Guide To Vegan Makeup



In recent years, a new wave of eco-conscious consumers has led to a surging demand for ‘vegan’, ‘natural’ and ‘cruelty free’ products across the beauty industry. But what do these buzzwords really mean and how exactly are they better for our skin?




Here is our easy guide to navigating the vegan makeup scene, including our personal recommendations, so that you can effortlessly upgrade your beauty routine; achieving flawless skin as well as a clear conscience.

First of all, let’s get the terminology straight: ‘Vegan’ makeup abstains from the inclusion of any animal ingredients or by-products, ‘cruelty free’ refers to products that have not been subject to animal testing, although may still contain animal products within them. Whereas, makeup labelled ‘natural’ generally excludes unwanted artificial chemicals, having been derived from nature organically.

From 2014-2017, the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle in the U.S.A grew by over 600%, and in 2017, demand for meat-free food in the U.K increased by 987%. Initially propelled by environmentalist millennials, concerned over the unethical treatment of animals and our planet, the vegan movement has since gained momentum from people across the world aiming to improve their diet, boost energy levels and live longer. Today, the vegan market continues to develop rapidly, with countries such as the U.S.A, Australia, Sweden, Israel and Canada leading the way. The beauty industry in particular has expanded significantly: Superdrug’s own brand vegan cosmetics saw a 750% increase in January 2019, and a recent industry report predicts the global vegan cosmetic market will reach $20.8 billion by 2025.



Aside from ethical reasons, natural, vegan products are significantly better for our skin’s health. Our skin is like a sponge, able to absorb the products we apply to it, and very few people know of the myriad of secret toxins embedded within the cosmetic we use every day. Contributing to impurities and blemishes, some of these harmful chemical compounds can even infiltrate the bloodstream! Yet vegan makeup offers a solution to this. Mindfully created with organic ingredients, the vegan makeup brands listed below prove we don’t have to compromise our health for beauty; even surpassing the quality and durability of some of the top designer beauty brands on the market today.


Kat Von Dee Beauty

Founded by tattoo artist, musician and television personality Kat Von Dee, KVD Vegan beauty started with four red lipsticks, yet has since expanded to 36 countries and won 60 awards globally. In 2016, the entire line became exclusively vegan and today, the brand remains renowned for its hyper-performance and high-pigment products in every category.

Our recommendations:



NYX Vegan Formula

Professional yet affordable American drugstore cosmetics company NYX is not only cruelty-free, but also advertises an impressive range of vegan options. Beloved by beauty bloggers and celebrity makeup artists alike, NYX’s diverse and innovative products are admired for their high quality and low price.

Our recommendations:



E.l.f Cosmetics

From fresh-faced minimalists to high-octane glamour, E.l.f Cosmetics offers faultless makeup to compliment anybody’s eyes, lips and face. Offering an inspiring selection of coveted tones, pigment and colours, E.L.F advocates exclusively all-natural, vegan products to ensure you feel beautiful, both on the inside and out.

Our recommendations:



Milk Makeup

Born from a creative studio in downtown New York, Milk Makeup is committed to a clean cosmetics philosophy: producing products that are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free. Inspired by their surrounding culture and community, Milk Makeup sees makeup as an elevator for personal style and self-expression, believing it’s not how you do your makeup but what you do in it that counts.

Our recommendations:




Eco Tools

Sisters Jen and Stacey were on a mission to create high-quality beauty brushes, that were not only vegan, long-lasting and easily applicable, but equally environmentally sustainable. Having sourced recycled materials such as bamboo, and secured an eco-friendly manufacturing process, ‘Eco-Tools’ was born. A brand which celebrates the true beauty of each and every individual, without compromising the well-being of our planet.

Our recommendations:



Lime Crime

Lime Crime’s ‘makeup for unicorns’, transports its users to a fantastical world where they can express themselves flagrantly. Renowned for their bright palettes and colourful trends, all of Lime Crime’s products are designed and manufactured in Los Angeles CA, and are certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as vegan and cruelty-free.

Our recommendations:



PHB Ethical Beauty

PHB Ethical Beauty is home to the largest collection of organic, cruelty-free, vegan, Halal certified beauty products in the world. Hand-crafted and made in the UK, PHB has won 25 industry awards in the past five years for their naturally-derived, cutting-edge formulas that offer incredible benefits for your health and skin.

Our recommendations:



Barry M

From selling bottles of nail polish on his mother’s front steps in the streets of East London, to establishing a leading UK cosmetic company, ‘king of colour’ Barry Mero has been retailing vividly coloured, cruelty-free cosmetics since 1982.  Barry M aims to be 100% vegan by the end of 2020 and is currently 97% of the way there. In order to continue delivering excitable, revolutionary makeup that is as affordable as it is ethical.

Our recommendations:


+ Words:  Stephanie Frank, Luxiders Magazine Intern

London-based student and  journalist Stephanie Frank has become dedicated to repurposing fashion as a force for good and is committed to writing about the interfaces between sustainability, fashion,  lifestyle and culture.

Find her on Instagram and LinkedIn