If you want long, beautiful lashes to emphasise your eyes, mascara is an essential item to include your makeup routine. But whether they're from the high street or the high-end makeup counter, many brands aren’t always cruelty-free, and it can be tough trying to find a mascara thats both effective and kind to animals.
Here’s where mybest comes in! We’ve ranked the 8 best cruelty-free and vegan mascaras to buy on sites like Amazon, Boots and ASOS from popular favourites like Too Faced and Fenty Beauty as well as budget brands like NYX and e.l.f. Moreover, we have partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver the best information to our users.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
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As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
There are several ways you can confirm whether a product or the company that sells it, is cruelty-free. Firstly, look on their website: do they shout loudly and proudly that they are against animal testing, or mention it in the FAQ section? Also, do they have an official certification from the main cruelty-free bodies Cruelty-Free International, Choose Cruelty-Free, or PETA?
That said, even if a particular makeup product is labelled as cruelty-free, it could still have been tested on animals overseas where the laws differ, or somewhere along the supply chain. The parent company that owns the brand could also test on animals elsewhere.
You can use an online database to check if the mascara (or any other beauty product) is completely cruelty-free, such as Cruelty Free Kitty, Ethical Elephant, or Cruelty Free UK. The Leaping Bunny logo is becoming more prevalent, which is usually located on the outer packaging. Searching #crueltyfreebeauty and #crueltyfreemakeup on Instagram or TikTok will also give you the opportunity to see the products in action.
While you're here, check out our favourite cruelty-free foundations too!
Now you’re clearly here because you want a cruelty-free mascara, but what about whether it’s vegan? Although the product may not be tested on animals, it may still include animal-derived ingredients or animal byproducts.
Commonly used non-vegan ingredients that you may recognise in mascaras include beeswax and lanolin, known for their moisturising properties. But did you know that shellac and guanine, which are used to make your mascara glossy and shiny, are also animal-derived? We have scoured through them and marked which of our listed mascaras are vegan, just so you don’t have to do any extra research!
Here are our favourite vegan perfumes!
Depending on your lash type and what kind of look you prefer, there will be certain results you'll want your mascara to achieve. Here's what to look for on the label:
If you have all of the above, or simply want an ultra-glam look, a volumising mascara that combines everything into one is your best bet.
A straight, tube-shaped wand is the standard for most mascaras. It will cover the bulk of your lashes and, depending on how dense the bristles are, give you major volume and length. It may not reach all your corner lashes, though.
Straight wands allow you to reach right up to the lash root and wiggle product into the upper waterline, known as tightlining. This technique lets you achieve a defined eye look with evenly coated lashes. If you have sparse lashes, a classic, straight wand mascara the easiest to apply.
An oval, or tapered, brush does everything a straight wand will do and more. As the end is pointed, it'll be able to reach into the corners of your eyes to ensure even coverage of every single lash hair.
Oval wands mimic the natural shape of the eye to create a fanned out, doe-eyed effect. The tapered end means you can easily brush mascara onto your inner corner lashes. It's also beneficial for applying to the bottom lashes, turning the wand vertical to separate and coat each individual lash.
If you’re struggling with stick-straight lashes, or ones that always shoot downwards, bubble-shaped wands are your best bet. These wands have the appearance of three little balls spooled together in a wand which makes for better clump separation between the lashes.
The unique bubble shape ensures all of your lashes get covered with mascara from root to tip, as well as giving them a boost in terms of curling, resulting in fluttery, curled, sky-high lashes. So if curly lashes is what you want to achieve to help, a bubble wand is what you need.
This type of wand can be seen in some of the most iconic and well-loved mascaras like Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara. An hourglass-shaped wand is designed to be ideal at giving you an extra-dramatic, false eyelash effect - perfect for those glam nights out.
It provides volume with the dense bristles, as well as giving your lashes a lift like a bubble wand does. If you want to fool everyone into thinking you’re wearing falsies, this is the shape to go for.
The shape of the wand is important, but the material the bristles are made from is too! Nylon brushes are easy to use and do everything a mascara wand is supposed to do – brush each individual lash hair and coat them evenly with product. They are denser and fluffier than silicone brushes, making them great for adding volume.
Silicone brushes, on the other hand, make for an ultra-precise application. The fronds are a lot finer and sparser than nylon brushes, allowing you to get right into the roots of your lashline and extend all the way to the tip. This ensures you reach every little lash in the corner of your eye, as well as avoiding clumping.
Tubing mascaras use an innovative formula that’s exploded in popularity over the past few years. Rather than just coating the underside of your lashes, this formula uses polymers to form tiny cones around each individual lash. Much like a tube, as the name suggests!
This coating helps to lengthen the lashes whilst also adding some thickness, and will not flake like traditional formulas. It's worth noting, however, that if you’re looking for big volume a tubing mascara alone may not be sufficient.
If you live in a hot sweaty climate, or even if you’re prone to watery eyes due to allergies, waterproof mascara is the way to go. These formulas usually use a water-resistant silicone called dimethicone to ensure your mascara will stay put and avoid running or smudging. However, they are prone to flaking and can usually only be removed using oil-based cleansers, so they may not be a match for everyone.
If you often wear waterproof eye-makeup, you'll need a reliable eye-makeup remover!
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Better Than Sex Mascara
The Cult Favourite Mascara That Lives up to Its Name
Full Frontal Volume Lift & Curl Mascara
Full-Frontal Coverage That Lengthens, Lifts and Curls
Mineral Infused Mascara
Vegan, All-Natural and Very Budget-Friendly
Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara｜Super Black
For Bigger Lashes and a Lift That Lasts 24 Hours
Buildable Mascara for Bigger, Bolder Lashes
A Vegan Mascara With a Bubble Wand Design to Lift and Separate
NYX Professional Makeup
Worth The Hype Colour Mascara
A 100% Natural Mascara That’s Extra Kind on Sensitive Eyes
Ciaté London x Smiley
Keep An Eye On Coloured Mascara ｜Be Brave
A Fun, Bright Blue Mascara to Add a Pop of Colour
5D Lash Mascara
Affordable, Game-Changing Mascara That Instantly Lifts, Lengthens, Defines, and Volumises
Go Big or Go Home Volumizing Mascara
Creamy Formula Powered by Plant-Based Fats for an All-Day Eye-Opening Effect
Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara is a real cult favourite amongst those in the know, and is rightly adored by the beauty community both in the UK and beyond. Designed to thicken, lengthen and curl, this long-lasting formula helps create stunning dramatic lashes.
Its paraben-free formula contains Acacia Senegal tree extract to nourish and thicken, as well as film-forming polymers for smudge-proof wear. Plus, the hourglass-shaped brush helps to create greater volume for a false eyelash effect. Vegan, cruelty-free, and incredibly effective, it's no wonder this mascara is so popular!
Rihanna’s completely cruelty-free cosmetics line Fenty Beauty brings you a mascara for full-on lashes like you’ve never experienced before! This formula really does do it all, adding volume, length, lift and curl as well as being long-wear, smudge-proof and water-resistant.
Its unique double-sided oval shaped brush has a flat side and a fat side for full coverage, too – use the fat side to quickly load product and lift, then use the flat side to define and curl your lashes. This product has been tested and approved by the beauty queen herself, so really, what more could you want?
For those particularly invested in eco-friendly products, this e.l.f. mascara is the only one on our list that is completely vegan and all natural! Featuring mineral wax and synthetic beeswax infused with kaolin and zinc oxide, this formula helps create fuller, healthier-looking lashes in a few swipes.
With an oval shaped wand, this mascara is designed to minimise clumping so you can easily build up the layers without risk of spidery lashes. As an added bonus, the tapered head ensures you won’t miss out a single hair!
Brought to you by British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, this innovative mascara will give you volume, length and definition. Best of all, it gives your lashes a lift that will last up to 24 hours so you can keep going all day and night.
The formula boasts a lash-lifting polymer and lightweight natural waxes, so it’ll hardly feel like you’re wearing mascara at all. For those prone to panda eyes, this mascara is also smudge- and humidity-proof so you can add volume without worrying about it running down your face.
Urban Decay are known as the bad boys of cosmetics, so it’s no surprise they’ve named their mascara Perversion. Perfect for those late-night adventures, this mascara coats your eyes with triple-black pigments for your boldest ever lashes.
This formula contains a complex blend of proteins and amino acids, honey extract, sea idrolized elastine and marine collagen. All of this combines together to form the perfect creamy texture that allows you to build layer after layer without becoming clumpy. There are also waterproof and travel-sized versions if you'd prefer.
An amazing vegan product from cult brand Milk Makeup, this mascara is amazing for those with straight lashes. With a bubble wand design, it lifts, separates and coats every single lash from root to tip for the ultimate curl.
Best of all, 74% of the ingredients in its formula are natural, from the ubame oak charcoal to give it its rich black colour to the sapphire dust which adds depth and volume to your lashes. However, be warned that this mascara does run a bit, so make sure to use a setting spray to prevent runny raccoon eyes!
Any sparse baby lashes in hard to reach places like the inner eye corners can also be coated with no mess since the wand has a tapered tip for more precision. Plus, the mascara comes in a few fun colours, allowing you to experiment with bold, unique looks. However, some users have pointed out that the pigments aren't as vibrant as they'd expect.
If you’re looking for something a bit different to spice up your everyday makeup, coloured mascara is a great way to brighten things up. This collaboration between Ciaté London and SmileyWorld comes in a beautiful blue to add a pop of colour to your eyes.
Enriched with moisturising natural poppy and cacao extracts, this mascara can be worn alone or layered on top of black mascara to add extra depth. Of course, we understand this isn’t necessarily an every day look, so it may not be on the top of your to-purchase list!
If you're a true makeup geek then you'll know Makeup Revolution's reputation for their amazing, reliable products. Their Revolution 5D Extreme Extension mascara has been dubbed their best mascara yet, and we can honestly say that it lives up to its name.
In just as little as one swipe, the wand is able to deliver an even coating of formula to the lashes, giving it an instant definition, lift, length, and volume. The colour of the formula is jet black, giving some contrast and dimension to lift and brighten the eyes. When it comes to curling, however, this mascara might not do such a good job. But overall, we love the lengthening effect and the gorgeous pigment!
Want extreme volume for bright, open eyes that will stay put all day? This Go Big or Go Home Mascara from Kat Von D is a must-try! With dense pigments, the formula glides smoothly onto the lashes, glazing over each one to coat them evenly.
The custom designed fluffy brush allows for perfect application, with rippled fibre bristles to catch each lash and some fluffiness to build volume and coverage. Although, according to some users, the formula does clump after awhile, which can be messy during application.
Written and Researched by Dodo Wang
We partner with specialists across various fields to proof-read our buying guides to deliver accurate and reliable information. Our specialists do not endorse any products that we recommend.
- mybest UK
No. 1: Too Faced｜Better Than Sex Mascara
No. 2: Fenty Beauty｜Full Frontal Volume Lift & Curl Mascara
No. 3: e.l.f.｜Mineral Infused Mascara
No. 4: Charlotte Tilbury｜Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara｜Super Black
No. 5: Urban Decay｜Perversion Mascara
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