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California-Based Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands to Support
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California-Based Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands to Support

Gone are the days when going animal-friendly meant driving around for hours until you found patchouli lotion from a small local shop.

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5 min read

July 11, 2021

Did you know that when crafting beauty products, companies can choose from over 7,000 ingredients that are certified as safe for use? This means that there’s absolutely no need to test on animals—the result? The only mouse ears you need in your life are the ones to don at Disneyland. And it's not like there’s a shortage of cruelty-free beauty brands either—there's more than a thousand in the Golden State alone. Gone are the days when going animal-friendly meant driving around for hours until you found patchouli lotion from a small local shop; many mainstream, big-name brands have made the switch too.

On top of that, going cruelty-free is an easy way to live more sustainably, minimize waste, and play a role in taking care of the environment. Change isn’t something that happens overnight, but it can certainly start at the cosmetics counter—check out the Golden State’s most environmentally-conscious beauty brands. 

The Best Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands in California 

Le Prunier uses dried plums, a nutrition powerhouse that includes B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and boron. Photo courtesy of Le Prunier.

Le Prunier 

Le Prunier believes that it’s better to do one thing and perfect it rather than attempt 10 and fail. Every drop of the company’s signature Plum Beauty Oil is extracted from a family-owned farm in Sutter County, just north of Sacramento—this is where the world’s largest organic plums are grown. The Plum Beauty Oil is first grown on trees, then harvested, and cold-pressed into each beautiful bottle. Not only is this product crafted organically from start to finish, but it’s also vegan, cruelty, and gluten-free. 

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Perhaps the choice of plum is also the reason why Le Prunier is considered to be the best cruelty-free makeup in the state. Dried plums both act as a superfruit and a tropical treatment—they’re naturally rich in fatty acids and phytochemicals. These organic components act as powerful antioxidants and are safe for all skin types, making the brand popular among those with acne-prone skin, eczema, and rosacea.

BIG SURf California makes soaps that calm and soothe the skin while refreshing the spirit. Each is infused with sand to naturally exfoliate the skin.

BIG SURf California 

Shaped like surfboard wax, BIG SURf California’s cylindrical soaps come in three scents—lavender and sage, cedar and mint, and seaweed and citrus. But no matter which one you end up choosing, you’ll be delighted to hear that the brand makes only all-natural and totally animal-friendly soaps; and did we mention they’re inspired by Big Sur (in case you haven’t already guessed)?

Just as the Golden State coastline seems juxtaposed to the wild stretch of Big Sur, the company combines elements of fresh intensity with those of gentleness. BIG SURf California’s soap combinations are concocted of olive, coconut, and grape seed oils that moisturize and exfoliate your skin. As you scrub, you’ll feel yourself transported to the beach, sitting comfortably near the lapping waves of the Pacific. And as for your skin, it’ll feel as smooth as if you went in for a professional body scrub.

Wish to use clean, feel-good beauty products that are effective, colorful, and fantastic? You know where to look. Photo courtesy of NCLA Beauty.

NCLA Beauty

Based in the City of Angels, this nail company is probably best-known for its awesome nail wraps. Don’t believe us? Ask model Alessandra Ambrosio. With their wide array of polishes (think cool colors, funky glitters, and chromed-out metallics) and commitment to being vegan and cruelty-free, NCLA Beauty should be your top eco-conscious go-to beauty brand.

Picture this: you’re going to Coachella. You’ve got your reusable water bottle, comfortable shoes, a faux-pas-no-more fanny pack, but something still seems to be missing from your outfit. NCLA Beauty’s Dancing Shoes nail polish should do the trick. An essential item on your concert checklist, this vegan and cruelty-free copper glitter polish glimmers under the night lights—it’ll make you feel like a certified badass. 

Bendetta formulates products using certified organic, biodynamic sources, and 100 percent clean ingredients. Photo courtesy of Bendetta.

Benedetta

Ever since it was founded in 1986, Benedetta has been a skincare line unlike any other. Their products tend to avoid toners, soapy cleansers, lip balms, or heavy night creams. The reason? Maintaining a skin-conscious attitude. Benedetta puts the needs of your skin first (not the needs of a skincare line) by offering products that hydrate, heal, and nourish from within.

The company’s defense and repair elixir—one of the specialties—is activated with organic botanical waters and super extracts along with aloe vera. Each ingredient is specifically chosen to lock in hydration and therapeutically enhance your skin’s ability to be compatible with other products containing oil. 

The Ombre Del Sole series is void of synthetic chemicals, SPFs, and pharmaceuticals. The whole set is created to provide true protection your skin needs—and it’s for more than just sun damage. Benedetta is the clean skincare brand with cutting-edge superiority formulations. 

No matter the season, a little tan and a little glow never hurt anyone. Stay golden! Photo courtesy of California Tan.

California Tan

Fancy that California glow? Opt for California Tan, a lotion line inspired by the sun-kissed, carefree lifestyles of the rich, chic, and famous. A leader in vegan and cruelty-free brands, California Tan has over 30 years of experience in the development of innovative sun care (trust us when we say they really know what they’re doing).

California Tan has formulas that are scientifically proven to be ultra-hydrating and cause no harm to cute animals; each product is infused with superior tanning and skincare ingredients. They also carry a sunless tanning colorant—a product that really puts the “gold” in the Golden State glow. If you’re not one to spend hours under the sun in your sustainably made bathing suit but would still like to look fresh off a yacht vacay, consider purchasing this colorant.

Glitter is the answer. Who cares what the question is? Photo courtesy of Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Anastasia Beverly Hills 

Boasting the best brow products on the market, Anastasia Beverly Hills is the woman-owned ethical makeup brand you need now. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals and neither do their suppliers or third parties. Another great thing about Anastasia Beverly Hills is that they don’t do business in places where animal testing is required by law.

As for their products, Anastasia Beverly Hills is the brand to turn to when you want the best cruelty-free makeup. They offer brow beauty in multiple formats, a ton of shades, and even have a handful of solutions for brows that are difficult to fill out or color-match—needless to say, they got your back.

One of our favorite vegan releases from Anastasia Beverly Hills is the DIPBROW Pomade—a full pigment, waterproof eyebrow pomade available in 11 different shades. This cruelty-free and vegan product allows for so much creativity in application that you can go from an au naturel day look to a glamorously bold filling without changing the product.

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