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Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Whether you prefer no-makeup makeup look or full on glam, there’s one product you’ll definitely want to have in your kit. And that is mascara. 

Hectic mornings when you can’t be bothered to draw on a line will benefit from mascara. Just hold the mascara brush for a few seconds on the base of your upper lashes. Doing this will give the illusion that you’re wearing eyeliner. Instant definition!

Even if you’re going to use false lashes for your glam look, mascara is handy to have. Adding a coat of mascara will help your natural lashes blend into your falsies. 

But whether you’re looking to volumize, lengthen, or curl, there’s another thing you should consider for your mascara. Cruelty-free and vegan mascaras.

With lots of companies now going cruelty-free, you don’t have to fret about running out of options for the best mascaras out there. And in this post, we’ll look at the top 10 HG status, cruelty-free, and vegan mascaras in the market.

Before that, we’ll look at some important deets about cruelty-free. We’ll learn what makes a product cruelty-free and why we should opt for cruelty-free products.  If all these sounds good to you, natural beauty Queen, let’s go!

What Makes a Product Cruelty-free?

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

The world of cruelty-free products might seem daunting at first. This was true for me when I first ventured to cruelty-free products. One product may claim it’s cruelty-free when in reality, it’s not. The tangled web of marketing, misinformation, and info overload can dishearten anyone. Even a person with a good intent in going cruelty-free.

Not to worry! 

I’ve been through that whole mess. I wouldn’t want you wading through all the info strewn about the net as I did. So here’s a quick rundown for you to better understand what makes a product cruelty-free.

What is Cruelty-Free?

Cruelty-free is a label attached to products that “do not harm animals.” You’ll often see this accompanied by or used instead of “not tested on animals.” Products with those labels can quickly become appealing as the “better choice.”

But the problem with both labels is that, as the US FDA states: there are no legal definitions for them. No government agency in the world regulates these terms whatsoever. There are no standards in using these terms.

So, Cruelty-free and Not Tested in Animals can mean whatever a company wants it to mean. You’d think those two terms are as straightforward as they get. But in the hands of a company with no commitment to doing what’s right, these labels become a powerful tool of deceit.

As the FDA explains, for some companies, 

  • “Cruelty-free” may only apply to their finished products. Meaning they didn’t test the final product on animals. But there’s no assurance that the same goes for the ingredients.
  • Companies may rely on suppliers to perform the necessary animal testing. All this to ensure product or ingredient safety. Technically, they’re not the ones performing the tests. And they can still get away with the “Cruelty-free” label that way.
  • Other cosmetic companies rely on combinations of non-animal harming methods. The combination is made up of scientific literature, non-animal testing, raw material safety testing, or controlled human-use testing. All this to make sure their product is safe.
  • It is a reality that many raw materials, used in cosmetics, were tested on animals years ago. This happened when they were first introduced. So a cosmetic manufacturer might only use those raw materials. They can then base their "cruelty-free" claims on the fact that the materials or products are not "currently" tested on animals.

So from here, you can see that a label and some logo is not enough to be sure a product is cruelty-free.

Certifications

With no definite usage for the term, how can we know whether a product is cruelty-free or not? What standard should we hold companies to? At this point, being a conscientious consumer becomes tricky.

Fortunately for us, there exists organizations that can help with this dilemma. 

CCIC’s Leaping Bunny Program

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics was formed by 8 national animal protection groups. They promote a single comprehensive standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo. CCIC work with companies to make shopping for animal-friendly products easier for consumers.

Through CCIC’s Leaping Bunny Program, consumers are assured of a product's cruelty-free claim. Those in CCIC's program have met the most rigorous cruelty-free standards. Upon joining the program, companies sign a pledge to not test on animals during any stage of product development. Suppliers of ingredients for the company make the same pledge. The result is an entire product free of animal testing.

That’s not all. To ensure companies are going by their pledge, the program commissions on-site audits. Through these audits, the program investigates companies. They make sure claims of “no animal testing” is followed as a manufacturing policy.

So when you’re about to buy a product, check whether the company making it is part of the program.

PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies is another resource for consumers to make conscientious decisions. It is not as internationally recognized as CCIC is. But PETA’s program still strives to provide consumers a safe avenue for shopping cruelty-free. 

Companies interested to be part of PETA’s cruelty-free list must complete a short questionnaire. Afterwards, they sign a statement of assurance. This verifies that they do not conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products. They also pledge not to do so in the future. 

But take the companies listed in PETA’s list with a grain of salt. Though the program is well-intentioned, the lack of investigation makes it less reliable compared to Leaping Bunny. Still, PETA’s list can be a guide when looking for companies not included in the Leaping Bunny Program.

Why Cruelty-free Mascaras?

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Whether makeup is your hobby or a necessity for work, it should not come at the expense of living creatures. 

All over the world, so many countries still allow animals to undergo cruel tests for cosmetics. Innumerable rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rats suffer and die in those tests. And for what? For the ingredients used in lipsticks, foundations, mascaras, etc. 

Does it really have to be this way? Living creatures dying for our vanity? 

No, it doesn’t have to be this way. Alternatives to animal tests are improving day by day. Companies can now opt to have quicker, cheaper and more reliable non-animal methods. They can also use ingredients already known to be safe.

By choosing cruelty-free mascaras, you’ll be joining the ranks of consumers that urge companies to go cruelty-free. This may seem like a small step. But an individual effort joining countless others is sure to have an effect. 

If you still have mascaras from non-cruelty-free companies, you don’t have to get rid of them all and start fresh. Being wasteful is not good for the environment. What you can do is use up what you have at your own pace. When you’re all out, go shop from cruelty-free brands for your mascaras. 

How to Tell If Your Mascaras is Cruelty-Free

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Let’s say you’ve already picked out a mascara. Or maybe even several mascaras if you’re into doing a mascara cocktail. You’ve read tons of reviews and saw picture after picture of the mascaras effect on lashes. But how can you tell if the mascaras you’ve picked out are cruelty-free?

Fortunately, it’s quite simple!

Both Leaping Bunny and Beauty Without Bunnies have searchable online databases of cruelty-free companies. All you need to do is go to their site and look up the brand of your mascaras. If you see the brand turn up, congrats! Your mascara is cruelty-free.

Still on the lookout for cruelty-free mascaras? Save some time on searching and check out this top 10 list I made of best cruelty-free and vegan mascaras.

10 Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Mascaras come in so many shapes and sizes. It’s like brands have endless ideas for brush types and formulas. You can find lengthening, curling, volumizing, waterproof, non-waterproof, water-resistant, water-based, and so much more!

In choosing your mascara, it’s almost always a matter of preference. For me, my lids tend to get oily midday. So I prefer non-waterproof mascaras. That might sound counterintuitive, I know. But I found out that non-waterproof is great for oily lids. Non-waterproof mascara is water soluble but oil-resistant. It’s not good for watery eyes, but for oily lids, this type is heaven-sent! 

But of course, this list was made to suit all kinds of preferences. Read through them and I bet you’ll find one that suits what you’re looking for in a mascara!

100% PURE FRUIT Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

If you have sensitive eyes and want fluttery, long lashes, this mascara from 100% Pure has got you covered. The Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara is Formulated free of coal tar, teflon, and other toxic petrochemicals. You’ll get lengthened and separated lashes without clumping, smudging, or flaking. Plus, it comes in a variety of stunning colors pigmented from black tea, berries, and cocoa.

  • Water-resistant
  • Lengthening
  • Natural formula

E.L.F. Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Do you want to lengthen your lashes? Or maybe volumize them? Why not both! E.l.f.’s Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara gives you impressive length and defining volume. You’ll get full-looking lashes with just a few coats. Apart from the formula, what helps is the control the enhanced brush gives for even coating for multiple applications. 

  • Waterproof
  • Lengthening
  • Volumizing

INIKA Long Lash Vegan Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

When you have short and sparse lashes, you’d want a mascara that’s focused on length but still gives a bit of body. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Inika’s Long Lash Vegan Mascara. Their formula is 100% plant-derived and natural ingredients, boosting length, volume, and span. Plus, the silky-smooth texture of this mascara makes sure your application is clump-free.

  • Non-waterproof
  • Lengthening
  • Natural formula

MILK MAKEUP Kush High Volume Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

When you want drama in your lashes but don’t want to put on falsies, you’ve got to go all-out on volume. This mascara from Milk will help you get just that. Kush High Volume Mascara combines a hydrating formula with a unique brush. The formula’s hydration comes from Cannabis sativa seed oil. Meanwhile, the tree-shaped brush has hollow heart-shaped, crisscrossing bristles. Coat your lashes with this combination and you’ll get booming volume.

  • Non-waterproof
  • Volumizing
  • Hydrating formula

PACIFICA Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Getting natural-looking long lashes has never been this easy! Pacifica’s Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara is a dream to use. Despite the intense color, this looks so natural on the lashes – giving length without too much drama. Your “my-lashes-but-better” with this mascara is easy to achieve, and lasts all day! They also have a striking blue color in the shade Deep if you want to spice things up.

  • Water-resistant
  • Lengthening
  • Deep intensity color

PÜR COSMETICS Fully Charged Mascara Primer

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

When you need all the help you can get for your lashes, using a mascara primer is game-changing. PÜR’s Fully Charged Mascara Primer can be that game-changing product. Powered by magnetic technology, this mascara helps stretch your lashes to ultra-luxe lengths and megawatt volume. Just swipe this on your lashes, let it dry, then apply the mascara of your choice. This mascara is also a good choice for those who are gifted with thick long lashes, but would want to add some conditioning.

  • Non-waterproof
  • Priming
  • Infused with skincare ingredients

SMASHBOX Super Fan Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

Are you a fan of fanned-out looking lashes? Then go on and try Smashbox’s Super Fan Mascara! It lifts, lengthens, and volumizes for fanned-out, full-looking lashes. The key here is the mascara’s unique 360° Precision double-bristle brush. It softly combs product through every single lash hair to create the fanned-out-look. Though this is non-waterproof, it’s oil-free formula lasts up to 12 hours.

  • Non-waterproof
  • Lengthening
  • Volumizing
  • Lifting

TARTE Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-In-1 Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

When it feels like you’ve tried just about every mascara, but can’t find the one, it’s probably because you haven’t tried this one from Tarte yet. Tarte’s Lights, Camera, LashesTM is a miracle worker. It volumizes, lengthens, curls, and conditions. So even the most stubborn lashes will be transformed. Though non-waterproof, you’ll have 24-hour wear with this mascara without smudging and flaking. So there’s no hopeless lashes when this mascara exists. It’s raved about for a reason, so why not give it a try?

  • Non-waterproof
  • Lengthening
  • Volumizing
  • Curling
  • Conditioning

TOO FACED Better Than Sex Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

They say this mascara is so amazing, it’s Better Than Sex. Yes, no kidding – well, at least that’s what Too Faced says. But seriously, if you want luscious, dramatic lashes after just one coat, this really is amazing! The key item for this effect is the hourglass-shaped brush. It coats every little lash to give you all the drama you’ll need. Unique peptides in the formula also helps to condition your lashes throughout the day. Try it out and see for yourself if this mascara is really Better Than Sex.

  • Non-waterproof
  • Lengthening
  • Volumizing
  • Curling

WET N WILD MegaSlim Waterproof Skinny Mascara

Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascaras

When it comes to lashes, we don’t always want drama. There are days when you just want the world to know you’ve got lashes. Natural-looking, fluttery lashes. To achieve just that, Wet N Wild’s MegaSlim Waterproof Skinny Mascara is your pal. It’s got slim and skinny in its name for a reason. Just look at that brush! It’s specifically designed to define every lash you have – even those on your lower lash line. Grab this for naturally defined lashes, perfect for everyday looks!

  • Waterproof
  • Defining

Did anything from this list tickle your fancy? Or maybe you're already using one of these mascaras?

Whichever it is, do let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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