Best Makeup Not Made in China

Best Makeup Not Made in China

One of those most frequently asked categories that people want to find outside of China is makeup. This is for many reasons.

First, makeup is something you put on your body everyday, and as we’ve seen with other products, China manufacturers often win the “lowest bid” of American corporations by doing the minimum possible as far as safety and quality control. We also know that China has some of the most polluted cities in the world, and that pollution makes its way into the air, the soil, and every raw material they use.

Second, China is way behind the times when it comes to animal cruelty. In fact, until 2023 their law mandated that all products sold to Chinese consumers be tested on animals. While they supposedly changed their laws, do you really believe they’ve stopped doing animal testing? As with everything else in Communist China, a law only means anything if your caught and/or the government wants to make an example out of you.

And of course, there are all the usual reasons. One purchase of lipstick or mascara from China goes to support a regime that threatens its neighbors and denies freedom of speech, religion, and the press.

How did you go about making this list?

This was a tough one, because MOST large makeup brands have at least a foot—if not their entire leg—in China. The lure of cheap labor, cheap raw material from environmental abuse, and entry into the China market is too tempting for most companies to ignore. Some makeup companies like e.l.f. have gone “all in” on China, but most of them manufacture around the world.

You don’t find a lot of products from Maybelline or their parent company L’Oreal here, because they’ve made a concerted effort to HIDE country of origin from their online listings. Nearly every listing where a consumer asks where a product is made has this canned response, no doubt penned by a committee of executives and PR lackeys:

Translation: “Hello there! We know exactly which of our factories in the US, France, or China this product is made in, but we’re not going to tell you because we think you’re too stupid to know what to do with the answer. So just shut up and give us your money like you’ve always done. Thank you!”

The sad thing is that a lot of Maybelline’s products are indeed made in the USA, but as long as Maybelline continues to disrespect its customers by pretending that people asking about where it’s made care only about “safety” and not anything deeper, it’s hard to recommend them. The good news is that there are many, many better alternatives.

The best approach is to find a brand that clearly states they are made somewhere other than China. If you must buy from a big well-known brand, the best way for you to send a message to them is to READ THE LABEL, and if it says Made in China, throw it back. If enough consumers do this, they’ll get the message.

In my list below, I looked up the best-selling products on Amazon under the most popular categories of makeup, and looked for ones that the brand or customers reported were definitively NOT made in China.

Just a warning that just because one product from any given brand isn’t made in China, it doesn’t mean that others aren’t. So don’t necessarily trust any brand—check every product label.


Best Makeup Not Made in China

I chose these based on their popularity and their overall rating, as well as the transparency of finding their country of origin.


The base of your makeup routine to even out your skin tone

  1. COVERGIRL + OLAY Simply Ageless Foundation – I appreciate that Covergirl’s owner, Coty, took the time to reply to Amazon question, saying clearly that their products are made in the USA and are not testing on animals. Reviewers love the performance, smoothness, appearance, and moisture of the foundation.
  2. bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation – This is one of the highest rated products on Amazon and a best-seller. I’m not thrilled that they hide the country of origin on Amazon and their own Web site, but it’s probably to conceal (no pun intended) the fact that their other products are made elsewhere, including China. But from Amazon reviewers and sites like this, it’s clear that their powder is still made in the USA.
  3. Clinique Even Better Makeup Foundation – This is another highly rated foundation that’s made in Belgium or Canada by Clinique. Reviewers love its quality, texture, color, and moisture.


Used to cover blemishes, dark circles, and other imperfections

  1. Neutrogena Skinclearing Blemish Concealer – This highly rated concealer is made in the USA. Reviews like how well it reduces blemishes, helps in skincare, and is easy to use.
  2. COVERGIRL Clean Invisible Lightweight Concealer – Coty once again earns a spot on this list by having one of the highest reviewed products and clearly answering customers’ questions, stating that their product is made in the USA (take some notes, Maybelline and L’Oreal). Reviewers love the coverage, quality, and value.
  3. Catrice Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer – Here’s a vegan and cruelty-free option made in Italy. Reviewers like how it looks, how long it lasts, and its durability.


Adds warmth and dimension to your face

  1. Rimmel London Natural Bronzer – This highly rated and best-selling formula is made in the UK, unlike other best-sellers like e.l.f. (China), Physician’s Formula (supposedly made in Italy, but packaged in China), and NYX (supposedly made in the USA, but says made in China). Rimmel does make some of its products in China, so be sure to read the label.
  2. Milani Baked Bronzer – as with their blush (see below), their bronzer is made in Italy, “crafted on Italian terracotta tiles”, despite the very affordable price tag. Reviewers love that it goes on smooth and feels weightless on their face.
  3. Wet n Wild Makeup Stick – Lots of reviewers like this makeup stick that works as a bronzer and a concealer.


Adds a flush of color to the cheeks

  1. Milani Baked Blush – Milani is a strange brand, as it sounds Italian and makes products like this blush in Italy, but was started in East Los Angeles. Well over 40,000 reviewers love the value, weight, and quality of this blush.
  2. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Origin Blush – While there aren’t as many reviews for this as other brands, I like how the manufacturer took the time to plainly state that their products are manufactured in the USA (mostly in North Carolina).
  3. COVERGIRL Cheekers Blush – While there are lots of reviews that talk about getting products in damaged packaging (likely due to ordering from third party sellers—be sure to buy it directly from Amazon), reviews for this blush are off-the-charts, and the product listing and photos corroborate that it is made in the USA (albeit of US and Imported ingredients).


Lengthens, darkens, and volumizes lashes

  1. IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara – This has over 10,000 positive ratings and is made in Italy. Customer like the quality and length of the mascara.
  2. Lancome Lash Idole Mascara – Even though Lancome is part of the L’Oreal Group, L’Oreal wisely chose to protect that brand by making sure they continue to manufacture in France. Since then, Lancome has become the biggest cosmetic seller in China. Weird, huh?
  3. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara – The Amazon product listing says that this is made in the United States, while the photo of the product package say that it’s made in the UK. In either case, it’s not China.


Defines the lash line and makes lashes appear fuller

  1. Chanel Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner – This was Vogue’s best all-around best pick. Chanel is surprisingly coy about country of origin; they don’t mention it on their site, nor do sites like Ulta. But Saks Fifth Avenue says clearly that it’s made in France (wouldn’t you think Chanel would want to shout this from the rooftop?) Be sure to reward sites like Saks Fifth Avenue for trusting us with this information.
  2. Stilia Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner – Listed as the top pick of Byrdie, this highly-rated, popular, and affordable eye-liner is listed on their Amazon product page as made in the USA, although I wish they would be more forthcoming on their Web site.
  3. Rimmel London Waterproof Eyeliner – There’s Rimmel London again. It’s listed as made in Germany. Reviewers love the color, quality, and value.


Adds color to your lips

  1. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick – After going through listing after listing of Maybelline and L’Oreal products that were probably made in the USA but where the manufacturer refused to be specific about country of origin, I came across Rimmel again, made in the UK. Reviewers appreciate its smell, ease of use, and moisturizing.
  2. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick or Revlon Lipstick Set – The USA is listed as the country of origin on these, and it’s corroborated by several reviewers. They’re some of the highest rated and most rated lipsticks on Amazon, and according to one reviewer Revlon makes most of their products in the USA, with some powders, foundations and concealers made in China. As with all of these companies with one foot in China, check the label.
  3. NARS Powermatte Lipstick – In researching the best lipstick brands, one brand kept coming up as the “best of the best” on sites ranging from InStyle to the Chicago Tribune was NARS. The professional reviews love that it has the luxuriousness, comfort, and performance of a high end brand at a reasonable price.


Adds color and definition to your eyelids

  1. Julep Eyeshadow – As so many corporate executives in America continue to disrespect their audience by closing their American factories and outsourcing their products to the cheapest possible contractors in China, leave it South Korea to continue to produce their high quality products out of their own country. This eyeshadow is rated very highly by a huge number of people who love its ease of use and its high quality.
  2. NYX Professional Makeup Eyeshadow Stick and Eyeliner Pencil – You have to be very careful with NYX, as most of their products are made in China these days. If you’re not sure of the difference between Taiwan and China, check out my primer on the topic (and please share it).

    This particular eyeshadow is made in Taiwan. But be careful, as NYX can easily change its manufacturing on a dime. If you ever get one made in China, throw it back.
  3. Revlon Eyeshadow Palette – Here’s another product that’s well-reviewed and many people’s favorite. With any product that’s a powder you do need to be careful with Revlon, but there’s plenty of validation that this is made in the USA.

Setting powder/spray

Sets your makeup in place and controls shine

  1. Dermablend Loose Setting Powder – While Dermablend is owned by behemoth L’Oreal, I like how they state clearly that this is made in the USA. It’s tested and recommended by dermatologists, including for allergies and sensitive skin and lasts up to 16 hours.
  2. Etude Sebum Drying Powder – This is made in Korea and get rave reviews, especially from people with oily skin.
  3. Rimmel London Stay Matte Fix & Go – As with many other Rimmel products we’ve seen, this one looks like it’s made in Europe (specifically in Spain).

Makeup Brands Made in the USA

The unfortunate reality is that the more popular a brand gets, the more likely it is to compromise by making things in China to maximize profits or to bend to the CCP’s demands in order to break into the China market.

Worse, there seems to be a trend among makeup companies to NOT display the country of origin on their online listings, even though some are clearly made in the USA (which you would think is something they’d want to shout from the mountaintops). When a makeup company deliberately hides country of origin from its customers it usually means one thing: if they get “big enough”, they will reserve the right to get their products manufactured cheaply.

Here are brands that you might not have heard of, but which have been featured on multiple “best of” lists AND which unabashedly say on their Web site, either on their product copy, their About Us page, or their FAQS, that they’re made in the USA.

Amazingly, there are dozens and dozens of other brands that choose not to be transparent about country of origin. Be sure to reward the ones that do.


Of course there are thousands and thousands of other choices for makeup, but these consistently came up as some of the more popular ones. I’m happy to see that there are many choices for makeup not made in China.

Do you have a favorite makeup item not made in China? Or do you have a brand that is transparent enough to add to the Made in USA list? Please share it in the comments!

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