7 Cruelty-Free and Vegan Foundations Ranked Best to Worst – 2023

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Ranking 7 cruelty-free & vegan foundations from best to worst.

Foundations are one makeup product category that I have strong opinions about. Other categories would be more difficult for me to give a definitive ranking.

So last week, I made a scoring rubric / point system for my foundations and got to work rating them.

This ranking is based on *my* personal preferences when it comes to foundation. A product that is low on my list isn’t necessarily a “bad” product, it just means I prefer others. But, none of these are particularly “bad” products, because if they were, they wouldn’t be in my collection.

I’ll also have swatch comparison photos at the end, so you can see the shades if you are also very fair.

The point system.


Category Maximum points
Coverage 5
Finish 5
Longevity 5
Formula/packaging 5
Overall shade range 5

And a brief explanation of each scoring category…

  • Coverage – I prefer a full coverage, medium buildable is ok.
  • Finish – I prefer matte, a natural finish is ok depending on the product.
  • Longevity – Obviously longer lasting is better since I can get oily.
  • Formula/Packaging – I took off points for particularly fragrant formulas, ones that didn’t work well, and bad packaging. (Not saying fragrance is a bad ingredient, because it isn’t. I have sensory issues with fragrance and it is very distracting to me to be able to smell my foundation all day.)
  • Overall shade range – Taking off points for the foundation line having a bad shade range, has to have at least 30-40 shades and go very light and very deep.

Ranking the cruelty-free and vegan foundations.

All of the foundations in this post are cruelty-free per Logical Harmony at the time of posting, and the formulas are vegan.

If you’d prefer to watch a video – I just posted one on my YouTube Channel!

Let’s go in order of best to worst.

The top two were a tie.

Cover FX Power Play Foundation.

Cover FX Power Play Foundation

This has been a long-standing favorite, and I was not surprised that it made the top of the list. Honestly not sure how I haven’t used it up yet.

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 5 5
Finish 5 5
Longevity 5 5
Formula/packaging 4 5
Overall shade range 5 5
Total score 24 25
Cover FX Power Play Foundation
  • Coverage – Not super full and cakey, but is pretty buildable and covers enough for what I need.
  • Finish – It’s more of a natural finish, but I don’t feel the need to set with powder and it doesn’t transfer. (I usually powder anyways out of habit).
  • Longevity – It lasts as long as I’ve ever needed it to, sometimes 12 hours.
  • Formula/Packaging – No complaints with the formula. The packaging I can imagine will be hard to get the last little bit out of the bottle. It is in a dropper bottle and doesn’t open.
  • Overall shade range – Cover FX has a great shade range, I believe they are underrated.

I would definitely repurchase this foundation in the future, though as you’ll see, I have plenty of foundations for now.

NYX Cosmetics Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation.

NYX Cosmetics Can't Stop Won't Stop Foundation

This one is also a favorite and I knew it would be number one.

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 5 5
Finish 5 5
Longevity 5 5
Formula/packaging 4 5
Overall shade range 5 5
Total score 24 25
NYX Cosmetics Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation
  • Coverage – Definitely a full coverage. Can be thick and cakey if you’re not careful. I wouldn’t recommend for very dry or mature skin, but it works well for me.
  • Finish – Matte finish, don’t need to set with powder but I do anyways for that extra security blanket. It’s even transfer-proof and waterproof (though I haven’t tested the waterproof claim haha)
  • Longevity – It ain’t moving.
  • Formula/packaging – Formula is great, the pump isn’t the best. It clogs easily and seems flimsy.
  • Overall shade range – They have a great shade range, 45 shades from light to deep.

This is a good stand-by foundation that I would trust to get me through a long day. It’s even at the top of my list for wedding-day makeup.

ELF Cosmetics Camo CC Cream.

ELF Cosmetics Camo CC Cream

This is the newest release on the list, on the heels of the massively popular Camo Concealers. I had to try it and am glad I did!

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 5 5
Finish 5 5
Longevity 5 5
Formula/packaging 4 5
Overall shade range 3 5
Total score 22 25
ELF Cosmetics Camo CC Cream
  • Coverage – Very surprised that a CC Cream would be full coverage. Definitely need a light hand as it is thick.
  • Finish – Natural finish, not really matte. I’d set with a powder personally.
  • Longevity – Tbh, it’s new, and I haven’t had any occasions to wear it for a long time but after 6-8 hours or so it looks just as good as it did when freshly applied.
  • Formula/packaging – no complaints on the formula, I just don’t like the squeeze tube/pump combo. All CC Creams come in packaging like this, so there must be a reason, it’s just hard to get the last little bit out.
  • Overall shade range – Not great. A bigger range than most CC Creams I’ve seen which is great, but the formula is not sheer whatsoever, so each shade would not cover multiple skintones like something more sheer. It was also difficult to find a shade match.

I do enjoy this foundation especially for the price. I saw ELF comment on social media that they were working on expanding the range, which will be amazing because it is a great product.

Milani Cosmetics Screen Queen Foundation.

Milani Screen Queen Foundation.

Here’s where the ranking started surprising me.

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 2 5
Finish 5 5
Longevity 3 5
Formula/packaging 5 5
Overall shade range 5 5
Total score 20 25
Milani Cosmetics Screen Queen Foundation
  • Coverage – This foundation is supposed to be a light to medium coverage. You will not be able to get full coverage from this. I prefer full coverage, but still like it on occasion. It does have better coverage with a brush than with a sponge.
  • Finish – It has a natural finish and is almost matte.
  • Longevity – I think because of the lighter coverage, it starts creasing a bit faster.
  • Formula/Packaging – No complaints, doesn’t have a strong scent and the bottle and pump are great.
  • Overall shade range – this has an amazing range for a drugstore product. And I think the shade match doesn’t have to be exact since it’s a lighter coverage.

I think it is good to have a lighter coverage foundation because sometimes I just want to even out some redness and call it a day.

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation.

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation

This is another great product with a few small drawbacks for me. I’ve been using it in my “shop my stash” rotation this week and it does look beautiful on the skin. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons and step away from the matte foundations haha.

(Keep in mind this foundation has a slightly different formula for each shade range, like “White Pearl” will be different than “Fair Lady” and so on.)

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 4 5
Finish 4 5
Longevity 4 5
Formula/packaging 2 5
Overall shade range 5 5
Total score 19 25
UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation
  • Coverage – This one has a more medium coverage, it doesn’t quite go over acne spots.
  • Finish – Definitely a more satin/natural finish, which does lend to a beautiful look but isn’t transfer-proof.
  • Longevity – Doesn’t last as long as other foundations, but still a good amount of time.
  • Formula/packaging – The SCENT. If it was unscented, I’d use it way more often. Packaging is fine.
  • Overall shade range – They have an amazing shade range, I’d just caution you that it’s a bit difficult to navigate. If you’re buying from Ulta, definitely check UOMA’s website to match yourself. For example, I am in the shade “White Pearl T1N”. “T1N” also exists in the other shade ranges, so there’s a Fair Lady T1N, Brown Sugar T1N, Black Pearl T1N, etc. They have a good shade matching quiz that should point you in the right direction!

Although I took points off here and there, this is a beautiful foundation. I just wish it was unscented.

KVD Vegan Beauty True Portrait Foundation.

KVD Vegan Beauty True Portrait Foundation - cruelty-free and vegan

This one uh, has some quirks. Before I was cruelty-free, I tried the Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Foundation, and this is similar. I didn’t particularly like that one either.

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 3 5
Finish 4 5
Longevity 3 5
Formula/packaging 2 5
Overall shade range 5 5
Total score 17 25
KVD Vegan Beauty True Portrait Foundation
  • Coverage – Medium coverage, didn’t cover breakouts and wasn’t easily buildable.
  • Finish – It’s a matte finish alright, a bit *too* matte. It is a liquid-to-powder and can cling to dry patches. No powder necessary though?
  • Longevity – It did not last very long on me before creasing or breaking down. Also something to note, usually foundations look better on me as they wear, this one did not.
  • Formula/Packaging – Ok this one did not have a scent which I appreciate. But, the formula is weird. If you apply this, then try to blend out undereye concealer, it just removes the foundation. This happens especially with a sponge, and I don’t prefer to use a brush but I have to with this foundation. Packaging is odd, but it’s a very thin formula, so it was either this squeeze tube, or a dropper bottle I think.
  • Overall shade range – KVD Vegan Beauty does a pretty good job at shade ranges so I give them credit for that.

I need to test out and play around with this foundation some more, though I do feel like I shouldn’t have to try a foundation 100 different ways to get it to work? I’m not giving up on it yet. It is a bit odd that it’s been 50% off for months and months… maybe it’s being discontinued.

Pacifica Beauty Alight Clean Foundation.

Pacifica Beauty Alight Clean Foundation. Cruelty-free and vegan

Honestly I thought these last two would be switched in terms of the ranking.

Category My score Maximum points
Coverage 5 5
Finish 2 5
Longevity 3 5
Formula/packaging 3 5
Overall shade range 2 5
Total score 15 25
Pacifica Beauty Alight Clean Foundation.
  • Coverage – Surprisingly full coverage for a “natural” foundation. It is pretty cakey though.
  • Finish – Definitely on the dewy side, powder doesn’t do much to set it.
  • Longevity – Dewy or more satin foundations do not last long on me, this one will crease fairly quickly. It looks slightly better on me as I wear it.
  • Formula/Packaging – Again the SCENT. It has a strong scent that doesn’t seem to dissipate.
  • Overall shade range – it’s a good range for a natural brand (which isn’t saying much, usually they have like 3 shades of white) but not good in terms of all foundation ranges. I’m also seeing deeper shades go on clearance.

I will begrudgingly continue to use this foundation, and I have 2 bottles because I couldn’t find my shade match, I have to mix the two so it’ll last forever. It looks decent on camera for videos, but I wouldn’t wear it out, especially with a mask.

Swatch Comparisons.

I always find these comparison photos helpful when trying to find a foundation match, so here are some photos I took of these foundations in different lighting.

All of them except the Pacifica ones (which I mix together) are very good matches. The Milani and UOMA Beauty are the closest, but look very light on my face. I guess because I’m used to foundations being at least a little bit too dark. Though having a slightly darker or warmer shade helps to cancel out redness and acne scars. I typically go for a neutral tone if it’s available.

See what I meant earlier about the KVD True Portrait? That big fingerprint in the middle haha. It didn’t want me to blend it out.

Swatch of all my cruelty-free and vegan foundations under my studio lights.
Swatches of all my cruelty-free and vegan foundations in natural light.


Have you tried any of the foundations on this list? What are your favorite cruelty-free foundations?

Also check out my list of cruelty-free and vegan foundations for $16 or less!

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Cruelty-free and vegan foundations ranked best to worst
Cruelty-free and vegan foundations ranked best to worst - shade comparison
Cruelty-free and vegan foundations ranked best to worst - shade comparisons
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