12 Vegan Makeup Brands We Rate

By Tamara Corin | 18th April 2023
vegan beauty

Long gone are the days when vegan makeup meant chalky formulas, limited colour shades and a capsule collection of basic products. Today, vegan beauty delivers serious pigment, skincare benefits, long wear, and incredible shades that rival, and often punch higher than regular makeup brands without containing animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients or testing on animals, so you can proudly wear your makeup guilt-free.

These are the vegan beauty brands we rate…

Jillian Dempsey

jillian dempsey - vegan beauty

Founder Jillian Dempsey is a celebrated makeup artist, entrepreneur and animal activist known for her innovative approaches to beauty and for creating makeup looks on a host of A-listers. Best known for her tightly edited, effortless and most of all, high performing collection of makeup products. Side note: she’s also lucky enough to be married to the hunky actor Patrick Dempsey.

Must-try product: Cheek Tint, £26.50 – a cream blush that glide on cheeks, blend easily and deliver lasting colour. It looks equally great on lips and lids, and the pot seems to last forever.

Hourglass Cosmetics

Famed for its beautiful textures, ultra-soft make up brushes and refillable lipsticks, Hourglass has luxury written all over it. Blending ground-breaking active ingredients with innovative technology, the products make for beautiful skin and sophisticated makeup looks – and the sleek, chic packaging is just another reason it’s in every beauty editor’s makeup arsenal.

Must-try product: Arch Brow Micro Sculpting Pencil, £35 – a dual-ended pencil that gives brows teeny hair-like strokes to create an incredible natural finish. This slanted pencil and soft powdery texture makes an often-fiddly task into easy work. Plus, it comes in nine versatile shades to suit all hair colours.

Tower 28

Named after a Californian lifeguard tower, this playful makeup line is all about getting your glow on. Boasting flexible, skin-like finishes and non-irritating, vegan ingredients, you can guarantee these dew-delivering formulas to bring that California sun-kissed vibe.

Must-try product: SuperDew Highlighter Balm, £19 – wear as a highlighter, an eye base for extra gloss or smear on lips for added sheen. This clear, iridescent creamy balm creates a healthy enviable glow with just one product. It works well when mixed with other colour products and changes anything matte into a super glowy finish. We’re obsessed!


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Merit Makeup

This makeup brand may have only launched last year, but it’s fast become a best-seller mainly because all the products come in stick form, making them ideal for on-the-go application and creating a 5-minute face using products that are safe for body, skin, and the planet. With only 10 products, Merit boasts a small but mighty collection.

Must-try product: The Minimalist Stick, £40. With a wait list of 10,000 in the US and in the weeks of their UK launch they were selling one product every 17 seconds online. This foundation concealer hybrid stick is lightweight, buildable and gives the perfect no makeup makeup look to skin.

 MILK Makeup

Born at Milk Studios in NYC, this collection of high-performance, good-to-skin formulas, is a game changer for on-the-move makeup. Their fuss-free sticks have celebs like Hailey Bieber obsessed. It’s no-nonsense beauty that delivers with a vast colour range that suits all skin tones. Their most recent launch sees some of their makeup downscale to mini versions of the best-selling bronzers and sculpting sticks, making the products teeny enough to keep in your pocket.

Must-try product: Matte Bronzer, £22 – this creamy blendable bronzing stick gives skin a swipe of colour in seconds. Simply draw on cheeks, forehead, bridge of nose and a dot on your chin, rub in colour with your hands and voila you’re tanned, sun-kissed and ready to go. It’s so easy and fool proof there’s no need to even use a mirror.

Rose Inc

When a supermodel launches a multipurpose makeup and skincare brand we sit up and take notice. This collection from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley creates very natural looks using high-performing products in wearable shades finished off in beautiful understated tactile packaging with each product ethically and sustainably made with bioengineered botanicals and natural ingredients.

Must-try product: Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum, £36 – not just a clever flaw-perfecting tinted moisturiser (encapsulated pigments that burst in contact with the skin), but the formula is as efficacious as many great skincare products, packed with anti-ageing peptides and smoothing hyaluronic acid. Your skin literally glows.

Rare Beauty

If you’re active on TikTok you’ll be very much familiar with this trending makeup brand by Selena Gomez whose aim was to break down the unrealistic standards of perfection through makeup, and to make you feel good and encourage everyone to be playful, experiment with colour and embrace their individuality.

Must-try product: Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, £22 – this weightless blush adds a flush of colour to cheeks that blends effortlessly and is buildable depending on how strong you want your look. It’s so popular and so good, it sells out almost as soon as it’s replenished.

Kosas Beauty

Brand new to the UK, this botanical-rich, clean makeup line was founded by LA makeup artist Sheena Yaitanes and has a vast spectrum of skin-flattering highly pigmented products made specifically to suit all skin tones. The collection prides itself on being clinically proven to make skin better, even when bare and to bring skincare benefits to its entire colour collection. With celebrity fans that include Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Hailey Bieber to name a few, who are we to argue?

Must-try product: Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer, £26 – with the most incredible choice of shades, this medium coverage formula laced with a cocktail of skin-loving nutrients, hides signs of tiredness, blurs blemishes and brightens dark circles every time.

Patrick Ta

Regarded as one of the most esteemed make-up artists in the world right now, Patrick Ta is known for bestowing celebrities with the dewiest of make-up looks and for being responsible for many red carpet looks. He’s been on a mission since 2019 to make every woman feel confident and beautiful in their own skin with playful female-empowering product names and a collection of makeup to make every woman quite literally shine.

Must-try product: Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette, £62 – Gigi, Bella and Kendall are all supposedly big fans of this 12-shade versatile palette that contains luminous cream bases to velvety mattes, iridescent metallics and glistening pearl toppers. There’s a shade and texture for every mood.


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ILIA believes in skin that looks like skin and enhancing your natural radiance. With innovative formulations and wearable and flattering colour, this brand has created clean beauty products that revive skin with multi-use, on-the-go products that build the perfect everyday makeup essentials.

Must-try product: Limitless Lash Mascara, £30 – this award-winning formula lifts, lengthens, holds curl, and separates with precision with a dual-sided brush that catches and separates every lash. A great choice for natural everyday eyes.


This clean beauty brand has a fast-growing fan base. It’s a capsule collection of makeup that really delivers from heavenly highlighters, gleam-giving balms, and lip-nourishing glosses in wearable shades. A prime example of efficacy and ethics uniting to give great looking skin and beautiful makeup looks.

Must-try product: Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer, £26 – this creamy bronzer (that comes in four shades) boasts a natural velvety finish that is blendable, buildable yet leaves skin looking naturally sun-kissed. Swipe on forehead and bridge of nose for a believable post-holiday flush.


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e.l.f Cosmetics

Not convinced that vegan beauty will rock your boat? This affordable makeup brand is a great starting point to trial trends and products without breaking the bank. With a huge range of makeup, skincare and an array of shades that caters for both minimalists as well as beauty junkies with a conscience.

Must-try product: Halo Glow Liquid Filter, £14 – this glow booster creates a skin-enhancing soft-focus effect for effortless radiance. Consider this your Instagram filter in a bottle!

Shop our favourite vegan beauty products

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.

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