While vegan makeup is getting more popular, there are still a lot of questions and skepticism around making the switch from long-known brands found in department stores and the pages of Vogue.
In fact, whether it’s a vegan makeup or foundation being called “natural”, there are questions most people don’t even know to ask. That is why we’ve created a robust guide walking through:
• Why a brand can be vegan - and still highly unethical
• How vegan makeup can be just as effective as other foundations, lipsticks and eye liners
• The #1 myth about natural makeup that is simply false
• Startling laws that have influenced millions of makeup buyers
1 - Cruelty-free facts that are shocking but true
While vegan makeup means having no animal products, companies can have a vegan product that is still, heart-breakingly, tested on animals.
• Even if a country has a law against animal testing, that does not mean all products from a company are “cruelty-free”.For example, in England, it is against the law to test cosmetics on animals within the country itself. However, there are major makeup companies that sell products in England...that test on animals in other places in the world.
• Through 2019, China has required - by law - for cosmetics to be tested on animals. Yes, required. Because China’s beauty makes up 20% of all sales around the world, this was a massive amount of beauty product near guaranteed NOT even allowed to be cruelty-free. Nine new laws were confirmed to be changed so that, by 2020, animals should no longer be tested on. While the law is shifting, the change is very recent so there are a lot of companies, specifically any sold in China, that likely will still take a while to shift their testing processes yet. (Thankfully, there are great foundations that are vegan and cruelty free.)
2 - Companies can claim makeup is “natural”
You try to buy whole foods from the supermarket. Spinach. Apples. Potatoes. While your shopping basket isn’t necessarily all raw foods, you try to work in as many as possible. That’s because you know the power in choosing ingredients from the Earth - rather than packaged items that are immersed in processed chemicals and artificial additives. (It’s like the difference between a strawberry-flavored gummy candy and a ripe, juicy strawberry drizzled with honey.)
When choosing natural makeup, it can be difficult because many brands claim to be natural. However, the word natural has an expansive definition. A product can be natural and still have all types of additives.
For example, there is a product by a major retailer that cites having the most beneficial botanic ingredients and...has 1,078 different ingredients inside of it. Yes some common makeup products have 100s or even 1000+ ingredients. Most of the time, this many ingredients are not going to be all natural. That’s why it’s vital to choose a natural makeup with only a few, pure ingredients.
3 - Natural makeup does not translate to “healthy”
While the term natural sounds good, remember there are powerful elements on Earth that occur naturally...but are bad for you. Lead. Arsenic. These lethal compounds are literally natural but that doesn’t mean their healthy. While you probably won’t find poison arsenic in any makeup, there are other elements that could be lurking. Make sure no makeup you buy says: -It has fragrances (This may sound natural but can hide a lot of chemicals) -Parabens (These are known to cause skin irritation) -The precise breakdown of what is in the makeup, without vague or general words to disguise harmful ingredients
4 - Turns out, vegan does not mean “hippie”
For a long time, people have heard the term vegan and had the image of tie-dye clothed people eating wheatgrass and enjoying plants with “medicinal” qualities. While going natural can mean sipping herbal tea after a yoga class, vegan food and products are simply things not using animal products. There does not have to be any negative connotation - the one a lot of past history and society has placed on the term. Vegan products are often as good, if not better, than their chemical-packed counterparts. In fact, the top vegan products around are made in highly-modern production facilities and have to go through extra care - since there are not nearly the level of fake additives that can thrown in as a band-aid to the products.
5 - Products can be non-vegan...subtly At the grocery store, picking vegan from non-vegan products is a lot simpler than makeup. Beef vs. tempeh Cheese vs. tofu Whipped cream vs. pure dark chocolate Looking at these side-by-side comparisons makes choices much easier if you want to shift away from animal products. However, when looking at makeup bottles, the process is trickier because it is not obvious what is an animal product. To help pick out non-animal makeup ingredients, here are a few top terms to know and avoid: Squalane: This can be found in some creams or liquid foundations - and it comes from shark liver oil. Stearic acid: Many cosmetics have this ingredient, used to help cleanse product, and it comes from the fat of animals. Guanine: Derived from fish scales or skin, this is often used to act as a color, giving pigment, in cosmetics.
6 - There are different types of natural makeup, which are NOT equal Just as there are a variety of teas to choose from each morning (Earl Grey? Peppermint? Oolong?), there are different kinds of vegan makeup.
• Liquid foundation make ups that only have vegan ingredients o You may find ingredients like essential oils, bamboo, coconut alkanes, aloe leaf juice and hyaluronic acid.
• Pressed powders, which can have different types of bases o There are many types of powders, such as those with shea butter, different essential oil bases,
• Mineral makeup o This type of makeup uses minerals whether the product is a pressed powder, loose powder or used in items like eyeliner pencils and lipsticks. The reason we are such a fan of mineral makeup as a top vegan beauty alternative? Mineral makeup is one of the least processed kinds of makeup. Because yes, while bamboo and aloe are wonderful vegan ingredients, they still have to be processed and transformed in order to become a makeup ingredient - especially when taking a gel like aloe and making it into a powder. It is similar to the difference of eating raw spinach vs. having a powdered mix with dehydrated spinach powder. In contrast, when minerals are artfully placed into tubs and then infused onto skin, they are still (as long as the brand does it right) authentic, genuine mineral product very close to their original form.
7 - If go with mineral makeup, make sure the base is Mica When deciding on a mineral makeup, you want to be sure the main ingredient is MICA. Why? Mica is a natural makeup that is derived from the highest quality mineral compounds and will lightly, yet effectively contour onto the skin.
8 - Know the term “talc” does not make the product a good mineral makeup As you have heard about mineral makeup and got interested in trying it, we want to confirm that there is an ingredient that can make certain products appear to be mineral. Talc. Talc is technically a mineral but does not go onto skin in the same smooth, long-lasting way of proper genuine mineral makeups.
9 - The best part about high-quality, vegan makeup A lot of traditional makeup brands invest most funds into marketing, international magazines and supermodel photoshoots, so the cost of product is often high because of the costs on top of the product - not the foundation or eyeliner itself. With the internet making awareness and shopping so much easier, it’s gotten so much simpler to connect with great brands with pricing not based on millions-of-dollars marketing budgets.
A fantastic example? → This incredibly high quality yet affordable mineral makeup