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Veganism is on the rise, with 79 million people in the world identifying as vegan. Why is veganism becoming so popular? More people are concerned about animal welfare and myself included — I’m one of those people who love animals more than people.
More makeup brands are learning about these demands and are formulating products without animal ingredients. This is probably why the vegan cosmetics market was worth $15 billion in 2021 and only continues to grow.
If you’re like me and are concerned about vegan makeup products, you’ll want to try new products that aren’t made with any animal ingredients. Lipstick is the best place to start! But you’ll first want to know how to find the best vegan lipstick. I’ll give you some pointers and will recommend some of my favorite products.
Bottom line up front
Out of all of the products I recommend, the ELF Liquid Lipstick is one of my favorites. ELF has always been a vegan and cruelty-free brand. I wish the color selection was better.
But even so, there are so many pretty colors here. Otherwise, this lipstick has everything else going for it. It’s affordable, long-wearing, and moisturizing. It’s made of skin-loving ingredients. This product has gotten so many positive reviews. If you don’t want liquid lipstick, ELF also has other lip products you can consider.
What Makes a Lipstick Vegan?
Honey is an ingredient found in many cosmetic products. Honey is an ingredient made from bees. Even though extracting honey doesn’t kill bees, vegans are against any form of animal exploitation so they avoid using all products made with honey.
In addition to only containing plant-based ingredients, vegan lipstick also means all ingredients are ethically sourced. It can be difficult to identify non-vegan ingredients. While honey and beeswax are obvious examples, some little-known animal-derived ingredients include carmine, squalane, and lanolin.
Does Cruelty-Free Mean Vegan?
Yes and no. First, it’s important to understand what cruelty-free means. Cruelty-free means the final product plus its ingredients were not tested on animals. “Vegan” and “cruelty-free” are not synonymous.
Bost vegan lipsticks are cruelty-free since the brand is appealing to a consumer base that wants to avoid any animal exploitation. I still recommend researching the brand and ensuring they’re both vegan and cruelty-free.
How to Find the Best Vegan Lipstick
Before buying vegan lipstick, I want to give you a few pointers so you can find the best lipstick for you.
The best vegan lipstick has many good reviews. While I also agree that some customers are a little too judgmental and will give a perfectly good lipstick a bad review for not meeting every one of their needs, reading reviews is still the best way to gauge the quality of the lipstick.
I recommend looking for specific phrases in the review, such as whether or not the lipstick tries out your lips and if the lipstick feathers. You can also look at pictures of reviewers wearing the lipstick to ensure the color is vibrant and is close to the shade that is pictured.
Check the Ingredients
Even if the packaging says “vegan,” I would still check the ingredients just to be sure. Some common animal-derived ingredients found in vegan cosmetics include:
- Lanolin (wax from sheep wool)
- Carmine (colorant made from the shells of female insects)
- Collagen (protein from mammals)
- Keratin (structural material in a variety of mammals)
- Glycerin (derived from animal fats — though there are plant-based options)
- Elastin (protein derived from fish)
- Tallow (a rendered form of beef fat)
- Stearic acid (found in various animal fats — though there are plant-based options)
- Silk (protein fiber made by insects)
- Pearl (sphere made by oysters)
- Snail slime
In addition to ensuring there are no animal ingredients, look for some healthy plant-based ingredients. These include marula oil, avocado, shea butter, candelilla wax, argan oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E.
Don’t Forget Personal Preference
As a vegan, it can be easy to be so concerned about animal welfare that you forget about your own personal preferences! There are so many different lipstick types today. You can opt for matte, glitter, or glossy lipstick. There are also lipsticks with a creamy and liquid consistency.
Find Your Perfect Color
Of course, you don’t want to forget about the color! You can opt for a natural, brighter, or darker color. Some great neutral and feminine colors include peach, nude, and pale pink. Some great dark colors include mocha, brown, and wine. Great examples of bright colors include red, fuchsia, copper, and cranberry.
The average shelf life of lipstick is three years. But you should still check the expiration date on the lipstick. The expiration date will look like an open container with a number.
The number represents the months that the lipstick will last. Keep in mind that makeup brands aren’t required to provide an expiration date. If the product you’re using doesn’t provide one, just be sure to throw out the lipstick after three years.
My Vegan Lipstick Recommendations
While you can search for some of your favorite brands for vegan lipstick, I want to include some of my recommendations to make the shopping process easier for you!
ELF Liquid Matte Lipstick
ELF is one of my favorite makeup brands ever. Not only are they affordable (the lipstick I’m linking is $5) but they have always been vegan and cruelty-free.
Even at an affordable price, this lipstick is long-lasting and dries quickly. It’s formulated with vitamin E to nourish your lips. It’s only available in four colors, but all four colors are gorgeous. I like blushing rose (brown-beige), wine tour (dark cranberry), and tea rose (pink-beige) the best.
Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick
If you want a similar product as the ELF liquid lipstick but want a better color selection, I suggest going with the Honest Beauty liquid lipstick. Like ELF, this is very affordable — one lipstick is about $7. You also get eight color options! My favorites are Fearless (maroon) and Goddess (peach-pink).
I never tried this brand, but I want to. Formed by actress Jessica Alba, Honest Beauty creates products that are safe to use. From reading the reviews, this is definitely a product I want to try. The pictures I’m seeing are all stunning and the color payoff looks amazing. Reviewers are all saying you only need a little bit of product.
Pacifica Beauty Pluscious Liquid Lipstick
Pacifica is another brand I’ve been wanting to try. They’re not only vegan and cruelty-free but they make clean makeup products. Pacifica products don’t contain phthalates, carmine, silicone, or petroleum. While I think this liquid lipstick has more of a gloss look than a traditional lipstick, it’s still highly pigmented.
I’m reading that this product isn’t the most long-wearing option, so I suggest only keeping this in your purse so you always have a little bit of color to work with. Some reviewers also say these lipsticks mix well with other products. This product is also very hydrating so you won’t need an extra chapstick. Keep in mind that this lip product has a scent.
The color selection also isn’t amazing but you do have options. On Amazon, some of these colors are sold out. I like Crave (peachy orange), Flawless (neutral/natural), and Velvet Kiss (earthy brown-red), and all of them are available.
Bare Minerals BarePRO Longwear Lipstick
I have to admit, Bare Minerals isn’t my favorite brand for foundations, but I do love their lip products. This lipstick is matte but still nourishing, containing skin-loving ingredients such as jojoba wax and sunflower seed extract. I haven’t tried this product but reviewers have said this product feels comfortable on the lips.
It’s also long-lasting, smudge- and transfer-free. I’m reading that this lipstick lasts for several hours. Not as long-lasting as other products on this list but is still pretty impressive. It has a creamy texture and is easy to apply, but also has a strong color payoff. The lipstick also dries quickly, so you can immediately start rocking your best vegan makeup look.
I do find the color selection to be impressive. Bare Minerals only uses minerals to color their products, which is great considering all of the color options.
I also love so many of these colors and it’s hard to choose which ones to buy. In addition to these benefits, Bare Minerals is a clean makeup brand that has restricted 2,500 ingredients, including the 1,400 ingredients banned in the EU. This lipstick is also free of parabens, talc, gluten, synthetic fragrance, SLS, tree nut, and PEG.
Tarte Sugar Rush Sugar Coat Velvet Lipstick
I always hype up the Tarte brand on here. I have very sensitive skin and Tarte is usually my go-to. However, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Tarte lipstick. They have so many beautiful colors, but the packaging is less than perfect. But since Tarte is so popular, I wanted to mention one of their vegan lip products (keep in mind that not all Tarte products are vegan).
I first want to mention that the color selection here isn’t impressive. There are only four color options, but they are pretty. I especially love sprinkle, which is a pretty berry mauve. They do have a scent, but they’re sweet scents. All of these lipsticks are made with ingredients such as rosehip and sunflower seed oils, which will keep your lips soft all day.
It’s a liquid lipstick, so it has a creamy texture. It feels comfortable throughout the day. I’m reading it doesn’t feather or bleed, which is a good thing. However, it doesn’t have amazing staying power.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick
At $40, this is probably the most expensive lipstick on this list. It also has a scent, so I wouldn’t recommend this to those with sensitive skin. But it has received raving reviews! Even though it’s a matte lipstick, it has a very soft texture and it also doesn’t dry out your lips.
I absolutely love the color selection here. You can find a variety of colors, such as the nude-pink “pillow talk,” the berry “walk of no shame,” brown “so ’90s,” and coral “sexy Sienna.” I love so many colors here so It’s hard to choose one. I never used this lipstick but Charlotte Tilbury has high-quality products. If you don’t mind the price, I suggest this lipstick.
Bite Beauty Power Move Hydrating Soft Matte Lipstick
I love these lipsticks! I have a couple of colors and have had more in the past. The reason I’m not listing these as my number one is that they’re not the longest-lasting lipsticks, but I love the soft texture. They’re also very moisturizing and feel amazing on your lips. It looks like Sephora is pricing these down and there are only two color options. I especially like Espresso Brava, which is a deep brown.
Sephora Collection Astrology Lip Stories Lipstick
I love Sephora Collection! I’ve had many products in Sephora’s own line and recommend so many of their makeup and skincare products.
I especially love Sephora’s lip products. I really want to try this lipstick in my astrology sign, Capricorn. It’s a warm brown color and looks so pretty. All of the colors for each sign are so pretty. You don’t even have to only buy your sign’s color! The packaging is absolutely adorable, with your astrology symbol printed on the tube. They’re on sale for $8! You can’t get better than that!
According to reviewers, the lipsticks are super pigmented and they’re comfortable to wear. I’m about to order mine so let’s see how I like it!
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick
These are some of my favorite liquid lipsticks ever! I have a ton of the KVD Liquid Lipsticks and I highly recommend every color. The formula is perfect; the lipsticks are all so pigmented yet the formula is thin and dries quickly. They also have a matte finish, yet the formula is so velvety soft. While they’re not drying, I suggest exfoliating and moisturizing your lips first.
Another reason I love the KVD Liquid Lipsticks is all of the amazing colors available. Some of my favorite colors are Backstage Bambi, A-Go-Go, Berlin, Exorcism, Plath, and Witches. At $21, they are a little on the pricey side, but I still recommend these if you don’t mind spending the money.
Au Naturale Eternity Sheer Lipstick
I wanted to recommend sheer lipstick since I think these lipsticks are so underrated. I love sheer formulas because they provide a hint of color without going overboard. I love these sheer lipsticks by Au Naturale because the color is long-lasting.
The formula is creamy and buildable. It also contains plant-based hydrating ingredients such as jojoba oil. And it’s also made with mint, so these lipsticks have a slight plumping effect. My only complaint is there isn’t the best color selection. But I do like the neutral shades like Frappe.
INIKA Organic Lipstick Crayon
I also wanted to recommend another type of lipstick formula. I love lipstick crayons and don’t see enough of them. This one by INIKA is the best vegan crayon I’ve seen. While the color selection isn’t vast, there are beautiful colors here.
I especially love the neutrals — pink and tan nude as well as rose petal. Unlike other lip crayons I’ve seen, these crayons are made with ingredients such as vitamin E and coconut oil to keep lips soft.
Question: Does Vegan also Mean Cruelty-Free?
Answer: Most vegan products aren’t tested on animals but this always isn’t the case. If supporting cruelty-free brands is also a major concern of yours, make sure the brand and their parent company don’t test on animals. Most brands that don’t will also include the “cruelty-free” label on their packaging.
Question: Can you Recommend Some More Affordable Vegan Makeup Brands?
Answer: Some great affordable vegan makeup brands include Wet n’ Wild, NYX, and Sonia Kashuk.
Question: Can I Buy vegan lipstick at Sephora?
Answer: You sure can! Actually, a couple of brands I mentioned, such as Bare Minerals and Tarte, are all sold at Sephora. You can find all of their vegan lipsticks here.
Question: Are Vegan Lipsticks Healthy?
Answer: Yes, as long as the brand uses safe materials and thoroughly tests its products (not on animals, of course). If you’re allergic to specific ingredients, read the ingredients to ensure the lipstick won’t break you out.
Best Vegan Lipstick: Bottom Line
More people are becoming vegan and this extends to makeup users. If you’re looking for vegan beauty products, I suggest starting with lipstick. Out of all of these products, I recommend the ELF Liquid Lipstick. Even though the shade range isn’t the most impressive, you get the most for your money when choosing this ELF lipstick. That and I’ve been using ELF products for years. They’re one of my favorite makeup brands, plus they’re so affordable!
I hope I was able to help you find a vegan lipstick you’ll love.