Vegan makeup

Veganism is now moving what we put into our bodies to what we put on our faces. The words “Vegan Makeup” and “Clean Beauty” are some of the most popular buzzwords in the beauty industry today.

Once considered to be a “hippie, alternative” lifestyle option, veganism is now considered to be a mainstream lifestyle choice adopted by people as a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle alternative.

Over the past five years, the supply of vegan cosmetics has grown by a whopping 175% with no signs of stopping. Within the last four years alone, the number of vegans in Europe (people who eliminate all animal products in their diet and lifestyle) has doubled from 1.9 million to a current estimated figure of 3.8 million.

However, the United Kingdom has really embraced veganism, with research by saying approximately 1.5 million in the UK are vegans, about 3% of the population. And this number is steadily increasing.

So, what exactly is vegan makeup? Plain and simple, ‘vegan beauty’ means the absence of animal ingredients, while ‘cruelty-free’ refers to a product that doesn’t test on animals. So, basically, it’s possible for vegan products to have been tested on animals and cruelty-free products to contain animal ingredients. Not confusing at all … ahem.

Conventional materials of animal origin, such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, and collagen, are replaced by materials derived from plants or minerals. While a vegan product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you and your skin, it is probably better for the environment.

We really are in a conscious consumer movement, and I get asked frequently if I have products that are animal cruelty-free or vegan. It makes sense that someone avoiding all meat, dairy and animal derivatives, such as wool and leather, would also be keen to avoid beeswax in lip balm, animal fat in blushers and eyeshadows, and crushed cochineal beetles in red lipsticks. I’m not a vegan and even this information makes me uncomfortable.

Another benefit of vegan cosmetics is that it has been proven to be better for those who have sensitive skin because they’re composed of fewer ingredients than more non-vegan products. The addition of extra ingredients such as toxic chemicals, parabens and gluten-containing products can increase your chances of developing a rash, acne and dry skin.

So, what brands out there are both vegan and fantastic? My absolute favourite is KVD Vegan Beauty (formerly known as Kat Von D Beauty, but she has since left the company). This brand has been 100% vegan since 2010. Its edgy packaging and bold colours are homage to the founder’s history as a tattoo artist.
The Iconic Tattoo Liner (one of the best liners I have used) and the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks are a must-try for looks that don’t budge. You can find this brand in Sephora here in Portugal.

Iconic Tattoo Liner, Sephora -€21.90
Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, Sephora – €21.90

Tarte Cosmetics make some of the best makeup you can get. It’s a US-born, eco-chic brand that really believes in safe skincare, is animal cruelty-free and vegan. All of their products are formulated without parabens, mineral oils, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten, to name a few.

Sephora supplies Tarte in all of its Portuguese outlets. Their eyeshadow palettes are amazing and I use them daily when doing bridal parties. My favourite and newest addition is the Tartelette in Bloom Palette. Twelve easy-to-use shades, they are infused with Amazonian clay for a smooth blend without being chalky and an intense result.

Tartelette in Bloom Palette, Sephora – €44.90

Some other well-known vegan makeup brands include Too Faced, Hourglass, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Milk Makeup, Wet n Wild, NYX and Kylie Cosmetics. I personally am making a conscious effort to have more vegan and cruelty-free makeup brands in my kit as, in my opinion, the quality is just as good, I feel a little better about it and I want to give my clients the choice of what they want to put on their face.

Happy shopping everyone!

By Sharon Phillips
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Sharon Phillips is a well-known, fully qualified makeup artist from Ireland. She has been working in the makeup industry in Portugal for nearly a decade and specialises in bridal makeup, editorial photoshoots and film and television. Her passion is helping women feel and look fabulous through makeup.