Best Ethical Beauty Brands

Bronwyn Molony

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Barry M nail varnishes show that ethical beauty doesn't need to be boring (Bronwyn Molony)
Barry M nail varnishes show that ethical beauty doesn’t need to be boring (Bronwyn Molony)

It’s far easier nowadays to be eating an ethical diet but how many of us think more deeply about the product we use everyday? Thankfully, more and more makeup and beauty brands are cruelty-free as well as having programs that give back to the communities they buy from. It can be daunting trying to navigate the world of ethical beauty online and know which brands have trusted, worth-it products that actually do what they say. Happily, yours-truly has compiled a list of the top 5 ethical beauty brands.


1. Urban Decay.

This brand is so beloved for its ethical and cruelty free makeup that when new owner L’Oreal tried to bring it to China, where animal testing is mandatory, there was such an uproar that the company dropped the plans completely. Urban Decay is most known for its best-selling Naked eyeshadow palettes and its amazing range of setting sprays.


Urban Decay – Eyeshadow palettes – Beauty | Debenhams


2. The Body Shop

A brand that from its first years was one with a conscience. It partnered in 1996 with Green Peace for the Save the Whales campaign and has continued its social activism from there. As well as being against animal testing it has always fought to give fair prices to its suppliers under its “Community Trade” program. Among its best products are its Camomile Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover and its Vitamins C Skin Boost Instant Smoother – the latter all the more as it’s incredibly hard to put Vitamin C into a product and make it last.



3. e.l.f

All of its products are cruelty free and it has partnered with PETA as part of its “No Fur” campaign, as well as donating money to great cancer research and disaster relief efforts after the tsunami in Fukushima. Among its best products are its baked highlighters, high definition powder and their fabulous range of primers. 



4. Barry M.

All of the beautiful, colourful products coming from this company have been cruelty free from day one, and now they have partnered with the Humane Society International’s global Be-Cruelty Free campaign, the largest campaign of its kind to bring an end to animal testing. As well as having a fabulous collection of nail polishes, their Colour Change Lip Paint and Liquid Chrome Highlighter drops are high up on nearly everybody’s wish list.



5. N.Y.X

Known for selling high quality makeup at affordable prices, N.Y.X have always been committed to being cruelty free. Initially only an online business selling to professional makeup artists, they have been bought by L’Oreal who have expanded the range as well as committed to opening physical stores, while also promising to keep the brand cruelty free. All of their lipsticks are wonderful but the Lip Lingerie range are particularly excellent.


NYX Professional Makeup Official Site – Professional Makeup & Beauty Products


Bonus Brand!

While it’s wonderful to have all these cruelty free beauty brands, we wouldn’t get very far without he tools to apply them. Enter Real Techniques! This company makes a wide range of cruelty free, synthetic brushes and their sponges are the next best thing since the original Beauty Blender.


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Bronwyn Molony