During a recent cleaning out of my bathroom, I decided to sort through my products and figure out how much of what I own is vegan and/or cruelty-free. I’ve always leaned cruelty-free — if I saw a leaping bunny certification, I would be more inclined — but did I check Cruelty Free Kitty (a site that provides info on which brands don’t test on animals) every time I was buying or swatching a product at Sephora? No.
Truthfully, I expected that when I sorted through my makeup and skin care I’d find that most of what I owned was cruelty-free, with the occasional drugstore outlier. This was not the case. About half of the brands in my bathroom, in fact, were tested on animals. I was upset, purged all the non-cruelty-free products and put them in a donation box.
Here’s the thing: It’s 2019, and finding cruelty-free alternatives to beloved products is easier than ever. Which is why I want to let you guys know that I’m vowing to go 100 percent cruelty-free; any products you see me recommend on here from now on will not have been tested on animals. If you are also looking to go cruelty-free, here are some of the best alternatives to popular beauty products that are tested on animals. Non-cruel dupes, in other words, that work every bit (or almost every bit) as well as the products they’re replacing in my personal collection.
If you like Laneige Lip Mask, try Bite Beauty’s Agave Nighttime Lip Mask.
You guys know I love the formula of Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask in the color Smashed for daytime hydration with a subtle tint. Well just recently, Bite decided put out a nighttime formula, which is slightly thicker and comes in a medicine-cabinet-friendly jar. I love it — it smells and tastes amazing (much better than Laneige’s ultrafruity scent), and leaves my lips feeling super-plump and hydrated in the morning.
If you like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, try Make Beauty’s Marine Salve.
For any cracked, dry, or flaky skin Make Beauty’s Marine Salve is a total savior. I love keeping it in my purse for emergency eczema crisis (it soothes my flare-ups), cuticles, lips, and elbows. The formula is very similar to Eight Hour cream, but Marine Salve is less scented.
If you like Benefit’s Hula, try Fenty’s Sun Stalk’r Bronzer.
People like Benefit’s Hula Bronzer because it gives the skin a beautiful, believable tan without ever making you look orange or weird. Same with Fenty’s newly released bronzer, which also happens to come in eight different shades. My shade, Inda Sun, gives me the most realistic suntan ever. I adore it.
If you like Tom Ford Illuminate and Sculpt, try KKW’s Cream Contour Stick.
Even though Tom Ford’s Illuminate and Sculpt comes in a pan and KKW’s is a stick, I actually find the formula of these products to be quite similar. They are both creamy and oily, making it insanely easy to buff and blend into the skin for a seamless contour and highlight. Not only is KKW’s cruelty-free, it’s also way lighter and more travel-friendly! The brush that comes with it is also really good.
If you like Bioderma, try Embryolisse’s Micellar Water or Glossier’s Milky Oil.
I was so sad to discover that Bioderma isn’t cruelty-free! Thankfully, there are tons of brands that are putting out micellar waters these days, so finding a cruelty-free alternative is pretty easy. I like Embryolisse’s Micellar Water because it’s super-gentle on the skin and removes makeup just as well as Bioderma.
If you like SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, try Cosrx’s Galactomyces Essence.
I’m a snail mucin devotee (yes, Cosrx is cruelty-free though snail mucin is of course not vegan), but I found this essence to be a little more similar, both in texture and effects, to SK-II Facial Treatment Esssence. It has niacinamide for brightening your complexion, panthenol for hydration and texture, and adenosine for anti-aging benefits. I love this essence and I think you guys will too.
If you like Mac’s Fix Plus, try Anastasia Dewy Set Setting Spray.
If you like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, try Glossier Stretch Concealer.
Radiant Creamy Concealer reached its cult status due to its hydrating, lightweight formula that leaves your skin looking glowy. Glossier Stretch Concealer, however, is not only cruelty-free but, in my opinion, leaves my skin looking even more glowy than Radiant Creamy. Stretch Concealer is the best way to buff away any redness while still making sure your skin looks like skin.
If you like Laura Mercier’s Translucent Setting Powder, try E.L.F. High Definition Setting Powder.
Laura Mercier’s setting powder is so popular because it really does last all day long. If you set your under-eye concealer or any blemishes you’ve concealed, you can bet that you’ll come home and your makeup hasn’t budged a bit. A ton of YouTubers have claimed Elf’s product is extremely similar, so when I tried it I wasn’t surprised to see that it gave the same insanely long-lasting results. Plus, it’s only $6.
If you like Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara, try Milk Makeup’s Kush Mascara.
I’ve long loved Glossier’s Lash Slick, but Armani’s mascara was one of my favorites for achieving that big, voluminous eye for nights out. However, Milk Makeup’s Kush Mascara gives my eyes a similarly dramatic, ultrabig lash — the conditioning cannabis oil and heart-shaped fibers make my eyes look massive and spidery. I absolutely love this cruelty-free vegan mascara when I’m going out.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.