I’ve been looking for so long to find and wear reliable and genuine sustainable make-up brands.
Why sustainable makeup brands? Because I want to make sure I put the best available creams and lotions on my skin, while also protecting the environment.
And while beauty is a force for good, it relies on knowing where to look (shop) in order to unleash it.
Before I wrote this article, the number of so-called sustainable makeup brands out there left me overwhelmed or confused.
In order to help you avoid confusion, unnecessary expenses, and lost time, this article is for you.
Without further ado, these are the top 10 sustainable makeup brands of 2021 that I trust and wear every day.
10. HOURGLASS COSMETICS
Hourglass Cosmetics is the epitome of luxury in the ethical beauty space, for women and men.
Yes, you’ve heard it right, there’s makeup for men as well, as this beauty brand is a celebrity and makeup artist favorite.
Certainly due to their sophisticated packaging that resembles Chanel, to innovative ingredients and high-performing products.
The best part? Their love for our furry friends.
For one thing, Hourglass has been cruelty-free since its inception in 2004 and all vegan since 2020.
They actively donate 1% of all of their profits to the Non-Human Rights Project, an organization that works through education, legislation, and litigation to fight for basic animal rights.
Furthermore, their Eye-To-Eye Campaign aims to remind consumers that animals are exactly like us (in that they feel love, pain, and fear). Indeed, the campaign has been a game-changer in sparking consciousness online.
9. OKOKO COSMETIQUÉS
Okoko Cosmetiqués is a multi-award-winning conscious skincare brand established in Canada in 2016. For the most part, the company strives to break the stereotypes around the limitations of natural beauty.
The company owner, Oyéta Kokoroko, is the head formulator.
This means their unique formulations are clean and health-focused, giving the range a very personal feel.
Besides being cruelty-free, the range is partly vegan-friendly and entirely eco-friendly.
Not to mention, their packaging is biodegradable, and they only partner with fair-trade and ethical suppliers.
For example, their efforts within their immediate community include incentives with the Food Token program as well as the Betty Night Society.
This helps impoverished women with food coupons and complimentary facials.
Okoko continues to offer their time, support, and funds towards many collaborations like that.
Finally, they recently launched the Okoko Academy – a platform to empower and support beauty entrepreneurs from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
The Academy’s aim is to create opportunities and a positive impact within the beauty industry.
8. BELLA VIDA SANTA BARBARA
Bella Vida SB, meaning “beautiful life”, is another fairly young, conscious beauty brand that’s already making waves.
Their mission is to make women understand that “Beauty begins inside”.
Bella Vida is 100% vegan and certified Cruelty-Free by Leaping Beauty.
They recently signed a petition with approximately 300 other beauty companies to stand against animal testing practices in the US.
Their Zero Waste Refill Program rewards their consumers for refilling their original jars and bottles.
This results in customers receiving a 40-50% discount on full-priced items.
Additionally, they have a wellness store online.
There, they constantly add zero waste products to help their customers live a more sustainable lifestyle and simultaneously protect sea life from plastic pollution.
To sum up, their passion and ongoing collaborations with other companies to protect our oceans is nothing short of impressive.
You’ll find their products on various respected online stores and websites that strictly stock sustainable fashion and beauty.
7. THE BODY SHOP
The Body Shop has undoubtedly been a leader and a change-maker when it comes to ethical beauty.
In fact, their ground-breaking campaigns have enabled changes in legislation in key areas, such as animal testing, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
Furthermore, this conscious beauty brand was at the forefront of fair trade in the beauty industry.
They have 31 community trade suppliers in 23 countries.
In turn, this has created positive benefits for almost 13,000 people already.
Additionally, their ‘Enrich Not Exploit Commitment’ and ‘Community Trade’ programs create opportunities for the local community.
Perhaps one of the most impressive international cruelty-free campaigns – Forever Against Animal Testing– spans over 30 years of work with Cruelty-Free International.
Notably, in October 2019, the Body Shop took over 8 million signatures to United Nations HQ in New York, pleading a global ban on animal testing in cosmetics.
As seen, this brand didn’t just make history – they have transformed the ethical beauty landscape entirely.
6. URBAN DECAY
Urban Decay describes itself as a “bad-ass, cruelty-free, high-pigment makeup” brand.
Highly relatable and loved by makeup professionals, their primary focus is to increase self-confidence and drive creativity.
Also 100% vegan, their motto remains: “kindness over cruelty.” Besides being PETA and Leaping Bunny certified, they actively fight for a global ban on animal testing.
Interestingly, they showed true commitment to this cause back in 2012.
That’s when they were faced with an ethical dilemma.
Within just one month of a costly expansion into the Chinese market, they became aware this equaled contributing to compulsory animal testing.
They then decided to exit the Chinese market after only one month.
Their values were non-negotiable and took precedence over profits.
Furthermore, this brand also empowers women to tap into their unique beauty through their various projects.
Their latest campaign is all about breaking beauty standards to celebrate individuality.
In the hope of fighting for women’s rights globally and raise $3 million in 5 years, they launched The Ultraviolet Edge initiative in 2015.
So far, they’ve donated $1.28 million to this cause. On top of that, 100% of the profits from every Urban Decay Fix Eyeshadow Primer Potion (an international bestseller) go towards literacy programs and micro-loans for Ugandan women.
They also help abused women in NYC with legal rights.
Lush was one of the first companies to understand the importance of sustainable hair products as a way of minimizing pollution and packaging waste.
Nowadays, most of the company’s products are made from natural ingredients.
The packaging is also made only from recycled materials.
To top it up, you can take your empty bottles back to Lush stores and leave them there for recycling.
For every five pieces, you’ll get a free face mask.
All Prose sustainable hair products are made from organic ingredients, free from sulfates and GMOs.
Moreover, Prose is a Certified B Corporation, which means it complies with high environmental standards.
Finally, the label is a partner of the ‘One Tree Planted’ organization which reforests the planet by planting trees all over the world.
Aromatica is a Korean aromatherapy label that makes vegan and cruelty-free hair products for any hair type.
Apart from using unique natural fragrances and natural ingredients that nourish your hair and make your hair grow faster, the brand ensures that each product is EWG-verified.
What’s more, the company runs several sustainable programs designed to minimize energy consumption and waste.
2. Dirty Hippie Cosmetics
Hailing from Australia, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics handmade, organic, and sustainable hair products are excellent.
The brand is 100% cruelty-free and vegan-friendly purchasing ingredients only through fair trade channels.
If not possible, then they source locally or grow their own raw ingredients.
The lab uses collected rainwater and eco-friendly packaging.
Finally, the brand is involved in several charitable initiatives and projects such as raising awareness of suicide prevention, animal welfare, and cancer support.
Davines is a brand that promotes an environmentally friendly approach to the creation of sustainable hair products.
The label is famous for its innovative projects driven by an eco-friendly philosophy.
For example, the ‘I Sustain Beauty’ campaign urges all industry players to pay attention to the environmental issues caused by the use of chemicals and plastic.
Furthermore, the brand’s ‘Oi’ line – part of the ‘Zero Impact Project’ – contains active ingredients from Amazonian plants only, also critical for bleached hair care.
The rise of ‘green beauty,’ marketing has seen hundreds of sustainable brands rising overnight.
And that’s because people no longer just buy skincare and makeup anymore.
What matters is if and how these brands fulfill our aesthetic and ethical needs.
Thanks to social media transparency, buyers are increasingly aware of where their money goes.
They also know more about unnecessary animal testing and cruelty in the beauty industry.
Finally, natural makeup brands have started to show character and integrity, to stand out from the noise.
Thanks to sustainable beauty brands, we don’t need to compromise on our standards anymore.
And whilst there is still much work to do, you can be a force for good by being more conscious in your daily decisions.