Unless you do your homework really well (and I mean, REALLY well), ethical makeup brands are hard to discover. Pour yourself a glass of wine, apply that face mask you bought a couple of weeks ago, and let’s soak it all in. I have gathered all the salient stuff you need to know.
There is a lot of small print on every product’s packaging, you already know that. Getting to read and more importantly, understand, what’s written on the back can be exhausting, boring, and make you feel like you would rather run 10 miles instead of researching the best eco friendly makeup in forums online. It’s a long sentence but you get the meaning. If you have recently felt the desire to join the sustainability club though, it’s inevitable.
What makes a makeup brand ethical?
Before we dive into the brand list below, I would like to clear the air and take a closer look into the term itself; Ethical makeup brands. No animals were harmed in the process? Or maybe all ingredients are naturally sourced? What does ‘naturally’ even mean? Perhaps it’s all a façade to hide away the status quo while we are trying to change it?
As there is no official regulation in most countries worldwide, ethical beauty could be put down under many words in the dictionary. The ethical makeup products have to provide beauty without cruelty, a.k.a. not being tested on cute animals we would follow on IG (or any animals for the matter). All ingredients must be organic, a.k.a. parabens, silicons, sulfates, and phthalates are strictly forbidden. The CEOs should also take into consideration the production process and how they treat employees.
It doesn’t just sound like a lot of work. It is a lot of work. Even though I have tried to sum it all up, keep in mind that unethical makeup brands are pros in covering up what we really put on our face. The brands I’ve selected are some of those you need to know next time you restock the beauty shelf at home.
8 EXCEPTIONAL ETHICAL MAKEUP BRANDS TO KNOW ABOUT IN 2022:
1. Elf Cosmetics
Good products at an even better price? Enter Elf Cosmetics. I’m pretty sure you have heard ‘you should totally try this primer/lipstick/eye shadow palette’ from a friend of yours. This is why the brand sounds so familiar. Using their own words, it’s the place for every eye, lip, and face.
All formulas are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, which means there’s no place for phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, or hydroquinone. It’s safe to guess you don’t understand most of these words (I don’t either), but it’s important to note all chemically bad ingredients are far away from our beautiful, glowing faces. “Alexa, play ‘I like it’ by Cardi B.”
2. MOB Beauty
Where to begin? MOB Beauty’s team believes ingredients impact not only our appearance and confidence but the planet, as well. Clean, sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan formulas lie deep down in their philosophy, which manages to deliver great products without any compromise.
The Volumizing Mascara is great, but not more than the appeal against single-use plastics. Every order from mobbeauty.com comes in an endlessly reusable and refillable package, which you won’t throw away seconds after frantically opening your 100th order for the month. As the mission is to literally make beauty better, I have to say they are doing it. And if I can quote again, sustainability isn’t jargon, it’s our future. At least if we want it to look good.
3. The Body Shop
Thinking The Body Shop is all about body products? You are very, very wrong. And very, very much missing out on some wonderful bargains. The brand’s belief is all about enhancing your natural beauty, but if there’s a particular desire to create a full-face look, they offer it as well.
The lengthening mascaras and pencil eyeliners are the bestsellers you need to meet and greet. While there, check out the 10-year Sustainability Vision project which describes how the brand plans to use its worldwide power for good. No matter if we are talking towards equal pay, protecting the Amazon rainforest, or reducing waste in general. One of the best ethical makeup brands, that’s for sure.
4. KVD Beauty
After Kat Von D left her own brand behind, the initials now stand for Kara, Veritas, Decora – the Latin for value, truth, and beauty.
The brand managed to redefine vegan makeup and for the last six years, KVD Beauty has been well known for creating long-wearing, sustainable and cruelty-free products. Products, enjoyed by everyone who appreciates a complicated YouTube tutorial or a quick TikTok idea. Otherwise said, it doesn’t matter if you love Lady Gaga’s Joanne days or the Born This Way ones, they have something for you. For the planet, too.
100% Pure is the best way to describe them. 100% Pure’s beauty products you’ll fall in love with. Hundred percent sure! Pun(s) intended.
Kidding aside, this is one of the not-so-many ethically sourced makeup brands out there. Their pigments come from fruit, tea, and cocoa, which helps in avoiding commonly used colorants and heavy metals. Plus, all are cruelty-free and adhere to strict purity standards. Give the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, Tea Tree Clear Complexion Cleanser and Matcha Oat Milk Nourishing Mask a try. So tasty, that Joey Tribbiani will be asking you ‘How you doin’?’. So good, that even Gwyneth Paltrow would be jealous.
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6. Kjaer Weis
Makeup is supposed to enhance every woman’s natural beauty with pure and organic ingredients. That’s what the faces behind Kjaer Weis believe and profess with every product release on the market.
All of them deserve an upper half position in the list with ethical and sustainable makeup brands, thanks to three keywords. Pure ingredients. Exceptional performance. Cruelty-free formulas. Next time you are searching for new beauty stuff, definitely make a stop on their website. You’ll feel happy in the end. So will that ocean you saved from useless plastic bottles.
7. Tower 28 Beauty
Named after a lifeguard tower on the Santa Monica pier (yes, the one all people take pictures of), Tower 28 Beauty is dedicated to community, healthy fun, and clean living. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Plus, it’s one of the certified cruelty-free makeup brands, which is a bonus. Hard to believe a makeup brand can be this good.
The SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray is a life-saver, but all their products are made from only high-quality ingredients. Translation: versatile, sustainable, and delivering the ultimate total look everyone would envy. Honestly, if California hotness was this within reach and no one told me about it, I’d be really disappointed. Consider yourself now informed.
8. Clean Faced Cosmetics
Not many (great) sustainable skincare brands are great vegan makeup brands as well. Clean Faced Cosmetics is! The brand is completely vegan and almost completely zero waste and plastic-free (which is a big step closer than most brands out there).
Its Customized Zero Waste Foundation Palette is just lovely. So is the Black Cake Mascara, which you need for that smokey eye look you thought only Dua Lipa could rock on the red carpet. Remember that shopping ethical = doing good. Do what it’s right, not what it’s easy. I’ve always loved that saying.
This post was all about ethical makeup brands.
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