My Three Favorite Vegan & Cruelty-Free Lipsticks 💄

Toward the end of last year, I decided to go vegetarian. It was completely impulsive and I must say it was absolutely life-changing and it made me more mindfulI got the glow! Literally, I eat so many leafy greens and consume so many vitamins and minerals that my skin is glowing.

After altering the food choices that I put inside of my body, I had to become more mindful of the products I put on my body.

With that, I immediately switched out my toiletries. Deodorants with aluminum had to go and real talk it’s a struggle in the Houston heat. Lotions and potions with ingredients I couldn't pronounce were banished to the Upside Down. I made the shift and it felt great! 

One day I had reached for my favorite lipstick and was bothered. I had heard that some companies used carmine to simulate red pigments and I wondered if my signature lip color, MAC’s Relentlessly Red, was created by crushing dead bugs. I didn’t have time to research it but figured chances are they were. Sigh.

Fun fact! 🐞

Fun fact! 🐞

In the spirit of mindfulness, I was now in the phase of my journey where I decided to switch all of my beloved cosmetics for vegan & cruelty-free options & here’s why. 

A cosmetic company that defines themselves as “vegan” or “cruelty-free” typically means that there are no animal or animal byproducts in the cosmetics and that they don’t test products on animals. I think we can all agree that it would not be cool if companies tested their products on our personal pets. All animals deserve that kind of respect. 

However, I know you’re wondering “what types of animal products could be in my cosmetics?”

Good question. Animal products could include carmine, beeswax or even honey because they are both derived from insects like honeybees. It could also include lanolin or gelatin, which are derived from lambs and pigs. Vegan cosmetic companies will not use any of those ingredients nor test their products on animals.

Also, keep in mind, the designation of “vegan” or “cruelty-free” are not regulated by the USDA or any other governmental agency. It’s based on the ethical integrity of the company when they share their business practices with customers and touting that their products are “vegan” or cruelty-free. Do your research and spend your money with companies that align with your personal values. 

 As the old saying goes “vegans have more fun’l Ok—that’s not an old saying but being vegan doesn’t mean a restrictive lifestyle or restrictions when it comes to other fun things like lipsticks. 

Here are my top three vegan and/or cruelty-free lipsticks. They’re the bomb! 

The Lip Bar in  As If,  e.l.f in  Flirty & Fabulous , Milani Amore Matte in  Gorgeous  and The Lip Bar in  Prima Donna.

The Lip Bar in As If, e.l.f in Flirty & Fabulous, Milani Amore Matte in Gorgeous and The Lip Bar in Prima Donna.


E.L.F. 💄


Founded in 2004, I absolutely love this recession-proof brand. You can find e.l.f almost anywhere and the price point makes my heart sing. The Moisturizing Lipsticks ($3) comes in 14 shades and enriched with Vitamins A, C, and E plus shea butter for the ultimate hydration. Their brushes are also vegan, this switch from animal hairs to synthetic fibers happened two years ago. Side note: The aspect I found most interesting about this company is that their entire leadership team/ C-suite are men. Have they even tried the product?


Milani Cosmetics 💄


Before I began my vegetarian journey I used Milani Cosmetics products and I was pleasantly surprised to see PETA’s cruelty-free symbol listed on the Milani website. In terms of lipsticks, the Color Statement Lipsticks aren’t considered vegan because the ingredients list beeswax. However, the Amore Matte Lip Creme is vegan and cruelty-free. Fortunately, the Amore Matte Lip Creme comes in 32 shades and are reasonably priced at $9. For the past few years, I’ve been wearing a highly coveted hot pink hue called Gorgeous. It just screams come hither but your lips will be ungodly dry afterwards.


The Lip Bar 💄

The Lip Bar in Prima Donna.

The Lip Bar in Prima Donna.

The Lip Bar is the new kid on the cosmetic block. Founded in 2012, this cosmetics company is hands down my favorite for multiple reasons. Really quick—its black owner, based out of the Midwest (Detroit, MI), the founder is a woman of color and their products are both vegan and cruelty-free. For the longest time, in order to make a purchase if you didn’t live in Detroit, you’d have to order online. Now there are options which include (drumroll please), Target Stores.


Honorable Mention: Makeup Art Cosmetics (MAC) 💄

Pre-vegetarian in MAC’s  Ruby Woo.

Pre-vegetarian in MAC’s Ruby Woo.

I’ve been wearing MAC since I was 14. While most of my friends were wearing Fruit Glossy lip-gloss my lips were popping with my MAC Lipglass. MAC’s website doesn’t list the ingredients for their lipsticks but they have been industry leaders in terms of not testing their products on animals or owning animal testing facilities. Furthermore, in the early 90s, the company established the MAC AIDS Fund, which provides financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations impacted by HIV/AIDS. The entire amount of a purchase of the Viva Glam lipsticks goes directly to the MAC AIDS Fund. In a nutshell, proceeds from that purchase go directly to people impacted by the disease which are overwhelmingly people of color. I personally believe that’s dope and can’t think of another cosmetic company whose social responsibility game is so strong. 


What are some other cosmetic companies that are vegan or cruelty- free? Share the love & comment below.




Ar’Sheill Monsanto