While we all know the drill when it comes to switching to a vegan diet, going animal-free in other areas of your life is a whole new ball game. Take cosmetics, for example. If you’ve come to rely on a certain foundation every day, finding a vegan alternative that’s just as good can be tricky. Plus, with long and complicated ingredient lists, it can be tough to tell whether a product contains any animal-derived elements in the first place.
“Many cosmetic manufacturers proudly include ‘vegan’ on their product packaging. However, when something isn’t labeled, it can be difficult to dissect the many misleading ingredients,” says Aida Rejzovic, owner of Sassy Organics. “Common non-vegan ingredients to watch out for include lanolin, squalene, shellac, and glycerine.”
However, help is at hand, as one UK-based company asked consumers to vote for their favorite vegan beauty brands to determine the 10 best out there. The list includes a host of cult favorites alongside some lesser-known names, and saves you the trouble of scouring those labels – credit cards at the ready.
American brand e.l.f. (which stands for eyes, lips, face) is beloved for its affordable, on-trend makeup. Offering seriously good vegan value, you can get a seven-shade eyeshadow palette for AED 45, and the ever-popular ‘Flawless Finish Foundation’ is just AED 22!
When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, no one does it better than Urban Decay. Fans (and we) were devastated when the vegan-friendly brand announced it was discontinuing its original ‘Naked’ palette last year. However, a new palette was soon released, and the ‘Naked’ range – along with the legendary ‘All Nighter Setting Spray’ – remains in the bestseller list. And both are must-haves in any beauty buff’s kit.
Quality brushes are a must for any makeup maven, and the EcoTools brushes, made with renewable bamboo handles and synthetics fibers, are loved by pros and amateurs alike. It also makes a mean detangling hairbrush.
When it comes to a true beauty wonderland, you can’t compete with Sephora, especially when you’re after a vegan beauty product. Stocking thousands of vegan beauty buys from the likes of Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Cover FX, it’s no wonder makeup obsessives make a beeline for Sephora anytime they’re in a mall.
There aren’t many brands equally well-known for their skincare and makeup offerings, but Tarte excels at both. Fan favorites include the multipurpose ‘Rainforest of The Sea’ mist and the iconic ‘Shape Tape Concealer’.
Founded by British beauty blogging stars Sam and Nic Chapman – a.k.a. Pixiwoo – Real Techniques creates high-quality makeup brushes and accessories that are popular with fellow bloggers and YouTubers.
Specializing in gorgeously glowy makeup, US brand Physician’s Formula is known for its complexion-perfecting foundations, powders, and highlighters.
Another American company, 100% Pure boasts skincare and makeup products that are vegan, natural, and cruelty-free. Its makeup is infused with fruit pigments, with the ‘Maracuja Mascara’ is a firm fan favorite.
Famed for its ultra long-lasting ‘Better Than Love’ mascara, Too Faced is hugely popular with beauty bloggers and Instagrammers. And if you’re a fan, too, get excited because it just unveiled its new ‘Damn Girl’ mascara that may be set to – gasp! – topple ‘Better Than Love’ from its top spot.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
It’s somewhat surprising to see Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics in the vegan top 10, as the US-based company shut down its website and all of its social media channels seemingly out of the blue last year. Clearly, the brand that reportedly created the first-ever liquid lipstick still has a lot of fans, and you can still buy some of its products – including the famous ‘Lip Tar’ – here.