Vegan makeup

I got a message yesterday from Sensational Sam wanting to know a little bit more about vegan makeup.  I had never really considered the idea that cosmetic products are an area of concern for vegans and vegetarians, and so I set out to do some research.


What is Vegan Makeup?

Vegan makeup and beauty products are products that are not tested on animals, and do not contain any animal products or by-products.  It is a common misconception that cruelty free cosmetics are also vegan cosmetics.  This is not the case.  In order to be truly vegan, cosmetics must be both cruelty-free and free of any animal product or derivative.


What animal products and derivatives may  be present in cosmetic products?

There are many products that are commonly used in makeup and beauty products that are derived from animal products.  Some of these are more obvious than others.  Here is a list of common ingredients in cosmetics that are derived from animals:

– Carmine or Cochineal.  These are colourings that are made from crushed beetles.

– Lanolin

– Beeswax


– Lard

– tallow



-milk products

– silk derivatives

– propolis


– hyalauronic acid

-glycerine (Glycerine is tricky, because it may be derived from both animal or plant sources.  Some glycerine is vegan-friendly, but unless you are sure, it is best to steer clear).


If you are a vegan, these are the main ingredients that you should keep an eye out for when buying cosmetics and makeup products.


Where can I buy vegan cosmetics?

Many common cosmetics brands have some vegan products.  MAC, Australia, Innoxa and Avon are all brands that offer some vegan products. However, not all products offered by these companies are vegan, so it is best to do your homework before making a purchase.  It can be difficult to find vegan products when buying from mainstream brands, as they do not advertise which products are safe for vegan use, and retailers may not be well-versed on which products are free from animal products.


There are a number of excellent mainstream brands that have vegan ranges.  Urban Decay have a massive range of vegan makeup products, with a rainbow of eyeshadows, glitter eyeliner, foundations and skin products, nail polish and nail art supplies and primers.  Their prices are very reasonable, and you can find their products online.


Lush also have a very wide range of vegan beauty products, with everything from body lotion to shampoo.  I am a huge fan of Lush and have tried many of their products, so I can vouch for their excellent quality.  Lush products are reasonably priced, are cruelty free and use a minimal amount of packaging.  Many of their products are safe for vegans.  Lush products can be purchased at any number of outlets, or you can order them online.


I have also found a number of companies that are 100% vegan.  This means that every single product is safe for vegan usage.


Vegan essentials is an online company based in Wisconsin.  They offer everything from makeup, to nailpolish to skin care and even hair dye.  Their prices are moderate and their products are 100% vegan.  They also offer clothing and other vegan products.


Alternative Outfitters is another online vegan boutique.  Although their range is not as large as some of the other companies, their prices seem to be the lowest.  Their lip balm range looked good enough to eat!


At this stage, the best vegan cosmetics company that I have come across is Pure Gaisha.  They have an excellent range of beauty treats, skin care, mineral makeup and nailpolish and gorgeous gifts.  They are an Australian based company that hand-makes all of their products.  They are 100% cruelty free and 100% vegan.  Best of all, they donate a percentage of their profits to animal welfare organizations.


If anybody else has any information or advice on vegan makeup or cosmetics products, please feel free to comment.  I am going to try to test out some of these products too, so that I can give you guys some vegan product reviews!

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