Vegan food products have been making headlines a lot recently, from ‘bleeding’ burgers to ‘cheesy’ pizzas, but is vegan makeup the next big thing?

Makeup is not something that immediately comes to mind when talking about veganism or vegetarianism, most people are concerned with diet. But some cosmetics companies still test on animals, which doesn’t fit in with the vegan ethos. Cruelty free products have been on the public’s radar for some time, however, there are also a lot of animal products hiding in cosmetics. For example, beeswax, animal fat and even crushed beetles. As Guardian journalist, Emine Saner, notes ‘[y]ou don’t have to be vegan to be put off by this.

It appears that awareness around makeup ingredients is spreading, with Mintel reporting a 100% rise in the number of cosmetics being labelled vegan. Roshida Khanom, associate director of beauty and personal care at Mintel, believes that the trend in vegan cosmetics is motivated by dietary trends. ‘Where, before, consumers were looking for products that didn’t contain the perceived ‘nasties’ such as preservatives they are now… driven by being more conscious of both their health and the ethical practices of the company they are buying into.

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Khanom also notes the part that social media plays in the demand for vegan products, claiming that consumers are no longer ‘afraid to name and shame.

Although there are smaller brands emerging that are entirely vegan, there are also larger cosmetics companies who are choosing to reduce the number of animal products in their ranges. Superdrug, for instance, who are often praised for how well they label their vegan products, have launched a fully vegan makeup range, called ‘B.’, to compliment their vegan skincare range.

The Body Shop are also choosing to remove lanolin, a wax taken from the wool of sheep, in their products, although unfortunately for vegans they will still continue to use honey and beeswax.

Buying cosmetics can often be a tricky process for someone trying to follow a cruelty free lifestyle, but thanks to brands recognising this rising trend it could soon become incredibly easy. It could even encourage brands to go completely vegan, if they are able to find all the alternatives that they need.

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Justine Jenkins, a makeup artist claims the only thing stopping her from using completely is that she needs a wider variety of options for use at big events. She firmly believes that the quality of vegan makeup is equal to any brand that uses animal products. ‘I would love to see more vegan options available to everyone,says Jenkins. Jenkins does however refuse to use products tested on animals.

If professional makeup artists are calling for more vegan options, and big brands are listening, then there very soon could be many more options for Jenkins to complete her vegan and cruelty free collection.


Image credit: Sophie Kate | Luscious Cosmetics