to get right. It penetrates your body’s largest organ, affects the rest of your makeup and will stick out if you don’t get it right.
When it comes to finding the right foundation for your complexion, getting the correct shade and coverage are really important. But what happens when you add “not tested on animals” to the mix, too?
It can be surprisingly hard to find foundation that isn’t tested on animals. We’ve compiled this list of the best cruelty free foundation brands to take that element out of the mix. Instead of searching for ethical brands, you can focus on finding a foundation that suits your complexion and lifestyle.
The best cruelty free foundation brands
These cruelty free foundations will help you perfect your base with maximum confidence and zero animals harmed.
1 – Revolution Beauty
Best for: Affordable cruelty free foundation.
If you want designer makeup dupes at affordable prices, then look no further than Revolution Beauty (formerly known as Makeup Revolution).
The brand offers a wide range of foundation products that cater to different skin tones, so you can find the right shade for you.
Despite the super affordable price tags, Revolution Beauty has a selection of cruelty free foundation for every face. The best-selling Matte Base Foundation will only set you back £5 a pop!
2 – Nude By Nature
Best for: Sensitive skin.
Nude By Nature promised to shake things up when it burst onto the beauty scene. Its mineral makeup products are formulated with natural ingredients that are kind to the skin.
Nude By Nature’s Flawless Liquid foundation will give your face a radiant and luminous glow to make your complexion look absolutely flawless, regardless of what season we’re in.
It’s also free of oil, fragrance and silicone, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin.
3 – e.l.f. Cosmetics
Best for: A natural, semi-matte finish.
e.l.f. (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) is a 100% cruelty-free and vegan brand. One of the most affordable cruelty free foundations out there, their Flawless Finish Foundation includes UVA/UVB SPF sun protection to protect your skin.
e.l.f.’s bestselling foundation offers a semi-matte finish that looks and feels natural, and also lasts all day.
4 – NYX Cosmetics
Best for: Long-lasting wear, including long nights out.
NYX Cosmetics is a popular colour cosmetics brand among beauty lovers who want to create bold and daring makeup looks. And that means they’re formulas are pretty daring, too.
NYX’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop 24 Hour Foundation does what it says on the (rather attractive) bottle. Its cruelty free formula is a hustler that will stay put all day – or night – long.
5 – Illamasqua
Best for: A high end splurge.
Illamasqua believes in ‘beauty not brutality’ and this statement is embodied in its cruelty-free and vegan status products.
For those in the know, Illamasqua’s best-selling, award-winning Skin Base Foundation is the go-to choice to create a flawless complexion every day. It’s a lightweight and blend-able foundation, and it contains vitamin C and vitamin E to help give the face an anti-aging boost.
The Skin Base Foundation has 26 shades available so you can find the right match for your skin tone and set your base.
6 – KIKO MILANO
Best for: 2 in 1 beauty.
KIKO MILANO’s Full Coverage 2-in-1 Foundation & Concealer is perfect for busy bodies who want a cruelty free foundation and concealer in one.
The dual action formula minimises blemishes while providing a perfect base for the day. It’s super creamy and easy to apply, too – perfect for after the gym, before an important meeting or when you don’t want to spend ages on your makeup.
7 – Anastasia Beverley Hills
Best for: Cruelty free stick foundation.
Perfect for on the go or touch ups, Anastasia Beverley Hills Stick Foundation is easy to apply and blend.
Its highly pigmented formula provides all the coverage you need and, with a wide range of shades, you’ll have no trouble finding the right one to match your skin.
This cruelty free foundation is perfect for oily and combination skin types that need a little extra coverage.
What counts as cruelty free foundation?
If you assumed that vegan foundation and cruelty free foundation are the same thing, you wouldn’t be the only thing.
Although they overlap in many ways, they’re not exactly the same. A foundation can be vegan without being cruelty free, and vice versa.
A vegan formula means a foundation doesn’t contain any ingredients of animal origin. These might include things like keratin, collagen and – the best known one – beeswax.
To be cruelty free, a foundation must not have been tested on animals. That means it must not have used animal testing at any step of the creation and production processes.
If a foundation is truly cruelty free, you can be sure that animal testing wasn’t involved in any way – including through third parties.
If you’d like to know more, this guide to vegan and cruelty free makeup explains more.