9 Cruelty-Free And Vegan Beauty Brands You Should Know About To Protect Your Melanin Magic
Finding completely vegan and non-toxic beauty products was once like finding a needle in a haystack. Throw in Black- or women of color (WOC)-owned makeup brands and cosmetics, and the results are often too few and far in between.
But now with more and more beauty enthusiasts adopting all-natural, organic beauty regimens, new companies are sprouting up every day to service their needs. What’s even better is that many of them are WOC- and Black-owned brands that offer diverse, cruelty-free beauty products.
With a little help from animal rights organization, Peta,—along with a few Black-girl approved products we’ve tested ourselves—we’ve compiled a list of nine vegan and cruelty-free favorites that you need to add to your beauty arsenal ASAP!
More from ESSENCE
“Footnanny begins where the pedicure ends.” That’s the tagline of this Black-owned, plant-based wellness brand. CEO and founder Gloria L. Williams—aka the self-proclaimed “foot nanny”—took notes from her late mother’s beauty rituals and traditions and developed her own aromatherapy product line. From foot creams (yes, there’s even a vegan formula) and lotions to soaking salts and pedi accessories, there’s something here for any woman (and man) in need of a little TLC.
You’ll find ingredients like bay leaves, parsley, sea salt and healing Epsom salt in Williams’ products. Not to mention, the foot creams come in a wide variety of aromatic scents, such as citrus, chocolate, licorice, cotton candy, peppermint, peach, lavender, rosé, ginger and pumpkin vanilla just in time for fall. So if you’re looking for a new pampering product for your precious feet, give Footnanny a try. Even BFFs Oprah and Gayle King approve!
2. Beauty Bakerie
Beauty Bakerie offers a completely cruelty-free, vegan line of cosmetics, including flattering cake mix foundations, “eyescream” eyeshadows, long-lasting lipsticks and flour setting powders. But it’s this Black-owned company’s cute packaging that has us gagging. Created by single mom and breast cancer survivor Cashmere Nicole in 2011, Beauty Bakerie’s products are perfect for beauty and style mavens with a sweet tooth, and those who prefer to “bake their face” with natural ingredients.
3. Amara Halal Cosmetics
In accordance with the halal standards associated with Islamic Law, which forbid the consumption of animal products and alcohol, many makeup brands are developing their products with this cruelty-free custom in mind. Enter Amara Halal Cosmetics—the “first company in North America to provide completely Halal-Certified cosmetics specifically for the Muslim community.” You can find breathable, organic products in this line for the eyes, lips, nails and, of course, face.
4. Shea Moisture
In terms of natural hair care, one particular trusted brand comes to mind: Shea Moisture. However, the company’s diverse product line extends to cosmetics and skin care essentials as well. Though some of the products aren’t 100 percent vegan, they are completely cruelty-free. Another fun fact is that the shea butter in each product is ethically sourced from Ghana, and the company prides itself on supporting fair trade and women-led businesses. Whether you’re looking for makeup, creams, moisturizers, soaps, lip balms or masks, Shea Moisture has plenty of products for you to apply to your body and face without fear of animals being harmed for your glow-up.
5. Carol’s Daughter
You’ve come to know this Black-owned, Brooklyn-based beauty company for its nourishing natural hair care line. But Carol’s Daughter also boasts vegan and cruelty-free body and skin care products for all skin types, like moisturizers, soaps, sprays and hand and body creams. Founded by Lisa Price in 1993, and named after her late mother, you can find most Carol’s Daughter products in a Target store near you.
6. Plain Jane Beauty
Certified MUA and former teacher Lake Louise created the Black-owned Plain Jane Beauty color cosmetics line back in 2011. She’s also the founder of eco-friendly skin-care brand, Lotus Moon. Plain Jane Beauty’s inclusive foundation line includes natural and organic ingredients that stretch across the color spectrum, from ivory to ebony. But what makes Louise’s makeup products stand out in the beauty crowd is the packaging. Not only are her products made from sustainable ingredients, but they each promote a message of self-love on the packaging labels. Phrases like “I am magnificent,” “I am stunning,” and “I am loving” appear on the non-toxic foundation formulas.
7. The Lip Bar
Founded by all-around badass Melissa Butler in 2012, The Lip Bar makes it easy to pretty your pout with moisturizing, cruelty-free lipsticks. Each bright and colorful tube of lipstick is completely vegan. The former Wall Street financial analyst turned CEO is committed to challenging “the standard of beauty” through her natural products, and she’s pushing back against old-fashioned perceptions of beauty. The business model has certainly paid off for Butler and The Lip Bar, considering the fact that you can now purchase her lip products in Target stores.
8. Coloured Raine
Founded in 2013 by Loraine Dowdy, the Black-owned, aptly-named Coloured Raine offers women colorful, cruelty-free cosmetics. Most of the product lineup, which includes liquid lipsticks, nail polishes and eyeshadow, is vegan and gluten-free. According to Coloured Raine’s site, Dowdy wanted to create a line that championed “self-expression and diversity, and included shades for women of color.” So not only is Dowdy an advocate for inclusion, but judging by the ingredients found in her products, she’s also unapologetic about promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle.
9. Sacha Cosmetics
Sacha Cosmetics has a longstanding history of offering vegan makeup to its multicultural clientele, with the company’s roots dating all the way back to 1979 in Trinidad and Tobago. They’ve since expanded their Black-owned brand, appearing in 500 retail stores in 45 countries. In addition, Sacha Cosmetics was the official brand chosen for the 2015 Miss Panama Pageant and 1999 Miss Universe Pageant. If you haven’t tried their most buzzed-about Buttercup Powder or their long-wearing liquid lipsticks and diverse foundations, sis, you’re missing out.