Makeup artists have a fundamental, ethical duty to ensure they can provide products to suit the needs of their vegetarian and vegan clients. As a vegetarian or vegan model, actor, dancer or musician, you must speak to your makeup artist on-set to ensure the makeup products in they’re using on you are in line with your ethical standards. Similarly, no vegetarian bride wants to be smothered in animal-tested, animal-based products on their wedding day. But so many makeup artists still steer away from vegan and vegetarian products, for all the wrong reasons:
Myth 1: Vegan makeup doesn’t last long
There is a misconception that vegan makeup is low on pigment and durability, but formulas have come a long, long way. Urban Decay shadows and pigments are vegan-friendly, yet are so pigmented, waterproof and photograph so beautifully. Lip pencils like the Ulta range are incredibly pigmented and last just as long or longer than their non-vegan competitors.
Myth 2: Vegan foundation won’t give me as much coverage
Gone are the days of poor wearing vegetarian formulas. The range of cream-based foundations could not get any better—and Cinema Secrets is proof of that. Cinema Secrets is not vegan, however, it is cruelty-free as they don’t test on animals! I discovered Cinema Secrets last year speaking to some of the celebrity makeup artists at the London IMATS, and fell in love with the product. The concealers, correctors and foundations come in dozens of colors, making them perfect for media work, plus once set with fixer and powder they are completely waterproof. My model Nikki pictured above is very fair, and Kit 1 was perfect for her skin tone. I managed to conceal any flaws and create a creamy, dewy finish.
Myth 3: Vegan makeup doesn’t come in as many colors and shades
If you ever happen to go to an Urban Decay Counter or visit ELF’s website, you will see the shades, textures and finishes are endless when it comes to vegan and vegetarian makeup. In fact, I would say most of my most loved shades of eyeshadow and lip colors in my kit are all vegan.
Myth 4: Vegan and Vegetarian makeup is more expensive
This couldn’t be more misguided. ELF is one of the most budget friendly brands on the market, and all their products are vegan-friendly. Lipsticks are as little as $3 or less! On top of this, synthetic brushes are becoming far more desirable and affordable than their natural hair competitors. Superdrug, a UK pharmacy, has their own makeup brand called B. cosmetics. They offer quality vegan and cruelty-free makeup that won’t break the bank.
Myth 5: It is a waste of time trying to decipher the ingredients
A little effort can go a long way in ensuring your clients’ needs are met. Ensure to avoid these ingredients if you are vegetarian, vegan or a makeup artist catering for your clients’ animal-friendly needs:
- Carmine or cochineal—coloring made from boiling and crushing insects (many blushers and lipsticks contain carmine)
- Lanolin—a moisturizing agent derived from sheep (The Body Shop’s body butters contain lanolin)
- Beeswax/pollen/bee products: often found in lipsticks and lip balms
- Lactose or Lactalbumin
- Silk derivatives
- Elastin (from cows)
- Hyaluronic Acid
Vegan, eco-friendly, or cruelty-free makeup brands for your makeup kit
We already mentioned Urban Decay, ELF, and Cinema Secrets that are vegan, eco-friendly, or cruelty-free! Here are some other brands you may not have known are eco-friendly!
- Bite Beauty
- Cover FX
- Kat Von D
- Tata Harper
- Jeffree Star Cosmetics
- Crown Brush
- Select Hourglass & Urban Decay products are cruelty-free, vegan, or eco-friendly.
Vegan and vegetarian makeup is a usable option, lasting just as long, giving just as much coverage, coming in just as many colors, and costing just as much as regular makeup. Plus you’ll be catering to a growing group of clients who will demand cruelty-free and non-animal based makeup. So don’t steer away from vegan and vegetarian products, embrace them!