I Tried a Vegan Beauty Diet for the Week—and It Wasn't Actually That Hard

I tried being vegan once, and it was hard. I'm a self-confessed cheese fiend and believe that a weekend without some sort of egg-based meal is hardly a weekend at all, so needless to say, that experiment was short-lived. But vegan isn't just a word bandied about the foodie scene—it's a term that's seeping into every aspect of our lives, arguably most notably in the beauty sphere, with seemingly wades of new products launching onto shelves proudly wearing the term like a badge of honour.

In fact, the Vegan Society carried out research that estimates that as of last year, there were around 542,000 vegans in the UK—a mind-numbing 360% more than the year before. As this month has been dubbed "Veganuary" and spurred on by the promise that the new class of vegan makeup brands and vegan skincare lines are worthy alternatives, I decided to set myself a new challenge. Could I go a week using only vegan beauty products? Would I get the same dewy finish on my makeup? Would a vegan body lotion make the blindest bit of difference to these flaky shins?

I'll be honest—I was sceptical. Keep scrolling to find out how I got on.

So let's clear a few things up. What makes a beauty product vegan? Well, there are two standard criteria: The product and brand must not test on animals, and the product must not include any animal-derived ingredients or byproducts. That means no beeswax, animal furs, honey, etc., but to make things simple, we have a list of ingredients to watch out for.

Rather than starting from scratch, I chose to wade through my existing beauty arsenal to work out which products were vegan and which ones needed to be boxed away for the next week. But I also added in some new vegan beauty finds that I pillaged from the Byrdie beauty cupboard. Let me talk you through my week, from the vegan beauty highs to the vegan beauty lows.