Beauty Supplies

Published on September 23rd, 2013 | by Becky Striepe

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Vegan Makeup: What does that mean?

Vegan Makeup

I have been talking a bit lately about vegan makeup and beauty supplies, and for folks that aren’t familiar with a vegan lifestyle, this might seem a little bit…well…strange, right? You don’t eat nail polish! So, what is vegan makeup, and who cares, anyway?

To understand vegan makeup, I think it’s important to understand veganism overall.

What does vegan really mean?

Veganism is more than a diet – it’s an entire lifestyle change based on the idea that animals shouldn’t have to suffer or die so that we can have the things that we want. That’s pretty straightforward when it comes to eating vegan. Animal products like meat, dairy, honey, and eggs are out. Plant-based foods like fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains are in. Easy peasy. If you’re looking for vegan makeup, though, things can get a little bit dicey.

While there are definitely hidden animal ingredients in some foods, when it comes to finding vegan makeup, label-reading is even tougher. Some animal ingredients, like lanolin (made from sheep’s wool) or beeswax are pretty easy to remember and spot, but what about all of those polysyllabic ingredients on the label?

The other issue to keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for vegan makeup is animal testing. Even if your product is totally plant-based, if the company tests it on animals, it’s not a vegan product. Vegan products – whether we’re talking snacks or vegan makeup – do not harm animal directly or indirectly in any way.

The real kicker about animal testing is that it really doesn’t tell us that much about how a product is going to affect human users. Animal testing is so inconclusive, in fact, that the EU just banned the practice.

Finding Vegan Makeup

So, how do you find vegan makeup? Here are some options for ya:

1. Shop vegan retailers. Vegan stores like Food Fight Grocery sell cruelty free cosmetics.

2. Check brand websites. Veganism is becoming more and more mainstream, and popular cosmetics brands are taking notice. Companies like Tarte Cosmetics and even Urban Decay are touting cruelty-free cosmetics.

3. Ask your favorite brand. Not sure if the brand you like is vegan? Contact them! They can tell you if they use animal ingredients and whether they test on animals. If they won’t tell you, you have to wonder what they’re hiding. Not only can you find answers by just asking, you’re also letting them know that their customer base wants vegan products. Companies want to make things that you want to buy, so tell them what you want!

Do you have a favorite line of vegan makeup? Tell us your faves in the comments!

Image Credit: Lipstick photo via Shutterstock


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • I do have a favorite vegan cosmetic and personal care brand – it’s Arbonne. 100% vegan and cruelty free since the company was founded. Keep in mind that if companies that boast no animal testing are sold in China, they are required BY LAW to test on animals. I know that I can trust Arbonne to not include by-products or test on animals EVER. It’s an entire line of skincare and makeup so a one-stop-shop for everything you need.

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  • It`s not required by law in Canada to test makeup on animals! I have created a full line of Mineral Makeup & Natural Skincare. I make all the products myself and they are tested on family & friends not furry animals. All of the ingredients are proudly listed on my website unlike other brands that don`t list the ingredients…..how would you know if you`re using a vegan product! My customers love Affera Cosmetics!

  • Vegan Beauty Squad

    LimeLight by Alcone is Leaping Bunny Certified and Vegan. I believe the only products NOT vegan is the mascara and concealer (beeswax). Even their skincare that has squalene in it is vegan because they use the synthetic derivitive rather than the shark liver one.

    • Vegan Beauty Squad

      i butchered the english language in that comment. Forgive me!

  • Priscilla

    Sweet Leilani cosmetics ALL THE WAY!!!!!

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