We all know that lipstick cheers up the face. So the last thing we want is lipstick with a grim backstory. Who needs crushed beetles for a good red lip anymore?
In 2023, we are reading labels more closely and making sustainable choices. And we love a good vegan lipstick that is free from all animal-based ingredients.
The lipsticks below are all vegan and cruelty-free meaning they are free of animal ingredients and have not been tested on animals.
Best Vegan Lipsticks 2023
Here are some of the best vegan lipsticks you’ll absolutely adore. Achieve irresistible lips cruelty-free with Rare Beauty, KVD, BareMinerals, and other professional makeup brands.
- Best Overall: Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick
- Best Liquid: Rare Beauty Lip Soufflé Matte Cream Lipstick
- Best Organic: Ilia Color Block High Impact Lipstick
- Best Affordable: NYX Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick
- Best Luxury: Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick
- Best Long-Wearing: KVD Beauty Everlasting Hyperlight Liquid Lipstick
- Best For Dark Skin: The Lip Bar Vegan Liquid Matte Lipstick
- Best For Fair Skin: Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick
- Best For Dry Lips: Lys Beauty Speak Love Moisture Matte Lipstick
- Best For Sensitive Lips: Inika Organic Certified Organic Lipstick
- Best For Mature Lips: Rose Inc Satin Lip Color Hydrating Lipstick
- Best Lipstick Primer: Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Primer
Best Vegan Lipstick Overall
Merit Signature Lip is the best vegan lipstick. It’s so light and soft, it feels like a lip balm. It has the most natural-looking satin finish and it’s made from natural ingredients. Merit is a vegan beauty brand that celebrates minimalist beauty and this lipstick is just that.
- What we like: the most beautiful shades and finish, clean formula
- What we don’t like: not very long-wearing
- What other reviewers say: natural sheer color, you can barely feel it, buildable in intensity, hydrating, ideal for a fresh casual look, safe for sensitive lips
Key ingredients: vegan squalane, sunflower seed oil, papaya enzymes | Finish: satin | Shade range: 8 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, clean, natural, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, synthetic fragrance-free, free of 1300 potentially harmful ingredients
Best Liquid Vegan Lipstick
Lip Soufflé is the best vegan liquid lipstick. It offers a more pigmented and long-wearing result than Merit’s lipstick, yet it’s still smooth and creamy. Lips feel comfortable and hydrated while looking deliciously matte. This vegan lipstick also has the best range of nudes.
- What we like: very creamy and comfortable matte
- What we don’t like: can smudge
- What other reviewers say: beautiful shades, just the right level of matte, long-wearing, hydrating for dry lips, nude mauve & rose mauve are the perfect neutrals
Key ingredients: lotus, gardenia, white water lily extracts, vitamin E| Finish: matte | Shade range: 15 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, clean, paraben-free, phthalate-free, SLS-free, mineral oil-free, dermatologist-tested, suitable for sensitive skin
Best Organic Vegan Lipstick
Ilia Color Block is the best organic vegan lipstick. It’s made with natural and organic ingredients such as organic castor seed oil, apricot oil, and mango butter. While natural, it delivers a high-pigmented almost matte finish. It’s also long-wearing and does not bleed.
We love Color Block but if you are looking for a higher content of certified organic ingredients, we also recommend Inika Certified Organic Lip Tint. It’s 100% natural and at minimum 72% organic. It also has a more sheer and natural finish compared to Ilia.
- What we like: most pigmented natural lipstick
- What we don’t like: some photos don’t match the real shades
- What other reviewers say: very long-wearing, does not feather or smudge, first creamy but dries on semi-matte, soft and non-drying
Key ingredients: organic castor seed oil, apricot seed oil, mango seed butter | Finish: satin / semi-matte | Shade range: 8 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, clean, natural, organic, paraben-free, phthalate-free, SLS-free, mineral oil-free, talc-free, synthetic fragrance-free
Best Affordable Vegan Lipstick
NYX’s Lip Lingerie is our favorite affordable vegan lipstick. This liquid vegan lipstick is matte and transfer-proof. Plus, it has an excellent shade range to match every skin tone. The darker colors (including deep red and black) are especially praised for their rich pigment. This vegan lipstick can be found on drugstores as well.
- What we like: good price-quality ratio, wide shade range
- What we don’t like: shades change too often
- What other reviewers say: very pigmented yet lightweight, does not feel cakey, buildable, long-lasting, best vegan black lipstick
Key ingredients: dimethicone, isododecane | Finish: matte | Shade range: 32 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, SLS-free
Best Luxury Vegan Lipstick
If you are looking for luxury vegan lipstick, Hourglass Confession is the one. The golden slim stiletto applicator is in a class of its own and the color inside does not disappoint. It’s creamy, richly pigmented, and has a gorgeous satin finish. It does not bleed or feather whatsoever.
- What we like: great applicator, buttery formula
- What we don’t like: artificial sweet scent
- What other reviewers say: gorgeous shades, glides on smoothly, does not smudge or bleed, worth the price, hydrating
Key ingredients: synthetic wax, sunflower seed oil | Finish: satin | Shade range: 40 (many out of stock)| Features: vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly refillable packaging, clean, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, talc-free, mineral oil-free, gluten-free, silicone D5-free
Best Long-Wearing Vegan Lipstick
KVD Beauty’s Everlasting Lipstick was upgraded to a lighter formula but one thing hasn’t changed: it’s still the best long-wearing vegan lipstick. It lasts through hours of eating and drinking with no problem. It also glides on smoothly and does not dry out the lips.
- What we like: long-lasting and comfortable
- What we don’t like: can be drying
- What other reviewers say: great staying power, lasts all day, smudge-free, a good applicator for precision, Bright Berry shade highly praised, yet many people liked the old formula more
Key ingredients: raspberry stem cells, mica| Finish: matte | Shade range: 30 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, mineral oil-free, SLS-free
Best Vegan Lipstick For Dark Skin
The Lip Bar Liquid Matte Lipstick is the best vegan lipstick for dark skin. This black-owned vegan beauty brand knows how to create vibrant and richly pigmented shades that look great on melanated skin tones. Our favorite shade is the bestselling Bawse Lady in deep red.
- What we like: richly pigmented, long-wearing
- What we don’t like: not hydrating enough for dry lips
- What other reviewers say: great colors that really pop on dark skin, comfortable and long-wearing, Bawse Lady, It Girl, Rich Auntie, and Drama Queen shades praised
Key ingredients: jojoba oil, vitamin E | Finish: velvety matte | Shade range: 21 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, black-owned business
Best Vegan Lipstick For Fair Skin
Urban Decay Vice is our favorite vegan lipstick for fair skin. This bestseller comes in a wide variety of bright and muted shades to flatter pale skin types with both warm and cool undertones. You can choose between satin, high-shine, and matte finishes.
- What we like: best range of cool-toned bright shades
- What we don’t like: matte is not the most matte
- What other reviewers say: silky, comfortable, and long-lasting, the berry, rose, and mauve shades are loved by light skin tones
Key ingredients: aloe vera, avocado oil | Finish: satin, matte, and shiny| Shade range: 35 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free
Best Vegan Lipstick For Dry Lips
Speak Love vegan lipstick is best for dry lips. Made with chia seed oil and hyaluronic acid, it’s so smooth and hydrating. It locks in moisture while giving a beautiful rich pigment to dry lips. A conditioning chapstick and long-wearing lipstick in one. Dry skin loves it.
- What we like: lasting hydration, beautiful universal shades
- What we don’t like: small amount of product in the package
- What other reviewers say: glides on easily, best hydration for dry lips, flattering pigments, good plumping and smoothing effect for mature and thin lips
Key ingredients: chia seed oil, hyaluronic acid, Maxi Lip peptide | Finish: matte | Shade range: 7 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, black female-founded brand, clean, natural, paraben-free, phthalate-free, talc-free, SLS-free, synthetic-fragrance-free, gluten-free
Best Vegan Lipstick For Sensitive Lips
Inika Organic offers the best hypoallergenic vegan lipstick for sensitive skin and lips. It’s 100% natural and 78% certified organic. The gentle mineral lipstick is packed with soothing and nourishing plant oils such as jojoba oil. While irritation-free, there are no trade-offs in pigment.
- What we like: beautiful colors and comfortable wear
- What we don’t like: small range of shades
- What other reviewers say: doesn’t irritate sensitive lips, rich colors, creamy texture, feels good on the lips, beautiful shades
Key ingredients: organic jojoba oil, argan oil, vitamin E | Finish: satin | Shade range: 6 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, clean, natural, certified organic, paraben-free, phthalate-free, talc-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, fragrance-free, gluten-free, filler-free
Best Vegan Lipstick For Mature Lips
Roce Inc Satin Lip Color is the best vegan lipstick for mature lips. This creamy lipstick smooths out lip lines and wrinkles and has a gorgeous hydrating and plumping effect. The satin finish looks fresh and youthful on mature skin. It’s also long-wearing and smudge-free.
- What we like: perfect daily lipstick, smoothens and conditions aging lips
- What we don’t like: not smudge-proof
- What other reviewers say: very moisturizing, glides on evenly and smoothly, sheer satin finish, lightweight feel, makes thin lips look plumper
Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, Swertia Chirata extract, mustard sprouts, vitamin E | Finish: satin | Shade range: 10 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly refillable packaging, clean, natural, paraben-free, phthalate-free, mineral oil-free, SLS-free, synthetic fragrance-free, gluten-free
Best Vegan Lipstick Lip Primer
ABH’s vegan lip primer is the best. It creates a smooth canvas on the lips and fills in lip lines for the foundation or lipstick to follow. The lipstick stays put for the whole day and the pigment looks bright and even. We love that it doesn’t feel waxy, it’s soft as lip balm.
- What we like: smoothest and most lightweight lip primer
- What we don’t like: not a very natural formula
- What other reviewers say: helps lipstick stay put, is non-waxy and light, feels like chapstick, keeps lipstick from feathering, also works with lip glosses, foundation, and lip liners
Key ingredients: synthetic wax, silica | Shade range: 1 (translucent) | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free
Vegan Lipsticks By Finish And Color
Looking for a particular finish or shade in your vegan lipstick? Here are our favorite vegan lipsticks for every taste.
- Best Matte Vegan Lipstick: The Lip Bar Vegan Liquid Matte Lipstick
- Best Satin Vegan Lipstick: Hourglass Unlocked Satin Crème Lipstick
- Best Shiny Vegan Lipstick: Glossier Ultralip High Shine Lipstick
- Best Nude Vegan Lipstick: Rare Beauty Kind Words Matte Lipstick
- Best Pink Vegan Lipstick: Haus Labs Le Monster Lip Crayon Lipstick
- Best Brown Vegan Lipstick: Makeup By Mario Ultra Suede Lipstick
Best Red Vegan Lipsticks
Red vegan lipstick deserves a separate category since red shades are often not vegan and use insect-derived pigments. Here are the best vegan red lipsticks in a variety of warm and cool undertones. Enjoy the best cruelty-free and carmine-free vegan reds.
- True Red: Patrick Ta Major Beauty Headlines Lipstick (That’s Why She’s Late)
- Deep Red: Hourglass Unlocked Satin Creme Lipstick (Red 0)
- Orange Red: Freck Beauty Makeout Club Soft Blur Lipstick (Freck Rust)
- Brick Red: Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick (Tiger)
- Blue Red: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (American Doll)
- Berry Red: GXVE Original Me Matte Lipstick (Old School Me)
- Strawberry Red: Jane Iredale Triple Luxe Lipstick (Megan)
- Pink Red: KVD Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Painted Tongue)
Best Vegan Lipstick Brands
Here are our top brands for vegan lipsticks. These companies are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and use only the best clean ingredients. From glossy to matte, from warm to cold shades – these brands have it all.
Pyt Beauty is a vegan makeup brand with an exciting collection of vibrant and richly pigmented vegan lipsticks. Their products are always clean with added skincare benefits.
La Bouche Rouge
La Bouche Rouge is a sustainable vegan lipstick brand from Paris. The luxury brand is otherwise fully vegan but some of their lipstick cases are made from recycled leather.
Vegan lipsticks from KVD promote fearless self-expression with bold shades and high-impact formulas. The vegan brand is founded by beauty icon Kat Von D.
The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar is the go-to brand for vegan lip makeup. This Detroit-based, black female-owned brand offers high-impact vegan lipsticks and vegan lip glosses that are paraben-free.
Hourglass is a luxury cruelty-free cosmetics brand from California. As of 2020, Hourglass is also fully vegan and has an excellent selection of high-quality carmine-free vegan lipsticks.
Selena Gomez’s vegan beauty brand Rare Beauty offers our favorite vegan satin lipsticks and liquid matte lipsticks. The brand makes the best neutral and nude shades.
What Makes Lipstick Vegan?
Vegan lipstick does not include any animal-derived ingredients such as carmine, beeswax, or lanolin. Vegan lipstick is not tested on animals and it does not include components tested on animals.
The most common non-vegan ingredient in lipsticks is carmine, also known as cochineal. It’s a red dye made out of crushed insects. In vegan lipstick, carmine is replaced with beetroot extract or anthocyanin pigments found in plants.
When trying to avoid carmine in the lipstick ingredient list, watch out for these names: Cochineal, Crimson Lake, Carmine Lake, Natural Red 4, E120, CI 75470, and Carminic acid.
Lipstick may also include beeswax (Cera Alba). Instead, vegan brands use carnauba, candelilla, or soya waxes. Also, look out for lanolin – a moisturizing agent known as sheep sweat. Good vegan replacements for lanolin are shea butter and mango butter.
It is highly probable that most lipsticks on the market contain at least one of the ingredients mentioned. To make kinder choices, look for lipsticks with a certified vegan label or pick a lipstick from our list.
What To Look For In Vegan Lipstick?
When buying vegan lipstick, pick one that includes some good-quality oils like shea butter or avocado oil. A vegan lipstick without hydrating and nourishing ingredients is a missed opportunity for your lips.
As with all lipstick, your vegan lipstick should also match your skin tone. While fair complexions pair better with raspberry shades, olive complexions rock a more rusty kind of red. The same goes for other lipstick colors, it’s all about finding the right undertones.
If you are thinking about whether to go for a liquid vegan lipstick or a traditional stick option, there is not a big difference. Liquid lipstick just allows for slightly better precision.
For a long-lasting result, we also recommend you use a vegan lipstick primer. To prevent the lipstick from feathering or bleeding, outline your lips first with a vegan lip liner.
How We Review Vegan Lipsticks
We rate and review vegan lipsticks by considering a number of different aspects that make for good lipstick. Our main criteria are:
- Ingredients: Since lipstick is a product that goes directly into our mouth, vegan lipstick should be as clean and natural as possible.
- Texture: The best kind of vegan lipsticks are smooth and easy to apply – even long-wearing matte vegan lipsticks should glide on smoothly
- Pigment: While vegan lipstick is free of red carmine pigments, vegan lipsticks should still be pigmented enough to compete with regular lipsticks on the market.
- Finish: Whether the finish is sheer, satin, matte, or semi-matte, vegan lipstick should deliver on its promises.
- Shade range: The more shades for every skin, the better. If the shade range of the vegan lipstick is small, we expect the shades to be universal enough for most skin tones.
- Longevity: Not every vegan lipstick should stay on for the whole day but the lipstick should never bleed or feather after you apply it. The more smudge-proof, the better.
Why Trust Us
Vegan Avenue reviews vegan lipsticks based on real experience with the product. Every product we list is backed by extensive research and product trials. None of our reviews have been incentivized by the brand of the retailer.
FAQ About Vegan Lipsticks
Vegan lipstick is lipstick free from carmine, beeswax, and other animal ingredients. Vegan lipstick is also not animal tested.
In vegan lipsticks, carmine is usually replaced with red pigments from fruits and vegetables such as beetroot extract.
100% vegan lipstick brands include Rare Beauty, KVD Vegan Beauty, and Hourglass.
The best selection of vegan lipsticks is available on Amazon, Ulta, and Sephora. The Lip Bar’s vegan lipsticks are also available at Walmart and Target.
A good selection of plastic-free vegan lipsticks is available on Amazon and Etsy. The best plastic-free vegan lipstick is Ethique Satin Matte Lipstick.
No, MAC lipsticks are not vegan. They include animal ingredients like carmine and beeswax. Also, MAC is a brand that tests on animals.
Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick has both vegan and non-vegan shades. The vegan shades are Hot Emily, Kim KW, and Liv It Up.
No. Fenty Beauty Sheer Shiny Lipstick is not vegan and contains beeswax.
No. L’Oréal Paris lipsticks are vegan since L’Oréal tests on animals. The same goes for Revlon and Maybelline lipsticks – none of them can be considered vegan.
No. We assume Lana Del Rey Cigarette Lipsticks are not vegan since the producer has not made any vegan claims nor have they disclosed a full ingredient list.
Lipstick is one of the essential items in your makeup bag. Maybe even the most important one. Good long-wearing and high-pigmented lipstick will always save the day.
In 2023, you can find many high-quality vegan lipsticks in all shades and finishes. We’re hoping you found your new go-to vegan lipstick from this list.
We love the selection of Merit, Rare Beauty, KVD, The Lip Bar, and other cruelty-free vegan brands. As more vegan lipstick lines come out, we are sure to try them all.
Thanks for choosing vegan makeup.
See also: Vegan Lip Gloss
Article updated on May 5 (2023): Changed the best vegan lipstick for dark skin from Mented Semi-Matte Lipstick to The Lip Bar Liquid Matte Lipstick. The Lip Bar is slightly more pigmented and looks more vibrant on dark skin.
Article updated on April 28 (2023): Changed the best sensitive skin lipstick from BareMinerals Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick to Inika Certified Organic Lipstick. Added two new vegan lipstick brands: Pyt Beauty and La Bouche Rouge.