Top 10 Cruelty Free Make Up Must Haves

In Colorful You!, Fashion & Beauty by Sofia Brenes

Sofia looks into the camera.
Cruelty free make up tips.

I have always viewed makeup as a form of self-love and a method of artistic expression. Growing up watching my mom always doll herself up before stepping out the door was my inspiration. I loved the freedom that makeup gave me to express myself and allow my imagination to flourish.  I was inspired to create my own YouTube beauty channel as a creative outlet for others to learn different techniques and encourage them to step outside the box and play with makeup. Over the years I have tried a vast amount of makeup products ranging from drugstore to high-end and I’ve discovered some real gems! Today, I’m going to share with your cruelty free make up because we love our furry friends.

I want to share my favorite must-have makeup products that have reached holy grail status for me. Society has become more environmentally-conscious and some people just don’t want to support beauty brands that perform cosmetic testing on animals. I made a deliberate choice to only mention beauty products from brands that are 100% cruelty-free according to the Peta “beauty without bunnies” database.

Hopefully as our beauty culture continues to evolve, more and more brands will follow suit and become cruelty-free as well. Here are my top 10 makeup products that I know you will enjoy! If you would like to see demonstrate how to use the following products please check out my YouTube channel:

The Liquid Eyeliner That Won’t Budge!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in Black, $22

Time and time again I always reach for this incredible felt-tip liquid eyeliner pen. This formula is waterproof, smudgeproof, and sweatproof! And of course, cruelty free! You can get a flawless eyeliner application with its precision tip and it is my top choice for creating my signature winged eyeliner look. This eyeliner pen has been my fateful companion through all-nighter study sessions, beach trips, pool parties, and even stayed put through my tears at my wedding! It is a stable for your makeup collection.

Latina female in a wheelchair is applying cruelty free Stila black liquid eyeliner to her left eye
Sofia applies Stila liquid eyeliner.
  • Your Brows’ Best Friend

Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, $21

This is notably the best eyebrow pencil in existence and it’s cruelty free! If you suffer from sparse eyebrows like me and want a more natural look, then you need this eyebrow pencil. What makes it stand out from rest is its tiny tip that allows you to create hair-like strokes in your eyebrows and the spooly brush on the other side that lets you tame those brow hairs. Their vast shade range mimics natural hair colors and the staying power is phenomenal. You can create natural brows or bold brows, it’s your choice!

Three photos in a row of a Latina female's face showing the various ways to have eyebrows done. It says Natural brows, one eyebrow down, Brows done. Cruelty free make up.
Anastasia Eye Brows
  • The Primer for Your Eyes

Urban Decay Primer Potion, $24

I can never start any eye look without laying down the foundation first, which is the cruelty free Urban Decay primer potion. This has changed the game for me in terms of the longevity of my eyeshadow and vibrancy of the colors. This primer creates a smooth canvas for the eyeshadows to set on, which is especially helpful if you have discoloration or veiny eyelids. Your eyeshadow will stay on without fading, cracking, or shifting. They come in different colors and finishes to compliment all skin tones. 

Latina female holding the various make up cruelty free Urban Decay primer tubes to her face before placing the liquid on herself.
Urban Decay Cruelty free Primer is a must if you want your eyes to pop
  • The One and Done Eyeshadow

Stila Shimmer (or Glitter) & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, $24

I could not make a top 10 list without mentioning these extraordinary cruelty free liquid eyeshadows. They come in a wide array of unique colors and dry down completely to a no-budge finish. The shimmer eyeshadows look like liquid metal on your eyelids and the glitters add a beautiful sparkle without the messy application or fallout! The doe-foot applicator applies it effortlessly and all you need is your finger or a brush to blend it out. Its multidimensional pigments and shimmers elevate your eye look and makes it look like you used a ton of different eyeshadows when you only used one.

Three images in one. Split screen. On the left, a forearm with the various cruelty free eye shadow colors and their names. On the right, Sofia has her eyes closed and is showing the look of one of the colors. Underneath, the shadows placed in a circle to display all of the colors. Cruelty free make up
  • The Name Says It: Born This Way

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, $29

I can’t say enough good things about this cruelty free and oil-free foundation. It offers medium to full coverage and just melts into your skin to make it look like it’s your own hence the name! Personally, I have dry skin and have found that this foundation gives a lit-from-within glow. Although it has a radiant finish, my friends with oily and combination skin have said that it doesn’t make them look oilier but provides a dewy look. If you have redness, uneven skin tone, or acne like me this covers it up nicely without looking cakey or fake.

Split screen. On the left, the TOO FACED cruelty free make up foundation and on the right, Sofia is in her wheelchair holding the foundation bottle next to her face and smiling. Underneath, she is smiling as she holds a cosmetics brush against her forehead and the other hand is holding the foundation.
Born This Way by TooFaced
  • The Only Bronzer You Will Ever Need

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer, $52

I first fell in love with cruelty free Hourglass when I purchased their vanish stick foundation but when this bronzer came out I was blown away! It is difficult to find bronzers that don’t make me look orange or muddy-looking. There must be magic in the marbleized pigments that create the perfect bronze tone. It gives me a sun-kissed glow even in the middle of winter. The best way to apply it is with a fluffy brush right in the hollows of your cheeks and along the hairline on your forehead, anywhere that the sun naturally hits your face. 

Split screen. Cruelty Free Hourglass bronzer compact on the right. Upper right, Latina female named Sofia smiles at the camera while putting on the bronzer. Lower right, she's putting the bronzer on her cheeks.
Hourglass Bronzer
  • The Blush That Compliments Every Look

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, $7.99

This peachy blush is the only one I ever hit pan on and repurchased, which says a lot! Just as the name suggests, it gives an ethereal glow to your cheeks. It has the right amount of pigmentation and you can keep building it up without it going straight to clown face. I have a light-medium skin-tone but I have also used it on fair and dark-skinned clients and it compliments their skin beautifully as well. It pairs well with both warm and cool makeup looks. I know it will become your favorite blush too.

Sofia is smiling at the camera and holding the cruelty free Milani blush and a brush.
Sofia is rosy with Milani Blush
  • The Perfect Matte Lip

Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick, $18

Matte lips are still very much on trend. I have tried several matte liquid lipsticks and this one stands out from the pack, not only because of its comfortable matte formula but also its unique shade range. All the colors apply evenly without caking up on the lips or clinging on to dry spots. I have dry lips in general and this formula doesn’t dry them out even further or crack on my lips. It stays put throughout the day, even with drinking and eating. Matte lips that are not torturous to wear? Yes please!

Split screen. Top all of the DOSE cruelty free cosmetic colors for lips. On the bottom, Sofia putting on the lipstick on her left and puckering her lips with her eyes closed on the right.
Everything begins with kiss. Dose makes it kissable.
  • Get Your Glow On!

Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector, $38

My favorite step in the entire makeup process is highlighter. Becca is infamous for their gorgeous highlighters and they are cruelty free. Their formula is so soft and highly-pigmented. The best way to apply is with a small highlighter brush on the tops of your cheekbones and on the tip of your nose.  You can use a little for a subtle low or keep layering it on to look like you’re beaming from space! It comes in an assortment of shades, so you are sure to find one that flatters your skin tone.

Split screen. Left Sofia smiles while holding the cruelty free highlighter compact and a brush. On the right, the compact open.
  • The Finishing Touch

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48

If you are looking for a setting spray that will give you that dewy skin finish, look no further. What makes this setting spray exceptional is its blend of botanical oils, red algae, and hyaluronic acid that keeps the skin moisturized while giving you a youthful radiance. I tend to spray it all over my face after I’m done with my makeup to take away that powdery and cakey look that foundation and powders can leave behind. A great trick I learned to intensify my highlight is to spray a little on the tops of my cheekbones and apply my powder highlight on top while my skin is still damp. Unlike a lot of setting sprays on the market, this one actually expels a fine mist, so it doesn’t disturb the makeup underneath. And it’s cruelty free.

Bird's eye view of Sofia spraying the cruelty free setting spray on her face. The last step in putting on make up.
Everything is set with Tatcha.

Sofia has blossomed into an amazingly intelligent and colorful woman. Here is her first article ever for us. We are proud of her!