Vegan isn’t just another buzzword companies tack onto labels to make their products sound good. It may come as a surprise, but animal products are quite common in cosmetics. For those who choose to avoid animal derived ingredients in their lipsticks and mascaras, there are many vegan makeup products created with animal welfare in mind.
What does vegan mean?
In recent years, vegan cosmetics have become increasingly popular, coinciding with the growing number of people choosing to practice veganism.
Unlike vegetarians, vegans don’t just refrain from eating animal products. Ethical vegans also won’t use anything that comes from animals, including clothing, shoes, accessories, jewellery, bedding, toiletries, and cosmetics.
What qualifies as vegan makeup?
There are two standard criteria. First, vegan makeup must not contain animal derived ingredients or byproducts. Second, they must have not been tested on animals or contain any ingredients that were tested on animals.
Some of the many ingredients that may be derived from animal sources are allantoin, beeswax, carmine, emu oil, fish scales (used in shimmery makeup), glycerin, honey, keratin, lactic acid, lanolin, and squalene (squalane, however, is vegan).
If you follow a vegan lifestyle (or are considering one), there are various certifications that let you know that a beauty product is indeed vegan or cruelty free. These include Choose Cruelty Free, Leaping Bunny, Certified Vegan, and Vegan Society.
Thinking of switching to makeup that doesn’t put our furry friends in harm’s way? If your answer is a yes, here are some beauty products to kickstart your vegan makeup kit.
Vegan beauty product recommendations
1. Weleda BB Creams
Let’s start with a good vegan base. While not all of Weleda's products are vegan (they use beeswax and lanolin in some products), many of them are, including the new Weleda Beauty Balms. They're perfect if you're looking for a light, natural base that evens out minor flaws and gives you a subtle tint and matte look.They're vegan and gluten free, and like all Weleda products, they're NaTrue certified natural and organic.
2. Benecos mineral powder
Vegan makeup that’s trendy and doesn’t cost a small fortune? Count us in! Benecos has a huge range of cruelty free and vegan cosmetics at accessible price points. This German brand is a one stop shop for everything from lip crayons to eyeliners, mascaras to nail polish. They have so many vegan beauty products we hardly know where to begin. But for this list, we’re honing in on mineral powder.
Good vegan face powders can be difficult to source, but the loose Natural Mineral Powder from Benecos ticks every box on our list. Talc free? Works with acne prone skin? Semi matte finish? Stays on for hours? Check, check, check, and check.
3. Hurraw! lip balm
Hurraw! launched in 2010 and has since become a favourite of vegan beauty lovers everywhere. The company’s organic lip balms are 100% plant based, vegan, cruelty free, raw, cold pressed, and contain absolutely no nasties. Even if you’re not into natural makeup, you’ll appreciate these lovely lip balms for their smooth texture and subtle flavours. There are even some sheer tints if you're looking for a little colour.
They’re also pocket melt proof, long lasting, and super affordable. Try the tinted Black Cherry, which uses alkanet root for a sheer wash of deep red, and vegan, colour.
4. Neek lipstick
Ethical beauty for sensitive skin has been at the core of Neek Skin Organics since the very beginning. The Australian company serves up highly pigmented but totally guilt free lipsticks in luxurious colours. The entire collection is made with good-for-you ingredients like shea butter and jojoba and avocado oils. Our favourite Neek lipstick is Pash, a stunningly deep dusty pink that works on all skin tones.
5. Lavera eyeshadow quattro
Lavera has been committed to ethical and conscious beauty for over 25 years. All their products are free from animal testing and many are vegan. The brand is well known for its skincare products, but the cosmetics range is also pretty amazing and proves that you don’t need animal derivatives to make highly pigmented eye makeup. We’re in love with Lavera’s eyeshadow quattro, which come in timeless colour combinations and have been tested safe for sensitive skin and allergy prone eyes.
6. Ere Perez mascara
Ere Perez makes products for anyone who enjoys looking good and on-trend but also wants to live a kinder, more ethical lifestyle. The whole range is vegan, including foundations, lipsticks, nail polishes, eyeshadows and mascara.
And one of our favourite (and bestselling!) mascaras is the waterproof mascara. It's made with nourishing ingredients that are perfect for sensitive eyes. This mascara lasts all day, yet it's easy to remove, too. It lengthens, separates and defines lashes, and I keep coming back and back to this one!
7. Ere Perez makeup brush
Good vegan makeup brushes are a must for any makeup kit. Our top picks are the Ere Perez multipurpose ones, which have vegan bristles and eco handles made from corn resin. The brushes are soft, smooth, don't shed, and hold together through multiple washes. Grab the Lip & Conceal Brush. One end is wide and flat for concealer or highlighter while the other end is perfect for precision application of lip products.Try also: Benecos makeup brushes
8. Acure cleansing towelettes
We’re big fans of Acure’s 100% vegan and cruelty free skincare products infused with the freshest botanical ingredients. The Cleansing Towelettes is our go-to for fixing makeup booboos, freshening up after workouts, and “washing” our faces at the end of a long day. The biodegradable wipes are gentle enough for sensitive skin but tough enough to remove eye makeup (even eyelash glue!) in one swipe.
9. Noosa Basics Sea Spray
The entire Noosa Basics range is vegan, cruelty free, and made in small batches using the finest quality botanicals. Our favourite is their volume enhancing Sea Spray for that tousled just-spent-the-day-at-the-beach look. Made from all natural ingredients, the spray works great with any hair texture and has none of the synthetic feel or smell from mainstream hair products. Absolutely no nastiness, great for a quick hair fix, and smells fantastic, too!
10. Kester Black nail polish
Looking for vegan nail polish that’s long lasting, chip resistant, and kind to your nails? Kester Black is an Australian brand that has gone above and beyond to give you a healthier manicure. Their nail polish isn’t just vegan and cruelty free, it’s also 10 free, which means zero formaldehyde, DBP, and other nasties. Try Kester Black’s In The Buff, a classic nude that makes our nails look sophisticated and professional.
Thinking about switching up your cosmetics after reading this? Hop on over to Hello Charlie and browse through our wide selection of vegan beauty and skincare products. Enjoy!
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