If you’re currently looking for the best cruelty free foundation you can get your hands on at this very moment, be sure to consider a few important things first before going ahead with your decision: the type of foundation, your skin type, the type of finish, and the SPF factor. I have the best of my favorites listed and reviewed below with these factors deep in mind. If you’re ready to find out what made it into my list of the best cruelty-free foundations, don’t be shy and read along!
Over the years, I – along with many others – have been more conscious of the personal care products, both skincare and makeup alike, I put on myself. I’ve recently gone natural and organic on my skincare and hair care products. And recently, I’ve been thinking of also going completely cruelty-free. Nowadays, it’s not only important that we are critical of the quality of the product but also the ethics behind the products.
It’s also of major importance now – at least for me – that not only would the product offer me the best results but they are cruelty-free and that the company doesn’t test on animals at any stage. It’s 2021 and beauty companies and brands that still test their products on animals need some waking up to do. There are now ways to test products without doing it on animals. If some companies are able to produce cruelty-free products, it’s high-time all companies realize their responsibility of not harming animals for the sake of beauty.
If you want to find out what my current favorites are when it comes to cruelty-free foundation, get ready as we dive in below!
What is Cruelty-Free?
Before we dive into our list of favorites, let’s first get into Cruelty-Free 101 to get a better understanding of what it means for products to be labeled ‘cruelty-free’.
A brand is cruelty-free if they don’t test their products on animals at any point of the production. This also means their suppliers don’t test their products or ingredients on animals. No third parties are allowed to test any of the finished products or ingredients on their behalf. In order to be considered cruelty-free, brands must not sell their product in markets wherein laws require animal testing before allowing them to sell, unless they are able to bypass said test like only selling them online and not in physical stores.
Take note of the last one as many brands may claim to be cruelty-free yet allow markets they enter into to conduct animal testing before letting them sell. If they allow third-party markets to test their products on animals before entering the market, then they are not cruelty-free.
Cruelty-Free vs Vegan
The terms cruelty-free and vegan can often cause confusion but they are not the same at all. Classifying a product as vegan means that it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Cruelty-free products as we’ve mentioned above, means that at no stage was the product tested on animals.
Cruelty-free products may be vegan while some are not. Vegan products may be cruelty-free while some are not. A product being cruelty-free does not entail it being vegan as well and vice versa. If you want both in your products, be sure to look for adequate assuring information.
Why Go Cruelty-Free?
If you’re still on the fence as to whether or not you should switch to cruelty-free products, we’re here to tell you all the reasons why you should.
Obviously, animal testing is cruel. And brands choosing to test on animals mean they choose to be cruel on animals. Animal testing isn’t necessary and there are far more better alternatives to test a product’s effectivity than letting a poor animal suffer. If some and many brands are able to switch to the alternative, why can’t the remaining brands do the same? Animal testing is also illegeal in some countries like Switzerand, South Korea, New Zealand, and the European Union.
Cruelty-free products are generally healthier and contain no toxic ingredients. Finally, going cruelty-free gives you peace of mind while allowing you to look your best. There’s nothing better than achieving your best looks while feeling good as you do it!
Our Top Picks for the Best Cruelty-Free Foundations
|Product Image||Product Name||Price|
|Our Pick||Dermablend Cover Creme Foundation||Check Price|
|Best Organic Formula||Au Naturale Zero Gravity C2P Foundation||Check Price|
|Best for Natural Coverage||CoverGirl Clean Simply Powder Foundation||Check Price|
|Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer||Check Price|
|Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation||Check Price|
The Best Cruelty-Free Foundation
1. Dermablend Cover Creme Foundation – Our Pick!
Our top pick for the best cruelty-free foundation is the Dermablend Cover Creme Foundation! This is a super blendable cream foundation that has been PETA-certified as cruelty-free so you can have peace of mind every time you apply this as your foundation. The brand’s highest coverage foundation yet, you can trust this cream foundation to give you high-performance pigments to effectively cover up a variety of skin conditions like scars, burns, hyperpigmentation, even lupus or vitiligo.
The Dermablend Cover Creme Foundations offers its users a velvety finish on top of its amazing full coverage for covering skin imperfections. This has also been formulated with mineral sunscreen of broad spectrum SPF30 so you also get enough sun protection while achieving flawless makeup for every day or for special occasions. This offers up to 16 hours of smudge and transfer-resistant wear – you won’t have to worry no matter how long you need to be wearing it.
On top of being a cruelty-free foundation, this Dermablend foundation has also been formulated to be non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. It has no fragrance, phthalates, or animal-derived ingredients in its formula and has been allergy and sensitive-skin tested assuring you of its safety for use even on sensitive skin.
With this foundation in your makeup routine, you can rest assured that this helps strengthen and repair the skin’s surface barrier – you don’t only get flawless skin on the surface with a foundation but your skin underneath is also taken care of. It has an all-day hydrating formula that keeps your skin from feeling dry or thirsty.
The creamy texture of the foundation glides evenly on skin and doesn’t feel heavy and is never cakey. It instead feels soft on skin with a natural and velvety smooth finish. The foundation comes with a mini spatula to help you scoop out the amount of product you need. It’s currently available in 21 shades to suit any skin tone. A quick reminder that the consistency and application might take some getting used to, especially if you’re new to cream foundations. This can also transfer or smudge if not set properly so remember to do just that after application.
- PETA-certified cruelty-free
- Full coverage foundation with velvety finish
- Broad spectrum SPF30
- Available in 21 shades
- 16 hours of smudge and transfer-resistant wear
- Non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, allergy-tested
- No fragrance, phthalates, animal-derived ingredients
- Sensitive-skin friendly
- Strengthens and repairs skin’s barrier
- All-day hydrating formula
- Not heavy or cakey
- Consistency can take some getting used to
- Can smudge or transfer if not set properly
2. Au Naturale Zero Gravity C2P Foundation – Best Organic Formula!
The next item on our list of the best cruelty-free foundations and our pick for the best organic formula is the Au Naturale Zero Gravity C2P Foundation! If what you’re looking for is a foundation that’s not only cruelty-free but is also 100% organic and natural, you might want to check this one out. This is both cruelty-free and vegan with ethically and sustainably-sourced ingredients so you’re sure you only get the best of the best whenever you put on your makeup.
A cream to powder (C2P) foundation, this Au Naturale goes on like the consistency of a cream foundation but finishes like a weightless powder. It gives you the same nourishment as a cream foundation but the soft touch and finish of a powder. The foundation stick has a blendable and buildable medium coverage with a natural finish. This allows you to achieve a natural-looking finish while effectively concealing blemishes, pores, and skin imperfections every time you use it as part of your makeup routine.
Infused with meadowfoam seed oil, it locks in moisture in your skin as the formula penetrates deep into your skin. It also keeps your skin balanced – not too oily and not too dry. It also has special ECOCERT blurring pigments that instantly smooths out the skin’s complexion for a soft-focus effect. The formula has no synthetic preservatives, nanoparticles, gluten, parabens, fullers, dyes, or toxin infused so you are sure you only get the best and safest ingredients for your skin.
With this Au Naturale stick foundation, you are able to achieve a healthy and beautiful glow that is neither cakey nor shiny. It also has a long-lasting power and wouldn’t make you greasy at the end of the day. This is currently available in a variety of 15 buildable shades you can choose from to fit your skin tone. Just keep in mind that because this is a stick foundation, application can take some practice and some getting used to as the consistency can be a bit thick as well.
- Best organic formula
- 100% natural and organic formula
- Cruelty-free and vegan formula
- Ethically and sustainably derived ingredients
- Has the nourishment from cream but finish of a powder
- Natural finish
- Available in 15 shades
- Locks in moisture
- Balances skin’s oiliness and dryness
- No parabens, preservatives, dyes, or toxins
- Not cakey or shiny
- All-day wear
- Application might take some practice
- Consistency can be thick
3. CoverGirl Clean Simply Powder Foundation – Best for Natural Coverage!
Our next favorite cruelty-free foundation and our number one choice for the best natural coverage is the CoverGirl Clean Simply Powder Foundation! If what you’re looking for is a powder foundation that feels light on skin and looks natural, you might be in for a ride with this one. A two-in-one powder foundation, this effectively covers blemishes and skin imperfections like a liquid foundation but feels and finishes like powder on skin. It allows you to achieve a smoother and flawless finish and makeup base so the rest of your makeup goes on much seamlessly.
This CoverGirl powder foundation has a very lightweight formula to the point that it feels like you’re not wearing any makeup. Though a very lightweight formula, this covers extremely well and your skin appears flawless with every use. This is also an ideal choice for days when you don’t feel like wearing heavy formulas of foundation but still want coverage and a smooth finish. It’s amazing for providing a ‘your skin but better’ finish. The foundation has some staying power to it for a few hours though you might need to reapply throughout the day.
The lightweight CoverGirl foundation offers a soft-matte finish and helps tone down shine and oil, an especially great feature for those with oily skin. This is easily blendable without being chalky or cakey so you can conveniently reapply throughout the day. This is also a great option for someone who’s always on the go and needs something that takes no time at all to cover and apply anytime during the day. This is currently available in 6 shades which some might find to be a bit limited.
The powder foundation is proudly Leaping Bunny Certified by Cruelty-Free International. This has also been dermatologist-tested and is hypoallergenic so it certainly wouldn’t cause irritation and adverse skin reactions. The non-acnegenic formula promises it wouldn’t clog pores so you don’t need to worry about that at all. With this in your hands and bag every time you want to apply your foundation in one go, you are sure you only get the best quality and performance.
- Ideal for natural coverage
- Covers like liquid foundation but finishes like powder
- Lightweight formula
- Feels nothing on skin
- Covers blemishes well
- Your skin but better
- Has some staying power
- Soft-matte finish
- Helps control oil and shine
- Blendable and not chalky or cakey
- Dermatologist-tested, non-acnegenic
- Limited shade range
- Might have to reapply throughout the day
4. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
The next item that made it into our list of the best cruelty-free foundations is the Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer! A 2-in-1 foundation + concealer, you can trust this to effectively cover skin blemishes and imperfections like dark under eye circles, dark spots, and redness with just one skin-perfecting step. It also boasts of its all day staying power that is also water and sweat proof so you can leave all your worries behind!
The Milani liquid foundation has a buildable formula, allowing you to apply layer on layer without it ending up cakey or giving you a creasing finish. This has a rich and creamy formula that promises to apply evenly on skin while providing full coverage that still remains lightweight on skin. The formula and consistency allows you to only use a little amount – 1 to 2 pumps, really – and you are sure it will cover skin well. The is also very gentle on sensitive skin and has a hydrating formula, so if that matters to you, no need to worry about it with this one.
The 2-in-1 cruelty-free liquid foundation offers a natural matte finish and has an oil-free formula, another good option for those with oily skin. This helps mattify oily skin and control shine while offering a long-wearing formula so you look flawless throughout the day. Though if you have dry skin, keep in mind that this can accentuate dry spots if you don’t moisturize properly beforehand. It’s currently available in a variety of 45 shades you can freely choose from to match our skin tone.
One downside users have shared regarding the product is that it could be better with a pump, as it currently has a stick to get the product out. Some users have found this way to be messy as the foundation can often end up with clumps. But other than that downside, the value and coverage you can get from this Milani liquid foundation totally outweighs that.
- Foundation + concealer
- Effectively covers blemishes and skin imperfections
- All-day staying power
- Lightweight formula
- Available in 45 shades
- A little goes a long way
- Natural matte finish
- Oil-free, water and sweat proof
- Mattifies oily skin
- Gentle and hydrating
- Buildable without looking cakey
- Could be better with a pump
- Might accentuate dry patches
5. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation
The Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation is next on our favorite cruelty-free foundations and is the last item to be included in our list! This liquid foundation offers its users full coverage to effectively cover up blemishes, dark spots, redness, and skin imperfections. You can also trust this one to smooth over the appearance of pores and fine lines, making them less visible. This boasts of a 12-hour wear yet feels lightweight so it essentially feels nothing on skin no matter how long you choose to wear it.
The Tarte liquid foundation is formulated oil-free and has a natural matte finish. The formula also offers oil-control without dryness as a sacrifice. This is a great choice for those with oily or combination skin as the Amazonian clay in its formula effectively balances skin and keeps it balanced throughout the day. It has a buildable formula that doesn’t appear cakey no matter how many layers you choose to apply. Every time you use this foundation as part of your makeup routine, you are promised life back into your skin!
On top of being proudly cruelty-free, the Amazonian clay foundation from Tarte is also vegan, so if that is something important to you as well, you might want to consider this one. It has been dermatologist-tested and has been formulated without parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and gluten, so you are sure you only get the best formula and ingredients with this. This has been infused with broad spectrum SPF15 so can rest assured you are also well-protected on top of achieving a flawless and smooth finish.
The Tarte liquid foundation is currently available in 40 shades you can conveniently choose from to fit your skin tone. A quick reminder that if you have dry skin, you might want to stay away from this one as this can be drying or appear cakey on you. You can opt to choose something else from our list. The triple-whipped mousse texture of the foundation can also be thick and might be new for some users.
- Full coverage for 12-hours wear
- Available in 40 shades
- Lightweight formula
- Smooths over pores and fine lines
- Covers blemishes and imperfections
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- Oil-free and natural matte finish
- Ideal for combination skin as it balances
- Oil-control without dryness
- Buildable formula without being cakey
- A bit pricey
- Not for dry skin
- Consistency can be thick
How to Know if a Product is Cruelty-Free
Any brand or product can claim to be cruelty-free without any legal repercussions, that is why it’s important that as consumers, we take it into our hands to research and gather information whether or not a brand is truly cruelty-free as it claims to be.
Trusted cruelty-free organizations Cruelty Free International, PETA, and Leaping Bunny have in their websites a list of brands that are certified cruelty-free. You can always check those shopping guides out to make sure that what you are buying is indeed cruelty-free and has met the organization’s standards.
Aside from the official organizations, you can also turn to other sites and cruelty-free references like Cruelty Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant to make sure that the brand is cruelty-free. They also provide cruelty-free shopping lists and guides.
The last thing you can always do to know if a brand or product is cruelty-free is to message or email and ask the brand itself. Most brands would reply to these inquiries and explain whether or not they are cruelty-free.
How to Choose the Best Cruelty-Free Foundation
With so many options available to us in a single click, it can be confusing to determine which of these can offer our skin the best benefits and results – that’s why it’s important that you are aware of some important factors to consider before finalizing your choice.
Type of foundation
The first thing you’d want to consider in your new cruelty-free foundation is the type. When it comes to foundations, you usually encounter 4 different types – liquid, stick, powder, and cream.
Liquid foundations often provide the most coverage of the different types and are good for all skin types. Stick foundations, as the name suggests, come in the form of a stick. The stick form is very easy to use and effectively covers blemishes. Powder foundations are a favorite go-to by those always on the go as it’s convenient, quick, and easy to apply. Powder foundations are best used on oily skin. Cream foundations are often dewy and creamy, with all skin types able to use the specific type.
Make sure to ask yourself what your preference is when it comes to the types of foundation.
The next thing you would want to consider in looking for your new cruelty-free foundation is your skin type. You have to always keep in mind that not all foundations will work the same with every skin type. Some products are formulated for oily skin, dry skin, or combination skin. Some are also especially formulated for sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. Make sure you get something that will benefit your skin type.
When it comes to foundations, the type of finish is a very important factor to consider. You usually get matte, natural, or dewy when it comes to the type of finish. Those who have oily skin will benefit from having a foundation with a matte finish as this can control oil and shine. Dewy finish foundations are a good choice for those with naturally dry skin as this can provide moisture and hydration. Natural finish foundations can be used by any skin type, and it’s all up to personal preference.
The last important factor you should be considering in foundations is whether or not it has SPF. Not all foundations have SPF-infused formulas, but if you want to ensure you are protected from the sun every time you do your makeup routine, get a foundation that has SPF. Whether or not a foundation has SPF isn’t much of a deal breaker for most people as you can always apply a layer of your favorite sunscreen before applying your makeup to ensure adequate sun protection.
Our top pick for the best cruelty-free foundation is the Dermablend Cover Creme Foundation as it offers full coverage foundation and an impressive all-day wear! It has a broad spectrum SPF30 for an additional layer of sun protection. If what you’re looking for is an organic foundation formula on top of being cruelty-free, you might want to check out Au Naturale Zero Gravity C2P Foundation! This has a 100% organic formula and balances the skin’s oiliness and dryness. The CoverGirl Clean Simply Powder Foundation is our pick for the best cruelty-free foundation with the best natural coverage! If what you’re looking for is a foundation that offers a lightweight feel and a natural coverage for people always on the go, you might want to check this one out.
Cruelty-free is all the rage right now – as it should be – and makeup users are becoming more and more aware of the role they could play in terms of encouraging brands to go completely cruelty-free. Here’s to a more sustainable and ethical makeup shopping experience!