I must confess: I am not the chicest of vegans you’ll meet. Brand name clothing means next to nothing to me, and I can’t begin to tell you how to use a contour palette. But, just as in many areas of life, it takes all kinds to make up our community. Recently, I’ve become the kind of vegan who has taken more of an interest in the products she puts on her face. And by “more of an interest,” I mean “let’s move beyond soap and water.”
There are so many lotions, potions, primers, shadows, creams, powders, and serums offered by almost the same number of brands. Many are cruelty-free, but even that doesn’t always mean they’re vegan, too. Some smaller labels have been bought out by larger conglomerates, meaning that a vegan company could be owned by a business that tests on animals through their other holdings. Some companies are vegan-friendly, but still carry certain items that contain animal products. Some products are animal-friendly, but chemical-laden.
Whether you are new to skincare and beauty, or newly vegan and looking to make over your collection, there’s a lot to consider. Fortunately, putting on a cruelty-free face is easier than ever!
First things first. If you’re interested in a product, check with the company who makes it. Some companies, like Urban Decay, list their vegan items right on their websites. Others, like E.L.F., address their ingredients/policies in their FAQs. Can’t find an answer that way? Contact them via email.
Subscribe to a vegan beauty box
Take the guesswork out of it by purchasing a monthly subscription with a beauty box like the one offered by Vegan Cuts. Each month offers a new collection of products ranging from skincare to cosmetics. Like something you’ve sampled? Most subscription companies will have those products available for sale, or will include coupon codes and discounts so you can order directly from the manufacturer.
Check with the experts
Beauty blogging is huge! There’s a community of bloggers and vloggers out there who have done a ton of research on which companies are vegan and cruelty-free, and in many cases, they’ve reviewed products to help you with your product picks. Start right here at Chic Vegan for the lowdown on vegan beauty, then head over to YouTube for makeup tutorials, swatch videos, and more. One of my favorites is Logical Harmony. (Tashina Combs, who runs that channel, can definitely help you with that contour palette I mentioned earlier.)
There’s an app for that
If you’re anything like I am, standing in the makeup aisle at the drugstore can be a bit of a project. I’m pretty clear on the brands that aren’t vegan-friendly (despite the fact that Ellen is a spokesperson, Cover Girl is one of them), but there are others that have many vegan products stocked in with their non-vegan counterparts. And then there are the ingredients. Beeswax, carmine, and lanolin are easily identified as animal products, but what about octyldodecanol? Check out Animal-Free for a list of animal-based ingredients (as well as a vegan list) and the Beagle Freedom Project’s Cruelty Cutter to help with cruelty-free shopping.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been building up an arsenal of vegan lipsticks, skin cleansers, eye creams and mineral powders. My face is still adjusting to all of this new stuff. But one thing I’ve learned is that, much like vegan food has come a long way in the past decade, vegan beauty has never been more abundant with options.
Here’s to that cruelty-free, happy face!
Makeup brush photo, public domain by Karolina Grabowska.