The Best Cruelty Free Foundations for Guilt-Free Full Coverage
Foundations exist so you can cover up your acne, acne scars, redness, blemishes, discoloration, aging spots, and on and on. Foundation also creates a protective barrier between your skin and the external environment. It’s a part of many women’s daily beauty regimen.
As for the best cruelty free foundations, they’re a part of the makeup routine for women who do not support animal testing often a part of manufacturing cosmetics. So if you’re one of them, then you have a generous list of options to choose from.
Best Cruelty-Free Liquid Foundations
1. e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation
Consider this a secret weapon for achieving a flawless full coverage with SPF 25. The lightweight formula is consecrated with blemish-busting and acne-fighting salicylic acid, tea tree, and witch hazel. It also soothes and calms with ingredients like camphor and aloe.
And of course the brand e.l.f. is proud to be 100-percent cruelty-free and vegan.
2. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation
It’s a water-resistant foundation AND concealer, which means you combine two different steps of your beauty routine into one. The formula is rich and creamy yet lightweight for full coverage.
This cruelty-free beauty product you can incorporate into your daily beauty regimen and onto your skin quite seamlessly. About the latter, it creates a natural-looking silky-smooth finish.
3. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation
Even with oily or combination skin, you’re likely to appreciate this pigment-infused liquid foundation. Because it has a matte finish that absorbs excess sebum throughout the day.
Moreover, the full-coverage effect diffuses light for blurring acne, skin discoloration, blemishes, etc. And it’s transfer-resistant and waterproof. Not just cruelty-free, the foundation is also vegan and paraben-free.
4. Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation
Once again, enjoy natural-looking full coverage that feels ultra-light. This HD Liquid Foundation by Catrice mattifies your skin and covers imperfections to make your complexion look even and smooth for as long as 24 hours.
Catrice cosmetics are PETA-certified, that’s a given. It’s a very popular choice among women with oily and acne-prone skin.
5. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation
The highlight of the show, no doubt, is Amazonian Clay. Did you know that it offers cleansing and therapeutic properties? In beauty formulas like foundations, Amazonian Clay improves the visibility of large pores while also mattifying and purifying the skin.
So now you know how this full coverage foundation stands out from the rest. Also because it’s equipped with SPF 15 sun protection.
6. Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation
Always cruelty-free, Wet n Wild foundations are formulated for making your complexion look radiant above all else. Including this Photo Focus Foundation. With its light-diffusing, matte complex, the formula prevents the white cast appearance in photos.
The coverage is buildable, which is great because that way you get to decide what works best for you. Even gliding it on and blending it onto your skin is no difficult task.
7. Dermablend Flawless Creator Multi-Use Liquid Foundation
An oil-free, water-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, vegan, and of course cruelty-free liquid foundation like this is very rare to stumble upon. So if you have sensitive skin, then it might feel like you’ve just won the lottery.
The concentrated pigments in here are perfect for creating full yet lightweight coverage. If you ask me, it’s a foundation suitable for acne-prone skin as well.
8. EVXO Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation
This Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation, just so you know, is infused with gluten-free Vitamin E. So it repairs UV damage and boosts antioxidants gluten-free. Then there’s chamomile and thyme to soothe your skin. These are all organic certified natural ingredients that don’t clog pores.
And you’re sure to love the non-greasy, dewy finish as well with its medium-level buildable coverage.
9. Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation
Firstly, all Flower cosmetics are cruelty-free. Secondly, this one, in particular, is extra special because of its SPF-18 sun protection. And thirdly, I decided to shortlist it mainly because it’s a lightweight, breathable formula that blends onto the skin the most effortlessly.
No doubt, it’s a very hydrating liquid foundation with medium to full coverage for smoothing and perfecting your skin complexion.
10. NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation
This velvety-matte formula created by NYX Professional Makeup is proof that seamless full coverage is only drops away. Color-correction is the primary goal of every foundation, concealer, bronzer, setting spray, etc. formulated by the brand, which is PETA-certified cruelty-free.
It has a watery texture without the oily, greasy, or sticky feel that most liquid foundations compel you to deal with by the end of the day.
11. Covergirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation
If large pores and/or oily skin are your main concerns, then don’t think twice before purchasing this soft matte liquid foundation by Covergirl. Its mattifying powders, unquestionably, absorb excess sebum while also reducing the visibility of enlarged pores.
The brand is Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. And it offers as many as 40 different shades for you to choose from. Each shade is developed using Flexi-Hold technology for creating a flexible, strong film on your skin to make it look smooth with a matte finish for almost 12 hours.
Best Cruelty-Free Powder Foundations
1. NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation
This is the brand’s very popular pressed powder foundation that women love for its lightweight and buildable coverage. All you have to do is sweep it lightly over your face using a powder brush or else the sponge that’s included for fuller coverage.
As for what it does, the powder works in the case of very oily skin to keep all that shine under control with natural-looking matte coverage.
2. e.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Loose Powder
Just like NYX Professional Makeup, even e.l.f offers cruelty-free liquid and powder foundations. This is the brand’s HD loose powder formula that creates a long-lasting soft-focus effect. It seamlessly masks fine lines and wrinkles with its radiant, sheer finish.
Many women use it as setting powder. After all, it is very finely milled, buttery, and and smooth.
3. Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation
Now how about a talc-free powder mineral foundation for creating a lightweight matte finish? Why talc-free you might wonder? Because this chemical ingredient triggers allergies and is known as a potent carcinogen.
As for what’s included, there’s Kaolin Clay and phytosphingosine. The former absorbs excess sebum, blurs the visibility of pores, and reduces shine. And phytosphingosine is a natural component for calming redness and replenishing the natural barrier of your skin.
4. Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder
Curelty-free and also vegan, this setting powder has a non-drying, super-silky texture. It’s formulated using Micro-Blurring technology to diffuse your pores softly for creating a natural-looking velvety-matte finish.
The best part about this foundation is that it’s a translucent setting powder that mattifies your makeup undetectably.
5. Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation
Without the shadow of a doubt, this powder foundation by Smashbox conceals a lot, including stubborn fine lines and wrinkles. All thanks to the brand’s exclusive Light Filter technology that consists of transparent particles that diffuse light to blur those imperfections.
It’s an oil-free, non-settling, non-caking, and non-drying powder foundation with translucent particles for allowing the true color of the pigment to come through.
Best Cruelty-Free Serum Foundations
1. bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation
If hydrating your skin is as important as achieving flawless coverage, then turn your attention to serum foundations such as this one by the cruelty-free brand bareMinerals, which also doesn’t use parabens, fragrances, silicone, and oil.
On top of that, the foundation is clinically proven to color-correct and brighten your skin tone. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and infused with broad-spectrum SPF-20 sun protection.
2. Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation
Serum is all about skin hydration, protection, and repair. So why would Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker be any different! It’s simply amazing how well this serum foundation hydrates dry patches, corrects wrinkles and fine lines, and strengthens and balances the skin.
The brand has a conscience; the proof of which is their line of cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics that also don’t contain any parabens, gluten, artificial fragrances, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, and the like.
Best Cruelty-Free Stick Foundations
1. e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation
Once again, e.l.f. makes an appearance, but with their cruelty-free, vegan stick foundation this time. So if you’re always on the go and have oily skin, you’re most likely to benefit from the ease of use and slightly drier texture of such stick makeup essentials.
It’s an oil-free, lightweight formula that creates a long-lasting semi-matte finish with a layer of SPF-15 sun protection.
2. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Stick Foundation
Ever heard of the phrase the best of both worlds? What about the best of three? While the latter may not be a phrase, its meaning is well understood in the case of this stick foundation that offers concealer coverage, liquid foundation fluidity, and powder foundation weightlessness.
The pigment concentration is perfect for maximizing coverage to conceal skin discoloration and create a seamless finish.
3. Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick
Smashbox always adds the versatility factor to its every formulation, be it in the form of the oil-free, non-drying powder foundation I reviewed earlier or this double-ended foundation stick, which consists of foundation and a soft contour shade.
The soft contour shade, on the other end of the stick, allows you to add dimension in a matter of just a few seconds. And, no doubt, the foundation part feels velvety smooth.
Best Cruelty-Free Cream Foundations
1. Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation
Cream foundations are the most suitable for dry skin, much like Total Cover by Cover FX. It’s got ingredients that keep your skin moiturized for longer. In this case, those ingredients are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin F, squalene, and phytosphingosine.
Let me also bring to your attention that this oil-free cream foundation is a concealer too. So expect nothing short of full coverage, and also powerful antioxidant protection with the inclusion of so many vitamins.
2. e.l.f. Cosmetics HD Mattifying Cream Foundation
e.l.f. has come up in the liquid foundation, powder foundation, and stick foundation categories, so why wouldn’t this PETA-certified cruelty-free brand make an appearance here too.
Its HD Mattifying Cream Foundation delivers a smooth, long-wear matte finish perfect for not just dry skin but also oily skin and even sensitive skin. After all, it’s a creamy, easy-to-blend formula that surely doesn’t crease and flake or contain parabens, phthalates, triclosan, etc.
Why Choose A Cruelty-Free Foundation
The term cruelty-free means that the product has not been tested on animals. The truth of the matter is that animal testing is not only unnecessary but also inhumane. In fact, many animals even die because brands continue to subject bunnies, rats, etc. to suffering and pain. After all, testing product toxicity on animals does indeed violate their rights.
And a foundation is something that millions and millions of women use on a daily basis. So imagine the amount of suffering caused because of this daily beauty staple.
That said, how about making your skin look good, the guilt-free way? Especially when there are so many cruelty-free and vegan foundations out there, even face primers as a matter of fact to prep your skin for the foundation.
How to Know If the Foundation Is Cruelty-Free
So what makes the foundation cruelty-free? The fact that no animals were used during the manufacturing process. This includes the company or brand not purchasing raw materials or equipment from suppliers that have performed any kind of animal testing. Even the finished product is not tested on animals.
At the same time, you know the foundation is cruelty-free when the manufacturer doesn’t sell its products in a market where it’s mandatory by law to perform animal testing (for example, China).
There are three legit organizations that hand out cruelty-free certifications to cosmetic brands. This includes PETA, Choose Cruelty Free, and Leaping Bunny. And each has a bunny logo. So you can look for a bunny logo on your foundation packaging just to be sure.
Needless to say, many brands falsely claim that their products are cruelty-free. So make it a point to double-check and be a smart or savvy consumer.Also, let me tell you that vegan is not the same as cruelty-free. In the case of the former, it means zero animal by-products are involved. And cruelty-free implies that the end product is not tested on animals. So cruelty-free may or may not be vegan, and vegan may or may not be cruelty-free.
What Factors Matter the Most When Choosing A Cruelty-Free Foundation
You want your foundation to suit your skin type, skin tone, and skin concerns, right? Be it cruelty-free or not!
So don’t forget to take the following factors into account during the buying process if you want to avoid problems like jawline streaks or the foundation caking into your wrinkles and fine lines.
Your Skin Tone
There’s your skin color on the surface and then its undertones.
- Cool skin color consists of blue, red, or pink undertones.
- Warm skin color consists of golden, peachy, or yellow undertones.
- Neutral skin color consists of a blend of cool and warm undertones.
Just have a look at the lighter part of your wrist, where the veins are visible. That is your natural skin undertone. And you should pick a foundation based on that color.
Are the veins deep purple or bluish? If yes, then your skin color is cool. If your greenish veins, then it’s warm. But if you can’t really decide the color of your veins, then your skin color is more neutral.
Along the same lines, does your skin tan easily? If so, then you have either neutral or warm undertones. On the other hand, if your skin burns easily, then it’s more likely that your undertones are cooler.
Your Skin Type
As you might already know, there is liquid foundation and powder foundation. The former includes pastes, creams, and mousses. And powder is any form that is dry. Most women choose either liquid or powder. But there are a few who apply both.
Now for choosing a foundation based on your skin type, go for matte formulas (i.e. powder) if you have oily skin. And those with dry skin should choose foundations that offer a dewy finish (i.e. liquid).
As for choosing a foundation based on coverage, there’s sheer, medium, and heavy coverage. Needless to say, sheer or light coverage offers the best natural-looking appearance. It’s the go-to no-makeup look if you ask me.
Moving on to medium coverage foundations, these formulas are perfect for concealing blemishes the most naturally. And then there’s heavy or thick coverage for covering dark spots, blemishes, etc. along with smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines.
There’s no denying that cruelty-free cosmetics are becoming more and more popular these days. The demand keeps growing, therefore so does the supply. In that context, many beauty brands are now manufacturing cruelty-free and even vegan products for beauty enthusiasts with a conscience. And that too without increasing the cost and decreasing the quality.
Foundation, be it cruelty-free or not, is supposed to conceal your spots, scars, and discoloration to clear and balance out your complexion. After all, it’s responsible for smoothing out the surface and appearance of your skin, thus creating the perfect canvas all day long.
So it feels good to know that there are plenty of renowned brands responsible for the creation of such effective formulas without even testing them on animals.