With so many people either switching to vegan diets or at least trying to cut down on animal products, it makes sense that vegan beauty is becoming more and more popular these days. Because while you probably don’t automatically associate your eye shadow or concealer or moisturizer with being non-vegan, the truth is that many cosmetics and skin care staples contain ingredients that either come from animals or are tested on them. Thankfully, though, there are finally some amazing animal-friendly options out there, too. So what are some of the best vegan beauty brands on the market?
The great thing about all-vegan beauty lines is that you don’t have to drive yourself crazy scrutinizing the ingredient lists on everything you buy trying to figure out if those unfamiliar words represent things that came from creatures. You’ve almost certainly seen “carmine” or “cochineal dye” on your lipstick or blush, for example — but you probably didn’t know that this red coloring comes from crushed cochineal beetles, as One Green Planet explained. Guanine, which is found in most mascaras, lipsticks, and nail polishes, is a shimmery, light-diffusing substance that comes from… crushed fish scales. Then there’s tallow, a super common ingredient in eye makeup, lipstick, and foundations that’s derived from “boiling the carcasses of slaughtered animals” (in other words, rendered fat). Um, why?
Now that you’re sufficiently grossed out, check out these 100 percent vegan beauty brands. Because there’s nothing beautiful about putting dead bugs in your lipstick or animal fat on your cheeks.
With irresistibly minimalist packaging and innovative products (like almost everything you could ever want in convenient “stick” form, even cleansers and toners), Milk Makeup has been a huge hit since its debut in 2016. And since the company went completely vegan earlier this year, eliminating ingredients like beeswax and collagen, they’re even more popular! A good place to start for newbies is the Basics Stick Set (pictured), which includes a Mini Blur Stick, a Mini Lip + Cheek tint in Werk and a Mini Highlighter in Lit ($29, Milk Makeup).
Whether you’re looking for makeup, hair products, skin care, bath bombs, body lotion, sunscreen, perfume (you get the idea), Pacifica Beauty offers an incredibly wide range of products, and they’re all 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. Perhaps your aura needs an overhaul? Their new line of gem and crystal-infused items will have you sparkling in no time. Pictured: Crystal Primer Powered Up ($13, Pacifica Beauty); Crystal Blur Illuminating Foundation ($18, Pacifica Beauty); and Crystal Dew Setting Spray ($10, Pacifica Beauty).
One would expect a line created by the former chief chemist at MAC to be pretty amazing, and Cover FX definitely doesn’t disappoint. Not only are all the products vegan and cruelty free, they’re also “free of the inflammatory five” (parabens, mineral oil, fragrance, talc and gluten). You’ll fall in love with the Custom Enhancer Drops ($42, Cover FX), which are made with “ultra-refined pearls” and can be used alone or mixed with foundation to highlight (available in seven shades!).
If you’re a fan of cold brew coffee, why not try cold processed skin care? OZ Naturals is one of the only companies in the world to create formulations “without using heat or chemical emulsion,” which can destroy natural ingredients and reduce their effectiveness. And yes, all products are vegan! Try the bestselling The Vitamin C Facial Serum ($18, OZ Naturals), a powerful antioxidant that brightens and protects.
While vegan skin care might seem like a new fad, the California-based company Tu’el has been a favorite of spas and salons since 1979. All products are vegan and free of phthalates, sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, synthetic dyes and fragrances, and there’s an impressive variety of face and body products for every skin type. Summertime taking its toll? The Reactive Skin Intro Set ($170, Tu’el) is stocked with everything sensitive skin could ever want: Calm Down Deep Pore Cleansing System; Stop Being Sensitive Cleanser; Hydrate Super Serum; Daily Protect SPF 30 Moisturizer; and Calm Down Night Cream.
An Australian company that’s gained a worldwide following, Inika uses only vegan ingredients that are ethically sourced, natural and derived from botanicals or minerals — even their brushes are vegan! (If you’ve ever tried to find vegan makeup brushes, you know that’s a big deal.) Always on the hunt for a good, moisturizing foundation? Inika’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation With Hyaluronic Acid ($49, Inika) is made with green tea, lavender, and argan oil (and it’s one of their biggest bestsellers).