cruelty free makeup

The top 10 cruelty free makeup & cosmetics in Toronto

Cruelty 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 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 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.

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