As a beauty editor, I’m always searching for fresh new makeup brands that help me create a full face of makeup for various occasions. But there are some definite red flags that I keep my eye out for. Brands must be vegan, cruelty-free, and have no harmful ingredients.

Through my research, I landed on two top brands — Tarte Cosmetics and Thrive Causemetics. They’re both affordable and seem to have everything I’m looking for. I thought I’d check out each brand by creating a full look using only their best-sellers.

Here’s everything you need to know about the brand I recommend:

Key Similarities:

  • Both feature an array of products ranging from foundations to eyeliners
  • Both have programs that give back to their communities
  • Both are cruelty-free and dermatologist-tested

Key Differences:

  • Thrive Causemetics feature high-performance, ultra-hydrating ingredients like macadamia, and meadowfoam seed oil | The Tarte Cosmetics ingredients are buried deep within the site but use iron oxides, titanium dioxide and vanillin
  • Thrive’s site is easy to navigate and highlights all you need to know about each product | Tarte Cosmetics' site is less user friendly
  • All Thrive Causemetics products are vegan | Only some of Tarte’s products are vegan
  • Thrive’s versatile products are multi-use | Tarte seems to focus on single-purpose products requiring a number of them to achieve a specific look

Thrive Causemetics Overview:

Thrive has everything you need for a full face of make-up. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free, free from parabens or sulfates, and dermatologist-tested and approved.

Their best-sellers are absolute standouts. I started with the Brilliant Eye Brightener™. It’s super easy to apply just below the brow bone. Ring Light Technology™ awakens the eyes, especially for those early morning meetings. What completely sold me is the 16 stunning colorways — there’s a color for every occasion like: Stella (Champagne), Izzy (opalescent shimmer), Estrella (white pearl shimmer), and Racquel (soft silver shimmer)

I went with Pili (cool gold shimmer) and once my lids were set it was time for Thrive’s Liquid Lash Extensions™ Mascara. After all, it won the Allure Best of Beauty Award. One coat is all I need and the Flake-Free Tubing Technology™ prevents clumping. At the end of each day, I simply remove the mascara with warm water and Bright Balance™ Hydrating Gel Cleanser.

Up next was their Triple Threat™ Color Stick — which works on the face, lips, and body. The Semi-Permanent Micropigment Technology™ delivers sweat and smudge-proof color all day long. The built-in brush makes for perfect blending while you’re on-the-go. Available in 22 shades, it adds a cherry to the top of my full face routine — I’m obsessed!

But what I truly adore is Thrive’s mission to help communities truly thrive. Besides their premium luxury collection, Thrive Causemetics has donated products + funds to over 200 non-profit Giving Partners that support women and their communities. Some of their causes include women fighting cancer, LGBTQ+ communities, and working to end racial injustice.

Tarte Cosmetics Overview:

Tarte Cosmetics has a cool aesthetic and their packaging is adorable. But I was curious whether their products are equally as high-end.

In order to make my eyes stand out I applied their fake awake™ eye highlight, which is available in two shades, white and nude, and is said to awaken the eyes. Then I used the tartelette™ in bloom Amazonian clay palette to further highlight my eyes and give them the lift I needed. But I could still see those pesky dark circles under my eyes.

For my lashes, I gave the best-seller tartelette™ tubing mascara a try. It wraps each lash in a tube so it won’t flake. Although Tarte recommends 2 consecutive coats, my lashes were thicker than I prefer and it took a few rinses to fully remove it before I hit the pillow that night.

In terms of the rest of my face, I had to use a number of other products. And it took more time to achieve a look similar to what Thrive gave me. I used the Amazonian clay matte waterproof bronzer and the Amazonian clay 12-hour blush which helped me achieve a fresh and youthful-looking flush. But the maracuja juicy glow highlight made my face come alive. For my lips I went with the simple maracuja juicy lipstick which looks cute but needs to be reapplied often.

Final Thoughts:

Sure, Tarte Cosmetics has a wider product range, but Thrive has everything you really need. Not to mention their multi-use products — I love the idea of one product with many uses.

At the end of the day, nothing can beat Thrive Causemetics when it comes to performance. Their products last a long time and can be easily removed. Tarte didn’t have the same lasting power, and — as a busy editor — I need something that stays on, keeping me beautiful all-day long.

With Thrive’s skin-loving, cruelty-free makeup collection you can achieve a quick and flawless natural look, try full face makeup, or go for full-on glam for nights on the town.

Hey, beauty lovers! Thrive Causemetics is proof that vegan makeup works when it’s done right.

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