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Fashion & Style

The top 10 cruelty free makeup & cosmetics in Toronto

Posted by Staff / July 27, 2014

cruelty free makeupCruelty free, vegan, and organic makeup and cosmetics in Toronto have a loyal following; much like the local food movement, Torontonians like to know where our beauty goods come from and how they're being made. Buying with ethics in mind isn't the only bonus to the organic movement, either - homegrown, natural beauty resources are the sign of a healthy, thoughtful lifestyle. Your skin will thank you.

Here are my picks for the top cruelty free makeup and cosmetics companies in Toronto.

Bite Beauty
Although Bite Beauty is sold exclusively through Sephora, it's still one of Toronto's proudest natural cosmetic companies. The award-winning brand creates natural lip products - hence the name, Bite - with products that include BB creams for your lips with SPF that act as a base layer to apply before you choose your colour, agave nectar balms, and matte crayons derived from orange peels.

Cake Beauty
Cake Beauty products are paraben-free and 100% natural (plus they don't test on animals because they're nice like that). Their specialty products cover anything from your hands, body, and feet needs, though customers come back repeatedly for the dry shampoos that come in both spray and powder form and cater to different hair colours. Another fave are the 11-year-old brand's multi-purpose shower products made with Inca oils from plants supplied with plenty omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids used to nourish the skin and revitalize split ends.

DaLish
DaLish Cosmetics strives to provide an all-natural, multi-use product base that can help you achieve that whole I'm-not-wearing-makeup-but-I-really-am look in five minutes or less. The PETA-approved brand is chemical-free and can currently be found a handful of stores in the 6, including the Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt Hotel (fancy) and Green Beauty Spa on Yonge. Unlike most cosmetic brands, DaLish offers an inexpensive, full make-up kit stocked with everything you need to enhance your natural beauty.

Sudsatorium
Sudsatorium sells fair-trade beauty products designed to benefit its customers both physically and morally. Their quirkily titled lip balms, toners, bubble bath, shampoos and the like - with names like "Mac Daddy" and "Ice Man Cometh" - are made in Toronto and sold on Etsy. Sudsatorium is also a major supporter of small charities and donates 5% of their profits to grassroots efforts all over the world. The organic and vegan shop follows the ethic of "waste not want not" and works to reduce unnecessary packaging where possible while using green-friendly containers for liquid products and recycled materials.

Pelle Beauty
Pelle Beauty's variety of face oils service your beauty needs in more ways than one. The plant-based products are designed with different skin types in mind. Thankfully, founder Marnie Cipriani has outlined the basics on their website in a thorough chart that explains the range of benefits from each natural oil used, whether it's anti-aging, moisturizing, or heavy in nutrients and essential antioxidants. Products are sold individually or in helpful kits that provide all the necessary ingredients for a healthy complexion.

Province Apothecary
Province Apothecary takes its name from its company's practice: taking organic goods from each province across Canada and putting it into their vast selection of products. The Kensington-based business, run by Julie Clark, a holistic health practitioner, turns out synthetic-free, all natural goodies like makeup remover, hair and skin oils, lip balm and even offer in-house aromatherapy facials and skin consultations.

Vasanti Cosmetics
Vasanti's cosmetics are not solely made up of natural ingredients--instead, they've slowly incorporated organic ingredients into their vast range of products and are working to reduce their current use of parabens. The popular brand is sold in everyday pharmacies like Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, and Pharmasave, amidst a slew of big-brand makeup names that test on animals. Vasanti is guaranteed cruelty-free, and with such a wide offering of makeup and cosmetic tools, it's nice to have a go-to Canadian brand that's readily available across the country and still doing their part to contribute to animal welfare.

Pure + Simple
Pure + Simple's three Toronto spa locations (found in Yorkville, Yonge and Eglinton, and King West) believe that the switch to organic products is a lifestyle choice. While most beauty products are typically advertised as a quick fix - chock-full of chemicals (AKA parabens) and future side effects - Pure + Simple promotes individual notions of beauty. Skincare problems are treated uniquely with natural products like their Ayurvedic body and hair oils (for mind and body balance) by professionals who'll get you know your skin type and needs.

Your Feel Good Soap Co.
Your Feel Good Soap Company is a DIYer's dream. The Queen West shop boasts a personalized soap bar with three simple steps to creating unique organic shampoos, conditioners, hand and body soaps made from plant extracts and herbs. While the shop has gathered comparisons to other fresh soap boutiques like LUSH, these natural scents promise not to overwhelm: with the build-it-yourself aspect, customers are able to choose how much aroma goes into their product.

Kaia Naturals
Both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products are covered by Kaia Naturals, a skincare company that's best known for using bamboo as their key ingredient. Kaia's bamboo tapioca beads offer a healthy, holistic alternative to chemical face cleansers that can occasionally do more harm to your skin than good. The eco-beauty company creates quality products by using natural ingredients like honey, grapefruit seed extract oil, and coconut fatty acids, each of which plays a distinct role in the skincare process.

Did I miss any? Leave your favourite vegan, cruelty-free or organic cosmetics in the comments.

Writing by Alex Brown. Photo of Bite Beauty.

Discussion

33 Comments

Tish / July 27, 2014 at 10:25 am
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Holly&Ivy!
ATELIER IVAAN / July 27, 2014 at 11:59 am
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Another excellent line is Green Beaver, manufactured in Ontario. Gluten free, vegan, organic , they are mostly skin and hair care rather than cosmetics, although they have tinted lip glosses, which are great but you have to be diligent about putting the cap snugly back on the tube or risk having tinted lip gloss all over the place. They are also quite economical.
Sarah / July 27, 2014 at 03:20 pm
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Also see www.urbanminerals.ca is a new an amazing line of natural powder foundations available in so many great shades. All of the natural ingredients are also included on the website for everyone to see exactly what is in each mix. Sarah, the founder of the company can also make custom mixes for you! Made in Mississauga, these products are not animal tested and made of natural ingredients.
laura / July 27, 2014 at 03:21 pm
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great list! thx
Paula / July 27, 2014 at 05:17 pm
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Awesome list! I love dalish and province apothecary! Wish I could get them in the east end though.
Alison C / July 27, 2014 at 05:27 pm
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HeartCoeur is pretty rad! They have a great selection of makeup and carry brands that are true-to-the description. They do a great campaign every few months I think where a portion of donations goes to a charity - there's more info on their website.
Deborah / July 27, 2014 at 06:04 pm
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Where's Tarte?
Kory Lynn / July 27, 2014 at 07:03 pm
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Down at 313 Queen Street West suite 202 there is an amazing makeup store that carries professional products available to MUAS as well as the public! They carry Bdellium Pink Bambu and SFX Brushes, the whole Face Atelier brand, OCC Lip Tars and Cosmetic Colour Pencils, and the whole line of Yaby Cosmetics! All of these are cruelty free and absolutely amazing products! They carry products that are almost impossible to find anywhere else in the city as well!! If you haven't already, check out the website to get a better look at everything! (: Amazing prices as well as products! And there is shipping and a pro discount available
Kory / July 27, 2014 at 07:23 pm
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Down at 313 Queen Street West suite 202 there is an amazing makeup store called Blur Makeup Room that carries professional products available to MUAS as well as the public! They carry Bdellium Pink Bambu and SFZ brushes, the whole Face Atelier brand, OCC Lip Tars and Cosmetic Colour Pencils, and the whole line of Yaby Cosmetics! All of these are cruelty free and absolutely amazing products! They carry plenty of products that are almost impossible to find anywhere else in the city as well!! If you haven't heard of them already then go check them out in store or online at www.blurmakeuproom.com to get a better look at everything! (: They also offer shipping and a pro discount for artists!
Katharine / July 27, 2014 at 08:44 pm
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I don't know if these are Canadian brands, but Rae, Afterglow, and Pallahdio are also great. The only place that sells them (as far as I know) is HoneyFig on 4967 Yonge Street. Rae and Afterglow are a little more expensive, but Pallahdio has extremely reasonable prices, and their bronzers are awesome!
Hotashi / July 27, 2014 at 09:01 pm
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This is a great list, but I think it would be good to add some drugstore options for those on a budget. Marcelle, Annabelle, Essence, Physicans Formula and Joe Fresh do not test on animals but not all of their products are vegan.

The following brands DO test on animals: Revlon, Maybelline, Cover Girl, Rimmel, Neutrogena, Clinique, Estee Lauder, MAC, Lancome, L'Oreal and a bunch more. It's worth noting that although many of these companies don't test on animals to sell in Canada (it's not required by law and is left up to the discretion of the company), they do so in other countries like China who has a mandatory animal testing policy. Many of them entered into the Chinese market knowing that they would have to start testing on animals again and drop their cruelty-free status (MAC, Clinique, Estee Lauder, etc.).
mktoronto / July 27, 2014 at 10:41 pm
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There are great handmade lipstick by Lazy Cat Oils: http://www.lazycatoils.com/lazystix.html
I'm told she plans on expanding her cosmetic line.
SUDSATORIUM / July 28, 2014 at 05:11 am
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Thank you so much blogTO and especially Ms. Manzocco for mentioning our humble fair trasde cosmetics shop amongst such local cruelty-free heavy weights! This is truly a magnificent honour. Thank you so much Natalia!
Jan Benham / July 28, 2014 at 08:27 am
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I have a school teaching how to make your own cosmetics and teach in Toronto once a year. A couple of the top 10 cosmetic companies have been students of mine at The Aroma Shoppe. Lazy Cat Oils at www.lazyCatoils.com also is one of my students.
I am proud of them and happy that they are doing so well!

For a list of people making their own cosmetics please go to www.makeyourowncosmetics.org
Carla / July 28, 2014 at 09:39 am
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Full disclosure: I am the co-owner of the store I am about to plug :) www.HeartCoeur.com is a Toronto based online store and we are dedicated to carrying cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics and skincare.
Our newest brand at the store is CAMP Skincare, which is also Toronto based (the Annex, whoo), along with CAMP we have other great independent brands like Meow Meow Tweet, Lippygirl, Sugarpill, Studio 78 Paris and more.
Also, because we are animal lovers, a portion of every sale goes towards a Canadian animal sanctuary, we call it #CharmOverHarm (more info on our site).
Thanks BlogTo for this post, and thank you all for your interest in cruelty free cosmetics.
Julia Laidlaw / July 28, 2014 at 10:25 am
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Shiva's Delight products made by Casey Boyce in Kingston, Ontario are wonderful!
Cath / July 28, 2014 at 11:57 am
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ARBONNE.ca products are all vegan and gluten free. Nothing but the best for your skin... be it creams or makeup ..
Arbonne products are all botanical, pure and safe, while also being on trend with colours, convenience focused, and reasonably priced.
Hope to hear from you to try some soon!
Amy / July 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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Coccoon Apothecary! Made in Kitchener, cruelty free, and vegan: http://www.cocoonapothecary.com
TryMe / July 28, 2014 at 02:02 pm
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Check out the Health and Beauty Section at the Big Carrot at Chester and Danforth (Chester Subway station). They have a lot of high quality, organic, hypoallergenic, 100% natural and Canadian products (including makeup). My whole life, I've reacted to skin care lines. A makeup artist in the Health and Beauty section helped me find alternatives for a wedding (I was a bridesmaid). Since then, I've been a loyal customer whenever I want to put colour on my face.
TryMe replying to a comment from Cath / July 28, 2014 at 02:03 pm
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I reacted to Arbonne products. They are not 100% natural, at least not all of them.
TryMe replying to a comment from Hotashi / July 28, 2014 at 02:06 pm
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I've tried various Physician Formula products. They also sell an organic line at Shopper's (or at least they did). The best product they have is their mascara. It comes with this awesome brush that makes your thin lashes look great with total ease.
Jennifer / July 28, 2014 at 09:23 pm
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HeartCoeur has got to be on this list. Their selection of vegan makeup is cruelty-free AND high-performing! www.heartcoeur.com
Karen / July 29, 2014 at 02:59 am
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I think some commenters didn't read the title of the post correctly. It refers to the best cruelty-free makeup in Toronto (not retailers, e-shops or brands from out of the city).
Kelly@CrueltyFreeCanada.ca / July 29, 2014 at 10:44 am
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Great article for those in the GTA! Going to share on Cruelty Free Canada's FB page. For more info on who tests and who doesn't feel free to visit crueltyfreecanada.ca
Eva / July 29, 2014 at 11:23 am
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Correction - beware vegan consumers - VASANTI's brushes (from their own website) are made of squirrel and goat hair - this is NOT cruelty free or vegan brand - please boycott !
Dane / July 29, 2014 at 03:49 pm
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A friend of mine runs Heartcoeur, Toronto based, vegan cosmetics. She is great and her company is great - http://www.heartcoeur.com/
Regan replying to a comment from Karen / July 29, 2014 at 08:21 pm
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I thought that at first too Karen - but this topic is so important and worthwhile that now I appreciate that people have gone beyond the boundaries of Toronto brands. I've got a greater list of other companies to try out!! :)

My only issue is that the list is being communicated as cruelty-free - but not necessarily vegan. IMHO the brands above don't test on animals. But if you have honey and/or carmine in your products (like a couple brands above), then I don't consider you 100% cruelty-free.
Sue / July 29, 2014 at 09:08 pm
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You left out Arbonne. They use high quality botanical ingredients with the safest of science that follow the Europesn standards which are much stricter than here in a North America. Check out the website at www.arbonne.ca
JL replying to a comment from Eva / July 30, 2014 at 10:07 am
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Thank you for noting that!
Carly / July 30, 2014 at 04:46 pm
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Happy to see Sudsatorium on this list. Theirs is the only shampoo + conditioner I buy now - it all smells AMAZING.
catherine mcnally / July 30, 2014 at 05:02 pm
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Arbonne, pure, safe botanical, ... vegan. No animal testing, best anti-aging product cited by Mayo Clinic, products featured in Vanity Fair, Globe and Mail, Chadelaine, on Dr. Oz, Tyra Banks.... truly best out there, no collagen, parabens, gylcerin, no mineral oil, tallow etc... all products based on European Standards, swiss-based.
Skye / August 1, 2014 at 08:22 am
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There is inaccurate info in this post. Some brands listed as 100% natural are definitely not. There was poor fact checking. Or maybe no fact checking.
Clare / August 4, 2014 at 08:31 am
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You missed aromacentric.com
Beautiful, sweet smelling products made with 100% pure essential oils and natural, plant-based ingredients. Try the FACE IT oil to give your skin the best drink it will ever have or the FIRST BASE for your body.

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