Gone are the days of being forced to the back of a health-food shop in hunt of cruelty-free and vegan beauty products. Thanks to more and more cosmetic and skincare companies adopting a cruelty-free approach, it’s easier than ever to make sure the make-up you choose isn’t at the expense of unnecessary testing on animals, and doesn’t compromise on quality either. I’ve picked out some of my favourite cruelty-free offerings, all of which are vegan friendly too.
A huge number of high-street and high-end cosmetic companies now back a totally cruelty-free approach in manufacturing and testing products, but as well as being bunny-safe, a surprising amount are also vegan-friendly, meaning no animal bi-products are used at all – but getting your head around the marketing jargon can be confusing. Where some products may not have been tested on animals, their ingredients may have been, so getting acquainted with a few campaigning-companies is a real relief. So if you’re making lifestyle changes, or your beauty bag simply needs a makeover, consider these gorgeous goodies.
Too Faced is one of my favourite brands for highly-pigmented products with excellent colour pay-off, and the funkiest packaging. Cruelty-free, their brushes are even made from Teddy Bear hair! If you’re new to the brand, dash out immediately to Debenhams and pick up the new Hangover Face Primer (£27) which is just as good as it sounds; enriched with coconut water for reviving tired and thirsty skin. Heading into summer the Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (£25) is also 100% vegan-friendly, and thanks to its non-shimmery finish is perfect for building subtle colour and adding contours.
A brand popular in the states that’s recently become more available over here recently is Tarte. Known for their long-lasting formulas the whole range is cruelty-free with many vegan options including the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation with brush, (£34.50) a satin-matt formula which blends seamlessly. For lighter coverage, try the gorgeous BB Concealer and Brush (£18.72, both qvcuk.com) in a range of colours, for dabbing over imperfections.
When it comes to creating dramatic looks Illamasqua is the go-to for artistic make-up, and the good news is that most of their kit is vegan-friendly too. Though some of their products contain Carmine, all of the nail polishes and brushes are good to go, as well as their Skin Base Foundation (£32.50) which has 26 shades to choose from and the Reflection eyeshadow palette (£34, both Debenhams).
Any super-pale toned gals like myself who find highlighters are often too deep for the English Rose complexion, head to Cult Beauty and discover Becca Cosmetics where you’ll find most products in the line, including the Shimmering Skin Perfector Powder in Pearl (£32) are vegan. I cannot recommend this pressed powder enough for a frosty finish to cheek bones.
Cult cosmetics brand Makeup Geek is fairly new to online shopping site Beauty Bay and boasts a huge list of vegan goodies. Their super-pigmented eyeshadows can be bought as single pans, which can be easily popped into a magnetic Z-palette which costs just £8.95 for the small size which will fit 9 pans at £4.95 each. Perfect for choosing just the shades you want. Favourites are Shimma Shimma, Moondust and Burlesque.
Making things easy, Superdrug’s own brand, B is totally vegan-friendly, as well as being cruelty-free. With skincare, make-up and a men’s range there are plenty of products to satisfy your beauty cravings, without having to spend time pondering the labels. The B. Rich Intense Colour Lipstick in Rose Quartz 186 is a pretty pink shade perfect for an everyday look. (£7.99, Superdrug).
I was recently reintroduced to Neal’s Yard and was pleasantly surprised to find so many products available I didn’t previously know about including nutritional supplements and blends (pop in and ask the ladies what to put in your Nutribullet!) I found that their Lengthening Black Mascara is not only made with 78% organic ingredients but is also suitable for vegans and has a delicious vanilla scent! (£16). Team with Oat eyeshadow on the lid, and Cocoa eyeshadow blended into the crease for a natural look. (£8.75 each).
If you’re not ready to shift brands, it’s still well worth doing a little digging to see if any of your must-haves take a friendly approach, you might be surprised at how many now do. Professional skincare brand Murad offer a number of vegan products, including the Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence (£59.50), a holy grail when it comes to skin smoothing and hydrating aging skin.
For skincare, the majority of the Lulu and Boo Organic range is certified by the Soil Association and registered with the Vegan Society. Their new Chocolate Orange Cleansing Oil is amazing at removing dirt and make-up and, as you might have guessed, smells incredible! (£27, luluandboo.com).
Another company taking the guess work out, is MyChelle. Cruelty-free, vegan friendly, gluten-free and using 100% post-consumer paper for the packaging, they’re ticking all the boxes. The Dermaceutical Deep Repair Cream (£24) harnesses Shea Butter for ultra-nourished skin while the Fruit Enzyme Scrub (£13, both mychelleuk.com) polishes dead skin away while gently unclogging pores.
Disturbingly, many so-called ‘natural’ make-up brushes are actually made with animal hair. The hair is often taken from mass-farmed mammals in less than ideal conditions, so it’s well worth researching for a quality synthetic alternative. Nanshy are cruelty-free and vegan, with an impressively large range of beautiful brushes. The Masterful Collection comes with everything you need for just £49.95 (nanshy.com)
Of course this round-up couldn’t be complete without a well-deserved nod to Lush. Flying the flag for fury-friends the world over, I learnt that over 80% of Lush products are also vegan-friendly, and where they do use honey, milk, lanolin and eggs they will always work to provide a vegan-alternative – plus all their products are clearly marked so it’s easy to make choices. I’ve been using their Big Shampoo (£6.75) for the past couple of weeks, combining it with Veganese conditioner (£4.75) and am so pleased with the results on my usually tangled mop. And for those in need of a little colour in their life, try dropping The Experimenter bath bomb (£3.95) into your tub for a psychedelic experience filled with vanilla aroma.