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Our Favorite Vegan Beauty Products at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and More

Our Favorite Vegan Beauty Products at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and More featured image
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Being vegan isn’t limited to the foods you eat. For many, it’s a lifestyle, and that includes the beauty products they use. Trends reports continue to highlight the growth of vegan skin care, and more beauty brands than ever are cruelty-free. So what exactly constitutes a vegan product? The main attribute is that it’s not formulated with animal by-products. These include beeswax, fish scales, emu oil, shark cartilage, gelatin and more. Nearly all vegan beauty products are also cruelty-free, which means they are not tested on animals.

Why Switch to Vegan Beauty?

“Today’s ethical shoppers expect more from their products and the companies that supply them,” says Hilary Jones, global ethical director for LUSH. “They want good products that didn’t cause harm to animals or the environment during their manufacture. The use of plant-based formulas instead of animal ingredients, and no animal testing are becoming the norm instead of niche. This is all driven by consumer demand. People want to know more about how products are made. They are also driven by concerns for the wider world rather than just their own needs.”

Dianna Ruth, cofounder and COO at Milk Makeup, adds, “With today’s innovation, there is no real need to harm animals when other options exist. I think the main reason people switch to vegan beauty products is to match their eating and shopping habits, and to maintain that same level of non-animal product use. I think this is a large driver of the switch to vegan beauty, but I also think there are great vegan alternatives out there now. At Milk Makeup, we strive to have the best vegan formulas that both look good and are good for you.”

Vegan Beauty Products You Can Buy at Sephora

1 / 6

Milk Makeup Cooling Water Jelly Tint ($24)

This viral (and super cute) blush and lip stain has a bouncy jelly texture that glides on with a refreshing, cooling effect. It’s sheer but surprisingly long-lasting (that’s the stain doing its job), and won’t melt off, even in humid temps. It’s also really hydrating on the skin, as the formula features vegan collagen, aloe vera and seawater.

BUY NOW – $24

Milk Makeup Jelly Tint
2 / 6

Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream ($60)

We love this rich, fragrance-free moisturizer for keeping skin hydrated and nourished. Amyris (Biossance’s former parent company) pioneered vegan squalane by deriving it from sugarcane. “This has enabled thousands of products to use sugarcane-derived squalane and has dramatically reduced the cosmetic industry’s global reliance on shark squalene,” says the brand. “This offsets the need for millions of sharks per year. ”

BUY NOW – $60

Biossance Omega Repair Cream
3 / 6

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream ($48)

This moisturizer has been a crowd favorite for years now. It smells good, the whipped, airy texture feels so good on the skin, and it provides all skin types with instant refreshment. Chock-full of superfoods—kale, spinach and green tea—it floods skin with free radical–fighting ingredients to minimize signs of aging, as well as a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid to leave skin feeling hydrated all day long. 

BUY NOW – $48

4 / 6

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm ($24)

Beloved by celebs and beauty editors alike, this lip balm is one you’ll want to stash in every bag. It now comes in eight shades (and scents), and my two favorites are Vanilla Beige and Pink Sugar. It goes on super silky, never sticky, and keeps lips hydrated and moisturized for longer than many other lip balms we’ve tested.

BUY NOW – $24

summer fridays lip butter balm
5 / 6

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Exfoliating Toner ($13)

Exfoliating toners are all the rage these days, and if dull and/or rough skin is one of your concerns, this formula is one to try. The key ingredient is glycolic acid, an alphahydroxy acid with mega smoothing power. It also helps even out a mottled skin tone. Plus, you can use it on your scalp, too, to tackle buildup and hydrate dry spots.

BUY NOW – $13

The Ordinary Exfoliating Toner
6 / 6

MERIT The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick ($38)

Both a foundation and a concealer—you can also use a darker shade as a contour stick—this multipurpose, medium-coverage formula has been a longtime fan favorite. It glides on incredibly creamy, it’s easy to blend (great to throw in your bag on-the-go) and the finish is incredibly natural. It comes in 20 shades and suits all skin types, including oily and sensitive.

BUY NOW – $38

merit foundation stick

Vegan Products You Can Buy at Ulta Beauty

7 / 7

e.l.f. Cosmetics Poreless Putty Primer ($10)

Thousands of makeup lovers swear by this velvety primer, which provides that perfect pore-blurring effect. It not only keeps makeup locked in place all day, but also helps protect skin from moisture loss thanks to the addition of squalene in the formula.

BUY NOW – $10

e.l.f. poreless putty primer
8 / 8

Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Retinoid Body Serum ($18)

Repair rough, dry skin with this spray-on serum that uses the same granactive retinoid that the brand uses in its facial skin care. The granactive retinoid (gentler than retinol) is also combined with hydrating mushroom extract to minimize any potential irritation. It also contains melatonin, which helps reduce free-radical accumulation in the skin while you sleep. And of course we love the recyclable aluminum bottle!

BUY NOW – $18

Pacifica Wake Up Retinoid Body Serum
9 / 9

Ahava DeadSea Water Mineral Hand Cream ($25)

This cult-classic has won many Beauty Awards over the years and continues to be one of the brand’s best-sellers. The rich, ultra-moisturizing formula contains the brand’s exclusive Osmoter complex, which helps protect hands from outside stresses that can lead to signs of aging. It also dries nicely without a greasy residue.

BUY NOW – $25

ahava mineral hand cream
10 / 10

KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($25)

The brand’s best-selling eyeliner has been reformulated to include transfer-proof long wear, bolder pigment and a better flow, and you can expect the same precise brush tip and quality. It comes in two shades—a satin black and a rich chocolate brown—and it’s housed in an aluminum pen that was designed to help the product resist dry-out.

BUY NOW – $25

KVD Beauty Tattoo Waterproof Liner
11 / 11

tarte Big Ego Vegan Volumizing Mascara ($27)

Grab this mascara if you want to noticeably lift and volumize your lashes, while also keeping them conditioned. It also lasts up to 16 hours, so you can go from your morning meeting to the last sip of your drinks with friends and not worry that your lashes are flaking or smudging.

BUY NOW – $27


More Vegan Products

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Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil ($44)

With a list of skin benefits that includes improving firmness and elasticity, evening out splotchiness and nourishing dry patches, it’s no wonder this Andean rose hip–infused oil is the brand’s best-seller. Apply it at night and let it work its magic while you sleep to wake up to clearer skin with a just-got-back-from-vacation glow.

BUY NOW – $44

Pai Rosehip Oil
Photo Credits: Pai Skincare
13 / 13

jane iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation ($46)

Semi-matte with a weightless feel, this powder foundation provides broad-spectrum SPF 20 protection—it’s water resistant for up to 40 minutes—while shielding the skin from environmental pollutants and softening pores and fine lines. Plus, it comes in 26 shades and has an eco-friendly refillable compact, so you can feel good cutting back on packaging.

BUY NOW – $46

Jane Iredale PurePressed Foundation
14 / 14

Alchimie Forever Soothing Body Lotion ($49)

This rich, but not too rich, botanical-based lotion provides instant relief for dry, irritated skin. Antioxidants from green tea and rosemary help improve tone and texture so signs of aging soften over time.

BUY NOW – $49

alchimie soothing body lotion
Photo Credits: Alchimie
15 / 15

Alexandra Wagner White Tiger Cleanser ($72)

Celebrity aesthetician Alexandra Wagner hit the mark with this silky foaming cleanser that simultaneously brightens and hydrates with white turmeric, tiger grass plant stem cells and a concentrated blend of botanical extracts. It’s the ultimate in luxury vegan beauty and deserves a coveted spot on your beauty shelf.

BUY NOW – $72

alexandra wagner white tiger cleanser
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Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream ($16)

The perfect moisturizer if you want to keep your skin hydrated but don’t like the feel of traditional creams, this lightweight, jelly-like formula absorbs instantly for a never-greasy finish. Sodium hyaluronate (similar to hyaluronic acid) and aloe leaf juice pump moisture into skin as antioxidants from green tea help soothe and fight against the effects of free radicals.

BUY NOW – $16

versed dew point
Photo Credits: Versed

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