9 Cruelty-Free And Vegan Beauty Brands

Finding completely vegan and non-toxic beauty products was once like finding a needle in a haystack. Throw in Black- or women of color (WOC)-owned makeup brands and cosmetics, and the results are often too few and far in between.

But now with more and more beauty enthusiasts adopting all-natural, organic beauty regimens, new companies are sprouting up every day to service their needs. What’s even better is that many of them are WOC- and Black-owned brands that offer diverse, cruelty-free beauty products.

With a little help from animal rights organization, Peta,—along with a few Black-girl approved products we’ve tested ourselves—we’ve compiled a list of nine vegan and cruelty-free favorites that you need to add to your beauty arsenal ASAP!

1. Footnanny

“Footnanny begins where the pedicure ends.” That’s the tagline of this Black-owned, plant-based wellness brand. CEO and founder Gloria L. Williams—aka the self-proclaimed “foot nanny”—took notes from her late mother’s beauty rituals and traditions and developed her own aromatherapy product line. From foot creams (yes, there’s even a vegan formula) and lotions to soaking salts and pedi accessories, there’s something here for any woman (and man) in need of a little TLC.

You’ll find ingredients like bay leaves, parsley, sea salt and healing Epsom salt in Williams’ products. Not to mention, the foot creams come in a wide variety of aromatic scents, such as citrus, chocolate, licorice, cotton candy, peppermint, peach, lavender, rosé, ginger and pumpkin vanilla just in time for fall. So if you’re looking for a new pampering product for your precious feet, give Footnanny a try. Even BFFs Oprah and Gayle King approve! 

2. Beauty Bakerie

Beauty Bakerie offers a completely cruelty-free, vegan line of cosmetics, including flattering cake mix foundations, “eyescream” eyeshadows, long-lasting lipsticks and flour setting powders. But it’s this Black-owned company’s cute packaging that has us gagging. Created by single mom and breast cancer survivor Cashmere Nicole in 2011, Beauty Bakerie’s products are perfect for beauty and style mavens with a sweet tooth, and those who prefer to “bake their face” with natural ingredients. 

3. Amara Halal Cosmetics

In accordance with the halal standards associated with Islamic Law, which forbid the consumption of animal products and alcohol, many makeup brands are developing their products with this cruelty-free custom in mind. Enter Amara Halal Cosmetics—the “first company in North America to provide completely Halal-Certified cosmetics specifically for the Muslim community.” You can find breathable, organic products in this line for the eyes, lips, nails and, of course, face. 

4. Shea Moisture

In terms of natural hair care, one particular trusted brand comes to mind: Shea Moisture. However, the company’s diverse product line extends to cosmetics and skin care essentials as well. Though some of the products aren’t 100 percent vegan, they are completely cruelty-free. Another fun fact is that the shea butter in each product is ethically sourced from Ghana, and the company prides itself on supporting fair trade and women-led businesses. Whether you’re looking for makeup, creams, moisturizers, soaps, lip balms or masks, Shea Moisture has plenty of products for you to apply to your body and face without fear of animals being harmed for your glow-up.

5. Carol’s Daughter

You’ve come to know this Black-owned, Brooklyn-based beauty company for its nourishing natural hair care line. But Carol’s Daughteralso boasts vegan and cruelty-free body and skin care products for all skin types, like moisturizers, soaps, sprays and hand and body creams. Founded by Lisa Price in 1993, and named after her late mother, you can find most Carol’s Daughter products in a Target store near you.

6. Plain Jane Beauty

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#transitiontuesday Switching to a clean liquid or cream foundation can be a challenge. During your search for a healthier foundation, try this diy to help keep things in motion and ease you out of your conventional foundation. ▫️ Start with a natural and clean mineral foundation… free of bismuth, parabens, talc, Pentylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol and Mineral oil… just to name a few… like our Créme Minerals Get Loose (Tap 👆🏾for deets). ▫️ In a small dish or makeup pan, add two pumps of your favorite facial lotion. Be sure to use a cream based lotion. Oils, gels and serums will give a light & liquid consistency and will show up very sheer on the skin. ▫️ Then add in the desired amount of loose powder to create a thick consistency. ▫️ With a small mixing tool, mix the mineral powder & lotion into a smooth and creamy consistency. ▫️ For more coverage, follow up with a dusting of the same loose powder foundation after applying the cream foundation. . . . #plainjanebeauty #iamplainjanebeauty #plainjanebeautyfanlove #crememineralsliquidfoundation #crememineralsliquidfoundationsamples #letnaturebeyourfoundation #ecobeautyrevolution #ecobeautybytes #keepbeautycleanandsimple #natureisourfoundation #keepingbeautycleanandsimple #beautycleanandsimple

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Certified MUA and former teacher Lake Louise created the Black-owned Plain Jane Beauty color cosmetics line back in 2011. She’s also the founder of eco-friendly skin-care brand, Lotus Moon. Plain Jane Beauty’s inclusive foundation line includes natural and organic ingredients that stretch across the color spectrum, from ivory to ebony. But what makes Louise’s makeup products stand out in the beauty crowd is the packaging. Not only are her products made from sustainable ingredients, but they each promote a message of self-love on the packaging labels. Phrases like “I am magnificent,” “I am stunning,” and “I am loving” appear on the non-toxic foundation formulas.

7. The Lip Bar

Founded by all-around badass Melissa Butler in 2012, The Lip Barmakes it easy to pretty your pout with moisturizing, cruelty-free lipsticks. Each bright and colorful tube of lipstick is completely vegan. The former Wall Street financial analyst turned CEO is committed to challenging “the standard of beauty” through her natural products, and she’s pushing back against old-fashioned perceptions of beauty. The business model has certainly paid off for Butler and The Lip Bar, considering the fact that you can now purchase her lip products in Target stores.

8. Coloured Raine

Founded in 2013 by Loraine Dowdy, the Black-owned, aptly-named Coloured Raine offers women colorful, cruelty-free cosmetics. Most of the product lineup, which includes liquid lipsticks, nail polishes and eyeshadow, is vegan and gluten-free. According to Coloured Raine’s site, Dowdy wanted to create a line that championed “self-expression and diversity, and included shades for women of color.” So not only is Dowdy an advocate for inclusion, but judging by the ingredients found in her products, she’s also unapologetic about promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle. 

9. Sacha Cosmetics

Sacha Cosmetics has a longstanding history of offering vegan makeup to its multicultural clientele, with the company’s roots dating all the way back to 1979 in Trinidad and Tobago. They’ve since expanded their Black-owned brand, appearing in 500 retail stores in 45 countries. In addition, Sacha Cosmetics was the official brand chosen for the 2015 Miss Panama Pageant and 1999 Miss Universe Pageant. If you haven’t tried their most buzzed-about Buttercup Powder or their long-wearing liquid lipsticks and diverse foundations, sis,  you’re missing out. 

Via Essence

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Marsha Ambrosius Releases 3rd Album ‘Nyla’

Marsha Ambrosius has released her third solo album, Nyla, which is named after her beautiful baby girl.

The album offers an amazingly dope 16 tracks for your listening eargasm

Listen to two singles featured on the album, “Flood,” “Luh Ya,” and watch the official music video for “Old Times” below:

Nivea Opens Up About Cocaine Addiction

The 36-year-old singer is getting ready to return to the music scene after a 13-year hiatus and she’s been very transparent about her experiences outside of the limelight.

In a recent interview with M+M+M+ Show, the singer opened up about her cocaine addiction and how she overcame it.

According to Nivea, she “did everything late.” She didn’t experiment with drugs and liquor until 2010 after she stopped breastfeeding her youngest son:

I’m a be honest. I did everything late. I didn’t smoke weed until 2010 after I stopped breastfeeding my youngest son.

The pill thing – I can’t do. I drink though. I had to stop that. Brown liquor…I’m a whiskey girl…has sugar in it and it makes you freakin’ fatter. I had to stop that. But yeah, I like to drink.

I smoke weed here and there. Never no needles, no crack. I’ve done coke. But no pills.

That’s it.

My experience with cocaine…that wasn’t something I felt public with where people want to party. It didn’t do none of that for me. It was more of a mental thing.

I had a different reaction than most people. I wanted to be alone. It was a personal drug. I wanted to write, play Sudoku, it put me in my head.

Nivea also revealed the cycle of addiction in her family:

I come from an addicted family, both of my parents were on crack. My mom got off and my dad struggled over the years, and recently, over the past year, went to rehab, but that was the last 30 years of my life. The struggle is real.

I was real caught up with the cocaine situation. It was pretty bad. I pulled myself up out of it though. In the midstthough, I knew that was something I was allowing to happen, which was dangerous and reckless, but I knew I was going to come out of it somehow.

She went on to talk about how her kids saved her life:

Even though sometimes it got tough and I was like, ‘Damn.’ I talked to Dream about it. I was about to give the kids up, which I think helped me. Because without them, I would have died.

I can’t live without all of them. I need them for air.

Nivea also sat down with BET for an interview. Check it out

Nivea HAS always been one of my favorites , Im so happy she’s healthy and back on the scene. Glow Girl Glow!

Slick Woods Shows Off Toned Post-Pregnancy Body , Two-Weeks After Going Into Labor On The Catwalk!

It’s only been 2-weeks since Slick Woods went into labor while walking Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty show at NYFW and the model’s body is already back.

Slick Woods posted on social media about the birth

“sA lewk, 14 hours of labor, and A king is born. This is the face of a WOMAN IN LABOR, we hold shit down most of us don’t even know how much we’re going through, I’m here to say I CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT WHENEVER THE FUCK I WANT AND SO CAN YOU.”

Thank you @qualityresusqueen and the Fenty family for taking such good care of us

via People:

The shot, which was shared on Woods’ Instagram stories Wednesday, shows the young model baring her abs in a Betty Boop crop top with army green cargo pants paired with a black diaper bag.

Woods, whose real name is Simone Thompson, also wrote, “Out w lil daddie” over the shot in reference to her baby boy who can be seen in a stroller in the background. Woods, who happens to be close friends with Rihanna, went into labor on Sept. 14 while strutting down the singer’s Savage x Fenty runway during New York Fashion Week.

Let’s be honest — with her body type did we NOT expect her to body to bounce back super quickly?

Kelis Share Her Secrets On Fame “Being Famous Never Validated Me!”

Since the moment she arrived on the scene, Kelis has done things her own way. A beauty chameleon and genre-bending musical talent, the singer has always been in a league of her own.

For October, Kelis graces the cover of ESSENCE’s Global Beauty Issue where she gets candid about taking a break from the spotlight and working at her own pace.

“One of the biggest things I reiterate is self-care,” the singer told ESSENCE.

Fame can be a tricky beast for celebrities, especially in an age where social media is king and access to their private lives can result in less than pleasing tabloid stories. It’s no wonder, then, that stars like Kelis choose to keep certain parts of their lives private.

“Anyone who knows me knows I can take fame or leave it,” Kelis said. “I can walk away from all of this and never look back. Being famous has never validated me—ever. I’ve never cared if people liked me or didn’t like me. Either way, I’m cool.”

Still, part of Kelis’ self-care was taking a much needed break from the music industry’s glaring spotlight. The singer said that she knew exactly what she needed to do in order to maintain her peace.

The 39-year-old mother of two knew that in order to be truly happy, she had to grow into the powerhouse she’s become. “The only way you are really ever going to be truly content is if you are constantly evolving,” she said.

Kelis talks fame and so much more in the Global Beauty Issue, on newsstands September NOW.

Via Essence

Adrienne Bailon Talk About Struggle To Conceive : ‘Everybody Doesn’t Get Pregnant Right Away’

Most of us women believe getting pregnant is easy, Bailon’s journey to becoming a mother has been more difficult than she thought, and she’s tired of people talking about what’s going on in her womb, calling them “insensitive.”

“I know you guys are like, ‘Is she pregnant?’ ‘Her face is fuller’— FYI I’ve always had a really chubby face so that’s not what it is,” Bailon joked before turning more serious.“I think that as an audience we should be sensitive to the fact that everybody doesn’t get pregnant right away.”

She continued, “I think for myself I thought it would happen so easily for me and it just hasn’t happened that way.”

In spite of her current frustration about the process, Bailon is still optimistic about becoming a mom.

“I’ve had to come to peace with that it’ll happen when it’s God’s timing and I believe in that and I have faith in all of that. But it can be really discouraging and it can be really frustrating,” she admitted.

“My wish for next year would be to start a family. That would be my biggest dream come true. I’ve always said I want to be a mom,” she said. “So prayers up and we will see what happens.”

Sanaa Lathan: ‘I Have Been Treated Just Horribly By Some Women That You May Know’

Sanaa Lathan is good. She’s really good. Ever since she cut off her signature bob, the actress, who’s currently starring in Netflix’s Nappily Ever After, isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s even sounding off on rising in the ranks of a Hollywood that at times can be unfriendly.

“Just coming up in the business, I have been treated just horribly by some women that you may know,” the 47-year-old actress said Monday in a room full of women at the New York City premiere of her latest rom com inside The Wing Soho.

“I won’t call any names,” she said, “but when you’re working with somebody who’s maybe a little older than you — now I’m the older one — you don’t expect to get competition, and jealousy, and weird vibes on set. And I was very hurt, very early on in my career by a couple of different women.”

Thankfully, Lathan said that while portraying Lynn Whitfield’s onscreen daughter, who’s obsessed with being perfect — even down to the hairs on her head — for her boyfriend, she didn’t have to worry about bad vibes. It was all love between her and Lynn, whom she called “a light.”

“You can tell that. She’s so beautiful inside and out,”
Lathan added.

Whitfield, who portrays Paulette Jones (the kind of mother who loves to put you in between her legs for a good press right near the kitchen stove), returned the love.

Nappily Ever After

You’re only as good as the moment you create,” she told Lathan. “You can’t create the truth by yourself.

In Nappily Ever After, we see Lathan’s Violet Jones breezing through life thanks to a high-powered advertising gig and a fine as hell live-in boyfriend. And it helps that she found a little blue box in her boyfriend’s pocket. With wedding bells ringing loudly in her ears, Jones tries to keep her hair laid, in an effort to secure the ring. Don’t worry feminists. Eventually Jones comes to her senses.

“I love the fact that this is a romantic comedy, but I call it the fairy tale for the modern woman,” Lathan said of the flick directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, known as the first female Saudi filmmaker. “It’s a romantic comedy about falling in love with yourself.”

“When I was coming up, we were read fairy tales, and fairy tales is kind of what helps us determine what our values are as little girls. And when you read Cinderella…and you don’t see yourself reflected, what does that do to you on a deep unconscious self-esteem way?” the actress asked.

Lathan said she’s proud Nappily Ever After represents “the beginnings of inclusivity.”

The actress famously cut her hair off for the film, shot in Atlanta. The move created headlines last fall, when Lathan showed off her big chop on the ‘gram. Initially, Lathan admitted, she didn’t want to go there.

“In the beginning, [I said], ‘I’m not cutting my hair.’ I said, ‘You know, this is the 21st century. We have technology. We can do a bald cap,” she recalled to laughter.

But after talk with a “couple of people,” including producer Tracey Bing and celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims, who made his film debut in Nappily, Lathan decided to just go for it.

“I said, ‘It’s just hair,’” she said. “If I don’t like it I can just throw a wig on.”

Similar to how the women reacted in The Wing Monday night, the glam squad and crew on set were “transformed,” Whitfield said, after what will become an iconic scene of liberation and freedom.

Because for many women — even though we know better — too much value and worth are wrapped up in the strands of our hair.

“This is still an issue. It has not gone away,” Whitfield said. “So I felt completely free to be this mother…who was so frightened by what this bold move would do to her daughter’s life — what it would cost her.”

Via Essence