There are a lot of hip words floating about when it comes to what we put in our body as well as on our body—natural, ethical, cruelty-free, vegetarian, organic, natural, vegan… and, honestly, I find the whole thing rather confusing.
This month I decided to explore the world of vegan makeup. Two years ago I was challenged by PETA to become a vegan for a month and pen my experiences for Grazia. And I'm not going to lie, it was tough. I had been a vegetarian in the past, and I haven’t eaten red meat since I was 15, but I learned animal products are in a lot more things than I imagined… even in some white wine. *Wipes tear from eye.*
I always say the most important thing is to be informed—to know where what you put on your body comes from. So I’ve started to explore cruelty-free makeup and working to become more aware of the products on my face as well as what goes in my belly.
A lot of eye shadows use fish scales (similar to my beloved white wine) and mineral mica. And many moisturisers use lanolin (from sheep) and squalane (from sharks). Surprisingly cruelty-free does not mean a cosmetic is vegan—it means that a company did not test their product or ingredients on animals during the time of development. They may still contain ingredients mentioned above.
With this in mind, my makeup artist Justine Jenkins and I decided to experiment in creating a fun look using only vegan products. We wanted to try something a little more adventurous, so although it’s all-natural makeup—it's a little more daring for a night out… without any animal ingredients.
I didn't see any difference to quality with the vegan products we used. In fact, some of them I liked more—the Inika eyeshadows in particular are really easy to use and have a great colour payoff, as you can see in the picture!
Would you go vegan either in your makeup bag or your kitchen? Let us know in the comment box below.
Makeup: Justine Jenkins
Photos: Conor McDonnell