The best vegan lipsticks

Cruelty-free, vegan options that are as creamy and colorful as they are animal-friendly
By Mary Clarke  Published on 07/27/2018 at 10:19 AM EDT

Take a whirl through the virtual makeup aisles for some lip-color excitement. We’ve narrowed the search to cruelty-free, vegan lipsticks—formulas that are beeswax and carmine free. For those who do not know, carmine is a vibrant red pigment derived from cochineal insects. A common ingredient in cosmetics, food and textiles, it’s also listed on labels as natural red 4 or cochineal extract.

Click through the gallery below to see which vegan lipstick gets the Mayim seal of approval!

RealHer Liquid Matte Lipstick

This mission-based makeup line was created by a father for his daughter, and with each purchase of RealHer Liquid Matte Lipstick, 20 percent of the proceeds goes to women’s advocacy group the American Association of University Women. Standouts in the 13-shade lineup include: I Am Tough, a neutral, not-too-bright red and I Am Perfect, described by the company as a true nude.

Purchase on Amazon for $18 each.


Zoya The Perfect Lipstick

Among the 25 shades, you’ll find Tommy—a deep “burple,” or blue plus purple. But for every day, consider Wren, a rosy nude, or Frankie, a blazing scarlet. Both are creamy, unflavored opaques formulated to last 4-6 hours.

Purchase on Zoya for $12 each.

Tarte Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick

Not only vegan, these long-wearing lippies are super-clean, meaning they’ve been formulated without gluten, triclosan, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate or mineral oil. There are more than 20 shades, including Escape (rose), Ocean Drive (a poppy pink, above) and Beach Babe (pink nude).

Plus, this one gets the Mayim seal of approval! “I love the retro tube Tarte puts their lipsticks in,” our founder says. “And these colors are super rich, and no one can tell they’re not made from ground up bugs!”

Purchase from Sephora for $21 each.


Glossier Generation G

Matte is reimagined in this innovative, translucent lip color, where the aim was to create a lipstick that would leave you with the look of just-blotted lips rather than an opaque layer of product. The newest shades, Leo, a soft cocoa, above, and Zip, a warm red, bring the total lineup to 6 colors.

Purchase on Glossier for $18 each.


Kat Von D Studded Kiss Crème Lipstick

This wildly popular lipstick is said to impart “the creamiest, most cushiony and unbelievably pigmented lipstick to ever cross your lips.” The line features 40 shades, including the new White Out Mixer, in case you feel the need to color-tweak. Lip-colored-lipstick fans will appreciate Lolita, a dusty rose. For a bolder effect, there’s Outlaw, above, a brick red.

Purchase on Sephora for $19 each.


Pacifica Devocean Natural Lipstick

Coconut-scented and super-hydrating, Devocean is formulated without phthalates, silicone or petroleum. The six-shade lineup skews toward neutral mid-tones like Tenderness—a pretty tawny-rose—but don’t overlook Beach Goth, above, a rich plum-pink. $10.

Purchase on Ulta Beauty for $10 each.

Anastasia Matte Lipstick Set

Customize to your heart’s content with these mini-lipstick kits. Offered in two well-edited iterations, Mini Nudes, above, and Mini Pinks & Berries, there’s not a clunker shade in the bunch.

Purchase on Sephora for $21 each.


Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution

A twist on typical mattes, high-tech 3D pigments impart a lit-from-within look that helps make lips appear fuller. Tilbury describes Pillow Talk as the perfect “your lips but better shade that suits everyone” and Red Carpet Red as “a true ruby red.” Comes in 15 shades.

Purchase on Charlotte Tilbury for $34 each.

NYX Plush Gel Lipstick

A single swipe gives lips a subtle-but-finished look; add a second layer for more impact. Comes in 12 shades, including rosy Nude Beach, hot-pink Azalea, above,  and reddish-pink Karma Kiss.

Purchase on NYX for $7 each.


Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick

This super-clean vegan formula is free of phthalates, silicone, talc, triclosan, and mineral oil and is brought to you in a sleek gold refillable applicator. Comes in 32 long-wearing, satin-y shades, including five reds, four nudes, and all manner of roses, pinks, berries, and mauves.

Purchase on Nordstrom for $34 applicator case and color; refills are $22 each.


Milk Makeup Lip Vinyl

Milk Makeup’s rich, hydrating product Lip Vinyl is a hybrid between a lip gloss and a lipstick. Available in six colors, the formula offers an intense pigment that conditions while shines like a gloss. In addition to it being vegan and cruelty-free, Lip Vinyl is gluten-free, soy-free and talc-free.

Purchase Lip Vinyl on Milk Makeup for $24 each.

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