The ever expanding world of beauty can be a confusing one. Even once you decide to go ‘green’ and buy natural and organic beauty, there are other paths to explore and decisions to make, such as looking into brands which are cruelty free and vegan.
The Vegan Society estimates that the number of vegans in the UK has doubled in the last nine years from 150,000 to around 300,000. So, with an increasing number of people now living a plant-based diet and lifestyle, is vegan beauty the future of cosmetics?
Benefits of a vegan beauty bag
There are several benefits associated with wearing vegan make up, several of which they share with natural cosmetics.
- The obvious benefit of vegan beauty is that you will be avoiding animal bi-products, therefore not contributing to animal cruelty or testing during any part of production process. The term ‘cruelty free’ and vegan are not the same, and although a large number of brands are branded as cruelty free, which means that the product and ingredients used have not been tested on animals at any point during production, it does not necessarily mean that the item is vegan - their ingredients may tell another story!
- Vegan products are often formulated with less ingredients, therefore are gentler on sensitive skin. (However, always carry out a test patch if you are unsure!). The ingredients used are taken from nature, and will be suitable for most skin types.
- Today the vegan market is suitable for all budgets, whether you are fan of luxury or budget beauty, there will be a vegan brand available to you.
Where to start - Check your ingredients
It may sound simple enough to avoid animal ingredients; however they can be listed under different names or abbreviations. Know what you are looking for and to get you started here are some common ingredients to avoid if you are going vegan:
Bee Products (such as bees wax, honey, bee pollen and propolis): Found in many cosmetics such as lipsticks, mascaras, lip balms, face creams and lotions. Beeswax can be easily replaced with alternatives such as vegetable oils, carnauba wax or Candelilla wax. Why do vegetarians use bee products and vegans do not? Simply put, vegans believe bee products are created by bees, for their own use, so therefor not ethical to take and use for our own benefit.
Lanolin (also known as lanolin acids, wool fat or wool wax): This is a grease/ fat which is taken from sheep wool. It is used in many skincare products and cosmetics as an emollient, which softens and smooths the skin.
Carmine (otherwise known as carminic acid, chochineal): This is a red pigment taken from the crushed female cochineal insect. Used in cosmetics and shampoos, it is reported that 70,000 beetles are killed to produce one pound of this dye. Alternatives to this ingredient include natural dyes taken from fruits and plants.
Keratin: Most commonly found in hair products such as rinses and shampoos, keratin is protein taken from the ground up hooves, horns, feathers and quills of animals.
Milk protein: Found in shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers and taken from the milk of a cow. There are obvious alternatives, such as soy or other plant proteins.
This is only a small proportion of what products to be looking out for, if you are unsure, check the full ingredients list and research unrecognisable names.
Now, for the fun part!
Shopping for vegan cosmetics does not have to be all about reading ingredient lists or compromising on quality products. We’ve put together an everyday natural look with vegan cosmetics to show you what is available:
Get the lookBase: We have chosen the Dr Hauschka Foundation which provides coverage for minor blemishes, the formulation is easy to apply and contains pomegranate essence to hydrate and coconut oil which leaves you skin silky smooth. Set your foundation with Ere Perez Translucent Corn Perfecting Powder to leave a flawless and shine free finish all day.
Eyes: Lightly wash your eyelids with the Ilia Silken Shadow Stick to brighten and highlight your eyes. We have chosen this colour as it forms a great base to layer with other colours, or just a subtle lift for the day. Define your eye line with the Beauty Without Cruelty Soft Kohl Pencil in Black, the special blend of mineral colours and natural waxes glide on your eyelids effortlessly without melting, and proving intense colour throughout the day and finish your look with the gentle Lily Lolo Lash Alert Natural Mascara to add volume and length to your lashes.
Lips:We couldn't do a vegan look without mentioning the beautiful Inika Vegan Lipsticks. For a soft, shimmering day look go for the shade Naked Kiss as shown here, but the high quality range of lipsticks made with 100% natural minerals can define your lips from a soft shimmering gold to warm red or deep plum for any occasion.
Finishing Touches: Build up colour to your complexion with the Alima Pure Satin Matte Bronzer, apply lightly for a natural sun kissed glow or add structure and contrast to the face by building on the colour. Don't forget those brows! The Inika Organic Brow Pencil comes in two shades, Blonde Bombshell and Brunette Beauty to add volume to your brows and ensure any missing hairs are filled in naturally.
Tools & Accessories: A make up look would not be possible without your tools of the trade, make up brushes! Vegan brushes are available from RMS Beauty, Ere Perez, Lily Lolo & Eco Tools.
Still unsure? Naturisimo provides a full ingredients listing on every product page and you can find further information, and whether the product is vegan or vegetarian in the more info tabs.
Do you already use vegan only products, or are looking to make the swap? Let us know on Twitter @Naturisimo_UK