Do you have mornings when you’re in too much of a rush to be bothered to put on a full face of makeup?
This happens to me a lot. So much so that I learned I can get away with using 3 makeup products for a neat and fresh-looking face. A BB cream or powder foundation, a sheered down moisturizing lippie, and an eye-defining eyeliner!
Even if you’re going for a glam look, eyeliner is that special something that can tie up the whole look together. Whether you like doing it winged, cat-eye, fox-eye, tightlined, or graphic, there’s something important you should consider. Cruelty-free and vegan eyeliners.
Okay, hear me out. It may seem like I’m limiting your options by suggesting cruelty-free and vegan. But as years pass, more companies are realizing the benefit of going cruelty-free and vegan. You’ll be amazed to find how large a selection is available for makeup products that are vegan and cruelty-free.
Join me in this post as I list some of the best cruelty-free and vegan eyeliners available in the market. Before that, we’ll look at what makes a product cruelty-free and why you should opt for them.
Ready, natural beauty Queen? Read on!
What Makes a Product Cruelty-free?
The world of cruelty-free products might seem daunting at first. This was true for me when I first ventured to cruelty-free products. One product may claim it’s cruelty-free when in reality, it’s not. The tangled web of marketing, misinformation, and info overload can dishearten anyone. Even a person with a good intent in going cruelty-free.
Not to worry!
I’ve been through that whole mess. I wouldn’t want you wading through all the info strewn about the net as I did. So here’s a quick rundown for you to better understand what makes a product cruelty-free.
What is Cruelty-Free?
Cruelty-free is a label attached to products that “do not harm animals.” You’ll often see this accompanied by or used instead of “not tested on animals.” Products with those labels can quickly become appealing as the “better choice.”
But the problem with both labels is that, as the US FDA states: there are no legal definitions for them. No government agency in the world regulates these terms whatsoever. There are no standards in using these terms.
So, Cruelty-free and Not Tested in Animals can mean whatever a company wants it to mean. You’d think those two terms are as straightforward as they get. But in the hands of a company with no commitment to doing what’s right, these labels become a powerful tool of deceit.
As the FDA explains, for some companies,
- “Cruelty-free” may only apply to their finished products. Meaning they didn’t test the final product on animals. But there’s no assurance that the same goes for the ingredients.
- Companies may rely on suppliers to perform the necessary animal testing. All this to ensure product or ingredient safety. Technically, they’re not the ones performing the tests. And they can still get away with the “Cruelty-free” label that way.
- Other cosmetic companies rely on combinations of non-animal harming methods. The combination is made up of scientific literature, non-animal testing, raw material safety testing, or controlled human-use testing. All this to make sure their product is safe.
- It is a reality that many raw materials, used in cosmetics, were tested on animals years ago. This happened when they were first introduced. So a cosmetic manufacturer might only use those raw materials. They can then base their "cruelty-free" claims on the fact that the materials or products are not "currently" tested on animals.
So from here, you can see that a label and some logo is not enough to be sure a product is cruelty-free.
With no definite usage for the term, how can we know whether a product is cruelty-free or not? What standard should we hold companies to? At this point, being a conscientious consumer becomes tricky.
Fortunately for us, there exists organizations that can help with this dilemma.
CCIC’s Leaping Bunny Program
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics was formed by 8 national animal protection groups. They promote a single comprehensive standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo. CCIC work with companies to make shopping for animal-friendly products easier for consumers.
Through CCIC’s Leaping Bunny Program, consumers are assured of a product's cruelty-free claim. Those in CCIC's program have met the most rigorous cruelty-free standards. Upon joining the program, companies sign a pledge to not test on animals during any stage of product development. Suppliers of ingredients for the company make the same pledge. The result is an entire product free of animal testing.
That’s not all. To ensure companies are going by their pledge, the program commissions on-site audits. Through these audits, the program investigates companies. They make sure claims of “no animal testing” is followed as a manufacturing policy.
So when you’re about to buy a product, check whether the company making it is part of the program.
PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies
PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies is another resource for consumers to make conscientious decisions. It is not as internationally recognized as CCIC is. But PETA’s program still strives to provide consumers a safe avenue for shopping cruelty-free.
Companies interested to be part of PETA’s cruelty-free list must complete a short questionnaire. Afterwards, they sign a statement of assurance. This verifies that they do not conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products. They also pledge not to do so in the future.
But take the companies listed in PETA’s list with a grain of salt. Though the program is well-intentioned, the lack of investigation makes it less reliable compared to Leaping Bunny. Still, PETA’s list can be a guide when looking for companies not included in the Leaping Bunny Program.
Why Cruelty-free Eyeliners?
Whether makeup is your hobby or a necessity for work, it should not come at the expense of living creatures.
All over the world, so many countries still allow animals to undergo cruel tests for cosmetics. Innumerable rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rats suffer and die in those tests. And for what? For the ingredients used in lipsticks, foundations, eyeliners, etc.
Does it really have to be this way? Living creatures dying for our vanity? No, it doesn’t have to be this way. Alternatives to animal tests are improving day by day. Companies can now opt to have quicker, cheaper and more reliable non-animal methods. They can also use ingredients already known to be safe.
By choosing cruelty-free eyeliners, you’ll be joining the ranks of consumers that urge companies to go cruelty-free. This may seem like a small step. But an individual effort joining countless others is sure to have an effect.
If you still have eyeliners from non-cruelty-free companies, you don’t have to get rid of them all and start fresh. Being wasteful is not good for the environment. What you can do is use up what you have at your own pace. When you’re all out, go shop from cruelty-free brands for your eyeliner.
How to Tell If Your Eyeliner is Cruelty-Free
So you already have an eyeliner in your cart. Or should I say eyeliners? It’s hard to pick only one, especially when a lot of colors are available. There’s the universal black. Brown that looks the most natural for most eye colors. Burgundy that can make the green in hazel eyes really pop. Navy blue and emeralds that can make dark brown eyes shine. And many more!
Yes, you’ve loaded up your cart with eyeliners in the best colors for your eye color. But how can you tell if your eyeliners are cruelty-free?
Lucky for us, it’s quite easy!
Both Leaping Bunny and Beauty Without Bunnies have searchable online databases of cruelty-free companies. All you need to do is go to their site and look up the brand of your eyeliners. If you see the brand turn up, congrats! Your eyeliner is cruelty-free.
Still on the lookout for cruelty-free eyeliners? Checkout this list of cruelty-free pencil, liquid, and gel/cream eyeliners.
Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Pencil Eyeliners
Whether you’re just starting out with eyeliner or you’re rocking the sharpest wing, pencil eyeliners are a classic.
Beginners can look at pencil eyeliners like training wheels. They’ll help you get the hang of doing the look you fancy while allowing plenty of rooms for mistakes. That’s because most pencil eyeliners are easy to handle (just like holding a pencil!), leaves little to no stain (so you can clean up mistakes), and can be smudged for a bold shadow (when there’s no hope for cleanup.)
Meanwhile, pencil eyeliners are like a trusted sword for veteran eyeliner wielders. No matter how many eyeliner types you go through, you’ll surely have that reliable pencil liner in your makeup bag. In expert hands, pencil liners can create a no-fuss line to perfectly define your eyes. These liners can even be the turning point for a bomb glam look!
100% PURE Creamy Long Last Liner
Like the name tells us, this eyeliner from 100% Pure is creamy and long-lasting. The creaminess makes this pencil glide over your lids with ease. The formula is long-lasting so you won’t have to deal with any flakes. Plus, it’s packed with jojoba, chamomile butter, and mango seed oil to moisturize and nourish your skin.
BAREMINERALS One Fine Line™ Micro Precision Eyeliner
If you’re into natural-looking lines and the tightlining technique, this waterproof retractable eyeliner from bareMinerals can be a game-changer. They are not kidding with that long name. One Fine Line™ Micro Precision eyeliner has an ultra-fine 1.5mm tip. It’s perfect for effortlessly hugging the lash line to give subtle definition and mimic the look of fuller lashes.
INIKA Certified Organic Eye Pencil
If you’ve got sensitive eyes and shy away from most pencils, Inika’s eye pencil might just be your thing. Crafted from 100% naturally derived ingredients, Inika’s Certified Organic Eye Pencil is suitable for sensitive eyes. Plant-based ingredients and pure mineral pigments give you even color and comfortable all-day wear. This eye pencil also has a silky-rich texture you can easily buff into the lids to create a soft, smokey look.
MILANI Stay Put® Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil
Oily lids and watery eyes can be such a pain. Most of the time, not even the most waterproof of eyeliners can stay put the whole day. But that can all change this eyeliner from Milani. Stay Put® Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil stays true to its branding. It really Does. Not. Budge. This eyeliner will make sure you can be fearless in the face of sweat and defiant against humidity and watery eyes. Too good to be true? Go on and put it to the test. P.S. This is also available in a liquid formula if you prefer that.
TARTE Sex Kitten Eyeliner
This waterproof, smudgeproof gel eyeliner from Tarte is their best-seller for a reason. And no, it’s not just because of the cute kitty design on the bottom. Tarte’s Sex Kitten Eyeliner is designed for the delicate lashline & inner rim. You can create a crisp looking cat-eye without any tugging. There’s even a built-in smudger to create a sexy feline smolder.
WET N WILD Mega Last Breakup-Proof Retractable Eyeliner
You know your eyeliner is a keeper when it lasts through a breakup. I mean, if not even a gush of tears can ruin your eyeliner, what can possibly do? And that’s exactly the lasting power Wet N Wild promises with their Mega Last Breakup-Proof Retractable Eyeliner. This eyeliner’s silky, lightweight, and comfortable formula is smudge-proof, humidity-proof, and cry-proof. With up to 16-hours of rich pigment, this eyeliner is mighty reliable – maybe even more so than that bloke who broke your heart.
Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Liquid Eyeliners
Liquid eyeliners are not for the faint of heart – or the shaky hands. Every drop is so pigmented, one wrong move can mean re-doing your whole eye-makeup. But once you do get the hang of these bad boys, your eyeliner will look so great! Whether you prefer felt-tip liners or brush applicators, liquid eyeliners can give you vivid, sharp, and thin lines. I can’t quite explain it but there’s just something about the rich color of liquid eyeliners that can take your whole look to the next level.
100% PURE Long Last Liquid Eye Liner
Have you ever looked at black tea leaves and wished your eyeliner could be that black? I bet 100% Pure thought the same and decided to do something about it. So out comes their Long Last Liquid Eye Liner! The deep, dramatic color of this eyeliner comes from micronized black tea leaves. Pretty cool, huh? Along with that, its water-resistant, smudge-proof, and long-lasting formula is combined with hydrating aloe and nourishing cocoa butter.
COLOURPOP BFF Liquid Liner
When you’re choosing an eyeliner, you’d want something reliable. You’d want an eyeliner that won’t flake-out on you, an eyeliner that’s with you through thick and thin. You’d want an eyeliner that can be your BFF. Colourpop’s BFF Liquid Liner is exactly that! Their first ever precision felt-tip liquid eyeliner pen will build you up and won’t let you down. It’s designed to keep you looking sharp all day with a transfer-proof formula that won’t smudge, feather, or run. Plus, it comes in fun colors like yellow, red, and green!
INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Eyeliner
In recent years, a lot of eyeliners come in quick-drying formulas, so no more waiting time. With that innovation though comes a risk. Quick-dry formulas often have alcohols, a no-no for sensitive eyes. Luckily, Inika’s Certigied Organic Liquid Eyeliner is free from those drying alcohols while still allowing for easy application. You can be sure this intense-colored eyeliner is suitable even for those with sensitive eyes.
Looking for something pretty to add to your makeup collection? Have a look at these eyeliners from Lush! Each color of liquid eyeliner comes in a glass bottle that look like ink containers. But these are not just pretty to look at. They are also functional. This eyeliner can give a lot of oomph to your eye makeup look! It comes in 12 colors including blue, green, purple, and metallics. With every bottle, you’re helping to fight plastic pollution and look good doing it.
MILANI Line Play Metallic 2-IN-1 Liner Shadow
I just had to include this wonderful 2-in-1 product. With Line Play Metallic 2-in-1 liner shadow, you get exactly that – an eyeliner and an eyeshadow. It comes in 6 metallic colors you can use to define or cast a shadow – or even both! The rich pigment of this liner comes in a mineral base so you can expect superb wear time.
TARTE Sex Kitten Liquid Liner
Meet the Sex Kitten Liquid Liner – the cooler, big sis of its pencil form. Why is this the cooler big sis? First off, look at that cap. Tell me that’s not cute, I dare you! Kitty cap aside, Sex Kitten in liquid form gives you an intensity and accuracy you can’t get from the pencil. The intensity comes from its triple-black, waterproof, and smudgeproof formula. Then you can rely on its goofproof accuracy thanks to a super skinny felt tip. This liner is sure to give you a fierce black cat eye that lasts all night and into the morning.
TOO FACED Better Than Sex Eyeliner
You’ve most likely heard about this line from Too Faced that’s gotten giggles from high school gals and raised brows from college dudettes. Too Faced’s Better Than Sex line includes a mascara and eyeliner. And they say both products are so amazing…their Better Than Sex. With the eyeliner, what makes it so amazing is the combined power of their Easy Glide 24-hour waterproof formula and their dual-fiber brush. You get an ultra-rich deep black, smudge-proof, waterproof, flake-proof, and non-fading eyeliner. Whether it is better than sex is up to you to decide.
TOO FACED Glitter Pop Eyeliner
Another double entry on the list, but I assure you, it’s worth it! Too Faced’s Glitter Pop Eyeliner is such an interesting concept. It’s glitter eyeliner you can paint on then peel off. If that’s not goofproof, I don’t know what is. Plus, you won’t get a fall out of dramatic glitters every time you peel it off.
Best Cruelty-free and Vegan Gel/Cream Eyeliners
If you find liquid liners unwieldy and too shiny, but want to graduate from pencil liners, gel/cream eyeliners are for you. Gel or cream eyeliners are a nice in-between of pencil and liquid liner formulas. It’s the matte to demi-matte finish of pencil with the smooth application of liquid. Though of course, gel/cream formulas are not as fluid as liquid. Often coming in pots and applied with brushes, gel/cream liners are waxy in consistency, which actually helps increase their wear time!
TARTE Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner
If you like creamy liners, then this pot liner from Tarte might just be your thing. Clay Pot Waterpoof Shadow Liner is so creamy that you can use it as an eyeshadow too! Amazonian clay (hence the name) and mineral pigments in a pot gives even application and solid color. It has 2 mattes and 3 metallic colors you can mix and match for a variety of eye makeup looks of your choosing.
TARTE Tarteist™ Clay Paint Liner
The last entry on this list comes from Tarte again. Tarteist™ Clay Paint Liner is in this list for a reason. It’s a cream type eyeliner that delivers high-definition pigment. Amazon clay powers its 12-hour waterproof formula. Only, this product doesn’t come in a pot. It comes in a squeezable tube with a blending tip inspired by artist palettes. Talk about unique!
Phew! That was a lot!
What's your favorite out of the bunch? Let me know in the comments!