Switching to a vegan diet is a (relatively) easy process. It’s mainly a case of cutting out certain foods and finding new ways to ensure you’re getting enough protein and nutrients from plant-based sources. But going vegan in other areas of your life can be much trickier.
Take cosmetics – if you’ve come to rely on a certain foundation every day, finding an animal product-free alternative that’s just as good can be very difficult indeed. We give you the low down on the best vegan beauty brands according to consumers.
How to spot vegan beauty brands
With long, complicated ingredient lists, it can be tough to tell whether a product contains any animal-derived elements in the first place.
“Many cosmetic manufacturers proudly include ‘vegan’ on their product packaging. However, when something isn’t labelled, it can be difficult to dissect the many misleading ingredients,” says Aida Rejzovic, owner of Sassy Organics. “Common non-vegan ingredients to watch out for include: Lanolin, squalene, shellac and glycerine.”
Help is at hand, however. Bathroom brand Showerstoyou.co.uk asked consumers to vote for their favourite animal-free brands.
The list includes a host of famous cult favourites, plus some lesser-known names, so whether you’ve been plant-powered for years or you’re just starting out, these are the brands you can trust when it comes to vegan beauty.
Top 10 vegan beauty brands
1. E.l.f Cosmetics
American brand e.l.f (which stands for eyes, lips, face) is beloved for its affordable, on-trend make-up.
A cult favourite, e.l.f offers seriously good vegan value. You can get this hydrating coconut mist infused with Vitamin E and this velvet matte lipstick in bold berry, both available on Amazon, for around the £5 each.
2. Urban Decay
When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, no one does it better than Urban Decay – fans were devastated when the vegan-friendly brand announced it was discontinuing its original Naked palette back in 2018.
A new palette was soon released, however, and the Naked range remains in the bestseller list, alongside the legendary All Nighter Setting Spray (available on Amazon), a must-have in any beauty buff’s kit.
Quality brushes are a must for any make-up maven and EcoTools’ brushes, made with renewable bamboo handles and synthetics fibres, are loved by pros and amateurs alike.
We love this On-The-Go Style Kit Makeup Brush Set (available on Amazon) – great for saving space in your makeup kit, or having as a spare for holidays.
America’s answer to Boots, Sephora is a true beauty wonderland, stocking thousands of vegan products.
That’s why make-up obsessives always make a beeline for the store on trips stateside (or to one of its international destinations), to stock up on the likes of Kat Von D, Huda Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Their 10 hour wear perfection foundation (available on Amazon) is a big hit, providing long-lasting and has a buildable coverage, meaning you can get the right coverage for your skin.
5. Tarte Cosmetics
There aren’t many brands equally well-known for their skincare and make-up offerings, but Tarte excels at both.
6. Real Techniques
Founded by British beauty blogging stars Sam and Nic Chapman, Real Techniques creates high-quality make-up brushes and accessories that are popular with fellow bloggers and YouTubers.
Their blender brush (available on Amazon) is highly rated for its shape and versatility.
7. Physician’s Formula
Specialising in gorgeously glowy make-up, US brand Physician’s Formula is known for its complexion-perfecting foundations, powders and highlighters.
They also have more unique beauty products including their 2 in 1 Boosting Eyeliner & Serum (available on Amazon) which helps the growth of your eyelashes whilst also being a great black eyeliner.
8. 100% PURE
Another American company, 100% PURE’s skincare and make-up is vegan, natural and cruelty free.
The brand’s make-up is infused with fruit pigments – the Maracuja Mascara is a firm fan favourite.
9. Too Faced
10. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
It’s somewhat surprising to see Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics in the vegan top 10, since the US-based company shut down its website and all of its social media channelS last year, seemingly out of the blue.
Clearly, the brand that created (probably) the first ever liquid lipstick still has a lot of fans, and you can still buy some of its products on Amazon, including this lip tar test tube trio in Piccadilly Palare. Be careful you aren’t paying too much for your products though, as some are being resold at a huge inflation.