Veganism is on the rise. This is happening for a whole load of reasons including growing knowledge about health concerns, climate change, and of course, animal wellbeing.

But did you know that veganism isn’t only about diet? It’s a lifestyle. Most vegans will avoid products like makeup and household items as well as clothes that have animal by-products in them.

This change in people’s lifestyles is also taking the makeup and skincare industry by storm. According to The Vegan Society, vegan grooming products tripled between 2013-2018. 

What's the deal with vegan-friendly cosmetics?

We’re not here to preach that you need to eat a vegan diet or live the perfect eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle. We’re only human and people can do what they feel comfortable with. 

But in our opinion, there’s not really any need to use products that aren’t vegan or cruelty-free when the options that are available are really bloody excellent. There's no need to use animal hair makeup brushes when the synthetic vegan makeup brushes are even nicer. 

Even the most effective ingredients which we once only derived from animals now have vegan alternatives which do the job the same, or better. So why not choose the vegan option?

What makes makeup vegan?

But what makes a product vegan or not vegan? To be a vegan product, it needs to be made up of completely plant-based ingredients. This means nothing has come from an animal or any animal by-products. 

Did you know that’s not the same as being cruelty-free? Vegan and cruelty-free have different meanings. Being cruelty-free means that the product and its ingredients have never been tested on animals. 

Some brands may claim to be cruelty-free but use animal-based ingredients. Equally, some brands may be vegan but still test on animals. There are a surprising number of makeup and skincare brands in the world that still test their products on animals. In China, it’s the law to test products on animals before they can be sold to the public. To get around this issue, some companies will pay others to test the products on animals on their behalf so that the brand can still personally claim to be cruelty-free. Sneaky.

This means that they may be cruelty-free in the UK, but the brand, or company that owns the brand, may not be. If you’re trying to live a cruelty-free lifestyle, it’s your choice as to whether you still buy these brands.

How to identify vegan and cruelty-free makeup brands

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you need to meticulously Google every ingredient on your packaging. Most brands make it simple by having the words ‘vegan and cruelty-free’ printed on their products, or you can look for reputable logos such as PETA or the Vegan Society. 

To be able to use these logos, brands have to go through a rigorous process to prove their products align with them. It’s good to note that Leaping Bunny, Cruelty-Free International, and Choose Cruelty-Free only certify brands that don’t test on animals, but they don’t necessarily have to be vegan.

Some common non-vegan ingredients you can look out for are:

Lanolin: This is derived from sheep's wool which is often found in balms, sticks and glosses.

Oleic acid (also known as oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate or tallow): Made from animal fat, it’s used as a softening agent in some makeup and moisturisers. 

Beeswax (also known as cera alba): Used to keep the oil and water in products from separating. Alternatives exist from plant and soya waxes. 

Just to add to the confusion, some ingredients like Squalane and Glycerine can be derived from plants or animals, but as the ingredient has the same name either way, it’s impossible to tell from the packaging. The best thing to do if you’re not sure is to look further into the brand and see what their position is on cruelty-free and vegan products. 

Shop Like You Give A Damn has a helpful list of non-vegan ingredients you can follow, and you can read more about vegan ingredients on Plantbasednews.org. 

What is the best vegan makeup on the market?

When selecting the brand and products you want to use, it's about what suits your skin best and which brand you align yourself with. 

Where to get a vegan makeup set

Well, as it so happens, all War Paint makeup products are both vegan and cruelty free. Huzzah. 

You can shop our vegan makeup right here on our website. Browse our vegan and cruelty-free makeup, or our skincare

October 14, 2022 — Hannah Brill

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