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Beyond Cruelty-Free Cosmetics: The New Trend is Vegan

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Beauty + Ethics: It's never been simpler to prioritize both.

Image of various cosmetics and makeup tools

In recent years, the beauty industry has seen a remarkable shift towards ethical and sustainable practices, with vegan makeup at the forefront of this movement. As we become increasingly conscious of what’s in our products, more and more brands are making top-of-the-line vegan options available.

The most innovative & modern brands have surged in popularity for their cruelty-free, vegan, and environmentally friendly attributes, while brands stuck in the old ways are quickly being left behind.

When choosing vegan makeup as a consumer, your decision to support animal welfare often has the added benefit of being gentler to your skin and the planet. In this guide, we’ll explore what makes makeup vegan, why it’s worth considering, and recommend some of our favorite standout vegan makeup brands.

Aren’t Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Vegan?

Some may be, but Cruelty-Free simply means that no animal testing was performed on the finished product, its ingredients, or by a third party on the company’s behalf. It doesn’t mean that no animal-derived ingredients were used.

Vegan makeup goes further than cruelty-free cosmetics, which means that in addition to saying no to animal testing, no animal ingredients are used in the formulas. This includes avoiding beeswax, carmine (a red pigment made from crushed insects), lanolin (a substance extracted from sheep’s wool), collagen, shellac, and other ingredients from insects or animals.

Instead, vegan makeup relies on plant-based and safe synthetic alternatives to achieve the same, if not better, results.

Why Choose It Over the Status Quo?

Ethical Considerations: By choosing vegan cosmetics, you support a compassionate approach to beauty. Their production never subjects animals to painful testing procedures or uses them as sources for ingredients, aligning your beauty routine with your values.

Healthier for Your Skin: Vegan cosmetics are often formulated with more natural and non-toxic ingredients than traditional cosmetics, reducing the likelihood of skin irritations and allergies. Many vegan brands prioritize clean, organic, and non-comedogenic ingredients that nourish your skin.

Environmental Benefits: Vegan cosmetics are more environmentally friendly as they often use sustainable packaging and avoid ingredients linked to deforestation and habitat destruction, such as palm oil.

Inclusivity: Vegan makeup is typically more inclusive as it appeals to a broader audience, including individuals with various dietary restrictions or ethical beliefs. Because of this diversity in their customer base, brands are encouraged to offer a wide range of shades suitable for all skin tones.

“Vegan is just pure love. Love for animals, love for the planet, and love for yourself.” – Mischa Temaul

100% Vegan Makeup Brands to Check Out

RARE BEAUTY: The beauty brand created by Selena Gomez is cruelty-free, vegan, and certified by PETA’s Global Beauty without Bunnies program. In addition to this, Rare Beauty is environmentally conscious and donates 1% of annual sales to the Rare Impact Fund to expand mental health services in underserved communities. On top of being one of the most ethically committed brands out there - the cosmetics are exceptional quality & simply gorgeous.

TOWER 28: Award-winning vegan and cruelty-free brand for sensitive-skinned beauties who love bold colors and care more about the environment than excessive packaging.

Tower 28 uses recycled plastic to house its products and opts out of unnecessary embellishments that would end up in a landfill. Additionally, Tower 28 is certified clean at Sephora & Credo, so you won’t need to worry about unknowingly putting nasties on your face!

KVD Vegan Beauty: Originally founded by vegan tattoo artist Kat Von D, this brand’s acronym now stands for Kara, Veritas, Decora, or Value, Truth, Beauty, and is still entirely vegan.

As one of the most highly pigmented & high-performing brands available, you can create standout looks that demand attention - all while holding steadfast to your ethics. Along with animal rights and a commitment to rethinking sustainability, inclusivity is one of KVD Vegan Beauty’s core values. Their celebration of uniqueness and boundaryless self-expression makes this brand easy to get behind.

e.l.f. COSMETICS: e.l.f. is now a 100% vegan & cruelty-free budget-friendly brand since replacing the beeswax & lanolin that had previously been found in some of their products with all-vegan ingredients. Affordability is the name of the game with this brand, which offers a huge catalog of accessible beauty products, from cosmetics to skincare to makeup tools.

As an added bonus, e.l.f. Cosmetics has a rewards program when purchasing directly from their website where you can redeem points for further discounts on the already nicely priced products.

PACIFICA: Pacifica is an accessible skin, haircare, fragrance & makeup brand that has been vegan & cruelty-free from the get-go. PETA certified, you can freely shop their extensive catalog, knowing that their commitment to building a kinder world has been evident for over 20 years.

With gorgeous packaging and product quality that rivals more expensive brands, Pacifica can quickly become a go-to brand for your everyday beauty needs.

The Takeaway

Vegan makeup is not just a trend but a conscious choice for a more compassionate, healthier, and environmentally responsible beauty routine. With more brands embracing cruelty-free and vegan practices, finding outstanding products that align with your values is easier than ever.

So go ahead! You can confidently put your best face forward, knowing that no animals were harmed for your beauty products.


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